Hard Rock Milling: A Matter of Scale
April 2013 by Chris RalphMost prospectors understand placer mining a lot better than hard rock mining and don’t realize the amount of work that goes into processing different types of hard rock ore.
I figured it would be quite conservative of me to shoot for about four ounces of gold instead of the twelve ounces I had found in 2013.
Lots of prospectors are trying out nugget detecting for the first time and finding out that it isn’t all that easy. In fact, in my opinion, metal detecting for nuggets is perhaps the most difficult form of prospecting that one can take on.
A while back I was given a very special opportunity to take my metal detector to one of the most famous gold mines in all of California, the Original Sixteen to One mine in Alleghany.
Just three weeks ago one of our prospecting team members decided to go back to this location on his own. He had a new detector and wanted to try it out some.
I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.
So much of gold detecting depends on attention to detail. Every gold area offers its own distinct geological markers and as prospectors we must pick up on those markers.
We are both very experienced working this type of ground, and we quickly found the pay layer where we would focus our efforts. The bedrock has good gold, but so does the red hard pan.
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 • Excavator Testing Wet Placer Ground • 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