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Chris Gholson

Cool pic of Oroville Dam

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A customer in California and I were talking earlier this week and we got on the subject of the Oroville Dam. He then sent me this really cool picture showing the level of damage to the main spillway. I was mostly interested in all that wonderful exposed bedrock! I wonder how many nuggets would be hiding in those cracks???

post-28-0-94296900-1490829552_thumb.jpg

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The way the water was going over it ....they would be LUNKERS to be left there :) Probably sunbakers :)

Hope someone goes over it though and finds some yellow.

Tom H.

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The river that flows by down below has good gold, but the hillside washed away by the broken spillway is not a spot known for gold. Think of it like this - you selected a random hillside in the Bradshaws and washed all the soil off it. Now if that was a hillside which had good gold, it might be amazing - but if you just had a hill with no gold and washed all the soil and loose rock off it that might not be anything of note. Not every hillside in the mother lode has gold, just like not every hillside in the Bradshaws is rich in gold. Now down along the river below there was some bench gravels - some were washed to expose bedrock - should be some good gold down there. Other bedrock down along the river has been buried by the soils washed down - that gold is actually harder to get to than it was. However the area of exposed bedrock is a construction area and they are not letting people anywhere near. There will be some opportunity for prospectors, but the whole thing has been way over-hyped by the fake news media.

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Not to mention the fact that the hill would likely be covered in dozer shrapnel from the original construction.

 

Now I am not positive, but that bedrock looks like schist in the picture. I can't imagine any competent engineer would try to design such a structure over schist. However if that is schist it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why the spillway failed. Dennis

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I can't imagine any competent engineer would try to design such a structure over schist.

 

It may look like schist to you in that particular photo, but its not. What failed in the spillway was not the rock, but the ground soils on top of the rock and underneath the spillway. The soil was not compacted properly and the concrete cracked (concrete does crack) the cracking caused water to go underneath and wash away a little of the soil that supported the spillway, and the soil that washed away in time opened a void that caused more cracking which eventually opened up a hole. The first photo of the hole I saw, I think it was maybe 3 ft. by 10 ft. But they had a whole lot of water coming into the lake and it was already full - no time to fix the 10 ft hole - they had to let water out (Its run by a government agency and it would have taken a 6 month, $500,000 study to figure out how to fill a small hole). The hole kept getting bigger and in a couple of days was maybe 50 x 20 ft. To prevent further damage to the main spillway, they tried to let water out of a second, emergency only spillway, but the soil over there erroded so fast it was in danger of causing major failure of the emergency spillway after less than 24 hours - that was the point at which 100,000 people downstream were suddenly told they had to evacuate and it was an emergency. So the operators had to go back to the main spillway that had the hole, and just let out all the water they needed to - and not worry about what damage it would cause or if all the loose soil on the whole hillside was washed away. Well, the hole just got bigger and bigger until the whole bottom end of the spillway fell in. Now it will cost hundreds of millions to repair what was once a little hole.

 

This is how government spends $500 million to repair a $10,000 problem.

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I have heard from a reliable source, one of the truck drivers hauling debris out, that a couple workers have found gold there. This is unconfirmed of course, but he said that a 13 oz nugget was found in the bedrock below the bottom of the main spillway. This would be near the river. And in the course of blasting or major repairs above, that a quartz and gold vein was uncovered, about 15 long that they could see. The area was immediately cleared of all personel and the vein quickly cemented over. The DWR is being very tight lipped about everything that is going on there. Again, rumors that many workers have been fired for poking around and looking. Truckers are not allowed to get out of the cab unless there is an issue with the truck or trailer, and then only if accompanied by a DWR worker. The whole area is off limits to the public and national guard troops are patrolling the area. I took some pictures of one of the dirt "piles" that is being stockpiled off site. Very tight security around the whole area.

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I really don't see how nuggets appear in such a short distance.

 

I think most gold gets there after eons of being washed by the river.

 

Flood gold, is a little different but gets washed from miles upriver. This place only had a few hundred feet to the bottom of the spillway. I don’t think there can be that much gold in there concentrated that quickly to be worth it.

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