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What do the terms "placer" and "hardrock" mean?

Hardrock mines, also known as “lode” mines follow quartz veins and produce gold imbedded in rock. Placer mines also known as “drift” mines follow ancient river channels and produce “free gold” or gold nuggets. Some mines, such as the Ruby Mine in the Alleghany Mining District produced both. Dredging and panning for gold are forms of placer mining.

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2017 Underground Gold Miners Museum
356 Main Street
Alleghany, CA 95910
Phone: 530-287-3330
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