Yuba Goldfields

Yuba Goldfields

Owner: Western Aggregate

Type of Mine: Aggregate

Location: Califronia, United States.

Built: 1848

The Yuba Goldfields, located along the Yuba River in California, were formed during the Californian Gold rush (1848-55).  During its infancy miners panned in the stream beds but once word spread of the area’s penchant for profits, large-scale mining companies poured into the region.

To maximize yield these companies set up shop in the Sierra Nevada foothills and broke apart large sections using pressurized water jets.  These sections were sluiced down the hills and deposited straight into the Yuba River.  So much debris was dumped back into the water that the riverbed rose 100 feet in certain sections, causing flooding that wrecked the farming communities situated in the Yuba region.

Today the area has been exhausted of its gold supply and while it is still used as a means for aggregate, an ingredient of concrete, it has plans to be turned into a nature reserve.  The Yuba Goldfields are known for their odd appearance as, from an aerial vantage, the mountains, streams and indentations caused by years of mining are said to look like intestines.

Image courtesy of NASA, Earth Observatory; Yuba Goldfielnds, 24 May 2005.

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