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Normally, I wouldn't post this here but rather on Nevada Nugget Hunter forum, but because there are a lot of people that navigate to this site and are looking for ideas for their next prospecting trip, I figured why not give out a few clues about past producing areas, for all those looking for crumbs, or possibly, missed holes and pockets. has grown to international viewership. Of late, several in Canada have been asking questions.

As for the posts, I have no idea what the current condition is, but no matter. Adventure is adventure, and the quest for gold is certainly an ingrained adventure lurking in the heads of most of those reading this.

post-655-1251584263_thumb.jpg if you clik on the square with arrows on the corners, this will increase resolution and size of the picture. If you're on dial up internet, refresh picture to full quality for best results.

Hey dude! an old map. A GOLD Map at that. NOT EXACTLY close to Nevada, but may present potential next summer.

STARS represent gold finds- as in mines, strikes, placers. Maybe they're waiting for you and your detector to come along

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Though directed at Alaska features, there is some good information for all prospectors

lode and placer primer:

PAGE 186 EMJ JUNE 1922

Prospecting in the Yukon and Kuskokwim Regions Near Proximity to Smaller Masses of Granite Considered Favorable for Lode Deposits— Understanding of Geologic Conditions Helpful to the Placer Miner

IN a recent bulletin (789-D) of the U. S. Geological Survey, E R Mertie, Jr., discusses lode prospecting in the Yukon and Kuskokwim regions of Alaska. The following extracts have been taken from the bulletin in question and are inter­esting:

Lode Prospecting

Most lode prospectors will search mainly for deposits of native gold and for high-grade sulphide ores that also contain gold and silver. It is apparent that such prospecting should be done in and around bodies of granitic rocks, more particularly near the smaller bodies. Valuable ore deposits have seldom been found in interior Alaska in association with granitic masses larger than three or four miles in diameter, and most of those known are associated with much smaller masses or with dikes and sills.

Granitic masses are relatively resistant to erosion and are therefore likely to stand out conspicuously among the other rocks of the region. Exception to this rule are known, however, as for instance on Candle Creek, in the McGrath district, where a body of quartz monzonite lies in the valley of Candle Creek and the surrounding ridges and spurs are composed mainly of basaltic rocks. In the Kuskokwint basin, however, the granitic intrusives are commonly surrounded or adjoined by bodies of basic igneous rocks, some intrusive and some extrusive. The presence of basic rocks in this part of Alaska is therefore an indication that granitic rocks may also be present.

Dikes and sills are also important to locate, for they have been the source of some valuable ores. The Innoko district is one example of the importance of dikes and small intrusive bodies as metallizing agents, and the Parks quicksilver lode, on Kuskokwim river, is another, Such smaller intrusive bodies are difficult to find, because of their inconspicuousness and lack of topographic expression. They may occur close to larger bodies of granitic rocks, and their presence may sometimes be inferred from this fact some dikes, however, are offshoots from underlying larger bodies of igneous rock that do not crop out. Only diligent prospecting will reveal the location of such dikes.

On geologic maps made by the Geological Survey the positions of the larger masses of granitic rocks are shown.

Sometimes, however, especially in reconnaissance geologic mapping, smaller granitic masses are overlooked, and it is probable that a large proportion of the existing dikes and sills are not seen on a linear traverse. As it is these smaller intrusive masses and dikes that are likely to have originated ore deposits, reconnaissance geologic maps should be taken as general guides rather than infallible indicators of metallization, or the lack of it.

Alter a small intrusive body of granitic rock is found it still remains to be determined whether the intrusion has given rise to any metalliferous deposits. Not all intrusive bodies nor even all small intrusive bodies of granitic rocks have effected metallization, but, on the other band, no valuable ore deposits have been found in interior Alaska that were not connected in some way with such rocks. They are therefore the most favorable places for prospecting, but they are by no means certain to yield commercial ores.

Two general methods of prospecting can be recommended. In the Kuskokwim region, where ore deposits are closely associated with the granitic rocks, the prospector should confine his work to these rocks and their immediate margins. No signs of metallization are found in a narrow zone close to the main granitic mass, further search might be made for dikes and other inconspicuous intrusive bodies in the near vicinity before turning to a new area. In the upper Yukon, Tanana, Koyukuk, and Chandalar valleys, however, where ores of the early and intermediate periods are more abundant, the prospector should search for a considerable distance from a granitic body, looking particularly for quartz veins, before he decides that this particular granitic intrusive has not produced any ore deposits. The search in these regions is really a search for quartz veins as such, the position of granitic masses serving only as a general indicator of areas that may be favorable prospecting ground.

It happens more often in Alaska that lode prospecting follows the development of some gold-placer district Coinmetal placers have not usually been transported any great distance from their bedrock source; and if the lodes that have produced the placers are also of commercial value they are usually located sooner or later by considering the position and direction of the paystreaks and by laborious prospecting.

Knowledge of the character of the metallization In a region, however, will often be of great value in deducing and locating the bedrock source of the placer deposit. Short cuts that result from an understanding of conditions are certainly worthwhile.

Prospecting for Placers

The prospector of interior Alaska will continue to search for stream and bench placers of gold, for these are the only types of placer deposits, both as to metal content and as to origin, that warrant exploitation at present. All that has been said of lode prospecting applies equally well to placer prospecting, for the lode antedates the placer. It is a great waste of time and effort to prospect blindly from year to year, as many prospectors do, without having any good reason for believing beforehand that a gold placer may exist where they undertake to prospect.

Some rich placers have been found in this fly, but It is equally true that an understanding of geologic conditions has often resulted in discoveries that otherwise might not have been made for a long time. The discovery of the high-bench ancient beach placers at Nome is a case In point, for it was predicted by Federal geologists and other examples might be cited in interior Alaska, where men who have been guided by geologic knowledge, either their own or that gained from others, have been able to precede the uninitiated in making important discoveries.

In searching for placers the prospector should hunt first for areas of granitic rocks that give evidence of having been metallized, just as in lode prospecting, and then after the occurrence of metallization has been established he should prospect the streams leading from such areas. One difference, however, must be cited. It is not necessary to find a high degree of metallization or to discover a rich lode before beginning placer prospecting, for a lode deposit of very low grade may by long-continued erosion and stream concentra­tion develop into a high-grade placer. The placers of the Klondike region are an example of this condition. In fact, if the prospector finds a small area of granitic rocks or an area cut by many quartz veins or granitic dikes, he would do well to prospect the streams draining such an area, even if evidence of metallization had not been discovered in the bedrock If a commercial gold placer is present in the vicinity, some inkling of the fact is rather likely to be obtained by panning on the bars and ripples of some of the streams that are in the near vicinity.

Another point that deserves stress is the desirability of searching In particular for bench deposits. The conditions that make for the development of continuous commercial pay-streaks are long-continued and deep residual weathering, moderate stream gradients, and a nice adjustment between the factors that regulate the erosion and transportation of rock debris. It is believed that favorable conditions of this sort prevailed more generally In interior Alaska during the physiographic cycle just preceding the present one than they do now. For this reason where bench and stream placers both occur the former are likely to be the richer.

The placers of the Fairbanks and Tolovana districts prove the correctness of this hypothesis. Bench placers, of course, are harder and more costly to prospect, because the gold in them is usually buried beneath a great thickness of muck and gravel. The discovery of a paystreak in the present creek channel may perhaps be a logical preliminary step, but when this is accomplished, a thorough search for bench gravels should be made. The original discoverers of placer gold on Livengood creek did not profit in fullest measure by their discovery, because they overlooked the possibility of a higher channel, and the rich bench placers fell into the hands of later arrivals in the camp.

Last of all, some consideration should be given to the physiographic type of country in which workable placers are most likely to be developed. One of the conditions that is regarded as favorable for the accumulation of commercial placers Is a moderate stream gradient; and such gradients are prevalent in the lower parts of the country. To be sure, moderate gradients may be fond in the lower courses of larger streams, even in a district of high relief, but the chances for the formation of a workable placer are less in a wide valley drained by a large stream than in the smaller tributary valleys. It does not necessarily follow from these considerations that workable placers, however, are much better in the regions of low relief if the conditions for bedrock metallization appear to be equally favorable.

With few exceptions the rich placer camps of interior Alaska have been found at an elevation of less than 1,000 feet. The Koyukuk camp is an important exception to this rule, but even in this rugged country the principle has its application, for the richest placers occur on the lower parts of the tributaries close to the middle, south, and north forks of Koyukuk river and to Bettles, Wild, and John rivers are all large streams. The gradients of the parts of the streams that contain the placers are therefore the lowest that the country affords.

Gold Derived from Intermediate Rocks

Although the gold and the valuable sulphide ores in interior Alaska are all derived originally from the granitic rocks, yet some gold placers have a proximate source of different character. Although the gold contained in the belt of conglomerate that stretches westward from Eagle to Woodchopper creek, in the Yukon-Tanana region, came orig­inally from granitic rocks, yet for the prospector of today this conglomerate may be considered a bedrock source of the gold. Not all the placer gold in this belt, however, comes from this conglomerate, for without doubt some is derived directly from the older rocks, but the importance of the conglomerate as a contributing source of gold should not be overlooked. This example is given to illustrate a principle rather than to indicate that this particular area is of any great importance as a placer field.

Another example of a proximate source of placer gold, other than the original bedrock source, is afforded by the glacial gravels and debris. Mention has already been made of the possibility at some localities of working such deposits. More commonly, however, the original glacial deposits have been reworked by the present streams, which have concentrated the gold and developed workable stream placers. Practically nothing can be said that will aid the prospector either in finding the original paystreaks in the glacial gravels or in finding the stream placers derived from them. Fortunately placers of this type are rare in interior Alaska, being confined largely to the slopes of the Alaska range.



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Platinum in Quartz Veins

Occurrences Noted in California, Brazil, British Columbia, New Zealand, Ural Mountains, and Colombia, in Association With Other Minerals


PLATINUM occurs chiefly in ultra-basic igneous rocks, and nearly all of the commercially valuable deposits are detrital deposits, deriving their platinum contents from this source. Nevertheless, original platinum deposits, sometimes of commercial value where associated with other metals, are found even in quartz veins. Such is an occurrence in a narrow gold-silver vein in the West Point mining district, in California. The West Point area is situated in Calaveras County (see Jackson and Big Trees sheets of the U. S. Geological Survey), just south of the Mokelumne River. The country rock is granodiorite, cut by greenstone dikes, and the numerous quartz veins contain gold as their valuable constituent, usually with much pyrrhotite and lesser amounts of pyrite and chalcopyrite.


In recent years, a number of claims have been under exploitation by J. B. Stapler; among others the Keltz group, situated northeast of the village of West Point. The country rock of the Keltz claims is chiefly a basic diorite, a facies of granodiorite into which it merges. The diorite is cut by greenstone dikes, and in some of the diorite, molybdenite and tourmaline were noted. There are several quartz veins in the claims, one of which at the time of my visit, in 1920, was opened up to the depth of about forty feet, by a shaft, known as the New shaft. Three small shipments of ore had been made from this shaft, averaging about $156 per ton in gold and silver. The ore of one shipment contained 0.11 oz. per ton in platinum. A sample of the ore from this shaft which I took, showed on assay a content of 10 oz. gold and 7 oz. silver per ton, no test for platinum being made. These figures are given to show the metal associates of the platinum. There is no serpentine or peridotite, or other ultra-basic igneous rock near the New shaft. Two other veins in the same district, also in granodiorite or dicrite, are said to contain platinum, namely the Zacateria and the Star of the West.


Prof. C. F. Hartt, in his "Geology and Physical Geography of Brazil" (page 448) quotes E. Williamson as recording the occurrence of platinum in quartz veins, in Parahyba Province. The country rock consists of schists and gneisses of presumably pre-Cambrian age, with lenticular veins of a semi-opaque white quartz, usually lying parallel to the strike of the inclosing schistose series. These veins, in general, contain native gold, with sulphides and arsenides of iron, and sulphides of copper, lead, and zinc. In addition, in the Boa Esperanca veins, grains of platinum are found.

About 1826, Boussingault1 investigated an area of syenitic rocks at Santa Rosa, about thirty miles northeast of Medellin, in Colombia. In this area, there are numerous quartz veins with gossan outcrops, and in some of this gossan, Boussingault found platinum.

He also states that the syenitic area extends into the Choco district; but it is now known that there are ultra-basic rocks in the Choco district, and these basic rocks are probably the source of the platinum now being mined there.


In his bulletin on platinum (1902), Prof. J. F. Kemp, in a footnote, states that "since this paper was written, the writer, with David T. Day and A. W. Johnston, has accumulated proof of the presence of platinum in pyrite, and in quartz veins, from several American localities. The notes are in preparation for publication." However, these notes do not appear to have been published, and it is to be hoped that Professor Kemp will yet place the facts on record.

In 1904, Brock records the presence of platinum in a quartz vein carrying about $3 per ton in gold, at Burnt Basin, three miles west of Coryell, in the Grand Forks mining division, Yale district, British Columbia. The vein (mother lode) is in a greenstone formation, between two porphyry dikes, and contains pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite, with a little molybdenite. Assays showed a content of 0.06 to 0.1 oz. of platinum per ton.

O'Neill, in his paper on "Platinum in Canada," mentions platinum as occurring in a quartz vein (Cable claim) in granodiorite, in the Ainsworth mining division, British Columbia, and in the Union mine, in the Grand Forks division, British Columbia, in quartz veins containing also lead, gold, and silver.

Pond4 records the occurrence of platinum in a quartz vein, in the Thames gold fields of New Zealand.

In 1905, Bell5 discovered platinum in quartz veins in the South Island of New Zealand, and describes the occurrence as follows: "During the past season, a number of platiniferous quartz veins were discovered by the writer, near the Teremakau River, in the district of Westland, in the South Island, in close proximity to sheets of altered magnesian eruptives—apparently originally dunite, and situated parallel to the stratification of the inclosing phyllites. The quartz is somewhat vitreous, and in general, very 'hungry' looking in appearance. Iron pyrite is fairly common, and iron oxides derived from its alteration.

In three analyses made of the platiniferous quartz, the platinum was found to occur associated with silver. The following is a characteristic result showing the amount of platinum and silver: Platinum, 0.0 oz., 3 dwt., 8 gr. per ton. Silver, 1.0 oz., 4 dwt., 9 gr. per ton. Many analyses made of the magnesian eruptives failed to show any platinum existing in them."

De Launay6 states that platinum is found in the gold-quartz veins of the Beresevsk district, in the Ural Mountains, and Lindgren mentions a similar occurrence in northern Finland.

Platinum has been found in numerous epigenetic deposits, other than the quartz veins here referred to. It appears, therefore, that though the larger part of the platinum of commerce, comes from basic igneous rocks, of which it is an original magmatic constituent, its occurrence as an epigenetic metal, is not at all uncommon, and where associated with other valuable metals, it can often be recovered as a byproduct.

1] U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin, No. 193, p. 64, 1902.

2] Engineering and. Mining Journal, Feb. 18, 1904.

3] Summary Report, 1918, Part G, Geological Survey of Canada. p. 8G.

4] Transactions New Zealand Institute, Vol. 15 (1883), p. 419.

5] James Mackentosh Bell, Economic Geology, Vol. 1, 1905, p. 749.

6] "Traité des Gites Minéraux et Metallifèree," Vol. 2, p. 999.

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EMJ 1921

Oregon's Gold Bonanza

Romance, gold, blind luck, and a gambling chance are combined in the story of the Boswell mine, in Josephine County, Ore. The mine, an important discovery, is on the ancient stamping ground of the argonauts and prospectors. A man named Anderson, prospected the ground, near Holland, seven miles north of the California line. He found some gold, and traced it up the mountainside for quite a distance, but finally lost it. He staked out a claim, and took in as partner "Dry Wash" Wilson, and it is reported that they recovered about $300,000 from the claim.

Anderson wrote his old friend Boswell, in Montana, inviting him to come to Josephine County, as "it's a nice looking country." Boswell, arriving, asked him where he should stake a claim. "Anywhere," said Anderson. Boswell staked out the claim adjoining Anderson's. It was within twenty feet of Anderson's line that Boswell made the strike. He and his boy did a little mining by hand. They were making up about $6,000 in gold one day, when two masked and armed men held them up, bound the pair and disappeared with the gold.

Later, the two took about $50,000 from the mine, when the son was drafted into the army. The father promised, that he would not work the property until the boy returned. Young Boswell went over seas, and lost his life on the front. The elder man, refusing to consider that death cancelled the promise, kept the mine closed. Recently, he let it be understood that, though he would not work the mine, he would sell it for $100,000.

The first nine days that the new owners operated the property, they recovered $30,000 in gold. At 20 ft. in depth, the vein showed 12 in. of high-grade, and 23 in. of quartz, running $125 per ton. At 30 ft., there was a 16-in, strip of high-grade, and four feet of quartz, running better than $125 per ton; or, so it is reported.

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VOL. XIV. No. 20

MARCH 15. 1931

The Origin of Flour Gold in Black Sands

By A. E. KELLOGG, Geologist, Med ford, Oregon.

A discussion of the cause of flour gold, or very fine gold, with examples of its attrition in Southwestern Oregon and Northeastern California.

Flour gold, or gold too light, or in too fine particles to save, has long been the "bugbear" of the placer miner and prospector. All sorts of devices have been tried to save it, with usually poor success. It may be so light and fine as to float over riffles, or by adhering to accompanying black sand, or particles of magnetic iron, or, by a certain coating of iron or sulphur, refuse to amalgamate with quicksilver, and be lost.

The origin and cause of this elusive gold may be various. In the first place, it may have been originally minutely disseminated through crystalline, or other rocks, not locally concentrated, or run into solution with quartz, in vein fissures, or wrapped up within, or chemically combined with other so-called gold-bearing ores, but is practically free.

Such is probably the origin of much of the tantalizing gold in the gold sands of the Pacific Coast. Another cause for flour gold is undoubtedly its attrition by waves and other violent waters. As a rule, the further we recede from the crystalline and igneous rocks of the mountains, with their quartz-fissure veins, which are assumed to be the proper habitat of gold in-place, and pass out to the plains, the finer, and more flour, does gold become. This is clearly the effect of the winnowing-grinding action of the streams and other bodies of water, flowing toward the low lands, from the mountains.

A fine example of this grinding and natural milling is to be seen in the very ancient Siskiyou Island, situated in that large area of Southwestern Oregon and Northwestern California, designated as the Klamath Mountains. These lofty mountains were an island in the ocean during Cretaceous times, long before the Cascade Mountains rose above the surface of the water, and by geologists, termed the "Great Siskiyou Batholith." It is, perhaps, one of the oldest pieces of terra firma on the western continent, and compares favorably in age, with the Alps in Europe.

The ancient island is located on the site of the Sierra Nevada, Cascade, and Coast Range, of mountains, a plexus of mountains, including the Klamath Mountain group. The Klamath mountains extend from the fortieth, to near the forty-fourth parallel, and include the Yallo Bally, Bully Choop, South Fork, Trinity, McCloud, Scott, and Salmon Mountains of California, and the Siskiyou, Rogue River, and others, in Oregon. The outline of the 'Island in Cretaceous Sea" and the "Klamath" mountain group is indicated by heavy broken lines on accompanying map.

The major part of the mass of the ancient island is granite, or granitic in character, accompanied with other intrusive igneous rocks, such as diorite, porphyry, and other intrusions of ancient origin, such intrusions having lifted from the depths of the ocean, the sediments that had settled there. These elevations have reached an altitude in some places of 7,000 to 8,000 feet. These sediments thus lifted, were changed from their original horizontal character, to various angles of inclination, and accommodated easy erosion.

Hence we find now only fragments of these early sediments, at the tops of the rather higher elevations, such as limestone, often metamorphosed into marble. These sediments were originally very deep, and erosion carried them away—some back to the ocean, while others were deposited in the valleys as the valleys were formed. These intrusions, and the necessary broken fissured condition in which they, and their beddings have been left facilitated the settling of such minerals as were held in position, or suspended, and all other matter susceptible of being carried downward into seams and fissures as the mass slowly rose. After the whole had arisen above the ocean water, and valleys were formed, or in process of forming, much of the residue resulting from this disintegration was deposited around the shore-lines of the old Siskiyou Island, resulting in the heavy placer deposits, which employed the pioneer placer miners.

Observations will show that all of these deposits were formed along the shore-line of this old island, and that the gold came from it. Thus, into these mountains, as judgment dictates, we must look for the source of the gold. The searches thus prompted have proven correctly that the heavy mineral deposits are found in the seams and fissures of this ancient island.

The Rogue and Klamath rivers drain, by their profound canyons, a vast area in the valley regions of the Klamath group of mountains. These valleys are largely composed of conglomerates of the Siskiyou Batholith. The pebbles, sand, or gravel components of these rocks are derived from many sources, but principally from granite or igneous rocks from the Klamath Mountains. These cementing sands doubtless carried the gold, which, having traveled far from its source, is naturally fine, and must have been reduced still finer by the angry waves and torrents that aided in laying down the Siskiyou batholith. From these cemented rocks, by a stupendous system of erosion and canyon cutting, the gold has, with sand and pebbles, found its way into the bottom of these rivers, and in some cases been deposited in bars and beaches, or along the banks of the streams.

Of the kind of additional milling and comminuting treatment it has received for untold centuries in the depths of the rivers, we may have a vivid object lesson, which will leave no wonder in our minds as to the flour condition of the gold, or as to one of the causes of its particle sizing. The streams, at the time of their annual freshets, are on rampages and impassable. They have narrow passages through solid rock banks, where the boiling waters are forced between narrow walls, as through a pipe. The centers of these narrows become heavily charged with gravel, which piles up a temporary sand and gravel bank, then a sudden and terrific roar, and the roaring is over. In a few minutes, the obstacle is washed away, to re-form again in another point down stream, and the temporarily checked stream rushes on its course. During the floodwater times there are frequent repetitions of the same phenomena in these narrow gorges. Imagine this gravel to carry a percentage of gold and its ultimate grinding by such a terrific milling process is obvious.

The gold found on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean near the deltas of these rivers, has received and is receiving daily, much the same treatment from the waves and tides, let alone what grinding it received in being washed from its source in crystalline rocks, far back in the Klamath Mountains, and on its way toward the sea. There it is deposited and re-deposited in beaches, ultimately consolidated into conglomerates, and gradually raised above the sea, and from these again washed out seaward, and daily milled and turned over, deposited and covered, and re-deposited by the waves of the sea. Is it any wonder that such gold is very floury? What metal could withstand such a process and not become so?

Gold, as it has been said, is one of the widest disseminated minerals in the world, despite its rarity in veins, or in concentrated form. It is safe to say that most of the flour gold found in the various river and sea sands of the world, was never at any time in a concentrated form such as we understand it, in gold-bearing veins and the like, but is derived from gold particles minutely and widely disseminated through the rocks of the world, primarily in the igneous and crystalline series, and secondarily, in the sedimentary rocks derived from these, and lastly in loosely consolidated modern placers, and alluvial deposits.

The analysis of almost every igneous rock bears evidence to this minute gold dissemination. In this respect some igneous rocks are richer in gold than in others: as, for instance, the "pyritiferous porphyry" of Leadville, Colorado, in which the gold may have originally been contained within the pyrites, which are a constituent of that rock, just as mica and hornblende are of many igneous rocks.

In some cases gold has been detected in combination with some common rock forming minerals, and again it appears to occur free, or freed, in certain porphyries, especially in zones of brecciation and decomposition of these. Slates are notorious for carrying gold, sometimes disseminated within their mass, but generally concentrated within minute veinlets, and lenses of quartz, probably segregated from the materials of the slates themselves, or derived from solution from outside, and deeper sources.

Gold disseminated in sandstone, conglomerates, and metamorphic quartzites is not uncommon, sometimes even in commercial quantities. These rocks being consolidated in river or sea beach placers, the presence of gold is naturally to be expected, but commonly in a fine or flour condition. In fact in all cases, either by original deposition, or by combination chemically or mechanically, with other rock-forming minerals, or by long travel or attrition, the gold is in the minute and flour state, and appears so when rocks are broken up, and reduced to sand or gravel by wave or stream, and re-deposited in bars, beaches, placers, and river beds.

In most placers, there is a large proportion of this flour gold, and when coarser gold occurs, even up to small or large nuggets, it is traceable to concentration in veins or veinlets in the vicinity, which may be very small and inconspicuous, such as those traversing the schists of the Nome and Klondike areas, in which there is a notable absence of large workable gold-bearing veins. Others, as in the Breckenridge region of Colorado, are doubtless derived from concentration in brecciated and decomposed porphyries, or from peculiar veins in place carrying crystallized gold, as in some of our local mines, leaf-gold deposited in shales. With the exception of those derived from these sources of concentrated gold, the gold so universally found and so widely disseminated is in the flour or fine state, and there are many good reasons why it should be so.

An indirect evidence of the wear and tear of the flour gold, experienced in its travel from the parent source, is shown by the character of the minerals associated with it in this region. These are usually the hardest, heaviest and most insoluble known, and in minute state in which they are found, are the relics and sole survivors of the tremendous abrasion by water, which has destroyed all other associated minerals. The common rock minerals associated with placer, beach, or alluvial gold, are quartz sand, the hardest insoluble residium of the disintegration of granite and igneous rocks, and of the sandstones and porphyries formed from these.

Mingled with these are all sorts of heavy and hard silicates and metals, some of them known as gems, such as garnets, rubies, beryls, tourmalines, and even rarer and more valuable stones, from sapphire and topaz, to the diamond. In the metalliferous series, the specimens accompanying placer gold are fragments of the hardest, heaviest, and most insoluble metallic min­erals known, such as magnetite, wolframite, etc., and the platinum series, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium, and osmium. Iridium is a hard metal, and 20 percent heavier than gold, while osmium is also a very hard metal, quite infusible and twenty-two and one-half times heavier than water. Iridosmine is of such extreme hardness that it is used for pointing non-wearing pens. In such hard and tough company, it is somewhat remarkable that gold actually exists or remains, considering its comparative softness, and its not absolute insolubility.

Soluble minerals are generally wanting in a placer, although at one time may have been in the placer rocks, the close associates of gold, such as lead, zinc pyrite, and silver-bearing ores. The sorting down and reduction to the heaviest, hardest, and most insoluble class, is somewhat wonderful, and is comparable on a grand scale with the most insignificant processes of artificial jigging and separation in our concentration mills.

Anyone who can invent a reliable means of saving this flour gold will be a benefactor to the mining world, and have a wide area for his operations.

On the coast beaches, the river bars, the irregular values of the deposits, the fineness of the gold, and the difficulty of separating the minute particles of it from magnetic, or black sands, are the main difficulty. The sands are limited as to extent and ephemeral in their nature. In river and dredging placer deposits, the flour gold is apt to be carded over and beyond the plates, by an overwhelming amount of heavy, black sands often accompanying it, or else it is too fine to save and declines to amalgamate. In addition to its fineness, the microscope shows the tiny grains are flat, boat, or cup shaped, causing an air vacuum, permitting them to float and they are consequently lost in the clean-up.

An unusually severe storm raging along this Oregon and California coast lasts for several days. Huge breakers lash the shores, making sweeping changes in the beach modeling, tearing up and tossing about large areas of shingly beach, and piling up the sands in new places and shapes to suit the angry mood of the lashing sea. At last, the angry waves having spent their vengeance, lap peacefully along the shores.

From South Slough, in Coos County, Oregon, to Gold Bluff, Humboldt County, California, the beach miners, following the storm, swarm on the newly made beaches to gather their golden harvest.

The origin and causes of fine or flour gold may be summed up to the original deposition of the metal, in a minute, and disseminated condition and, secondly, travel and attrition.

For more than 70 years the black sands of the Pacific Coast have been delved and tossed about by man as well as nature. At the beginning of beach mining, the reward was aimed at the golden contents of the sands. However, at an early date, platinum, iridium, palladium, and associate metals, were known to exist in these beach placers. In those days, platinum was given little attention by miners on account of its then small value in limited market. Many old clean-up dumps have been re-worked for their platinum contents in recent years, with gratifying results.

Government experts, making search for war-metals during the war in this region, said: "There is but little doubt that from the early days of placer mining in Southwestern Oregon, more values in platinum went through the sluice boxes, and was lost, than were ever taken out in gold."

The first record of beach mining was at Gold Bluff, California. The '49ers from middle California were already drifting northward on new quests. Shortly afterward, the northward trek found the Oregon Coast, equally rich. In 1854, an authority, Blake called attention to the occurrence of platinum with the gold at Cape Blanco, Oregon, and stated that platinum was present at a ratio of from 10 to 80 percent of the gold.

In the late '50's and early '60's, beach and placer mining was at its height along the Oregon coast, as far north as Coos Bay. The Rogue River Indian war, which was raging made it a very precarious undertaking at the time, however. When easy takings had been cleaned up, the advancing horde of miners moved northward to the Idaho diggings. However, the Old Man of the Sea has since, and still, is generous to the beach miners.

Many ingeniously designed devices for extracting gold, platinum, and associate metals from the black sands on these beaches have been tried with indifferent success. The old-time devices, the sluice box, and the long tom, still remain the tried and trusty method used by successful beach miners.

w4s notes: true then, not now. check out the sluice box that uses a membrane to recover both beach micron gold as well as platinum.

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Operations in the Cariboo, British Columbia

Prospectors and Operators More Active—Interest Shown in Dredging Ground of District—Numerous Hydraulic Projects Under Way—

Work of Perkin's Gulch Mining Co. May Demonstrate New Channel System


MORE ACTIVITY was visible in the Cariboo district of British Columbia in 1921, than in any other year since the beginning of the World War. The general decline of prices, together with the prevailing unemployment, has offered a greater incentive to the prospector. For the last five or six years, practically no prospecting has been done, but last Fall, a large number of men started prospecting on the various creeks.

Reports of strikes are continually coming in. Probably the most important one of the year, was on Cedar Creek, in the Quesnel Forks country. This stream is supposed to have been the first creek worked in the district. In 1862, it is said, about $20,000 was recovered from a small area. Although it has been well prospected, little was found until a strike was made last Fall on a bench, about 500 ft. above the creek bed.

An interesting fact is to be noted in this discovery. The gold was coarse and was lying on the bedrock. The material covering the bedrock carried no "wash," but was composed of fine sediment and crushed bedrock. The general rule in the district is to find 1 to 20 ft. of wash on the bedrock. Advocates of the chemical deposition of placer gold, claim this strike as an argument in their favor. The ground lies low, and is from 8 to 30 ft. deep. The presence of water makes it unfavorable for the small operator.

A Vancouver syndicate, organized by Captain E. Crowe Swords, and known as the Cariboo Gold Syndicate, has secured six leases, and it claims to have interested a California dredging company in the proposition. This syndicate is said to have about 5,000,000 cu.yd. carrying about 50c. in gold which is both coarse and flaky.


The Cariboo syndicate has secured a lease on the ground held by the Roses Gulch Mining Co., Ltd., and has built about two miles of ditch, to bring in water for hydraulic mining. This ground is supposed to be an old channel of the Quesnel River.

The new Cariboo Goldfields, Ltd., has secured several leases on the Clearwater, and installed a new hydraulic plant. The company will work an old channel, buried about 175 ft. deep. The reported values are about 65c. a cu. yd. in coarse gold.

On a bench of Slough Creek, near the Catch, McDougall and Houser are opening a hydraulic pit on what is claimed to be an old channel of Burns Creek. The ground worked was commercially profitable, and should it prove to be an old channel, as supposed, it would pay well if worked by hydraulic mining. A 50-ft. dump could be had, with a short flume throughout the whole distance.

Mosquito Creek and Lowhee Creek, belonging to John Hopp, were worked as usual throughout 1921, and it is claimed with fair returns. The same can be said of the Point ground, on Slough Creek, a large hydraulic mine held by Chinese interests, of Vancouver.

The New Waverly Hydraulic Mining Co. continued its pit in 1921, making good headway. Several years ago this company secured considerable ground on Grouse Creek, which had been worked in a small way, yielding good results. The new company is undertaking to open the old channel at its mouth. It has a well-equipped plant, and is using a No. 6, and a No. 3 monitor, under a 200-ft. head. During the two and one-half years it has operated, it has moved over 600,000 cu. yd. of material, much of which has been a hard clay, which has required considerable powder for blasting operations. As soon as the old channel is reached, the property should be one of the largest producers of the district.


The Perkin's Gulch Mining Co. has opened, in a new pit near the mouth of its creek, what appears to be an old channel of Lightning Creek. This ground lies in the middle of the stretch of Lightning Creek, about 10,000 ft. long, which is credited with a production of $13,000,000. The progress of this work is watched with interest, for if it proves to be an old channel, it may add another channel system to the systems now recognized. On Lightning Creek, as elsewhere in the district, there are three recognized channel systems. There is a high channel, which is the oldest. Remnants of this are found above the present drainage system.

Through a tilting of the upper country, or through the lowering of the streams in the lowlands, the channels were next cut deep below the level of the high channel. Much of the gold was re-concentrated into the deep ground. This low channel, was in turn buried fairly deep, and marks the present level of the creeks. The channel opened at Perkin's Gulch lies between the present stream gradient, and the gradient of the old high channel.

The work being done on the old La Fontaine ground, about two miles downstream, appears to be based on similar reasoning. Some years ago, English capital worked this ground. The channel then followed lay about 150 ft. below the creek bed. The operators recovered about $50,000, but finally gave up the undertaking. The ground has been secured by others who at present are financing drilling operations which are being conducted by the Provincial government. It is claimed by the promoters, that the old workings were not in the deep channel, and the drilling is to prove, or disprove, this theory.

The Kitchener mine, on Keithley Creek, financed by Philadelphia capital, has completed its water system, and has piped off the ground, to the head of the drifted ground. Next season it should be in good pay. Considerable interest has been shown in the dredging ground of the district. J. B. Tyrrell and others have examined the deltas of Keithley, Harvey, and Duck creeks, all on Cariboo Lake, for English capital.

A California company has drilled dredging ground which it holds on the Lower Cottonwood River. The results are not known. On the Upper Cottonwood and the Lower Swift, a number of dredging leases have been staked. It is said that the Pat Burns interests are to drill the dredging ground, which they control on the Quesnel River.

The completion of the Great Eastern Railroad to Quesnel has greatly facilitated the transportation problem of the district. Heavy freight can now be landed in Quesnel by the railroad, which is within easy hauling distance of the gold belt.


On Lower Lightning Creek, there is a property controlled by the Lightning Creek Gold Gravels & Drainage Co., around which appear to be numerous satellites, among them the Standard Finance Co., the Great Cariboo Gold Co., and the Mines Operating Co. It is rather difficult to determine just the function of these various companies, for they have all come into being, through the financing of one piece of ground. The first-named company, was organized in 1896, for $3,000,000 in $5 shares.

Through a private act, the company holds twenty miles of the Lower Lightning, about 2,040 acres. Those in control claim to have spent $1,400,000 on development and equipment. On the ground is an elaborate collection of machinery, together with all the necessary buildings. At various times during the life of the company, some money has been spent in shaft work. One shaft was lost while attempting to break out into the channel; others were lost in sinking. The mining work done, has been negligible.

Operations have been managed from New York, by Charles H. Unverzagt, who has control of the company. The minority stockholders of the company have been fighting him for some time, and have finally succeeded in having the property placed in the hands of a receiver.

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Yukon Territory

Many Camping in Mayo District—New Strikes on Keno Hill Reported

Dawson—Recent arrivals from Mayo report that several new rich silver-lead strikes have been made on Keno Hill. Promising veins have been opened on the Croesus, Crystal Gulch, Gambler Gulch, Slate Creek, and Stone claims. The Slate Creek Company is mining a 5-ft. vein of almost clean, steel-gray galena, to a depth of 65 ft.


The Yukon Gold Co. has about 3,000 tons of high-grade ore, at Mayo Landing, ready for the opening of navigation. The company has reached a depth of 800 ft. on the Rico claim, and the vein is as strong and rich as on the surface. In another shaft, a mile away, the company has reached a depth of 70 ft. on another vein, and is in good ore.


The Treadwell interests have confined themselves to development, and have only taken out ore, incidental to such work. They have two shafts down more than 100 ft., and these are to be continued to 300 ft., and connected by three levels. This will block out a large tonnage of ore. The vein averages 3 ft. in both shafts, and assays run from 200 to 500 oz. in silver, per ton.

It is claimed that nearly half the population of the Territory, has assembled at the camps around Mayo, and that this will be greatly augmented during the coming season. The White Pass Railway Co. is making arrangements for a busy season. It is building a new steamer at Mayo, to handle the increased traffic that is expected.


British Columbia

Early Opening of Yukon River Expected—Placer Mining Experiencing Boom

Victoria — Mining men are on their toes in anticipation of the early opening of navigation in the Yukon, and Alaska, as well as in the active camps of northern British Columbia. The annual flow of prospectors and operators, who have been wintering in Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle, has started northward. Outbound steamers are crowded already, and the bookings on Canadian, as well as on American ships, scheduled to leave during the next few weeks, have been so brisk as to put accommodation at a premium.

Though Atlin, Dease Lake, Alice Arm, and other well-known and long popular districts, are attracting their quotas, most of the travelers are en route either to the Portland Canal region, or to the Mayo camp. Up to the present, the majority favor the latter district. The rush to that famous silver producing camp close to Dawson City has started early, through a desire to get in over the snow, for when the break comes, it will be some time before the roads or trails are in good condition.


The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has refused the application of Anna Theresa Boyle, to two placer mining claims on the Klondike River, thus sustaining the decision of a Dawson Mining Recorder. This ends litigation that has been carried from court to court for several years. Some valuable gold property, as a result of the judgment, will go to the Canadian Klondike Co., Ltd.


The Del Ecuador Mines Co., which has a large block of leases in the Cedar Creek region of the Cariboo, is reported to be arranging to put a dredge on the ground, this year.


Joseph Tretheway, who recently bonded the discovery claims on Iron Creek, Taseko (Whitewater) River, in the Lillooet district, is reported to have shipped a diamond drill to Williams Lake, by the Pacific Great Eastern Ry. Thence it will be taken across ice and snow by way of Hanceville, into the Whitewater, and set up ready for work, as soon as weather permits. With this equipment, it is proposed to prospect thoroughly, the telluride formation reported to be rich in gold. The accounts of recoveries made from this property by a miner named Taylor, last summer, have created much interest in this region by prospectors.


On Cherry Creek, a placer and quartz gold mining district, near Kamloops, a Seattle syndicate has staked a number of claims, and already has a crew of men on the ground. Placer ground, it is said, is to be opened up by means of hydraulicking, and some lode prospects are to be explored by diamond drill.


There is activity of a similar character on Shorts Creek, on the west shore of Okanagan Lake. In this region, however, interest is being manifested exclusively in the placer possibilities.


It is reported that a Keystone drill will be put to work on the Prince of Wales Mining Co.'s leases on Horsefly Creek, this summer.


The Indian Mines, Ltd., and adjacent claims, situated in the Salmon River Valley, Portland Canal, have been acquired by G. D. B. Turner and associates. This property is northwest of the Premier Mining Co. The work so far done, shows a vein from 6 to 14 ft. wide, with fair gold and silver values, and in places, considerable galena. The latter is uniformly low in silver. The camp is well established, and development will start as soon as the season opens.


At Anyox, the Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting & Power Co., Ltd., intends to build a short railway to the site of the dam, which the company is to construct, to assure an ample supply of water for purposes of operation. Recent heavy rains have improved the situation in the district of the Hidden Creek mine, and the Anyox smelter.


Placer mining is experiencing a mild boom in British Columbia. Much is looked for next summer, from the newly discovered fields of the Cedar Creek district, in the Cariboo.


A revival in other sections of the province, notably the Omineca and East Kootenay, is anticipated. For the most part, operations will take the form of hydraulicking, but a company already is reported to have started work with a dredge, on the Peace River, and another plans on installing a similar plant on Cedar Creek.


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