California Drought Launches New Gold Rush

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California Gold RushWith rivers low, professional and hobbyist miners uncover more metals.
Brian Clark Howard National Geographic August 14, 2014

COLFAX, California—Bruce Meyer took a smoke break on the gravel bank of the scenic Bear River, deep in central California’s Gold Country. He was wearing a wetsuit and bandana, and water dripped from his thick, graying beard.

Meyer had spent much of the morning on that first Sunday in August hunting for gold in the middle of the stream, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Colfax. He showed off several shiny flakes in his pan, each about half the size of a grain of rice. He rinsed them with water and then sucked them into a small plastic bottle.

“Everyone has something they do; mine’s gold,” said Meyer.

Meyer hails from Carson City, Nevada, but he has spent much of the summer staying in his truck northeast of Sacramento to be near California’s rich mineral deposits. And perhaps paradoxically, thanks to the worst drought in the state’s recorded history, his work has gotten a little easier…

“Once you get the fever you’ll have it until you die.”..MORE+Video (NatGeo)

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