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.
There are many smaller old hard rock mines out there—more than you might think. There are some small hard rock properties that are even open to be claimed if one does the right amount of research to find them.
Most prospectors understand placer mining a lot better than hard rock mining and don’t realize the amount of work that goes into processing different types of hard rock ore.
Before I tell you what dredging backwards is, I’ll tell you why my team and I decided to give this very unconventional dredging method a try.
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.
Steve got his first nugget within minutes of turning on his metal detector. It only took me about an hour to find my first piece.
The pit was a classic one—exposed shale bedrock with all the material being washed out one end of the pit. Within a few minutes I had a nice mellow signal that was in open ground.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could know if there is gold in the ground without setting foot on the ground? Well you can, to a certain extent, if you can recognize mined ground from unmined.
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