California drought brings a golden lining in the creeks

Jun 24, 2015 11:46 AM by News Staff, Photo: CDWR

COLFAX, Calif. (AP) - California's prolonged drought has dried up irrigation supplies for agriculture and forced drastic water cutbacks but it has also created opportunities for prospectors and miners panning, sluicing, chiseling and diving for gold.

The Sacramento Bee reports Wednesday that across the Mother Lode, gold seekers are wading into formerly deep waterways to harvest flecks from the pea gravel and sediment in crevices that have long been inaccessible. California is in its fourth year of drought.

Long-haul trucker Gary Shaver says he is one of those finding treasures in the receding waters. He prospects for gold 200 to 250 days a year, pulling out about three grams a week. An ounce of gold is worth roughly $1,200, down from nearly $1900 an ounce in 2011, the newspaper reports. He has also reaped a new found vitality in the picturesque wilderness.


Information from: The Sacramento Bee

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