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Prospecting & Detecting

Breaking Rock the Old School Way

Prospectors have many reasons why they might want to break rocks. These include dividing up a specimen too large to carry.

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Fault Zones and Prospects


As we walked back we were just reaching the point of where the faulting should be and there, covered with deep grass, was very faint evidence of an old road going up the mountainside! What was that old road doing there?

The Gold of Plumas de Oro


Their rewards were far better than they had anticipated, resulting in one of the best clean-ups they had ever seen.

Excavator Testing Wet Placer Ground


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.

Ask the Experts


Breaking cemented gravels

Understanding Skim Bar Placers


Perhaps the most notable thing about skim placers is that they form on the top surface of gravel bars, as opposed to coarser gold placers where the weight of the gold particles allows the gold to settle down on or near bedrock.

Prospector's Guide to Rock Breaking and Blasting


The holes were overloaded with explosives, but I didn’t know it. I was just a green mining engineer fresh out of school and told to watch as the experienced miners set the charge.

Drywashing in Black Canyon, Arizona


After the hike and a quick snack break we gathered a few buckets of material to really dial in the drywasher for the most efficient recovery. This involves leveling the unit, setting the riffle box drop angle and regulating the speed in which the material is processed.

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