An Interview with Minelab Engineer Mark Lawrie
January 2018 by Chris Ralph
The design of metal detectors well-suited for prospecting is an interesting process and not necessarily an easy one to achieve. It is a combination that blends the desires of what prospectors would like, the requirements of sales people and dealers, with the science and physics of what the electronics can achieve.
Crowds may be great for football games or the Fourth of July, but not for prospecting. So, this summer, while thousands of gold seekers were heading to the coast of Alaska, I headed to a remote part of the Interior.
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.
Hearty trees, shrubs and plants are a product of the soil conditions in which they grow, so it makes sense that roots near an ore deposit will take on nutrients containing metals if they are present.
Old tailing piles extend for miles. There was still plenty of water flowing here, so WPA members set up highbankers at several settling ponds.
Over the years, I've noticed a pattern in the type of rocks associated with the best gold deposits in Midwestern glacial gravel.
Some of the items that I’m going to go over are outcroppings, ditches, exploratory trenches and contacts/surface materials. I am going to speak about each of the above items in as much detail as I can, and then towards the end of this article I will tie them together.
Modern-day placer miners have many advantages over the prospectors of the gold rush days. Our prospectors can reap many benefits from accumulated knowledge of the last 100 to 150 years, which is a long and impressive list.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • California: The Land of Big Nuggets—Part II • How to Interpret Assay Values • Bedrock Nugget Hunting: Tools of the Trade • A Primer on Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies • Gold Hunting on Libby Creek • PLP and MMAC Update • Man's Best Friend • Third Largest Nugget in Existence Returns to Dallas • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices