It can be easy for gold prospectors to start thinking that it is not worth their effort to focus their efforts in areas that only seem to produce small or fine gold. The reasoning for this is that pieces of fine gold may take hundreds of pieces to account for the same weight as even one single flake or nugget.
Now certainly, if you can locate an area that seems to regularly produce nice gold nuggets then it is certainly going to be worth your time and effort to focus your attention on these areas. However, don’t overlook these fine gold placer deposits. Some of them can be exceptionally rich when they are worked efficiently and may even pay better than areas that are producing gold nuggets.
Rich Areas with Fine Gold Sources
There are many examples of areas like this. Some exceptionally rich areas throughout the world only have fine gold and rarely produce nuggets. One obvious example of this would be the beach placers at Nome, Alaska. Miners have found millions of dollars in gold from the beach sands here, almost all of which is quite fine textured, but it can really add up over the course of the mining season.
There are other very well-known mining districts that simply don’t produce gold nuggets, but they will still yield exceptional amounts of gold when you learn how to work them efficiently.
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Locating Paystreaks of Gold
More important than the size of the gold pieces that are being recovered from your operation is the extent of the deposits. Locating a large paystreak of gold is much more valuable in the long-run than just finding a single nice sized piece of gold.
The other mistake people seem to make is thinking that because an area does not have large nuggets, then there is no way they could ever mine profitably. This could be said for many of the states in the Midwest or Eastern United States where gold nuggets are generally rare. But fine gold is actually abundant in some areas, and focusing on these sources of fine gold can pay off.
Prospectors in the lesser-known gold bearing areas with fine gold deposits often think that there is no way to mine profitably because of the limited amount of gold, so they consider their mining to be more recreational and don’t bother to try to increase production. They are often content using a small gold pan and sluice box to find a few pieces of gold.
Quantities of Fine Gold Pay the Bills too!
Scaling up a mining operation in an area will increase your gold yields, regardless of the size of the gold that is found there. You don’t need chunky gold to make money from gold mining. I have seen good amounts of gold recovered from areas that very few people had focused efforts before because others had always told them that the area only had small gold.
The same can be said for many of the well-known gold mining regions of the western United States. While many of the richest rivers have now been mined hard over the years and most of the large nuggets have already been found in the rivers, this does not mean that the areas are worked out. In fact, spring runoff is constantly replenishing these placer deposits with flood gold which is generally very fine textured. Spending time to locate the rich paystreaks of placer gold and mining them efficiently, you can still profitably recover gold even from locations that others say are “worked out”.