Look for What the Oldtimers Missed (Part 5)


"Underworked" Placers

In this fifth and final post on looking for what the oldtimers missed, I want to focus your attention on another type of gold placer that can prove profitable for those of you willing to do a bit of research and, as always, work hard. I call these placers "underworked" gold placers and you can find them scattered throughout the American West, Canada, Australia, and just about anywhere else in the world placer gold mining has taken place.

Gold Pans
Gold Panning Kits
Mining Equipment

What's an underworked gold placer? It's any gold placer area, district, or region where the oldtimers either took the easy way out or "skimmed the cream" off before moving on to other areas. Yes, in many instances, these placers were later reworked by other miners including the Chinese, but it's not these I am speaking of here (and you should probably cross these heavily reworked areas off your mining "to-do" lists).

Placers Not Revisited or Reworked

What I am speaking of here are those gold placers where initial gold recovery took place but once that gold recovery became problematic, the miners packed up and departed for "better" ground. In many instances, these locations have not been revisited or reworked to any significant degree due to any number of factors, with one of the most prevalent of these being remoteness or relative inaccessibility.

Other factors include lack of historical documentation such as mining and production records, and even the fact that some of these placers were simply overshadowed by more "famous" or well-known placer districts. Stop and think about this latter factor. How much time have you yourself spent working one of those big, well-known placer areas or districts as opposed to areas that are more remote or less famous? I rest my case....

Your Best Bet for Finding Underworked Placers

Your best bet for finding one or more of these potentially productive underworked placers is through thorough and meticulous research. I know by now that many of you out there are shaking your heads in dismay and muttering about my obsession with research in locating good gold areas (or treasure hunting areas as I state over and over again in my other blog, "Treasure Trove Dreams," http://treasuretrovegold.blogspot.com/). But the point of fact remains that if you truly want to get more gold (or treasure), research is the single most valuable tool available to you.


There is a ton of documentary evidence online for you to research as well as many books, maps, and personal accounts from the oldtimers that are available either in libraries or for purchase. You'd be surprised at how many significant "clues" can be pulled from the first-hand accounts of the oldtimers, much like nuggets being pried from bedrock crevices. Additionally, old geological bulletins, mining histories, and mining production records can point you in the right direction as well.

So during these colder, mining "dog days" why not put on your reading specs and see what you can turn up? Who knows, you may find an underworked placer that will provide you with many hours of mining enjoyment as well as lots of gold. If you do, let me know and I write a post about and your discovery here in "Bedrock Dreams."
Good luck out there my friends.
If you liked this post you may want to read: "Look for What the Oldtimers Missed (Part 4)"
(c) J.R. 2009
Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com