Prospecting & Detecting
I had a chance to visit the operation in person and talk with Neal. I was very impressed and I think our readers could learn a lot about building up a commercial placer operation from scratch…
Chris got a nice target signal on the edge of rising bedrock, but still in a low, but washed area. After breaking up the bedrock, he recovered several pieces of gold amounting to almost three pennyweight.
When it was all setup and running, you had everything coming off the dredge riffles into the boil box. At the hole section, some of the water got sucked down and pulled a lot of black sand and over heavies…
This was no ordinary nugget. It had not traveled very far from its nearby source, and that did mean a lot, as we were searching for the source of several such nuggets found during a gold rush that occurred in 1859.
All 28 groups listed agree that Section 402 of the Clean Water Act does not apply and no dredge miner should be asking a state or federal agency for such a permit.
I had some success following this premise this summer, finding a few nuggets in places I think I overlooked in the past.
As he was working near the extreme low end of the ground sluicing, I heard a yell through my headphones. Making my way down to him I could see the smile from a long distance.
My largest nugget from this area is almost one-half ounce. I’ve found several smaller chunks and many pickers in addition to the fines and flakes that I put in my poke.
A two-pronged approach is necessary to restore suction dredging; federal preemption needs to be established as addressed above via petition; and clarification from the EPA is needed to establish that no Section 402 permit is necessary when there is no “addition” of a pollutant.
Gold trapped in the cracks can be encrusted close to the walls or mixed with sand and pebbles, making the gold difficult to see and then extract. Crevicing requires a lot of patience to achieve positive results.
It was time to prime the pump and start the engine! Dan’s priming method is to use a small, submersible, 12-volt pump. My priming method is to use a hand-operated diaphragm pump.
“The evidence is clear—mineral deposits alone are not enough to attract precious commodity investment dollars...”
Much more information can be gained from that single source and gives you ideas on the gravels for dry washing or where the nuggets may lie for metal detecting
Many of you have read recent articles that include pictures of some of the nice nuggets that have come out of this area. I’m going to talk very briefly about a few of my friends and some of the nuggets they have been taking out of this area…