Southern California environment news and trends

The new rush: Commercial gold mining returns to California

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While mining for gold has become a popular hobby among Californians, commercial production of the precious metal is set to start anew in Amador County.

As reported by the Sacramento Bee, Sutter Gold Mining Co. is launching the Lincoln Mining Project near Sutter Creek with a Friday ceremony. California might have a long way to go to contend with the much more robust gold industry in neighboring Nevada (or other gold producing states like Alaska, Colorado and Utah), local officials still see it as a big step, the first commercial mine in the Mother Lode area in 50 years.

"It is a new mine … One mine is not going to catch us up to Nevada … but it's actually a working gold mine that has gone through the permitting process for quite some time. So that's significant," said John Clinkenbeard, head of the Mineral Resources Program for the California Geological Survey to the Bee.