Ask The Experts
May 2016 by Chris Ralph
• Can I get advice on a hard rock property in Calaveras County, California?
Lots of prospectors are trying out nugget detecting for the first time and finding out that it isn’t all that easy. In fact, in my opinion, metal detecting for nuggets is perhaps the most difficult form of prospecting that one can take on.
The old report I read indicated all they ever did was dig some trenches and take samples. It sounded to me like a good place to take my metal detector...
They must have assumed the paystreak was spotty and had been mined out, so they never mined as close to the side of the valley as they should have.
Most dry washers have a feed rate adjustment. It needs to be set so that the material flows evenly over the riffles and does not bury them.
We decided to check some spots that were pretty good to us on previous trips. The detector was deceptively simple with few buttons and auto-ground balance.
I will have to admit, I actually was brought to tears just thinking about what I had just done. I knew the gold was there, but I never thought I would be so fortunate to find such a prize nugget.
Depending on the ore and if significant sulfides are present, a hard rock miner may be able to get away with simply using a flux to digest the other minerals that may be present.
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