Dry Washing to Capture Fine Gold
November 2013 by Ray MillsThere may be lots of smaller gold I cannot hear with a detector, but it looks just fine in my pan once it is out of the crevice.
Chris got a nice target signal on the edge of rising bedrock, but still in a low, but washed area. After breaking up the bedrock, he recovered several pieces of gold amounting to almost three pennyweight.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
It all started with a phone call from my friend and prospecting partner Pat Keene. He told me that he knew of an investor who was just starting out in the gold industry and was looking for a gold consultant to go to Africa to prospect and analyze a 400 sq. mile concession in the middle of the Congo rainforest. I waited for the “just kidding” line...
As I write this, I am still on a rush from taking my 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, prospecting for the first time this past weekend. It’s not that he hasn’t been along on numerous outings before: this is the first time that just the two of us went out for a day of drywashing and detecting under the desert sun.
Down around 10 or 12 inches I hit a large cobble that appeared to be one type of hot rock for this area. I thought bad things about the new technology until I checked the rock.
The pit was a classic one—exposed shale bedrock with all the material being washed out one end of the pit. Within a few minutes I had a nice mellow signal that was in open ground.
Sampling gold placers can be rewarding, but remember to treat the samples so you are not high grading or low grading your results. Learn the rules and apply them so your samples are accurate.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • One Potato, Two Potato... • Proper Placer Sample Processing • Strategic Metals—Part I • Are There Any Good Prospects Left? • Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska! • Southern Oregon's Illinois River—A Lesson in Sharing • Using Sucker Guns to Find Gold • Making Adjustments to Catch Fine Gold • The Subsurface Suction Dredge • A Few Thoughts About Successful Nugget Hunting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices