A Father and Son Prospecting Adventure
May 2013 by Joe ChmielAs I write this, I am still on a rush from taking my 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, prospecting for the first time this past weekend. It’s not that he hasn’t been along on numerous outings before: this is the first time that just the two of us went out for a day of drywashing and detecting under the desert sun.
Our destination was some old hydraulic workings where the old miners had washed literally mountains of material away to expose gold in ancient river channels.
The first and most important thing of the sampling process is to try to be as unbiased as possible. There is a natural tendency to select rock that looks the best—even unconsciously.
A very good baseball hitter might get a hit roughly one time out of every three at-bats, but for prospectors often the results are much sparser and it may take many trips before the prospector hits a home run.
In some places valuable ores can be found within the waste material of mine dumps, sorted ore piles, and detrital vein matter at the surface. Though many of these old mine sites can be an excellent source of gold, not all are created equal.
It was time to prime the pump and start the engine! Dan’s priming method is to use a small, submersible, 12-volt pump. My priming method is to use a hand-operated diaphragm pump.
BLM stated we had 30 days to amend our claim so that it fit within one 40-acre square or we would forfeit the claim.
The Bawl Mill • Gold Rush in the Congo • Find of a Lifetime • All About Quartz—Part I • Over the Divide • Your Guide to Prospecting in Alaska • Shallow Water Crevicing Can Bring Big Rewards • Home Office Deductions • Advantages of Modern Prospectors • Searchers' Dreams • Gold in Unlikely Places • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices