Oregon Gold
California GoldIdaho GoldNevada GoldWashington Gold


Gold Price Charts    How Much Is Gold?   Live Gold Prices

Entries Tagged ‘gold mining’

The Quartzville Gold Mining Con Man

In 2002 and 2003, I spent several months exploring the area around Quartzville, in Linn County. At the time I was looking for new quartz deposits that might be hiding up there in the mountains. During that time I did some metal detecting in the area, including the old Quartzville town property. You could clearly see the layout of the roads from the difference in the size of the trees, and if you looked hard enough the outlines of old foundations and some old timbers. The area of my exploration was north of the old town site.I did not have any good finds that day. I have heard of people finding nuggets there, but I usually just pass it off as “mythology”. Anyways regardless of what people or lack of what people have found there, does not affect this story about one of the greatest gold mining scams in Oregon history.

When I returned in the summer of 2005 I noticed a “No Trespassing” sign, blocking all access to where I wanted to go, which was on up the forest service road that cuts through the townsite. I did however notice many changes in the area, including the land looked like it was ripped up from one end to the other and changes were apparent. The area was obviously bulldozed and some harvesting of some of the tree’s had been done in the area. I did not venture too far because of the No trespassing sign, but I could see some of the changes from the road.

Gold Mining Con Man David Ross Nonnemaker

David Ross Nonnemaker

The Gold Mining Con Man is now known as David Ross Nonnemaker, who ran under the business names of “Western Sand and Gravel” and “Western Mining”. People who have met him says he is a fast and very smooth talking man. This obviously wasn’t his first scheme. Nonnemaker had allegedly obtained money from investors to develop mining operations and harvest timber in the Quartzville area, but had no authority to harvest or mine there. He was a claim jumper in other words.

He apparently came up with this scheme and planned it all from prison, collecting information from the internet. He found that the owners of the old townsite were “Absentee” owners. Victims included people from Nevada, Missouri, California, New York, Oregon, Alaska and as far away as Germany. Not only did he try to mine the area, he also sold off the timber from the site, making as much as $1,000,000 from timber sales from Weyerhaeuser, who did not connect the dots. Other timber companies also bought from him. He definitely made more from timber sales, than what he ever found in gold.

He had what appeared at first, to be proper documents and permits, but eventually his over-jealous and ambitious scheme got the best of him, as his operation drew the attention of law enforcement and of the USFS. Once the so-called permits and paperwork were checked up on, the truth was known and the arrest was made.

The amount of money collected from investors was enough to buy the large equipment he needed for the operation. The impact that he had on the people he came in contact with is the sad side of the story…the people he stole from. He was convicted to five years in prison. He was ordered to pay restitution of over $300,000 to people caught up in the scam and $900,000 to two victims in theft cases. The whole scheme was a very ambitious operation and will go down as one of, if not thee most infamous gold mining schemes in Oregon history.

Win a Half Pound of Gold

You might not know it, but the Eastern Oregon Mining Association ( EOMA) and the Waldo Mining District have been fighting stifling and unrealistic regulationsĀ  by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Those at ODEQ rub elbows with many environmental organizations that want all gold mining to cease permanently. Gold Miners understand that there must be a balance between environment and industry. Some of the regulations created by DEQ are based on myth, rather than science. They (the environmental groups ) even have all the major newspapers in their back pocket to mislead the public to believe that all mining is bad.

The truth is…aside from a few bozo’s, most miners care about the environment more than most of these so-called self proclaimed environmentalists who never even step foot into the great outdoors . They just want to protest and be in the in-crowd, without educating themselves on the subject they protest.

Anyways…the Eastern Oregon Mining Association and the Waldo Mining District have been continually fighting the regulations that these wacko’s keep trying to impose on us. They have a lot of court costs and fee’s. They are doing a fundraiser. There are many great prizes in addition to the half pound of gold that can be found on their websites. I figured with the six hundred plus people visiting Oregon Gold everyday that we should be able to support this cause collectively. It is important and we should all get involved and try to do our part if we are able to do so.

For contest information please visit here… Gold Contest (or click on the image)

Also theĀ  GPAA Gold Show is coming up on April 2-3, 2011 in Salem, Oregon and last minute tickets can be bought there to support this very good cause and to get in on the drawing. That is where I will be buying my tickets.

Gold Rush Alaska Jimmy Dorsey Interview

I, Edwin Waters recently did a interview with Jim Dorsey of Gold Rush Alaska, the television reality show about Gold Mining that airs on the Discovery Channel.

Jimmy Dorsey

Oregon Gold : How has the response been on the street after appearing on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey: I think overwhelmingly positive. A lot of people want to know what I am doing next and want to know what is happening with my family.

Oregon Gold : Do you think you were portrayed poorly or wrong in the edit of the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : I understand the need for creating a character. I think my inexperience in mining and the construction field is not something that they created. You never see me actually turn a wrench. They cut out about ninety percent of the positive things I do.

Oregon Gold : Was the show scripted?

Jimmy Dorsey : Sure. Every formatted documentary is scripted. It is scripted from the beginning. They knew exactly what they wanted to see out of the program. Even me leaving was scripted, but in the way in which it happened was not. The plans were made, but the footsteps were ours. They actually direct you into these situations. It became very real. That is why I actually got my ribs broke. There was a fight…not even a fight…I was assaulted by Greg. He broke my ribs. That was very real, but it was also in the script for episode four which ended up being episode six, that I would end up leaving the show. They kind of push you towards, making these things happen. They would tell me to say ” We’ve got get gold in seventy hours” so I say “We’ve got to get gold in seventy two hours”. Then they would say “What are you going to do if you don’t get gold in seventy two hours?” And I am like “I don’t know you just told me to say seventy hours.” Then they said “What are you going to do if you don’t get gold?” They push you towards saying I was going to leave if we did not find gold. It was never my intention to leave. My plan was staying the entire summer and seeing it out.

Oregon Gold : Was it more about making the show or was it about getting the gold?

Jimmy Dorsey : You cannot really separate the two. I did not think we had a good show unless we got gold and I was not making very much money from the show; nothing substantial, so for me I did not think we would get a second season once we got gold and I did not think I would be able to feed my family once we got gold. It was very real for me. Real Estate has really devastated me in the last year.

Oregon Gold : Do you consider yourself pretty good at gold panning?

Jimmy Dorsey : At this point yeah. When I first started gold panning I did not even classify any of the material. So yes, I have gotten gold and I now have panning down. I did some mining after I left the mine.

Oregon Gold : Are you a better miner now, than what you appeared to be on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : Yes, now I am taking classes in Nevada at a school of mining. I am learning about gold mining. I am not done with gold mining.

Oregon Gold : A lot of miner friends who are on my Facebook page want to know about the equipment. Was that equipment made to not work for the purpose of the show, or was it just poorly constructed equipment?

Jimmy Dorsey : It was poorly planned. The shaker was bought from a auction for fifteen thousand dollars. There was some incompetence there to modify that shaker. These guys were kind of playing around with it… It was a pretty old machine. I think it was built in 1967.

Oregon Gold : Do you think there would have been a better outcome if the group would have invested in better equipment from the start?

Jimmy Dorsey : Absolutely. I said from the beginning…I was actually at Sandy airport saying “Why are we taking this thing to Alaska?” I did not understand why they would want to go on the Discovery Channel with such poor equipment… We also did not have enough water to be running the equipment properly. The equipment demanded eighty gallons a minute and we had about thirty.

Oregon Gold : On your website you state that you are going mining again. Are you going to Alaska?

Jimmy Dorsey : I don’t know. I am looking at a mine up north. There a couple hard rock mines in Oregon that I am looking at. We are performing assays and I am talking to investors right now.

Oregon Gold : Did you receive any money for appearing on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : The deal with Todd Hoffman was one thousand dollars per episode. At the time of me leaving he had paid me a total of three thousand dollars.

Oregon Gold : How do you feel about Todd?

Jimmy Dorsey : To be honest, today I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry that he threw away a lot of relationships that he has ruined in his pursuit of fame and gold.

Oregon Gold : Do you think that Todd should have done more research on even the most basic principals of mining?

Jimmy Dorsey : Absolutely. One thing I have learned from my studies in Nevada and working with lots of miners is that representative sampling and assaying is key… Finding out how many ounces per ton, is what you do first. Then you decide…what machine you are going to use for that material… Porcupine has gold that is forty to sixty mesh size and you need to have the right machines to get that size of gold out.

Oregon Gold : There is one episode that sticks out in my mind when the equipment is being loaded onto the flat bed and the chain snaps. You made the comment “that could have killed somebody” and Todd went off on you and told you to keep your mouth shut. Was that scripted or was that Todd?

Jimmy Dorsey : That was Todd. That was him… A lot of it was about camera time. When you put a camera in front of people, they get jealous.

Oregon Gold : A majority of the public think that the family members should have stayed at home. What do you think of that?

Jimmy Dorsey : We were going to church across the river and there were a lot of kids that grew up in that valley, so I will agree that we should not have had the kids that close to the operation…that we built our house in the wrong spot…the day I decided where to actually the build the house, I went for a walk…and there was a really big black bear grazing right where I wanted to put my house. So that was too far way. We were in a pretty remote area…this was an area where people have not lived in many years. Plus there is safety in numbers. We packed everybody in real tightly. As far as my family. I plan on bringing my family next year. I don’t leave my family. There is no reason to.

Oregon Gold : Is there anything else you would like to share with the public?

Jimmy Dorsey : …The platform this has afforded me is huge. My family is going to show the face of the mining industry. We can change things by opening natural resources here in Oregon and Alaska. I want to show how mining can be good for people…that is my plan…We need to show that mining can be safe and it can help our economic problems here in Oregon. I am getting pretty involved in the mining community.

Special thanks to Jimmy who took the time to do this interview.

Prospecting for Gold in the United States

By Harold Kirkemo

Anyone who pans for gold hopes to be rewarded by the glitter of colors in the fine material collected in the bottom of the pan. Although the exercise and outdoor activity experienced in prospecting are rewarding, there are few thrills comparable to finding gold. Even an assay report showing an appreciable content of gold in a sample obtained from a lode deposit is exciting. The would-be prospector hoping for financial gain, however, should carefully consider all the pertinent facts before deciding on a prospecting venture.

Don't expect to look down and see something like this.

Only a few prospectors among the many thousands who searched the western part of the United States ever found a valuable deposit. Most of the gold mining districts in the West were located by pioneers, many of whom were experienced gold miners from the southern Appalachian region, but even in colonial times only a small proportion of the gold seekers were successful. Over the past several centuries the country has been thoroughly searched by prospectors. During the depression of the 1930’s, prospectors searched the better known gold-producing areas throughout the Nation, especially in the West, and the little-known areas as well. The results of their activities have never been fully documented, but incomplete records indicate that an extremely small percentage of the total number of active prospectors supported themselves by gold mining. Of the few significant discoveries reported, nearly all were made by prospectors of long experience who were familiar with the regions in which they were working.

The lack of outstanding success in spite of the great increase in prospecting during the depression in the 1930’s confirms the opinion of those most familiar with the occurrence of gold and the development of gold mining districts that the best chances of success lie in systematic studies of known productive areas rather than in efforts to discover gold in hitherto unproductive areas. The development of new, highly sensitive, and relatively inexpensive methods of detecting gold, however, has greatly increased the possibility of discovering gold deposits which are too low grade to have been recognized earlier by the prospector using only a gold pan. These may be large enough to be exploited by modern mining and metallurgical techniques. The Carlin mine near Carlin, Nev., is producing gold from a large low-grade deposit that was opened in 1965 after intensive scientific and technical work had been completed. Similar investigations have led to the more recent discovery of a Carlin-type gold deposit in Jerritt Canyon, Nev.

Many believe that it is possible to make wages or better by panning gold in the streams of the West, particularly in regions where placer mining formerly flourished. However, most placer deposits have been thoroughly reworked at least twice–first by Chinese laborers, who arrived soon after the initial boom periods and recovered gold from the lower grade deposits and tailings left by the first miners, and later by itinerant miners during the 1930’s. Geologists and engineers who systematically investigate remote parts of the country find small placer diggings and old prospect pits whose number and wide distribution imply few, if any, recognizable surface indications of metal-bearing deposits were overlooked by the earlier miners and prospectors.

One who contemplates prospecting for gold should realize that a successful venture does not necessarily mean large profits even if the discovery is developed into a producing mine. Although the price of gold has increased significantly since 1967 when the fixed price of $35 an ounce was terminated, the increases in the cost of virtually every supply and service item needed in prospecting and mining ventures have kept profit margins at moderate levels, particularly for the small mine operator. In general, wide fluctuations in the price of gold are not uncommon, whereas inflationary pressures are more persistent. The producer of gold, therefore, faces uncertain economic problems and should be aware of their effects on his operation.

Today’s prospector must determine where prospecting is permitted and be aware of the regulations under which he is allowed to search for gold and other metals. Permission to enter upon privately owned land must be obtained from the land owner. Determination of land ownership and location and contact with the owner can be a time-consuming chore but one which has to be done before prospecting can begin.

Determination of the location and extent of public lands open to mineral entry for prospecting and mining purposes also is a time consuming but necessary requirement. National parks, for example, are closed to prospecting. Certain lands under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management may be entered for prospecting, but sets of rules and regulations govern entry. The following statement from a pamphlet issued in 1978 by the U.S. Department of the Interior and entitled “Staking a mining claim on Federal Lands” responds to the question “Where May I Prospect?”

There are still areas where you may prospect, and if a discovery of a valuable, locatable mineral is made, you may stake a claim. These areas are mainly in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Such areas are mainly unreserved, unappropriated Federal public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the U.S. Department of the Interior and in national forests administered by the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Public land records in the proper BLM State Office will show you which lands are closed to mineral entry under the mining laws. These offices keep up-to-date land status plats that are available to the public for inspection. BLM is publishing a series of surface and mineral ownership maps that depict the general ownership pattern of public lands. These maps may be purchased at most BLM Offices. For a specific tract of land, it is advisable to check the official land records at the proper BLM State Office.

Successful gold mining under present conditions is a large-scale operation, utilizing costly and sophisticated machinery capable of handling many tons of low-grade ore each day. The grizzled prospector with a burro is no longer a significant participant in the search for mineral deposits, and the small producer accounts for only a minor share of the total production of metals including gold.

Some degree of success in finding gold still remains for those choosing favorable areas after a careful study of mining records and the geology of the mining districts. Serious prospecting should not be attempted by anyone without sufficient capital to support a long and possibly discouraging campaign of preliminary work. The prospective gold seeker must have ample funds to travel to and from the region he selects to prospect and to support the venture. He must be prepared to undergo physical hardships, possess a car capable of traveling the roughest and steepest roads, and not be discouraged by repeated disappointments. Even if a discovery of value is not found, the venture will have been interesting and challenging.

Placer Deposits

A placer deposit is a concentration of a natural material that has accumulated in unconsolidated sediments of a stream bed, beach, or residual deposit. Gold derived by weathering or other process from lode deposits is likely to accumulate in placer deposits because of its weight and resistance to corrosion. In addition, its characteristically sun-yellow color makes it easily and quickly recognizable even in very small quantities. The gold pan or miner’s pan is a shallow sheet-iron vessel with sloping sides and flat bottom used to wash gold-bearing gravel or other material containing heavy minerals. The process of washing material in a pan, referred to as “panning,” is the simplest and most commonly used and least expensive method for a prospector to separate gold from the silt, sand, and gravel of the stream deposits. It is a tedious, back-breaking job and only with practice does one become proficient in the operation.

Many placer districts in California have been mined on a large scale as recently as the mid-1950’s. Streams draining the rich Mother Lode region–the Feather, Mokelumne, American, Cosumnes, Calaveras, and Yuba Rivers–and the Trinity River in northern California have concentrated considerable quantities of gold in gravels. In addition, placers associated with gravels that are stream remnants from an older erosion cycle occur in the same general area.

Much of the gold produced in Alaska was mined from placers. These deposits are widespread, occurring along many of the major rivers and their tributaries. Some ocean beach sands also have been productive. The principal placer-mining region has been the Yukon River basin which crosses central Alaska. Dredging operations in the Fairbanks district have been the most productive in the State. Beach deposits in the Nome district in the south-central part of the Seward Peninsula rank second among productive placer deposits of Alaska. Other highly productive placers have been found in the drainage basin of the Copper River and of the Kuskokwim River.

Placer gold in glass vial.

In Montana, the principal placer-mining districts are in the southwestern part of the State. The most productive placer deposit in the State was at Alder Gulch near Virginia City in Madison County. Other important placer localities are on the Missouri River in the Helena mining district. The famous Last Chance Gulch is the site of the city of Helena. There are many districts farther south on the headwaters and tributaries of the Missouri River, especially in Madison County which ranks third in total gold production in the State. Gold has been produced at many places on the headwaters of the Clark Fork of the Columbia River, particularly in the vicinity of Butte. Placer production from the Butte district, however, has been over-shadowed by the total output of byproduct gold recovered from the mining of lode deposits of copper, lead, and zinc.

Idaho was once a leading placer-mining State. One of the chief dredging areas is in the Boise Basin, a few miles northeast of Boise, in the west-central part of the State. Other placer deposits are located along the Salmon River and on the Clearwater River and its tributaries, particularly at Elk City, Pierce, and Orofino. Extremely fine-grained (or “flour”) gold occurs in sand deposits along the Snake River in southern Idaho. Placers in Colorado have been mined in the Fairplay district in Park County, and in the Breckenridge district in Summit County. In both areas large dredges were used during the peak activity in the 1930’s.

The most important mining regions of Oregon are in the northeastern part of the State where both lode and placer gold have been found. Placer gold occurs in many streams that drain the Blue and Wallowa Mountains. One of the most productive placer districts in this area is in the vicinity of Sumpter, on the upper Powder River. The Burnt River and its tributaries have yielded gold. Farther to the west, placer mining (particularly dredging) has been carried on for many years in the John Day River valley.

In southwestern Oregon, tributaries of the Rogue River and neighboring streams in the Klamath Mountains have been sources of placer gold. Among the main producing districts in this region are the Greenback district in Josephine County and the Applegate district in Jackson County.

Minor amounts of placer gold have been produced in South Dakota (the Black Hills region, particularly in the Deadwood area, and on French Creek, near Custer) and in Washington (on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and their tributaries).

In addition to these localities, placer gold occurs along many of the intermittent and ephemeral streams of arid regions in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and southern California. In many of these places a large reserve of low-grade placer gold may exist, but the lack of a permanent water supply for conventional placer mining operations requires the use of expensive dry or semidry concentrating methods to recover the gold.

In the eastern States, limited amounts of gold have been washed from some streams draining the eastern slope of the southern Appalachian region in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Many saprolite (disintegrated somewhat decomposed rock that lies in its original place) deposits in this general region also have been mined by placer methods. Small quantities of gold have been mined by placer methods in some New England States. Additional placer deposits may be discovered in the East, but prospecting will require substantial expenditures of time and money. The deposits probably will be low grade, difficult to recognize, and costly to explore and sample. Moreover, most of the land in the East is privately owned, and prospecting can be done only with the prior permission and agreement of the land owner.

Lode Gold

Lode gold occurs within the solid rock in which it was deposited. Areas likely to contain valuable lode deposits of gold have been explored so thoroughly that the inexperienced prospector without ample capital has little chance of discovering a new lode worth developing. Most future discoveries of workable lode gold ore probably will result from continued investigations in areas known to be productive in the past. The districts in which such new discoveries of gold may be possible are too numerous to be listed in detail in this pamphlet. Some of the famous districts are: in California, the Alleghany, Sierra City, Grass Valley, and Nevada City districts, and the Mother Lode belt; in Colorado, the Cripple Creek, Telluride, Silverton, and Ouray districts; in Nevada, the Goldfield, Tonopah, and Comstock districts; in South Dakota, the Lead district in the Black Hills; and in Alaska, the Juneau and Fairbanks districts. Deposits in these districts generally are gold-quartz lodes.

Prospecting for lode deposits of gold is not the relatively simple task it once was because most outcrops or exposures of mineralized rock have been examined and sampled. Today’s prospector must examine not only these exposures, but also broken rock on mine dumps and exposures of mineralized rock in accessible mine workings. Gold, if present, may not be visible in the rock, and detection will depend on the results of laboratory analyses. Usually, samples of 3 to 5 pounds of representative mineralized rock will be sent to a commercial analytical laboratory or assay office for assay. Obviously, knowledge about the geological nature of gold deposits and particularly of the rocks and deposits in the area of interest will aid the prospector.

Wallowa County Oregon Gold

Wallowa County is found in the upper most eastern part of the State of Oregon. Wallowa County is known for the Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America. Even deeper than the Grand Canyon. The Hells Canyon area has been turned into the Hells Canyon National Recreation area and is one of the most rugged places on the face of the earth. But it was here that the worst incident of violence against Chinese in Oregon took place. In 1887, cattle rustler outlaws shot and killed 34 Chinese gold miners, with-in the canyon. This was known as the Chinese Massacre. The gold found in the canyon is mostly small particles, and was never seen as profitable by the white man. Near the mouth of the Imnaha River, there was some hard rock gold mining efforts made, but the area proved unprofitable.

Plugin from the creators of Brindes Personalizados :: More at Plulz Wordpress Plugins