Detecting Old Pocket Diggings
February 2013 by Ray MillsLooking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
“Much of the ground where Ms. Hollingshead found her diamond is made of unweathered volcanic rock. When it rains, flowing runoff often leaves loose gravel, and sometimes diamonds, on the surface in these areas.”
Pumps can be set up quite a distance away horizontally from the sluice, even hundreds of feet. It will work so long as there is sufficient water at the source where the pump is located. Vertical distance is more of a problem than horizontal distance; 30 to 40 feet is the maximum vertical climb for most pumps.
After he excavates the ore down to bedrock, he goes over the bedrock with a metal detector to ensure he didn't leave any gold behind before he backfills the area.
His take of gold was pretty close to what mine was—about a quarter of an ounce. We had just gleaned about half an ounce of gold in just twenty minutes.
The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.
With successively lower temperatures as the water mixture cools, new sets of minerals are formed and many of those stable at a higher degree of heat became subject to alteration as the temperature progressively moved lower.
All 28 groups listed agree that Section 402 of the Clean Water Act does not apply and no dredge miner should be asking a state or federal agency for such a permit.
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