My name is Craig Colt. I have been a professional gold dredger for most of my adult life. I worked in Alaska for many years. But I have spent the last several years mining along the Salmon and Klamath Rivers in Northern California where the weather is warmer.
My whole life is about gold mining. When I am not dredging or building mining equipment, I spend my time reading geology books and reading about mining history. I have read a lot about the mining history of Siskiyou County, because that’s where I am mining at the moment; and I go out and look at as many of the historical mining areas that I can.
Since I am probably more familiar with the mining potential than anyone, Jason Inks asked me to comment on the areas covered by the mining claims that he is about to put up for auction. First of all, I want to say that I have spent plenty of time already looking all of these areas over. During the past few years, I have walked on all of these claims!
The Lower Klamath River historically was one of the richest placer gold bearing locations in the State of California. There are literally mountains of boulders left behind by miners on some of these very claims. Some of the boulder piles are as tall as the trees!
The thing is, that the old-timers did not have the technology available to allow them access to the bottom of the river in places where bedrock walls did not allow wing-dam mining. That includes most of the Lower Klamath River. So while the old-timers were able to mine the side channels (which were rich), they could not get at the some of the best deposits which are at the bottom of the rivers.
Major flood storms which have occurred since the old-timers were around have since redeposited a lot of the gold they missed onto the existing stream-sides, which makes for good high-banking and electronic prospecting. Most of the river-bottom deposits remain in place, entirely virgin of any other mining activity; millions of years of natural erosion and concentration. The potential for fantastic success is incredible!
The thing that is so valuable about the claims Jason is selling is their size. Some of these claims go on and on for miles! But there are some great short claims, too. These claims will be producing for multiple generations into the future! I’ll be surprised to ever see such long claims be made available again!
In everyone that I have spoken to about these areas on the lower Klamath River, there hasn’t been anyone in there with modern equipment to locate and develop the high-grade gold deposits. I would love to be the first one in there with a gold dredge!
Anyway; that’s my take. Those are some really valuable claims! I wish I had them for myself!
Craig Colt Underwater Mining Specialist