Excavator Testing Wet Placer Ground
April 2013 by Jim HalloranThe excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.
I had a chance to visit the operation in person and talk with Neal. I was very impressed and I think our readers could learn a lot about building up a commercial placer operation from scratch…
The gold in this area can get quite large. Most of the pieces are about half a pennyweight on average.
While a large number of locations have yielded some placer gold, most of the state’s placer production has come from a few productive districts.
We decided to run a detector over each piece. If we got a decent signal we placed the piece into a high-grade pile and the rest went into another pile to be worked on later. This high-grade pile wasn’t that large—maybe 25 pounds...
As a guide to those who are thinking of taking up this activity or those who currently practice this trade, I have created a listing of the primary tools and equipment I use when nugget hunting.
Chances are better that both types of gold did not come from the same source. Let's look at the probable conditions to cause two types of gold in a placer.
...this contradicts the fact that mining claimants are considered landowners with exclusive rights to possess and use that claim, and miners have “riparian rights” on mining claims that do not require permitting.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts - processing plants that can extract rare earth metals • Ask the Experts - what does MDB&M stand for? • Ask the Experts - proper mining claim procedures • The Hughes Creek Placers, Montana • Benefits of a Detecting Partner • Hard Rock Milling: A Matter of Scale • Paperwork Guy—A Cautionary Tale • ICMJ Online Forum Now Available • Detecting For Gold—Are You Up For It? • A Trip Down the Yukon River • Selenium, Mercury and Suction Dredging—Studies Contradict CA State Water Resources Board • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices