Making Adjustments to Catch Fine Gold
November 2013 by Alex DolbeareThis fine gold that is so common is probably the most notorious for eluding our riffles and mattings.
What I hope to do here is to give you some information that will help you, the reader, pick out locations that will be better for you to detect and give you a possibility of finding gold.
After burning more than 350 square miles, the Carr Fire near Redding, California, was finally out. Luckily our home was spared, and I had the opportunity to go metal detecting in burned areas previously too overgrown to access.
We were met with a plethora of mechanical problems with the dry washer and even a few with the excavator that were at times frustrating, but we were in this for the long haul, so we needed to solve these problems and move forward.
Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.
The placer deposits of Utah occur in two distinct types of environments. These are 1) placers found adjacent to, and derived from, gold, silver and base-metal deposits; and 2) placers found in major rivers and derived from unknown, distant sources.
The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.
...I decided to excavate the semi-frozen high-bank that was resting on a soft shale bedrock footing. Within three feet, I encountered an intrusive!
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • One Potato, Two Potato... • Proper Placer Sample Processing • Strategic Metals—Part I • Dry Washing to Capture Fine Gold • Are There Any Good Prospects Left? • Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska! • Southern Oregon's Illinois River—A Lesson in Sharing • Using Sucker Guns to Find Gold • The Subsurface Suction Dredge • A Few Thoughts About Successful Nugget Hunting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices