Drywashing in Black Canyon, Arizona
May 2016 by Amanda Fitzhugh
After the hike and a quick snack break we gathered a few buckets of material to really dial in the drywasher for the most efficient recovery. This involves leveling the unit, setting the riffle box drop angle and regulating the speed in which the material is processed.
Solar energy can be used for any size placer or hard rock mining operation. It is most practical for small and longer-term operations provided your mine is not located in a dense forest.
Lots of prospectors are trying out nugget detecting for the first time and finding out that it isn’t all that easy. In fact, in my opinion, metal detecting for nuggets is perhaps the most difficult form of prospecting that one can take on.
I worked my way to a flat area along a ridge where I could see a quartz blowout. As I got within 100 feet of it, I started seeing rock that I knew to be associated with gold.
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.
Without knowing or even thinking about it, I had put together a map that showed me a pattern of the ancient Sacramento River channel. I also had a distinct picture of where the ancient channels of several other creeks and rivers were running.
For the last two years we’ve held a hands-on prospectors training session in the Iowa Hill district of California’s Mother Lode country as a part of our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit event. Because of this, I thought it might be good to take a look at the history, geology and opportunities that the Iowa Hill district still offers to the individual prospector.
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