Drywashing for Desert Gold—Part I
February 2021 by Dan Stanton
If you have a bad case of gold fever like me, then it’s nice to know that you can get some of that pretty yellow metal almost any time of the year, wet or dry.
On the day prior to Mother’s Day I was able to get out and spend a few hours prospecting. I wanted to try some new settings on my detector, and I had a place in mind to do that.
...a large number of these aspiring miners developing their operations seemed to have missed "Placer Mining 101" somewhere along the way.
The problem is that extracting gold from hard rock is often a lot more difficult than processing placer gravels. Still, there is some very high-grade ore out there in many old mining areas.
The first and most important thing of the sampling process is to try to be as unbiased as possible. There is a natural tendency to select rock that looks the best—even unconsciously.
These gritty clay lines were only a quarter of an inch up to three inches wide. Once the line had been laid out, they would look at the wall of gritty clay material and seek more indicators.
Some media outlets have speculated the hoard of coins came from a theft at the old US Mint in San Francisco that was reported in 1901.
I metal detected a number of years before I saw my first nugget peeking out from the dirt before I had scraped or dug for it. This one was in the steep sidewall of a narrow, but deep drywash.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Where did the gold go? • Ask The Experts - True north or magnetic north? • Ask The Experts - How do I avoid claim jumping? • Ask The Experts - Are closed placer and lode claims worth my time? • Gold Geochemistry: Where Does Gold Come From? • Goal Setting and Rock Tossing • Principles of Designing Your Mill Production System, Part II: Mill Design • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: A Claim to Die For • Tips and Tricks: How to Make Your Own Gold Bars Without Burning the Place Down • Understanding Rock Formations: Petrology for Prospectors • Minnesota Lawmakers Move to Stop New Mines • Seven Troy Ounces of Premonition? • I Was Looking for Gold But I Found Jade • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices