California: The Land of Big Nuggets—Part I
December 2017 by Chris Ralph
The nugget sat there in plain sight, though it was covered in dirt, while hundreds of people had passed that way every day.
Detecting is not very complicated and the rewards can be tremendous. The difference between success and fruitless toiling can be remedied by a few small adjustments and a whole lot of perseverance.
Bela and Barbara Kovacs began prospecting for gold about seven years ago as a family orientated outdoors activity. A welder by trade and lured by the simple fact that beach sands can contain small bits of precious metals, Bela decided a few years ago to build a sand sucking contraption that can sift the shoreline for anything worth keeping.
We panned out maybe three gold pans of the material and we were shocked at the gold that was there. This rock appeared to be rich.
I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.
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.
Every year I go through this and every year it becomes more difficult to find new territory that is available for us to prospect. Is there anywhere that hasn’t been worked?
The first location we worked was a small, dry ravine cutting through many mineralized zones in an area where some hard rock mining had taken place in the past.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - Looking for help smelting gold • Ask The Experts - Chlorine bleach and vinegar makes a deadly combination • Ask The Experts - Were there insufficient values to continue mining at this site? • Watch Out for Split Estates When Filing Your Claim • Detecting the Fringe Areas • Butte, Montana—The Richest Hill on Earth • Conrey Dredge No. 4—Part II • Gold Detecting Strategies for Hydraulic Mines and Debris Flows • New Technology for Extracting Lithium To Be Tested in Nevada • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices