A Few Thoughts About Successful Nugget Hunting
November 2013 by Fred Mason...I got the faintest of rises in the threshold. It was hardly a signal at all, and I thought it was one of the many, deep, hot rocks in the area.
During this trip we found enough gold to make us want to come back, even with the punishment of a very long, tough hike.
...this county contained some of the richest placer ground found in all of California and still produces some pretty impressive finds to this day.
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.
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.
In underground placer work, the contact point of the bedrock tunnel and the gravel is a very weak point and always has to be timbered. The bedrock here is thin, fractured, and the gravels loose from many years of oxidizing.
I was amazed and surprised, and I took a moment to admire how beautiful this coarse chunk of gold was. It later weighed exactly one-half ounce.
We’ve had two trips to the deserts of Nevada and explored mines and mill sites, hiked miles of ravines in California, and swung our detector coils over thousands of square yards of bedrock.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • One Potato, Two Potato... • Proper Placer Sample Processing • Strategic Metals—Part I • Dry Washing to Capture Fine Gold • Are There Any Good Prospects Left? • Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska! • Southern Oregon's Illinois River—A Lesson in Sharing • Using Sucker Guns to Find Gold • Making Adjustments to Catch Fine Gold • The Subsurface Suction Dredge • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices