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    New Gold Rush in California? Extreme Rains Turn Up More Metal

    © Sputnik / Alexander Liskin
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    An extremely wet winter in California has caused a lot of damage, but there are those who welcome the erosion brought about by the long rains: gold seekers.

    Heavy winter rains have brought troubles for Californians, with the Oroville Dam spillway destruction and subsequent evacuation arguably the scariest. But the rains have also displaced a significant amount of topsoil and smaller rocks, providing new opportunities for those looking for gold.

    According to a report by KPIX TV, heavy rains have washed out legacy gold mines, sending chunks of the metal down streams and rivers. Officials with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) told KPIX that erosion concentrates the heavier gold by removing the lighter rock and soil.

    A mountain property owner, known as "Miner Gary" Thomas, who used to find some gold on his property now and then, said, according to KPIX, that now is the perfect time to look for gold.

    "It's going to bring down more gold," said Thomas. "It's going to bring up new areas that I never got to."

    That, unfortunately, comes at the price of old sites becoming no longer viable.

    "Everything I had dug up and now my dig spots are all gone," Thomas told the reporter.

    The hill-dweller also said that areas below Oroville Dam might actually be the best spot to search, as huge water releases from the spillway could reveal new pockets of the precious metal. Gold revealed by recent rains will be in amounts too small for industrial mining, however, keeping the practice local.

    Many towns around Oroville date back to the original Gold Rush of the 1850s.


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    climate, rain, Gold, Oroville, California
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