Finding Gold in Tailing Piles
December 2014 by Steve HerschbachOld mine workings and tailing piles can represent opportunities on many levels, from the chance to simply find a nugget on up to the commercial reworking of the old tailings for profit.
That is the course and intention for this article—to wander through some of the lessons I have learned in my thirty-two years of metal detecting and prospecting.
Because these crevices catch and hold gold so well, it's worthwhile to learn how they form, which ones are good for catching gold and which ones are not.
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 research I did for “Gold in the Slate Creek Basin” (September 2011 issue) found me chasing a channel out of the LaPorte territory headed towards the old mining town of Brandy City, California.
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.
Sampling gold placers can be rewarding, but remember to treat the samples so you are not high grading or low grading your results. Learn the rules and apply them so your samples are accurate.
It’s not easy to figure out what is best without testing, and so a certain level of confusion has developed about how small the ore ought to be crushed.
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