My Lucky Thirteen Nuggets
May 2017 by Fred Mason
Even with my favorite top-of-the-line gold detector there were several false digs. Many of the hot rocks gave a solid signal that was too much like a nugget to ignore. After trying several tests I just dug everything because it is better to be safe than leave a big, deep nugget for a more diligent gold hunter.
I began detecting at the bottom of the gully and started making my way upstream. About mid-way there was a nice, flat stretch for about ten feet.
I made my way up past where I left off and the wash was going to end in about 100 feet. It was then I got a sweet signal.
• Using drywashers to work desert gravels
The placer gold shows up in ground sluice areas, hydraulic pits, secondary channels and hillside diggings. It is coming down the hillsides from an ancient channel left high and dry millions of years ago.
The nugget sat there in plain sight, though it was covered in dirt, while hundreds of people had passed that way every day.
The fact that mineral deposits can contribute specific types of heavy minerals is why the analysis of the heavy mineral concentrates in the streams of an area can be an important prospecting technique for finding undiscovered mineral deposits.
Depending on the ore and if significant sulfides are present, a hard rock miner may be able to get away with simply using a flux to digest the other minerals that may be present.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts: How many claims can I file in Arizona? • Ask The Experts: What should I do with a large amount of old placer concentrates? • Shaker Tables for Processing Hard Rock Ores • Becoming a Successful Detectorist • Hand Panning Micro-Fine Gold • Sampling, Hydro-Shocking & Cleaning Quartz-Gold Specimens • Crushing, Grinding and Pulverizing • A Break in the Weather • From the Editor • Prospecting Knowledge -- Pass It On! • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Over The Divide: Miles John Mitchell