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New Gold Rush Hits California After Damaging Winter Floods

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Image Courtesy of Flickr user 'California National Guard'

(Kitco News) - A tough California winter has triggered a surprising summer gold rush for residents living near the Oroville Spillway crisis, as weeks of heavy rains during the winter months stirred up gold flakes and nuggets along the rivers that the spillway impacted.

The main spots gold panners are flocking to are the riverbanks of the Feather and Yuba rivers. Both are fed by the Oroville Dam, media reports said.

But, wannabe gold explorers must keep in mind that the pieces being discovered this summer are averaging around $40-$300. Yet, these are some of the biggest gold finds in the area in recent years.

“It’s great business for us, because we buy gold all day long,” numismatist from Yuba City Coin and Bullion, Angela Dimmick, told CBS 5.

Some reports point to gold appearing after runoff rainwater moved parts of the soil at the mountain base, which was flooded during the heavy rainfall.

Both, the Feather and Yuba rivers, were impacted by the Oroville Dam crisis in February, when the dam’s main and emergency spillways were seriously damaged by non-stop rainfalls. The crisis lead to an evacuation of more than 180,000 people residing downstream of the Feather River.

California state authorities are currently working to repair the damage, hoping to have everything finished by November in order to prevent another disaster next year.

The area nearby the Yuba River has a long history of gold panning and has been referred to as Gold Country since the 1840s. There was even a time when miners could simply reach down to the bottom of the river and pick up gold nuggets out near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. But, resources quickly ran out and miners had to adopt more complex methods of extracting gold, including blasting rock.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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