"In a world where gold prices have flirted with $2,000 an ounce, where the price of silver rose tenfold in less than seven years, and other minerals are reaching all time highs, the number of Cyprus Amocos and American Bonanzas scouring the landscape, as well as Dan Patch wannabes, is growing.
The total number of registered mineral claims statewide is 44,000, up from 25,600 in 2004, according to Nyal Niemuth, Phoenix branch chief for the Arizona Geological Survey
"It's significant that the number of claims has remained high, given that numerous uranium claims on the Colorado Plateau have been dropped in anticipation of a the area being withdrawn by the Secretary of the Interior," says Niemuth.
It is uncertain how many claim holders are targeting gold, but records show that most of the historic gold-bearing claims remain claimed.
And when it comes to gold, Yavapai County has produced more than any other county.
The 3.4 million ounces extracted from county mines amount to just over 20 percent of the 16 million ounces extracted statewide since 1863."