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.
As a guide to those who are thinking of taking up this activity or those who currently practice this trade, I have created a listing of the primary tools and equipment I use when nugget hunting.
When you approach a location, even if you've been there before, you should consider all the factors and conditions present at the site. This includes both natural and man-made factors.
My hunch was that the gold is coming down the apron, falling off to both sides and into both gulches. I say that because the gold we found previously has the same characteristics and color across the entire area.
Gold and jade are actually only minor mineral resources for the Northwestern Alaska region as a whole. Modern prospecting has focused more on base metal than precious metal resources.
• Using drywashers to work desert gravels
It is this ability to hear and respond to the faintest of audio signals that I believe separates the best nugget hunters from everyone else.
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