Detecting Clay Seams
November 2015 by Ray MillsBecause the old timers were so good at locating the better paying deposits—most of them along clay seams in this particular area—it makes good sense to try and locate these clay lines at old mining sites.
Just three weeks ago one of our prospecting team members decided to go back to this location on his own. He had a new detector and wanted to try it out some.
Walking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.
Within a few minutes I got my first signal and dug out a small flake about three grains.
When it was all setup and running, you had everything coming off the dredge riffles into the boil box. At the hole section, some of the water got sucked down and pulled a lot of black sand and over heavies…
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.
There may be lots of smaller gold I cannot hear with a detector, but it looks just fine in my pan once it is out of the crevice.
I had been busy representing the Prospecting and Mining Journal this spring, but prospecting season finally arrived and I’ve been out digging for nuggets—I’ve even found a few. I know a number of prospectors who are armed with new metal detectors and headed to the hills to look for that precious yellow stuff.
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