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Prospecting & Detecting

A Day with Friends in the Ord Mining District Southern California

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Excavator Testing Wet Placer Ground


The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.

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We are both very experienced working this type of ground, and we quickly found the pay layer where we would focus our efforts. The bedrock has good gold, but so does the red hard pan.

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Back to Basics--Finding Gold With a Pan and a Sluice


Don’t hunker down and just keep digging in one spot where there is very little or no gold—if you don’t find it, you’ve got to get up and move on!

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When hunting for nuggets does not yield any gold for a couple days, it can get pretty frustrating. But it turns into serious mental anguish when it stretches into weeks or months.

Ganes Creek Hits 10 Years—Part II


You keep all you find at Ganes, with weekly tallies kept for a loose competition that I find helps motivate me. I seriously try to find more nuggets than anyone else in a given week, and usually make it or close to it.

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