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Prospecting & Detecting

Becoming a Successful Detectorist

During my adventures I’ve learned a few key best practices that help me to consistently find gold nuggets with my detectors. You can apply many of these best practices to any type of prospecting. These best practices are really common sense; however, they are easy to neglect.

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Ask the Experts


Setting up a gravity dredge

Gold in the San Francisco District Oatman, Mohave County, Arizona


I suspect detailed geological mapping and prospecting would lead to discovery of one or more overlooked gold deposits in the district even though it has been heavily prospected in the past.

Pocket Gold


Once a seam is found it can be traced for miles in either direction. While you are tracing a clay line, you are looking for indicators. The indicators that I look for are ironstone, hematite, different color clays intermingled with the clay line, and a very iron-rich, brown gritty soil.

Swing and a Miss


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.

Detecting During Summer Heat


This concept of detecting does not always work as we sometimes get a week or so where the temperatures rise to 116°—sometimes more.

Northwestern Alaska Mineral Resources


Gold and jade are actually only minor mineral resources for the Northwestern Alaska region as a whole. Modern prospecting has focused more on base metal than precious metal resources.

Gemstones to Die For


Some gems can potentially poison you, make you sterile and even make you forget who you are.

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The Bawl Mill   • Legislative and Regulatory Update   • Ask The Experts: How many claims can I file in Arizona?   • Ask The Experts: What should I do with a large amount of old placer concentrates?   • Shaker Tables for Processing Hard Rock Ores   • Hand Panning Micro-Fine Gold   • Sampling, Hydro-Shocking & Cleaning Quartz-Gold Specimens   • My Lucky Thirteen Nuggets   • Crushing, Grinding and Pulverizing   • A Break in the Weather   • From the Editor   • Prospecting Knowledge -- Pass It On!   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices   • Over The Divide: Miles John Mitchell

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