Iron Minerals, Your Detector and Gold
January 2013 by Chris RalphIt’s worthwhile for the prospector using a metal detector to know a little bit more about the association of iron and gold as well as how iron minerals affect your metal detector.
It’s been seven years since Forrest Fenn announced the existence of the buried treasure, said to be worth nearly $2 million. It has prompted thousands to comb areas of New Mexico, Yellowstone National Park and elsewhere.
There are not a lot of tools needed to get out and take advantage of the situation. Other than my wetsuit, I typically travel light with a gold pan, maybe a pry bar and a few crevice cleaning tools.
After a short time, the tailings pile can get very large, and can actually block the downstream end of the sluice box.
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.
In some places valuable ores can be found within the waste material of mine dumps, sorted ore piles, and detrital vein matter at the surface. Though many of these old mine sites can be an excellent source of gold, not all are created equal.
The first experience involved an overgrown gold mine operated during the 1880s. A razed mill adjoined the mine and could be glimpsed from the isolated public dirt road I was traveling.
I like to think in terms of “conductive mass” because it is a combination of both the conductivity of the metal and the size of the target that determine how a detector sees conductivity.
The Bawl Mill • From the Editor • Ask the Experts • The Robinson Mine—Big Things Happen Here • Forty-Six Nuggets • Customizing Your Dredge • Small Miner Beats Forest Service in Court • Using Vegetation and Soil Conditions as Prospecting Aids • Prospecting for Diamonds • Green Valley Reconnaissance • Gold Pour Signals Revival in the Mother Lode • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices