HOW SOME MEMBERS HAVE DONE: Prospecting operations on our gold properties usually fall into three general categories: Small-scale, intermediate-scale, and large-scale.
It is very common for our smallest-scale members to recover a pennyweight (1/20th of an ounce) or two of gold per day in their small dredging or shoveling activities. Some of our relatively new members have panned or shoveled as much as an ounce per week along our gold properties.
Our more experienced, intermediate-scale members can and do recover 1/4 ounce per day on a regular basis. Some of our individual members using sluices (using motorized pumps to provide water up on the stream bank) were averaging 1/4 ounce per day during a past season–even though one or two pennyweight per day is more common.
Not everyone recovers this much gold, but many of those who apply themselves to learning prospecting techniques have done this well and better.
Some of our more serious intermediate dredging members have averaged well over an ounce of gold per day at times. And some of our most serious, larger-scale dredgers (8-inch and 10-inch suction dredges along the Klamath River) have averaged in the multiple ounces per day range. Again, they prospected around to find higher-grade gold deposits.
It is common for people to ask us for average gold value figures contained within the gravels along the gold properties available to members. Placer gold deposits are not consistent enough to place an average figure on 60 linear miles of area! Some areas are great; some areas are poor; and some areas are in-between. How much gold you can expect to recover largely depends upon your level of ability and prospecting experience, size of equipment, how much work you are prepared to do–and partly on your luck. However, we feel a prospector largely creates luck by energetically undertaking proper sampling techniques. We can guarantee you are going to recover gold on the Klamath and Salmon Rivers. How much you recover depends entirely upon your approach.
We have had a fair number of members start from scratch and evolve their activity into lucrative small-scale, commercial mining operations. We have many success stories of this kind, and some members have done exceptionally well!
Since gold prospecting, like any other activity, has a learning curve, you need to study how to do it and get some experience under your belt to be continually successful. The New 49’ers have an ongoing program, which consists of organized group mining projects where we actually go out and do it, to help you with this. Generally, you can expect to do as well as you apply yourself to the available opportunities.
Just about all of our members agree that they have done better along our gold properties than elsewhere, and agree that there are no better gold opportunities available anywhere.