Monday, July 14, 2008

Gold in the Southwest: Arizona, Part III



Here is the third Bedrock Dreams installment on gold placer areas in the State of Arizona. In this post I begin by listing placer districts and locations in Pinal County:

Pinal County: Erratically distributed placer gold has been found at the west foot of the Slate Mountains.

The once famous Canada del Oro Placers can be found about 4 miles south of Oracle near the northwest base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Nearly all the arroyos, drywashes, and gulches in this area contain good gold values, even though this area has been worked hard over the years.

Santa Cruz County: Near Harshaw both elluvial and alluvial placer gold has been reported in a condensed 1-square mile area between Sonoita Creek and Alum Canyon.

Six miles north of Nogales, placers of the same name can be found in Guebabi Canyon.

The Oro Blanco Placers are located in the Rusy and Oro Blanco region. These placers were once very rich, especially in Oro Blanco and Viejo Gulches. Also check the nearby hillsides as they contain bench and terrace placer gold deposits.

Additional rich placers were once worked near the mouth of Warsaw Creek and a few miles north of the Mexican border.

If you travel 9 or 10 miles south of Patagonia about 5 miles north of the Mexican border, you will find the Patagonia Placers, extensive gold placers that were once heavily worked and proved very productive in terms of gold values.
Near the old Mowry Mine additional placers can be found in Mowry Wash. These placers are in ancient Quaternary Period gravels and were also quite rich. Other low-laying areas and drainages around and below the Mowry Mine contain placer gold values as well. Many of the nuggets recovered in this region were in excess of 2 troy ounces and were quite coarse.

The Palmetto Placers consist of nearly 320 acres of Quaternary Period gravels about 6 miles northwest of the old Three "R" Mine.

Over 100,000 troy ounces of lode and placer gold were produced in the Ruby area in the vincinity of the Old Glory, Austerlitz, and Margarita Mines.

The Tyndall Placers were rich ground at one time at can be found at the base of the Grosvenor Hills southwest of Salero.

Yavapai County: In the Black Canyon District (Bradshaw Mountains) productive placers were once worked near the Agua Fria River below the old Howard Mine. In and along Black Canyon small placers still produce gold and nearly all the watercourses and drainages in the region will carry some placer gold as well.

In American and Mexican Gulches between Arrastra Creek and Cleator there are fairly extensive placers that were once highly productive.

The famous Humbug Creek Placers extend for some 20 miles along Humbug, French, and Cow Creeks. Fine and flake gold can be recovered from overburden gravels here that are sometimes more than 20-feet deep. If you can get to bedrock though, expect to recover some very coarse gold and nuggets.

North of Black Canyon City near Bumblebee, rich placers were once worked in gravel bars.

The Weaver-Rich Hill District continues to be very "rich ground," producing many placer gold nuggets, especially for savvy electronic propsectors and nugget shooters. IMPORTANT NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, the Rich Hill area is completely claimed up, so please be careful not to trespass there.

Placer gold can be found in the Eureka Placers along Burro Creek and in nearly all the area gulches, washes, and bench gravels (some 18 miles northwest of Hillside Station).

There is placer gold in Placerita, French, and Cherry Gulches as well as in Blind Indian and Mill Creeks southeast of Kirkland.

Very productive placers were once worked along Model Creek in Peeples Valley.

Near Pine Flat, almost all the watercourses and drainages in the area of the old Cumberland Mine contain placer gold.

Nearly every creek in the Prescott area contains placer gold.

The upper reaches of Granite Creek contain the Granite Creek Placers, which were heavily worked beginning in 1860.

In New England Gulch (5 miles south of Prescott) very rich placers existed until they were "worked out." Additionally, all the benches, drainages, watercourses, gulches, and washes in this region contain some placer gold.

The Hassayampa-Groom Placer District is on the west slopes of the Bradshaw Mountains. These placers produced thousands of troy ounces of gold.

Rich placer ground can also be found at Rock Springs below the old Maggle Mine.

(In the fourth and final installment of this series of posts on Arizona placer gold locations, we will finish up with Yuma County.)

Take care until then.

 (c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2008

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