Proper Assaying of Placer Samples
November 2012 by Jim HalloranThe whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.
A treasure-seeking young man whose name will forever remain anonymous made the months-long journey either over land or by sailing ship to California after word spread about the gold strike in 1849.
The biggest nugget I have found detecting here was three grams and the following weekend someone found a 9-gram nugget while detecting. Some have even found quarter-ounce nuggets, with one being a chevron nugget.
Designing my own dredge...
I had been busy representing the Prospecting and Mining Journal this spring, but prospecting season finally arrived and I’ve been out digging for nuggets—I’ve even found a few. I know a number of prospectors who are armed with new metal detectors and headed to the hills to look for that precious yellow stuff.
Back at our campsite, while the rest of us grabbed a late four o’clock lunch, Fallyn volunteered to do the clean-up panning.
I love it when I am in the middle of a high trash area and all the ferrous bars go away, the screen number goes to a three or an eight, and the meter is forty to a hundred. I don’t know for sure that I have found gold, but it narrows the odds down.
You keep all you find at Ganes, with weekly tallies kept for a loose competition that I find helps motivate me. I seriously try to find more nuggets than anyone else in a given week, and usually make it or close to it.
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