Prospecting Australia—Part I
October 2011 by Chris RalphThe call of gold is a strong one and it has pulled men from every corner of the planet. That said, I guess it’s now my turn to chase far away gold.
Several areas came to mind, but each was eliminated for one reason or another. One that seemed to be hanging on was the old historic mining town called Placerville.
My largest nugget from this area is almost one-half ounce. I’ve found several smaller chunks and many pickers in addition to the fines and flakes that I put in my poke.
We are both very experienced working this type of ground, and we quickly found the pay layer where we would focus our efforts. The bedrock has good gold, but so does the red hard pan.
Most of the commercial mineral deposits are on the south and southwest part of the range between Minersville and Milford, though small amounts of gold and silver have also been found in iron-rich outcrops in the basalt to the south of Milford.
...more folks rolled in on Saturday morning and many were eager to venture out onto the Sleepy Bear property—all 415 acres—and try their luck at finding some gold.
A very good baseball hitter might get a hit roughly one time out of every three at-bats, but for prospectors often the results are much sparser and it may take many trips before the prospector hits a home run.
Walking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative And Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts—Separating platinum from sands using bubbles • Ask The Experts—Extraction of micro gold from black sands • Ask The Experts—Difference between a Geiger counter and scintillator • Then and Now: Is Gold Really Money? • Gold, Quartz & Chalcedony—Part I • Oregon Dredge Permit Litigation Update • Gold From Black Sand Tailings • The Fine Art of Panning Heavy Sands • California State Gold Panning Championships • The Golden Days of Julian, California • An Expensive Lesson • Judge Denies Request To Delay Michigan Mine • Melman on Gold & Silver