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.
It is this ability to hear and respond to the faintest of audio signals that I believe separates the best nugget hunters from everyone else.
Once again the coil was put over the spot but the target was in the pile now. I pinpointed, grabbed a handful of dirt and began sprinkling it over the coil until I heard that mild thud.
I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.
For the last two years we’ve held a hands-on prospectors training session in the Iowa Hill district of California’s Mother Lode country as a part of our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit event. Because of this, I thought it might be good to take a look at the history, geology and opportunities that the Iowa Hill district still offers to the individual prospector.
This article is about our recent gold prospecting adventure, which has yielded over 20 ounces of specimen gold—with more to come.
My last update on this adventure was in the April 2012 issue and involved our search for the northern extension of the Cedarberg Mine. At that time we had found it and we were in the process of returning for some detecting when Mother Nature struck with a late rain and snow storm.
Last month, one of our readers requested an article regarding the possible use of Google Earth for prospecting research. It was a good idea, so here it is.
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