Prospector's Guide to Rock Breaking and Blasting
December 2016 by Chris RalphThe holes were overloaded with explosives, but I didn’t know it. I was just a green mining engineer fresh out of school and told to watch as the experienced miners set the charge.
I had two of the guys go down into the creek and each one picked out a small island of bedrock. I had them detect their piece of bedrock and then gave a critique to all on how they did.
The gold was very chunky and much of it had quartz attached. Even back then I knew that the gold was very close to its source.
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...
Because of multiple take-out points along a ditch line, the ditches themselves become a wealth of knowledge to us present-day miners.
Pumps can be set up quite a distance away horizontally from the sluice, even hundreds of feet. It will work so long as there is sufficient water at the source where the pump is located. Vertical distance is more of a problem than horizontal distance; 30 to 40 feet is the maximum vertical climb for most pumps.
When doing your initial armchair research and selecting potential areas to explore, consider all the indicators, both natural and man-made.
It is better in a gem and mineral mining operation that the driller, blaster and mucker be the same person in order to be able to predict placement of the desired mineral enriched pockets.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask the Experts: What type of wetsuit do I need? • MMAC Update • Pros and Cons of Big Detector Coils • Prospecting and Mining Old Mine Sites • Detecting Strategies for Heavily Forested Areas • Mining Districts and Community Outreach • Alaskan Gold Adventure • Learning the Game and the Power to Change It • Central Idaho Federal Employees Back to Work With Local Help • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Melman on Gold & Silver