Highbanking for Gold
August 2018 by Chris Ralph
Pumps can be set up quite a distance away horizontally from the sluice, even hundreds of feet. It will work so long as there is sufficient water at the source where the pump is located. Vertical distance is more of a problem than horizontal distance; 30 to 40 feet is the maximum vertical climb for most pumps.
There is a surprising amount of detectable gold under the water’s surface. The right tools make it much easier to find, and with a little patience and practice you can take advantage of this underappreciated bonanza.
The biggest obstacle is that like many streams on the Kenai Peninsula, high water during the summer months from snow melt and rain can make dredging nearly impossible. The best dredging is in the colder months of the year.
When you approach a location, even if you've been there before, you should consider all the factors and conditions present at the site. This includes both natural and man-made factors.
The one undeniable truth in prospecting is that the more time you spend in the field, the more gold you will find. Here are a few keys I use to help build my confidence.
Federal and state regulatory agencies often cite mercury and methyl mercury in our waterways as a major factor for further restrictions on placer mining, and on suction gold dredge mining, in particular. However, these regulatory agencies are minimizing selenium and its neutralizing effects.
It was down deeper than I expected for surface trash. It wasn't until I was down six inches that the target screamed from my scoop.
It took me awhile before I finally got a nice mellow signal. My nugget turned out to weigh in about two dwt (pennyweight). Over the next few hours, we all picked up a few more nuggets apiece.
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