Small-Scale Miners Rock the Mining World
August 2012 by Chris RalphWith the high price of gold, there are many new prospectors out in the hills all over the United States, and while we would all prefer to be finding those larger nuggets, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes all that is available is nothing more than a few small flakes. The truth is, new prospectors are sprouting up all across the planet—especially in the developing nations.
With a little homework and a methodical approach to sampling, a prospector can determine if a deposit is worthy of more of an investment...
For the last two years we’ve held a hands-on prospectors training session in the Iowa Hill district of California’s Mother Lode country as a part of our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit event. Because of this, I thought it might be good to take a look at the history, geology and opportunities that the Iowa Hill district still offers to the individual prospector.
We decided to check some spots that were pretty good to us on previous trips. The detector was deceptively simple with few buttons and auto-ground balance.
…for a few hours, we fervently dug for gold. After we did a cleanup, I couldn’t believe the amount we got.
In some places valuable ores can be found within the waste material of mine dumps, sorted ore piles, and detrital vein matter at the surface. Though many of these old mine sites can be an excellent source of gold, not all are created equal.
Once again the coil was put over the spot but the target was in the pile now. I pinpointed, grabbed a handful of dirt and began sprinkling it over the coil until I heard that mild thud.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts: Something for everyone... • Ask the Experts: VMS ore • Ask the Experts: More suggestions for dealing with metallic trash.... • Ask the Experts: various mining courses • Sniping for Gold • Gold in Guyana—Part II: Process Optimization at Sacre Coeur Minerals' Lower Puruni Alluvial Mining Project • Following Clues to an Old Mill and Vein Strike • Big Rock Gold • Still Gold in Humbug, Arizona • Never Take Safety for Granted • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices