Gold is a source of wealth and Europeans have the ability to mine it, but at what cost to the Spirits of the land?
A prospector’s camp is a collection of hardy men, survivors of the worst that the wilds can impose on a man. They are experts at reading the land and finding gold in the most seemingly unlikely of places. Some work with the permission of the native tribes, paying for the right to stake a claim and extract wealth. In return for allowing this small scale invasion of their lands, the tribes get a share of the wealth and power that gold produces.
Gold was one factor that brought Europeans to the Americas in search. While the Spanish never found “El Dorado”, they certainly found gold. Gold "in them there hills" was enough to start stampedes of the greedy, the desperate, and everyone else in search of riches. The really big gold rushes were in the 19th Century (California, the Black HIlls of Dakota, and Klondike), but a smaller rush in Georgia was possibly triggered by the native tribes mentioning that they had found gold on their lands. The tribes and their beliefs in the Spirits were brutally ignored in the dash for wealth.