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.
Some of the wire forms are strange and fantastic, with wires sticking out in twisted, seemingly random directions. Others have deformed crystals and all of them have significant value to collectors.
Some creeks have nuggets, while others, particulary the rivers, nothing but fine gold.
Digging in the right spots will produce excellent results, like this group of nuggets taken by the author while metal detecting during the last few months. The biggest nugget is over an ounce.
In some places valuable ores can be found within the waste material of mine dumps, sorted ore piles, and detrital vein matter at the surface. Though many of these old mine sites can be an excellent source of gold, not all are created equal.
Joy was written on his face, holding up the nugget—his first ever nugget—that he and his grandpa dug up together.
My largest nugget from this area is almost one-half ounce. I’ve found several smaller chunks and many pickers in addition to the fines and flakes that I put in my poke.
Take a look at the picture—it’s pretty simple and you can build it yourself.
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