History & Geology
Can You Recognize Valuable Ores?
August 2016 by Chris RalphThe process of recognizing ores all starts with being able to recognize some basic minerals and knowing what hard rock ore looks like in the districts where you prospect.
Prospecting for Copper Ores—Part II
Copper is a critically important metal that we need to run our modern electronic society, and the long term outlook for this metal is for a steady increase in price.
All About Garnets
I get a lot of questions from prospectors about garnets, their value and what they tell us about the geology of some types of mineral deposits. So I thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at the lowly garnet and learn a bit more about it.
Gold Deposition and Gradients of Placer Streams—Part I
When placer miners from the gold rush era began experimenting with the slope of their sluices, they must have pondered the ideal slope for trapping gold in a creek bed too. Logic suggests the same is true for streams...
The Wisdom of Mark Twain—And Tales of Cheating the Unwary Prospector
I (enjoy) Twain’s description of a gold mine, “A hole in the ground with a liar at the top.” Some humor here? You bet, but I’m sure he meant it to be a real eye opener as well.
The gravels in contact with the bedrock or false bedrock base are often the richest. The same facts apply to the alluvial paystreaks that are formed on gravel bars; the lowest level of the gold-bearing gravel is normally the richest.
The Birimian Greenstone Belts of West Africa
A few years ago I had a tremendous opportunity to visit Australia and hunt for gold there. The geology of the gold deposits there was somewhat different from what I was used to here in the US. I learned a lot about greenstone belt gold deposits while prospecting them in person, and it was an amazing trip.
Sulfides and Intergrain Gold Wire Nuggets
...these nuggets have not traveled far from the lode because the golden wire lattices would have been torn apart or flattened during weathering of rock and deposition by violent stream action.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Revisiting the Rocker Box • Follow Up to "Just One More Time" • The Highs and Lows of Drywashing • Successful Detecting Requires Attention to Detail—Part I • Panning for Gold on Canyon Creek • China Closing More Than 1,000 Mines • Habits, Procedure, and Where Is The Gold? • Exploring A Historic Lode Mine • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Melman on Gold & Silver
MMAC & PLP Update