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.
A very good baseball hitter might get a hit roughly one time out of every three at-bats, but for prospectors often the results are much sparser and it may take many trips before the prospector hits a home run.
It rained over four inches that night and the creek flooded both my backyard and my workshop. When I opened the door to my workshop Christmas morning, an unwelcome sight greeted me.
I have seen many samples taken originally with an eye toward getting the highest grades possible, but later someone claims that those results represent an average grade of the whole gravel deposit.
He began hiking my way and was as astonished as I was when he saw it. Another high five moment! It makes you wonder how long this gold had just been sitting there on the ground.
I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.
Has anyone made it through childhood, or even adulthood, without at least one dream of finding gold or buried treasure? It is the stuff of daydreams—the kindling for the flame of hope. We so long for it that we eagerly accept stories and maps from friends and strangers alike that promise us fame and fortune.
Keeping in mind how the local topography affects where gold has been deposited can help you find more gold, and is certainly something the prospector needs to keep in mind.
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