Shorty pans for gold – sketch by the author. California’s rich gold mining heritage should not end with ‘historical’ mining: But the naivety of the public and green movements, over-regulation by bureaucracies, costs and liabilities of mining, and exploration costs have left the state broke.
In addition to gold, the state yielded by-product platinum, sapphire and benitoite from its serpentinite belt in the Sierra Nevada.
Alpha and Omega historical hydraulic gold mines, California This belt, known as the Mother Lode, was outlined by gold discoveries in quartz veins in a region about 4 miles wide and miles long that reached north from the Sixteen-to-One mine at Alleghany to Mormon Bar in the south. The precious metal was found in quartz veins in phyllite, schist, slate and greenstone. The more productive veins were discovered along at contacts between two different rock types.
Where extensive erosion occurred, major placers formed downstream in Holocene and Tertiary gravels. Broad zones of mineralization found in weathered lodes that were hydraulically mined. Read More