Desert Prospecting Yields More Than Just Gold
June 2020 by Joe Chmiel
This wash was not far from where I once dug a half-ounce nugget, so I knew there was gold in the area.
All locations gave up some gold, but one particular section of exposed bedrock with steep, packed crevices kept giving us good, consistent results. We had found our spot.
I love to see old-timer workings while I am out detecting for gold. For one thing, it assures me that gold came from there. Second, it tells me gold should almost certainly still be there.
Normally the detector he was using would sound off with a definitive high-to-low tone when passed over a piece of gold, which distinguished the gold from the many high iron content "hot rocks," but this one was different...
Most prospectors understand placer mining a lot better than hard rock mining and don’t realize the amount of work that goes into processing different types of hard rock ore.
Because quartz and gold may be deposited together across a considerable range of temperatures, not all quartz veins are the same, and there are several different types of gold-quartz deposits.
“I heard him hollering down in the hole as soon as I got there,” he said. “I was just glad to see him alive.”
The same questions you ask yourself about gold trapping features in the present stream can be applied to the benches above the stream. Just imagine the stream at a much earlier time, before it cut its way down to the present level…
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