Clues for Detecting Ancient River Channels and Flats
March 2021 by Ray Mills
The gold in this area can get quite large. Most of the pieces are about half a pennyweight on average.
Shallow water crevicing or sniping can produce gold if you’re persistent, a hard worker and lucky. It’s nice to have a snorkel, wet suit and goggles. The best practice for success, in my humble opinion, has always been to determine the best gold location and then figure out how to capture it.
Since this position was the least desirable due to the hard physical labor, the bucking room was used as punishment. Do you have a mediocre worker? Bad attitude? Off to the bucking room!
The prospects I found are known to carry heavy chunks of gold, sometimes in quartz, ironstone, or many times a rusty-looking type of shale covering.
I have smaller pans for cleaning black sand concentrates, big pans for taking large samples, pans with corners for pouring out materials, and pans with lots of special riffles. This variation is why I have so many pans—they each have their specialty.
A large, 8-pennyweight piece popped out of a very small crevice where the water had been extremely swift in the winter, leaving no visible gravel.
The right ground balance setting for the conditions you are working is critical. If your detector isn’t set properly, you will lose depth of detection, sometimes to an extreme degree.
Winters are a great time to explore the hills in the area of the Middle Camp, Oro Fino and La Cholla placers on the southern flank of the Dome Rock Mountains.
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