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.
The first location we worked was a small, dry ravine cutting through many mineralized zones in an area where some hard rock mining had taken place in the past.
Looking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
Over the years that I have been detecting for gold I have had many of the same questions come up. I decided to write this article to hopefully answer some questions that a person wishing to detect for gold may have.
I opted for the underwater portion of the river. All I have to do is float down the river and pick large flakes and small nuggets out of cracks and crevices while staying cool in the summer heat.
I have found gold more than 200 feet above the river. It was not unusual for nuggets of an ounce or more to be found in these deposits, but fine gold and flakes are much more common.
Looking at the exceptions to the basic rules is sort of an advanced prospecting discussion, but the readers of ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal are plenty able to handle it.
In my early days of nugget hunting things were fairly simple. Just headphones, a pack, a detector and a small pick were all I needed for my search for great wealth.
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