Chasing Float Gold—The Starry Night Wash
June 2018 by Rod Fitzhugh
The sun was beginning to set, which put the light at just the right angle against the hillsides to where I believed that I spotted a very small dig and tailings pile up the hill near the top of the second wash.
Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.
Sniping for gold… what does it mean to you? To me, sniping is taking a mask and snorkel along with a screwdriver and squeeze bottle to search for gold lying on or in bedrock.
Today, the greatest gold rushes occur due to technological advances capable of discovering gold where it once was extremely unlikely or difficult.
Looking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
In some places valuable ores can be found within the waste material of mine dumps, sorted ore piles, and detrital vein matter at the surface. Though many of these old mine sites can be an excellent source of gold, not all are created equal.
Many friends have come up to my locale to detect for gold. I am writing this article hoping that it may help anyone who uses a detector to prospect for gold nuggets.
The burning question I needed answered was why didn’t the deposit ever get mined of at least one of the valuable minerals? A couple of reasons have come to light.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - Are there different “ferro” products processed out of the ore? • Ask The Experts - How hot does a furnace need to be to get rid of sulphides? • Ask The Experts - Will this paystreak be downriver off the trailing edge of bedrock? • Putting Together A Small Free Gold Mill—Part II • 2018 National Mining Hall of Fame Inductees • A Test Grid Dredged for Gold Values • Michigan House Votes to Give Mining Operations More Flexibility • Mineral Exploration On The Rise • 18 Acquitted in Massive Brussels Diamond Heist • Captain Obvious Strikes Again • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices