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.....To tell briefly a little about myself, I was born in 1953 in San Antonio, Texas. I have been living in Springfield, Missouri since 1988, but have spent a great deal of my life in both Los Angeles, California and Dallas, Texas. As far as gold mining:
.....In gold mining, I have spent many years mining in California's Grass Valley and Mother Lode areas. My first experience of actually living for many months on a claim and seriously learning the gold trade, was on the N. F. Yuba River above "Racetrack" out of Strawberry Valley, CA.
.....My father helped to locate a mining operation where I could learn the profession. The location was a section of river owned by the noted Bill Crestman. Most of the mining going on there was dredging. Everything from 2 to 8 inch dredges were operating up and down the claim section. There were other types of mining equipment among the miners, but mostly for spare time and not used in the daily routine. Since most dredging is done in teams, this gave a few miners a chance for their own handiwork.
.....A personal friend and fellow mining enthusiast, Robert Jacobsen; from Dallas, Texas; joined me on this mining endeavor. We joined teams working a 5 inch dredge on a percentage basis to start.
.....There were many other miners in separate camps along his 1 mile section of river. At the end of the day most would gather at Mr. Crestman's camp to process their days work and collect their percentage of the take. During this time one could learn new techniques from the older or more experienced miners. I was fortunate to make a few friends there and tried to apply what I learned to my own work.
.....A short time later we were nicknamed the "Texas Rangers" by Mr. Crestman and his family. My love for gold started here under Mr. Crestman. His help and understanding was truly inspirational. To him and his charming wife, I give my love and respect.
.....My father owns claims on Otter Creek out of Georgetown, CA. It is a unique place to mine compared to working the larger rivers. Here the canyon walls are sheer and overgrown and the water at its best is 48 degrees F. I'll never forget my first visit to this place. When we finally parked, there was a small trail with a USDA sign stating "Otter Creek 1 mile." From this point on, I learned what "packing in" is all about. Not only did we have to pack down into this ravine, but also along the creek too!
.....I eventually spent a whole mining season here with a few friends, dredging. The best part of working this place is that the bedrock is mostly slate and the nuggets found were rough. I have learned a lot from my father about different kinds of placer mining and appreciate his help through the years.
.....Another place I spend a great deal of time is on the M.F. Yuba River out of Alleghany, CA. Here again, the place chosen was one you had to pack down to the claim area. It is about 1,300 feet down, from where you can park on a fire break road. I have spent a whole mining season here also and know the hardships involved with living on location through the seasons, especially with no transportation. But as it turns out, some of the best places to mine are the most remote.
.....In 1988 I started working for Keene Engineering, Inc. part time. In 1993 they published my first book the "Gold Miner's Handbook©."
Best of luck in your mining ventures!
Bruce W. Harris
Owner / Mining Consultant
Heavy Metal Mining Company, Springfield, Missouri, USA
Research & development of placer mining equipment and publishing agency (ended 2001).
Publishing Company (1995 - Present)
Opened business 9-11-90
Own & Operate the "Gold Miner's Headquarters" Internet site
Worked for Keene Engineering, Inc. (Worlds largest underwater mining equipment manufacturer; recreational, industrial & commercial) 1988-2002.
Keene published my first book "Gold Miner's Handbook in 1993."
Gold Miner's Handbook©1986, Finding That Perfect Location©1992, Gold Placer Geology©1992, Modern Dredge Sampling©1992, The Modern Gold Dredge©1992.
The World Wide Association of Treasure Seekers (W.W.A.T.S.)
Missouri State Director (2003-present)
Member of the Board of Directors (2003-present)