Montana Gold and Sapphires Revisited
November 2019 by Chris Ralph
I had a chance to visit the operation in person and talk with Neal. I was very impressed and I think our readers could learn a lot about building up a commercial placer operation from scratch…
Last month, in “Following Clues to a Hidden Gold Deposit,” I ended the article with the direction that we were on the hunt! We were getting prepared and ready to roll with our detectors, then snow came, and lots of it. We had already found the seam diggings mine on the mountainside in wild, rough brush and trees. It had been well hidden.
The gold in this area can get quite large. Most of the pieces are about half a pennyweight on average.
I recently grew complacent, and it caused me to make a mistake that resulted in the loss of a mining claim. It brought my mining plans for the summer to a complete halt.
We chatted for a bit and then we had to take off, but I kept what he said in the back of my mind as we rushed out to some other gold-bearing place in the Mother Lode to feed our gold fever.
Depth is not an issue unless the site is thoroughly cleaned of shallow trash, and it is far easier to isolate and remove targets using a small coil in a target rich location.
A very good baseball hitter might get a hit roughly one time out of every three at-bats, but for prospectors often the results are much sparser and it may take many trips before the prospector hits a home run.
Chris got a nice target signal on the edge of rising bedrock, but still in a low, but washed area. After breaking up the bedrock, he recovered several pieces of gold amounting to almost three pennyweight.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Seeking advice on setting up an operation and the agreement with the landowner • A Third Generation Small-Scale Hardrock Revival • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Respect the Angle of Repose • The Summer of ‘81 • The “Chuck It Out” Nugget • High Sulfidation Epithermal Deposits • Gold and Silver Deposits of Bodie, California • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices