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Prospecting & Detecting

How to Stake Your Own Claim—Researching Mining Claims

Once you have determined that the land is locatable, the next step in the claim research process is to determine if the land has already been claimed by a previous locator.

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Gold Detecting Strategies for Hydraulic Mines and Debris Flows


The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.

A Break in the Weather


Back at the entry point of the mine, we took turns slowly crawling down the slope leading into the mine portal with our metal detectors, hard hats and flashlights. The mine was hand dug and is about 75 yards long.

My Lucky Thirteen Nuggets


Even with my favorite top-of-the-line gold detector there were several false digs. Many of the hot rocks gave a solid signal that was too much like a nugget to ignore. After trying several tests I just dug everything because it is better to be safe than leave a big, deep nugget for a more diligent gold hunter.

Exploring The Historic Rand Mining District, Southern California


My largest nugget from this area is almost one-half ounce. I’ve found several smaller chunks and many pickers in addition to the fines and flakes that I put in my poke.

Tips on Crevicing for Gold


When everything is still dry, one of my favorite methods of prospecting is using a straw to blow out small cracks and crevices that dot the exposed bedrock along a stream.

Follow the Line


Four nuggets, ranging from one to four pennyweight, had been found originally. All four nuggets were found in a line about ten feet apart from each other.

Return to Chicken, Alaska


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.

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