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.
The signal I was hearing was coming from a vertical bedrock crack on the bank of the creek. I removed my backpack, took out my crevicing tools and started to clean out the crack when I saw a glint of gold.
Once you have determined that the land is locatable, the next step in the claim research process is to determine if the land has already been claimed by a previous locator.
It’s a common symptom of gold fever for miners to be very hesitant to let go of gold they’ve found or even have it made into jewelry. I confess, I suffer from the same incurable disease!
I returned to the WSPA claim. Still smug from my previous success, I was thinking I could not fail. However, the gold gods had other plans.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
My metal detecting hobby began about ten years ago when I bought a used metal detector for about $300. I got it specifically to look for meteorites. It was pretty much worthless, not user friendly, and I did not find anything with it.
I had two of the guys go down into the creek and each one picked out a small island of bedrock. I had them detect their piece of bedrock and then gave a critique to all on how they did.
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