Where's the Gold?
from the 2019 May/June issue of the GPAA Gold Prospectors Magazine
This month’s "Where’s the Gold?" is not going to be easy by any accounts and it is great training for getting completely out of the box and forcing yourself to look at what was there, not what is there now.
This is a beautiful, small gold-bearing feeder creek on private property that, although it is never going to offer a great amount of gold, is perfect for that “I wanna get away” spot. I have prospected a few times in the past with the owner. The good news, though, is that it leads into a bigger waterway that is well known and a GPAA claim.
Look at the image closely, think about the information above and what you may have learned in the past about prospecting rivers and streams.
Scroll down once you think you have some answers - no cheating!
Where's the Gold... ANSWERED
[A] Go for the known and work the inside bend? Small gravel bar just to the right of the tree trunk that you see in the water.
[B] Looks like a good catch area? Lots of stuff to see here, debris in the trees, larger boulders in the creek across and up from the spot as well as fine gravels.
[C] Exposed bedrock and toppers leading into creek. Not a lot to say about this area. I’d test it no matter what. But did it produce after testing? Great deal of fine gravels toward the center of the creek with rocks sitting on the gravel bar (notice the rapids) and calmer water toward the bank.
[D] Bedrock sheer and drop. Great deal of submerged larger rocks surrounding the spot and very little fine gravels below the waterline just after the sheer area.
If you choose B then you are the miner that reads everything around you knowing that what you see now is not what you would have seen during the high-water events that caused the debris to be lodged into the trees.
This is the only spot where debris was mass deposited even though there are a number of trees leaning into the water. This means that the water was raging through the other areas (including the inside bend in the creek) and the only real slow spot was this one isolated spot.
Water coming through the inside bend and hitting the trees at A changes the flow direction on the end of the bend, forcing the water across the creek for the most part and into the boulders and bedrock that you can see in the creek between A & B. This pushed the water toward B and, hitting the bank and the trees, it instantly slowed and deposited vegetation debris, fine gravels and gold to the front side of the trees and some to the side and back.
Seeing the final results of the testing, I would (and did) concentrate my efforts first on B then D.
Each spot was test-panned a minimum of four locations surrounding the features and additional testing was done in five other areas that yielded no results.
Kevin Hoagland is the GPAA Director of Development and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org