Mining for Gold in River Moss (Part 2)

(Fine or "flood" gold.)


In my previous post on this topic I told you I would provide some specific "moss mining" information for you. Here you go:

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Gold Concentrators
Metal Detectors

1) Moss patches (or "colonies") tend to thrive in damp, shady areas along a stream or river course. Use your eyes and gold deposition knowledge to determine where a particular stream's high-water marks are, because any gold trapped in those patches will be deposited during high-water or flood events.

2) Moss will trap fine sands, including heavier black sands, dirt, and other small stream material as well as tiny particles of gold. (Understand here that it is this material trapped within the moss that carries the gold, not the moss itself.) Moss patches or "colonies" left high and dry on the surface of exposed rock, bedrock, fallen trees, etc., should be examined closely along with any underwater or partially covered mossy areas that can be easily accessed.

3) When sampling "wet" (underwater or partially covered) mossy areas use a gold pan or 5-gallon bucket to catch the contents of the moss as you "wash" the moss by twisting and kneading it. Then pan what you've recovered to determine what gold values may exist.

4) When sampling mossy areas left "high and dry" after stream high-water levels subside, use your gold pan or a 5-gallon bucket to catch the contents of the moss as you twist, knead, and shake it. If you are using a 5-gallon bucket, try slapping or banging the dried out moss against the sides of the bucket to ensure anything trapped in the moss is forced out. Again, pan the contents to determine how much fine gold the moss is carrying.

P&S Fishing Tackle

5) Make absolutely sure that you clean out any cracks, crevices, or fissures river moss may be growing over or into. These act as natural gold "traps" as well, and may carry good fine gold values as well as larger flakes and coarser pieces.

6) If you are not very adept at panning out very fine gold particles then I suggest you save most of the auriferous material gathered from your day's "moss mining" activities and process it using a "Blue Bowl" or spiral wheel concentrator, or even a small-to-medium sized sluice box. These pieces of mining equipment are known for their capacity to recover fine gold particles, with the first two being the most efficient gold "grabbers" (although it's hard to beat a good sluice box properly set up and operated correctly).

7) DO NOT pull out, remove, process, or otherwise destroy all the moss growing within a certain area. If you do, this essentially "kills" that moss colony and makes it hard for any moss to grow back in that location. Leave a few scattered clumps or spots of river moss untouched...that way, you'll always have river moss' gold-grabbing potential in that particular location.

That's about it....nothing difficult or magical about mining for gold in river moss. But it should be another approach or strategy you can call on when out there in the "goldfields."

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Good luck to one and all.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "A Placer Miner in Africa: "Joseph's" Story (Part 6)"

(c) J.R. 2009

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