Good Assays and Bad
January 2012 by Chris RalphThe high prices for gold and silver are exciting and certainly have revolutionized the prospecting and mining scene. New interest in gold and silver mining is springing up from every corner, from individual prospectors armed with gold pans to exploration and mining companies working to set up multimillion dollar commercial operations producing hundreds of thousands of ounces per year. The idea of getting riches from rocks is one that motivates a lot of folks all over the globe. It’s an exciting time, but this excitement brings out another side...
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.
One of the most memorable nuggets I found in Australia was detected on the very last day that I was out prospecting. I was going along swinging my coil and I came across a blaring loud signal that almost blew my ears off.
I have smaller pans for cleaning black sand concentrates, big pans for taking large samples, pans with corners for pouring out materials, and pans with lots of special riffles. This variation is why I have so many pans—they each have their specialty.
The gold in this area can get quite large. Most of the pieces are about half a pennyweight on average.
The biggest nugget I have found detecting here was three grams and the following weekend someone found a 9-gram nugget while detecting. Some have even found quarter-ounce nuggets, with one being a chevron nugget.
Prospecting may not be as much fun as it once was. If that sounds like you and you want to figure out what to do to get back on the gold and be successful, I’ve got the answer: Research.
The Bawl Mill • Southwest Alaska Gold Project Progresses • Where to Find Gold in Indiana—Part II • Who is a Qualified Person? • Time Well Spent • Reality of the Klondike • NWMA Show • River Dredging vs. Creek Dredging—Part II • Pot Hole Gold • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices