Turning the Mining Behavior of the Old Timers to Your Advantage (Part 4)
(It takes boots on the ground to get gold.)
Certain gold prospecting and mining behaviors practiced by the old timers could bring gold recovery opportunities your way. That road won't be easy but with time, effort, and patience those of you with determination and the will to succeed can come out on top.
With gold ranging between $16.00 and $35.00 a troy ounce and supplies costly, the old timers had to work what they termed "paying ground." This meant they needed to recover enough gold from their placer and hard-rock mining operations to not only pay the bills, but hopefully salt a little gold away as "profit" or savings for a rainy day. Back in the day the more astute old timers had to be very selective about settling down to develop a placer or hard-rock claim.
Over the course of time many old timers literally walked away from placers and lodes that they deemed unsuited for any number of reasons, including the following:
- Not enough workable yardage or vein material.
- Water source too far away.
- Ground too difficult to work.
- Gold values too spotty.
- Environment too hostile (Indians, thieves, corruption, dangerous animals, weather, and so on).
- "Grass is greener" syndrome.
Not enough workable yardage or vein material: Unless they were operating from a standpoint of desperation, most savvy old timers wouldn't bother with placer or lode ground they estimated didn't contain enough gold to make things worthwhile for them. To elaborate once more, not all gold ground discovered was a Motherlode, or a Victoria, or a Yukon. Many small placers or lodes containing less than 100 ounces were prospected and sampled by the old timers, but not necessarily worked. In more instances than you may think, they walked away from these small discoveries in favor of better ground elsewhere. I call these abandoned discoveries "bypassed" placers or lodes and if located, they could mean good gold ground for you. After all, 20, 30, 60, or 100 troy ounces with gold at $1,500 looks pretty damn good to you and I, right?
(Areas like this can hold "bypassed" placers or lodes.)
Take it to the Bank
How do you find a "bypassed" placer or lode? It won't be easy but I'd put it this way: you'll need to do good research on the front end and then be willing and able to put your boots on the ground for long hours and many miles. For good measure, throw in a healthy amount of the "3 Ps" (patience, persistence, and perseverance) and of course, luck. "Bypassed" sites are a rarity these days but they're still out there.
Oh, one more thing...don't worry about big mining companies beating you to the punch here. They typically snub their noses at these smaller, "bypassed" placers or lodes. Unless greater mineralization can be verified or expectations of profitability can be proven, commercial mining operations won't waste a dime of their money on a "bypassed" location. You can take that to the bank with you.
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2013
Questions? E-mail me at email@example.com
Note: The Bedrock Dreams 2008 Archives are now available. For more info click here, or purchase and download the 100-page archives now: