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Prospecting & Detecting

Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska!

...I decided to excavate the semi-frozen high-bank that was resting on a soft shale bedrock footing. Within three feet, I encountered an intrusive!

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Cold Water Gold


It was June 2011, and my wife Fran and I with Grandson Lucas and good friend Ernie Cruz were attempting to get to our gold mining claim on the Middle Fork of the Feather River about ten miles from Quincy, California. Rain had poured down in the previous few days and the road in a large number of low places was under water. Following two hours of slugging through the mud...

Watch Out for Split Estates When Filing Your Claim


The only thing that saved me was talking to a local miner who gave me a “heads up” that private individuals owned all the mineral rights in that section.

Iron Minerals, Your Detector and Gold


It’s worthwhile for the prospector using a metal detector to know a little bit more about the association of iron and gold as well as how iron minerals affect your metal detector.

Using Sucker Guns to Find Gold


...if you have a good, rich spot, hand-operated systems can produce some decent gold.

Crushing Quartz in Calaveras County: A Placer Miner Learns New Tricks


I had never run an impact mill before, but anything involving rocks, water and a big electric motor sounded great.

Highbanking for Gold


Pumps can be set up quite a distance away horizontally from the sluice, even hundreds of feet. It will work so long as there is sufficient water at the source where the pump is located. Vertical distance is more of a problem than horizontal distance; 30 to 40 feet is the maximum vertical climb for most pumps.

How to Evaluate Mineral Claims—What to Know Before You Buy


Even though they have put down thousands of dollars, the buyers often stop paying on their claims part way through the process after they realize they’ve been duped, but the company just sells it again to another buyer.

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The Bawl Mill   • Ask the Experts   • One Potato, Two Potato...   • Proper Placer Sample Processing   • Strategic Metals—Part I   • Dry Washing to Capture Fine Gold   • Are There Any Good Prospects Left?   • Southern Oregon's Illinois River—A Lesson in Sharing   • Using Sucker Guns to Find Gold   • Making Adjustments to Catch Fine Gold   • The Subsurface Suction Dredge   • A Few Thoughts About Successful Nugget Hunting   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices

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