Aggregates Manager

July 2014

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Page 23 of 39

T eichert Materials' Hallwood Plant is locat- ed near the town of Marysville in northern California. It mines aggregate in the Yuba Goldfields along the banks of the Yuba River, producing crushed stone, sand, and gravel. The goldfields are estimated to contain 1 billion tons of alluvial sand and gravel, which may be the largest alluvial deposit in northern California. The deposit There was gold there once. The Yuba River area was originally mined by individual miners who panned for gold in the river during the beginning of the California Gold Rush in 1849. Within 10 years, large-scale hydraulic mining companies took over, blasting the riverbanks and hillsides in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with high-pressure jets of wa- ter. This type of mining creates a large amount of sediment, which filled the river and washed down- stream, raising the level of the riverbed and causing floods that buried some nearby farms under mud and gravel. The sediment reached all the way to Sacramento and, eventually, as far away as San Francisco Bay. In the late 1800s, hydraulic mining came to an abrupt halt when a farmer won a lawsuit against the mining companies, but the damage was already done. In the early 1900s, large dredges were brought in. They dug out the riverbeds, again looking for gold, and piled sediment and gravel in giant wind- rows along the river's banks. This created a moon- scape, of sorts, which remains to this day. The dredging helped to relieve some of the flooding problems downstream, but it also caused immense environmental damage. What was once fertile top- soil ended up on the bottom of huge piles of rocks Teichert's Hallwood Plant mines aggregate from the tailings left behind by gold-mining dredges a hundred years ago. by Kerry Clines, Contributing Editor Moonscape to Landscape Teichert's Hallwood Plant is located on 711 acres of the Yuba Goldfields in northern California. AGGREGATES MANAGER July 2014 22

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