It’s Autumn and leaves are turning that golden color again. The mountain valleys are coming alive with gold, yellow and orange–enough to cause pause and remember back to the old days when, along with the turning of the leaves, there were also sounds of picks and shovels and men were looking for that other golden color–the precious metal kind.
But wait! Those times are not from yesteryear! They’re from just yesterday! People are once again flocking to the mountains in search of that elusive golden metal. With the price of gold hovering around $1,300-per-ounce, it makes perfect sense for just regular ole’ folk to spend a few weekends a year trying their luck prospecting for gold. More robust individuals will get a gold mining claim and go at it. Others with more serious intentions, a little business experience, and honed mining skills, will surely find their fortune.
Indeed, there have been some new mining regulations and rule changes since times past. Many have been for good reasons while others have been purely political grandstanding with ulterior motives. But like the prohibition was for alcohol in the 1920s, a common sense balance will prevail such that abuse is no longer tolerated and honest citizens can pursue a responsible and accountable course when choosing to mine.
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Today, mining permits are required at nearly all levels of mining above recreational panning and sluice boxes. Permits require the prospector to think about what they are doing, how they will go about it, and how they will restore the site when they are finished mining. Regulators require the miner to look around their claim, not only for what is mineralized and what they want to mine, but what has other important values, such as biology, archeology and aesthetics.
Mining permits come in all shapes and sizes, which largely depend on the miner and the area they want to mine. A general rule of thumb is the larger the mining project, the larger the permit. Permits are like guidebooks for all those concerned, including miners, regulators and environmentalists. Once crafted, it becomes a reasonable plan and bible for how mining and prospecting activities are to occur.
Now is the time you should apply for your mining permit. In most cases it takes a few months to have your permit approved. Consult an experienced geologist or mining engineer when considering a mining permit. Their knowledge can save you time and money as well as help you find the gold! If you are thinking about mining, then now is the time to apply for your permit.
Autumn is the end of the mining season in the mountains. The rains will be here soon and the snow will fly shortly after that, burying everything in a deep white blanket until spring. It is the time that responsible miners pack up their equipment, reclaim their digs and prepare for the next season. They take one last look around, imagine where that big pocket of gold could be, then mosey down the trail back to their other lives.
Spend quality time with your children and teach them the benefits of gold mining. Take them to the mountains and give them a chance to find some gold. It is a thrill when they find their first gold speck, flake or nugget. Once they do, they will be hooked forever. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, if they are a wee bit lucky… they too, will jump for joy, click their heels, and shout “Eureka! I found it!”
Charles P. Watson is the chief geologist at Advanced Geologic Exploration,
Inc. located in Chester, California. He is an expert on gold exploration, mining, permitting, and a mining history buff as well. He can be reached at [email protected] or at www.advancedgeologic.com
Advanced Geologic locates and sells high quality gold mining claims. They also provide superior mining and geologic consulting, and can assist you with all your mining and permitting needs. The gold rush is on! Contact them and claim your fortune!