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…
A retired gold prospector spent hours digging up his fortune in the northern goldfields near Kambalda, Western Australia, after finding the target with his metal detector.
Because the forces of erosion and gravity tend to carry lighter materials like quartz away more easily, the heavy minerals like gold or silver will tend to be concentrated in the general area around the vein outcrop. These concentrations are what make residual placers so attractive.
We hit on a good spot the last time we were at this location and we made up our minds that we weren’t going to let hurricane-like winds stop us.
There were iron stains all over and even a few places where I could see iron trash sticking out of the bedrock. These would be ideal spots to start with as the gold travels with the iron and lead.
The zone of influence of each sample must be carefully considered when deciding how far sample sites should be spaced from each other.
The larger nuggets were all old channel gold, smooth and water-worn. I guessed that a few of them would push a bit under one-half-ounce apiece.
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