Gold Districts of California
Chinese Camp is in western Tuolumne County about 10 miles southwest of Sonora. It was a
placer-mining center settled by Chinese miners in 1849. Much work was done in the 1850s,
and the piles of soil and gravel turned over in the search for gold can still be seen in
nearly every gulch. The old mining town of Chinese Camp is quite well-preserved.
Much of the placer gold was recovered from extremely rich quartzitic gravels of Eocene
age. Some gold also was mined from gravels of late Tertiary age. Most of the early-day
work was done by hydraulicking and ground sluicing; during the 1930s there was some
dragline dredging. Bedrock consists of serpentine, greenstone, and slate. There are a few
gold-quartz veins in the area. The value of the total output from placer mining is
estimated at $2.5 million.
Excerpt from: Gold Districts of California, by: W.B. Clark, California
Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193, 1970.
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