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.
It’s accepted knowledge that wet methods will recover more fine gold than dry methods and processing the gravel as a whole will get more gold than only using a metal detector. The question is how much more?
Our group of independent miners have been busy crafting a uniquely designed ladder/ore cart track from the bottom of an 85-foot mine shaft in a historical hard rock mine.
Prospectors have many reasons why they might want to break rocks. These include dividing up a specimen too large to carry.
The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
During this trip we found enough gold to make us want to come back, even with the punishment of a very long, tough hike.
Ray followed up by detecting the same area and I was happy to see that he did not find any good targets in the same line. So far so good.
…it was immediately evident the previous owner had not been using a detector. During just a few months of working the dumps part-time, he recovered gold in quartz specimens valued in excess of $40,000.
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