Dry Washer, Wet System or Metal Detector?
April 2016 by Jeff SnyderI love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.
My wife Dorothy has always enjoyed tent camping. She thought she was really roughing it at established campgrounds until I convinced her to take a trip with me to drywash for gold in a remote corner of an arid desert wilderness...
I recently grew complacent, and it caused me to make a mistake that resulted in the loss of a mining claim. It brought my mining plans for the summer to a complete halt.
We chose this particular area because an old channel had run here at one point and had been heavily worked on top of a mountain hilltop. Erosion patterns cut deeply on each side, leaving the channel exposed. The erosion cut sharply, dropping into ravines far below.
So why would a modern-day prospector want to learn about a method of mining that was banned by the courts more than a century ago?
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.
While the bullion value of the nugget is already substantial, the size and rarity of the Ausrox Nugget combine to make its worth invaluable in the collector market.
Potholes in bedrock can trap placer minerals and even be glory holes. They are, at least, interesting geologic phenomena, and at best, a treasure trove of gold nuggets.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Multiple Use Lands, Symbiotic Relations and Conflict Resolution • Enrichment of Mineral Deposits by Weathering—Part II • Vendors Announced for Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit • The Tombstone Silver-Lead District, Arizona • Sold: 87-Ounce Nugget • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices