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More than 150 years ago, John Sutter touched off the fabled Gold Rush when he found gold near his mill in 1849. But the prospectors who flocked to the Sierra foothills left plenty of gold in the ground.

At least that’s what a mining company setting up shop in the same area southeast of Sacramento believes. Geologists for Sutter Gold Mining Co., estimate there are some 650,000 ounces remaining in the area that sparked an epidemic of gold fever. At today’s prices, that could amount to just shy of $1 billion.

“We’re building on new mine but we’re really building on the history that’s been here for a 160 years,” said Leanne Baker, president and CEO of Sutter Gold Mining

The company plans to launch full scale mining operation in the next few months at Lincoln Mine, a 10-mile stretch of California’s famous mother lode. The mother lode itself is a 120-mile stretch from El Dorado County south to Mariposa County. Baker said all major permits are in place and the project, which will employ at least 100 workers at the outset, is set for full production later this year.

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