Ocean beaches along the entire county, but especially North and South of the mouths of the Chetco River and the Rogue River, in blacksand deposits you will find placer gold and platinum. All regional streams (gravel bars, benches, terraces), placers formerly worked and still yielding colors and nuggets to the seasonal gold panner.
Gold Beach area ocean beach blacksand deposits was once extensively worked for its rich placer gold and platinum. Port Oxford area beach blacksand deposits also contain placer gold and platinum (fine to very fine). The Sixes River on the inside of Cape Blanco, in section 4 of township 32S and Range 15W, you will find the Madden Mine which was a large lode gold producer.On the north side of Cape Blanco, the beach deposits of blacksand on both sides of the Sixes River contain placer gold and platinum.
Cape Blanco circa 1850
Northeast of Brookings to headwaters of the Chetco River, located at township 38S and range 10W, center in section 26 you will find the Frazier Mine which was a rich producer of lode gold associated with pyrite. The Golden Eagle Mine was a hydraulic placer gold operation.. Near the head of Slide Creek the Golden Dream Mine was a large lode gold operation. In the center of section 23, the Peck Mine was a good producer of lode gold. Near the edge of section 35, the Young Mine had rich pockets of free gold. In section 10, the Hoover Gultch Mine, worked intermittently since 1900 for its lode gold.
The old mines and prospects along the lower Illinois River also had rich gold deposits with a by-product of copper.
Gold is found throughout Lobster Creek, located 10 miles east of Gold Beach, up to Rogue River. It is actively being worked at a place called “Old Diggings”. There are nice nuggets and flour gold dredged up every year. Most areas are claimed, so permission is required to work these areas.
The Rouge River gravel bars, benches, terraces from Marial, in the northeast corner of the county to its mouth at Wedderburn has abundant placer gold deposits. Around the Agness area on the Rogue River gravel bars, benches and terraces had rich placer gold deposits. Near Marial, to the southwest by 1 mile, in section 17 and 20 of township 33S and range 10W, you will find the Mule Moutain Group of mines which consisted of 11 lode mines, 1 placer mine and mill site. If you go to the northeast 2 miles in the northwest 1/4 section 3 and the northeast of section 4, you will find the Mammoth Mine which was a rich lode gold producer. The Marigold Mine was also a rich lode gold in quartz mine. Near Saddle Peaks (reached by rough trail), is the Paradise Mine which produced free gold.
Along the South Fork of the Sixes River and heads of Salmon and Johnson Creeks there are numerous extensive placers that have been worked. If you go east on a dirt road to the head of Rusty Creek you will find the Big Ben Mine which was a rich lode producer, with lead and silver. Also in the area is the Combination Mine, which was a rich lode gold producer as well. There is also a BLM mineral withdrawal area setup at the old ghost town of Sixes. The area is set up for recreational mining using pans, sluices, and dredges up to 4″ hose diameter.
A view of the Sixes River
Panning the Sixes River