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cubsquealRe: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 4 o


That is a real accomplishment!
draglineRe: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 4 o

I apologize for the lack of references and citations accompanying this report. I'd done the research for this report with a research paper I'd done back in 1993. At the time I was an undergrad at the University of California, Davis, pursuing a minor in geology.

All the data I had collected was gathered from various USGS, Bureau of Mines and a few other Journal publications dating back to the late 19th century. I recall that my research I submitted included all the appropriate citations but I unfortunately lost most of that original research except for a few notes. I also recall that most of the publications I referenced in my research were loaned from other university and state libraries around California. This wasn't my first or last geology research project and from my experience UC Berkeley had the most complete library of 19th century publications in the State of California.

Since most of this information is directly quoted from those official bulletins, reports and papers you'd think that they'd be published somewhere on the Internet but my recent Google searches have not yielded a whole lot of results when searching for the sources for this information.

While this is probably a topic for another discussion, I find it sad that a lot of the extremely valuable research and exploration data performed from the 19th and early 20th centuries are extremely difficult to find on the Internet. Worse yet, most of the government publications which should be relatively easy to access and free seem only be be available from paid subscription services.

Even today I believe the Internet is almost useless at uncovering the greatest wealth of geology and mining research data and information. If you're serious about doing research there is no substitute for the shelves of a major university.


Steve_HerschbachRe: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 4 o
Maybe the bibliography immediately above your post, Jim?
Geo_JimRe: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 4 o
Hi Dragline,
Where did you get all of this information? You dont seem to have cited your reference.
Geo Jim:confused:
draglineBeach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 4 of 4
Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 4 of 4
(Reposted from my Alaska Gold Prospecting Forum post of 09-May-2009)

Graham Island Gold Beach Placers

Graham Island Gold Beach Placers, BC, Canada
5336'55.43"N, 13155'44.69"W
Fine gold beach placers have been reported for many miles along the Eastern extents of Graham Island of the Charlott Islands of British Columbia, Canada. Black sand layers up to 12 inches thick are reported to occasionally yield recoverable fine gold. Owing to the extreme finess of the gold attempts between 1902 and 1914 to mine these beaches commercially largely resulted in failure, whereas two man teams using rockers a few miles South to a few miles North of the mouth of the Tlell River reportedly earned a living wage.

Mouth of Snohomish River, Washington

Mouth of Snohomish River, Washington
48 1'57.68"N, 12214'41.56"W
The mouth mount of the Snohomish river mostly consists of mud flat, although there are sandy beaches with a few isolated gold placers located above the tidal planes in this area. The Snohomish river is for the most part fed by the Skykomish River which has as well seen productive sand bar placers historically. The gold beach placers are reported to be mostly to the North within one mile of the mouth of the Snohomish near the town of Priest Point.

Shi Shi Beach, Washington

Shi Shi Beach Gold Placers
4815'17.71"N, 12441'5.69"W
Shi Shi Beach of Washington State produced many thousands of ounces of gold, as well as some limited amounts of platinum, osmium, and iridium. The peak of mining activity here occurred in 1903, 1904, and 1905. Several hundred miners were employed periodically in working these beach placers within the first few months following discovery of these rich placers during the Winter of 1903-1904. By 1906 most of the richest pay streaks had played out with only a handful of miners working these beach placers and earning living wages until the First World War in 1917. Again in the early 1930s during the Great Depression there were reportedly a handful of miners that again worked these beaches eking out a living taking at most 1/8 to 1/4 ounce per day using shovels, rockers, beach sluices, and gold pans. Gold production in the 1930's lasted at most 3 or 4 years until this beach was withdrawn from mining with annexation and the establishment of the Olympic National Park, June 29th, 1938.

The greatest concentration of these gold beach placers were located within 100 to each side of the mouth of Petroleum Creek. The first miners to reach the rich pay streaks in this area reported earnings of upwards of $1000 dollars per day per man working thick lenses of black sands up to 2 feet thick and at a depth of up to 8 feet. This activity reported sparked a miniature gold rush of upwards of 200 miners by the Spring of 1904, at a time when flour gold was selling for less than $20 per ounce.

More recent analysis and assays performed in the 1930's by the Bureau of Mines on remnants of these original pay streaks demonstrated that the efficiency of the primitive long sluices employed by these miners were at most capable of recovering just 40% of the very fine gold present in those placers. Furthermore, given the simple hand shovels and tools employed by those first few miners to arrive at the mouth of Petroleum Creek it is also believed that one man could at most shovel and sluice 5 cubic yards per day through their sluices. This means that the richest black sand pay streaks in this area were likely to have assayed to more than 25 ounces gold per cubic yard.


1. Reconnaissance Studies Of Alaskan Beach Sands, Eastern Gulf Of Alaska

2. Marine Gold Placers Along The Gulf Of Alaska Margin By Erk Reimnitz

3. Alaska Open File Report 31, Kodiak Island and Vicinity, Alaska, DL McGee, 1972

4. A Study Of Factors Suspected Of Influencing The Settling Velocity Of Fine Gold Particles

5. Oregon Geology, vol 53, no 5, Oregon Gold Coast History, Sept 1991

6. Assessment of Red King Crabs Following Offshore Placer Gold Mining in Norton Sound, 1999

7. Sedimentary Processes and Distribution of Particulate Gold in the Northern Bering Sea, 1972

8. A Prospectus for the Minerals Exploration And Development of Icy Cape Block Yakataga and Bering Glacier Quadrangles, Alaska

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