Metallic Trash—Scourge of the Prospector
July 2012 by Chris RalphI had been busy representing the Prospecting and Mining Journal this spring, but prospecting season finally arrived and I’ve been out digging for nuggets—I’ve even found a few. I know a number of prospectors who are armed with new metal detectors and headed to the hills to look for that precious yellow stuff.
As the ground thaws and dries out and the warmth of spring starts to settle in, it’s time to start afresh with a new prospecting season.
Sanders claimed he used ground-penetrating radar to survey his private property in Nevada County, California, and uncovered the chunk of gold with a backhoe when he was following up on one of the anomalies found by the radar.
Within this area, about two million ounces of gold and fifty million ounces of silver have been mined. Faults, dikes, veins and fissures that carry the ore form a concentric radial pattern—like spokes on a wagon wheel—around the caldera core.
Old mine workings and tailing piles can represent opportunities on many levels, from the chance to simply find a nugget on up to the commercial reworking of the old tailings for profit.
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.
Patience and persistence is the name of the game when you are detecting this way for gold, as you will have to do a lot of work preparing the ground to detect with any degree of success.
This is the story of a nugget patch I’ve been working on that is a bit unusual. I won’t be telling you where it is located, but I will tell you how I found it and how I’ve worked it.
The Bawl Mill • Gold Depositiion and Gradients of Placer Streams—Part II • The Life of an Independent Prospector • Gold in Guyana—Part I: Porknocking on the Puruni River Road • That Something Extra • Prospecting for Copper Ores—Part II • Gold Mining Boom in the Carolinas • California Suction Dredging Update • Mine, Baby, Mine! • Hecla to Reopen Lucky Friday Mine • Nova Scotia Shows It's Serious About Jobs & Mining • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices