- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

AUBURN, Calif. (AP) - Gold prospectors are eyeing Northern California riverbeds, hoping to spot something shiny, as water levels dip to historically low levels during the drought,

In Placer County, rivers have dropped to levels that haven’t been touched in decades, opening new possibilities for prospectors, the Sacramento Bee reported on Sunday (https://bit.ly/1d4HnOt ).

“Stuff that’s normally submerged in water is now available,” said James Hutchings, Sacramento chapter president of the Gold Prospectors Association of America.

The exposed cracks and crevices can hold chunks of gold that have washed down from the mountains, Hutchings said.

There are few if any professional miners in the area because of a moratorium on suction dredge mining, the Bee reported.

Last Thursday, truck driver Michael Albin was among a handful of amateur prospectors along the Bear River in Colfax. Albin came away with a gold chip in his pan about one-fourth the size of a pea - enough to keep him coming back.

“When you see the black sand, you’ll see the gold,” he said, reciting a tip from experienced prospectors.

Albin has spent about $100 on prospecting equipment, including buckets and a sifter, and he plans to buy a sluice box for $1,000 for summer, when water levels drop even more. The boxes can process more material than a pan.

Spending like that has been a boon for businesses.

“A lot more people are curious,” said Heather Willis, co-owner of Pioneer Mining Supplies in Auburn. Business was up by 10 percent, she said.

___

Information from: The Sacramento Bee, https://www.sacbee.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide