placer(redirected from placers)
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1. A glacial or alluvial deposit of sand or gravel containing eroded particles of valuable minerals.
2. A place where a placer deposit is washed to extract its mineral content.
[Spanish, shoal, placer, from Catalan placer, shoal, from plassa, place, from Medieval Latin placea; see place.]
(Mining & Quarrying)
a. surface sediment containing particles of gold or some other valuable mineral
b. (in combination): placer-mining.
[C19: from American Spanish: deposit, from Spanish plaza place]
1. a natural concentration of heavy metal particles, as gold or platinum, in sand or gravel deposited by rivers or glaciers.
2. the site of a form of mining (plac′er min`ing) in which a placer deposit is washed to separate the gold or other valuable minerals.
[1835–45, Amer.; < American Spanish; Sp: sandbank < Catalan placel, derivative of plaza open place; see plaza]
1. a person who places or arranges things.
2. one of the winners of a race or other contest.
A deposit of minerals, such as gold or magnetite, left by a river. The minerals are usually concentrated in one area because they are relatively heavy and therefore settle out of the river's currents more quickly than lighter sediments such as silt and sand. When mineral prospectors pan for gold, they look for placer deposits.