Friday, February 01, 2013
Gold has gone down river
I have been looking at some placer mining operations lately. Who hasn't with new TV shows based on placer mining operations popping up on a seemingly regular basis. I wish that I could say that I am taking a close look at placer mining because of the resurgence of interest created by mainstream television, but i can't.
Everything those folks do and have done is a credit to their perseverance, work ethics and integrity. It takes a no holds barred determination to go out on a limb buying equipment to start an operation, and a rock hard commitment to see it through. Let alone, diving in skin freezing water to recover gold.
Most of the time, you'll find guys like me looking at hard rock deposits and chipping out samples or drilling things to find a lode bearing area. I have for many years focused on locating the source of the gold and hoping that it would eventually lead to making a mine. Some of that work has paid off, but it is a long drawn out waiting game. In any case in Canada right know the time involved between making discoveries of gold or other minerals in a hard rock environment and actually seeing a mine develop is at least 12 years.
So I have been thinking. What if I reversed my focus and used what I know about local gold deposits and started looking down stream or down river from the locations. Would I find placer gold that is more easily won? After all, I have often panned in streams and rivers day by day hoping to trace lode gold upstream.
Free gold is liberated and moved by erosion and usually carried down river to end up in river turns or crevices. I am thinking that it may be easier to mine the gold that I panned over looking to trace the lode rock, than to actually wait to see a hard rock mine developed. That's a bit of a twist for me.
But I don't think it's far fetched, I know where several lode deposits are and I know where the rivers or streams that run off of the area are. I have traced them upstream and totally ignored the downstream possibilities. Until now.
It could be more rewarding to start a wee mobile placer operation down stream.