Detecting Canyon Bedrock in The Sierras
September 2018 by Ray Mills
My plan was to go up the canyon along a ridge and then drop into the canyon whenever I came across a spot that might give me reasonable access.
I detect in a wide array of situations. I like to search for places that no one has been to. I really like to find areas that have never been worked at all.
I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.
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.
The type of mine dump that is best for metal detecting are the ones that consist of mixed sizes of rock and are located near some sort of excavation, commonly a shaft or adit. Sometimes the piles located along a trench dug by the miners can be productive as well.
Right away I got a target, and it ended up being gold from a nice little bench. With only an hour left of daylight, I continued heading upstream and found five more tiny pieces of gold with my VLF…
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.
The mysteries of this spot were only just starting to develop. There is nothing but very bland granite-type rocks here, meaning no bold, favorable indicators.
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