Ask the Experts
March 2014 by Chris RalphBreaking cemented gravels
These days they employ the use of metal detectors and carefully scan the shattered rocks, hoping to hear that sound we detectorists love to hear.
The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
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In Chicken I had my first experience with the famous Alaska blue clay, sometimes called the blue layer. The blue layer is where the best fine gold was to be found.
"Suh-wheet!" I exclaimed as I sprang to my feet and quickly pumped my detector coil high overhead to alert Smokey that I had just found a nugget.
Watching for these areas is one of my primary targets during the winter. It doesn’t take but a few inches of the surface moving away to give a fantastic target response that you didn’t hear prior to the washing of the surface.
He excitedly told me he was going mining and wanted to know where he should go, how to do it, and so on. After he calmed down, I got excited. “I need to go!” was my response.
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