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Prospecting & Detecting

Cold Water Gold

It was June 2011, and my wife Fran and I with Grandson Lucas and good friend Ernie Cruz were attempting to get to our gold mining claim on the Middle Fork of the Feather River about ten miles from Quincy, California. Rain had poured down in the previous few days and the road in a large number of low places was under water. Following two hours of slugging through the mud...

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Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Man vs Paydirt


As I laid in my Jeep and tried to get some rest, I began to realize how tired I was. I felt like a little kid who walked around Disneyland for 12 hours with his parents.

How to Evaluate Mineral Claims—What to Know Before You Buy


Even though they have put down thousands of dollars, the buyers often stop paying on their claims part way through the process after they realize they’ve been duped, but the company just sells it again to another buyer.

What Equipment Do I Need?


Getting started in prospecting often requires the purchase of some equipment, but one can spend as little as $10 and be finding gold or spend thousands and also be finding gold—yet you will probably have many more opportunities and possibilities with more and better equipment. 

What About Palladium?


Palladium may well be an underexplored element and therefore an opportunity for prospectors and geologists. This is because they are often less than obvious and other than the native metals, a chemical analysis of samples is required to identify PGM-enriched rocks.

Ask the Experts


Setting up a gravity dredge

How Should I Work This Prospect?


How big is the deposit? Are there boulders you will need to move? Do you just want to recover the nuggets or do you think there is good fine gold that you will also want to capture?

Pros and Cons of Big Detector Coils


Years later I returned with a new detector with a smaller coil and detector technology more sensitive to smaller nuggets. I found my first nugget within five minutes. I had a second five minutes after that.

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The Bawl Mill   • Our Readers Say   • Ask the Experts—Looking up mining claims on the Internet   • Ask the Experts—Access to mining claim across private land   • Ask the Experts—Best way to identify calaverite and sylvanite   • Legislative and Regulatory Update   • WSGS Releases New Geologic Maps   • Prospecting on the North Yuba   • Yesterday's Gold—Today's Mine   • Where to Find Gold in Indiana   • Prospecting Australia—Part III Anatomy of a Nugget Patch in Western Australia   • Nevada Miners: Check Your Claim Markers   • Managers at Fault for Two Deaths at Meikle Mine   • River Dredging vs. Creek Dredging—Part I   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices

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Ask the Experts—How do you determine how far a piece of gold has traveled in a stream?   • Testing Ores for Free Gold

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