Hard Rock Prospecting With Rusty
May 2016 by Ron Kliewer
As we talked, Rusty stopped, backed up, bent down and began chipping at some rock in the road. He said he suspected there was a stringer right here that crossed the road.
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.
My wife Maureen and I spend part of our winter season in the Quartzsite, Arizona area. One fine March morning, we left our RV camping area at approximately 10am in search of that elusive yellow metal with our metal detectors.
Looking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
“Much of the ground where Ms. Hollingshead found her diamond is made of unweathered volcanic rock. When it rains, flowing runoff often leaves loose gravel, and sometimes diamonds, on the surface in these areas.”
My plan was to go up the canyon along a ridge and then drop into the canyon whenever I came across a spot that might give me reasonable access.
This concept of detecting does not always work as we sometimes get a week or so where the temperatures rise to 116°—sometimes more.
I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.
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