The following is a summary of the program conducted by Dr. L.B. Halferdahl on the occurrence of gold in Alberta rivers.
The survey was conducted by sieving and panning several cubic feet of gravel from the top foot or so of bars and similar places in the beds of most of the major rivers in Alberta. The places sampled were systematically, but fairly widely distributed (20 miles or more) along the rivers. The results showed that all the gold passed a 35 mesh screen and may be described as 'flour gold'. The highest concentrations were found along the North Saskatchewan River in the stretch from Devon (about 25 miles upstream from Edmonton) to near a point due North of Myrnam (about 150 miles downstream from Edmonton). few, if any, concentrations found during the survey would be considered high enough for economic recovery. The survey was designed to locate areas worthy of detailed sampling. However, the fine nature of the gold and the fact that such gold does not concentrate in pay streaks on bedrock, as shown by drilling conducted here and there by various people during the past half or three-quarters of a century, indicated that more detailed sampling was not worthwhile at present. Prospecting and testing in the stretch of river mentioned above are required to learn whether high enough concentrations of sufficient yardage are present for economic recovery. The chances are not particularly promising, because the gold is so fine grained that the concentrations are not expected to be high enough to make a small operation worthwhile, and the yardage is not expected to be great enough for a large operation.
Halferdahl, L.B. (1965): The occurrence of gold in Alberta rivers; Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS Open File Report 1965-11, 23 p.