“The New California Gold Rush”

From NBC Los Angelesgold_rush

Within an hour of downtown Los Angeles, people are seeking that one sure commodity.

“I’m here to find gold,” said Kevin Brown.

Geologists estimate that during the gold rush of 1849 in California, about 80 percent of the gold was never found. Today, with the price of gold soaring and the economy falling, the idea of panning, digging or diving for precious metal has become serious business.

“There’s definitely gold nuggets down in the bottom here,” Brown said. “Just a matter of getting 30 feet down lower than any old timer or modern prospector has done.”

But prospecting is not easy money. It takes time and a lot of hard work. John Gurney, who came out to California from the East Coast to find gold, was able to pull out about $35,000 worth of gold nuggets over a couple of months. Then there was a dry spell — and now, John is at it again.“Some days you sit here and make two cents. Some days you make a couple of hundred dollars. I had one good day and made about $10,000,” Gurney said.

California’s second gold rush has also created at least one recession-proof business.

Keene Engineering of Chatsworth, Calif., makes the equipment you need to find gold — from plastic pans to large commercial rigs. The owners say their business has doubled.

“There are hundreds of people coming in here to buy gold pans and sluice boxes, and take their chances of finding gold in the local hills and mountains,” said sales manager Patrick Keene. “There is a whole new flood of prospectors and miners.”

Full story, with video, here.

Published in: on March 25, 2009 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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