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.
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.
We’ve had two trips to the deserts of Nevada and explored mines and mill sites, hiked miles of ravines in California, and swung our detector coils over thousands of square yards of bedrock.
This concept of detecting does not always work as we sometimes get a week or so where the temperatures rise to 116°—sometimes more.
Many years ago I was in the American Canyon. I remembered a few details about a placer deposit there, so we decided to make a trip down and re-check some of these old workings.
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…
On my weekends off I spent many hours dredging the Second Broad River from Cane Creek Road up to the headwaters. I used a three-inch dredge with air and graduated to a five-inch with air.
In Chicken I had my first experience with the famous Alaska blue clay, sometimes called the blue layer. The blue layer is where the best fine gold was to be found.
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