Prospecting Australia—Part III Anatomy of a Nugget Patch in Western Australia
December 2011 by Chris RalphOne of the most memorable nuggets I found in Australia was detected on the very last day that I was out prospecting. I was going along swinging my coil and I came across a blaring loud signal that almost blew my ears off.
It was one of those awkward situations as we walked, fatigued and too thirsty to speak a word.
My intention was to end this discussion with waypoints and routes, then I found USGS maps of the Plainfield Quadrangle.
I remember in the couple of years after that 1997 flood, prospectors around California did very well, taking ounces of gold from places that had not yielded any gold for years before that.
The high prices for gold and silver are exciting and certainly have revolutionized the prospecting and mining scene. New interest in gold and silver mining is springing up from every corner, from individual prospectors armed with gold pans to exploration and mining companies working to set up multimillion dollar commercial operations producing hundreds of thousands of ounces per year. The idea of getting riches from rocks is one that motivates a lot of folks all over the globe. It’s an exciting time, but this excitement brings out another side...
After removing about six inches of dirt and cobbles, the sound was a bit more recognizable. I was now confident that there was a definite target and not just a ground noise.
Once across, I panned a couple of spots around some old grass roots and the fine gold was amazingly heavy. Every pan I ran after that had lots of color.
This year was a test. We had never done anything like this before, yet we grossed $30,000 in the short time we had to mine.
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