The place where it all began has returned to life in the hills outside Sacramento. Sutter's Creek, site of the first gold strike in California in 1849 and the spark that set off the largest gold rush in American history, poured its first gold in fifty years this week. The four ounces, smelted from eight tons of ore, signals the rebirth of mining after $20 million in rebuilding and thirty years of acquiring the over 40 permits needed to restart mining operations.
By next spring, operators hope to be extracting 150 tons of ore a day from the deep hardrock mine, and processing 2,000 ounces of gold a month. Mass excavations are unfeasible in this area, as the gold resides in narrow veins of white quartz. Miners use pneumatic tools to follow the veins a half mile beneath the surface.
-story courtesy Washington Post