Prospecting Underground: Use Caution
April 2011 by Don RobinsonIn underground placer work, the contact point of the bedrock tunnel and the gravel is a very weak point and always has to be timbered. The bedrock here is thin, fractured, and the gravels loose from many years of oxidizing.
There is a surprising amount of detectable gold under the water’s surface. The right tools make it much easier to find, and with a little patience and practice you can take advantage of this underappreciated bonanza.
It was early in the 2008 season on the Mokelumne River near Pine Grove, California. Considering the potential for high water through the month of June, my wife Fran and I set our sights on investigating some of the pot holes in...
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.
Once you have determined that the land is locatable, the next step in the claim research process is to determine if the land has already been claimed by a previous locator.
Designing my own dredge...
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.
My metal detecting hobby began about ten years ago when I bought a used metal detector for about $300. I got it specifically to look for meteorites. It was pretty much worthless, not user friendly, and I did not find anything with it.
The Bawl Mill • Mining Claims—What to Know Before You File • Small-Scale Concentrating and Recovery Methods • 5th Circuit Ruling May Benefit Miners • Indicator Minerals for Gold & Silver • Mud Men: Pocket Miners of Southwest Oregon Part III • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Silver Mining Returning to Texas