Diary of a Diamond Prospector
April 2017 by W. Dan HauselI 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.
This was “pocket” country. All around were “pockets” that had been hand dug by old and new miners.
...these nuggets have not traveled far from the lode because the golden wire lattices would have been torn apart or flattened during weathering of rock and deposition by violent stream action.
When doing your initial armchair research and selecting potential areas to explore, consider all the indicators, both natural and man-made.
My last update on this adventure was in the April 2012 issue and involved our search for the northern extension of the Cedarberg Mine. At that time we had found it and we were in the process of returning for some detecting when Mother Nature struck with a late rain and snow storm.
Within this area, about two million ounces of gold and fifty million ounces of silver have been mined. Faults, dikes, veins and fissures that carry the ore form a concentric radial pattern—like spokes on a wagon wheel—around the caldera core.
The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
Back at our campsite, while the rest of us grabbed a late four o’clock lunch, Fallyn volunteered to do the clean-up panning.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts: Is an XRF gun useful for prospecting and mineral identification? • Ask The Experts: Is this deposit worth working? • Ask The Experts: Can a long range locator probe detect gold in quartz? • Weathering, Erosion and Placers • The PIGMI—a DIY Crevice Tool • The Ups and Downs of Nugget Hunting • Epithermal Gold and Silver Deposits • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices