Sunday March 25, 2012

City Seen

Quest for the Colour

Flour gold still glitters for some in the Fraser River

Staff/Voice photos


Same place, different era last week as a man washes gravel in a pan Island 22 gold.


e's ahead by a century, or two. We spotted this eldlery man at Island 22 last week who was experiencing the Fraser much like the gold miners did in 1858 when they panned their way up the river to bigger and bigger nuggets. To this day, the river is still producing very fine particles of gold. Even if it's not a get-rich-quick scheme, it's still an excellent way to get out and get some fresh air and exercise.


The gentleman in the photos is wearing hip waders and thick rubber gloves to protect against the chilly water as he churns through the mud and rock and washing it out from the pan.


Local panning expert Yukon Dan told The Voice last year that people are out all along the river.


Historically, after the big nuggets were depleted from the lower Fraser River banks in 1858,  European and American gold seekers moved up river to Quesnel Forks in 1859. As they left the river behind them, the Asian community moved in and cleaned out most of the fine particles called "flour gold".


Currently gold is selling at over $1000 per ounce, creating rush revival out on BC rivers. For some it's been paying off, and there are rumors that people are hauling in as much as $100 a day. Companies still jostle for position in the gold fields of Barkerville.


If you go out near the river, for safety's sake, we'd suggest that you wear a life jacket because some people get swept away by simply falling in and having their hip waders fill with water.


Be safe on the water this spring and summer.



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