Prospecting for Pegmatites
July 2015 by Chris Ralph
At the end of the day, Jerry showed me how to clean out the sluice box and then how to pan out the concentrates. As we finished panning, there it was—a little tiny smile of gold...
I have always enjoyed finding things. As a kid and up through college I searched for arrowheads, rocks and fossils. One day I saw an ad for a metal detector in a magazine, and a week later I was digging up everyone’s yard...
I thought things started off okay until I realized I had forgotten some of my gear and had to return to the house. My troubled start was not helped when my boy came up to me a few minutes after my return to show me his first nugget of the day.
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.
After a while I got a very nice signal and out came a sweet kidney-shaped bit of gold weighing about three grams.
As the ground thaws and dries out and the warmth of spring starts to settle in, it’s time to start afresh with a new prospecting season.
We chose this particular area because an old channel had run here at one point and had been heavily worked on top of a mountain hilltop. Erosion patterns cut deeply on each side, leaving the channel exposed. The erosion cut sharply, dropping into ravines far below.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Trail to Treasure • The Smell of Gold -- Part II • Hard Rock University: Expensive Hobby or Real Business? • The Reason We Fight • My Great Nevada Adventure • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices