For the past 168 years, since the great California Gold Rush men have prospected for gold. The rush started when a man working in a sawmill along a river spotted a small nugget. For about 20 years placer mining was the major source. Eventually prospectors traced the gold to the original source, gold rich quartz veins, stock-works and shear zones. This started another gold rush that is still going on, especially in Nevada and Arizona.
Most of these gold-seekers did not strike it rich, after they dug a few holes they'd go on to become farmers, lumberjacks, store keepers, etc. Over the past 150 years, thousands upon thousands of holes were dug.
Many of these holes, tunnels and pits were at their time, worthless efforts. Due largely to the fact that most gold miners did not recognize the many complex ores of silver, copper, lead, zinc, tungsten and uranium to name a few.
The lesson is that while every mining claim may not make you rich with gold, it may still have thousands to millions in other metals that are in high demand today. My advice to you is take a representative rock chip sample and have it run for a 35 element test. That once worthless hole may make you extremely wealthy.