So You Want To Be A Full-Time Prospector?
March 2011 by Chris RalphThe high price of gold and the poor economic conditions here in the US have created an unusual situation—a large number of folks are thinking seriously about getting into prospecting and digging for gold on a full-time basis.
While recovery rates are important, they must necessarily be secondary to the volume of material processed. Running more material at lower recovery rates is generally preferable to increasing the efficiency of the system.
Some claim they can smell gold. This may be, but when I take a whiff of gold, I smell dirt, rotten eggs, garlic or just nothing: my nose is everything but sensitive.
The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.
• How do I clean up gold encrusted with iron-sulfides?
Take a look at the picture—it’s pretty simple and you can build it yourself.
How do I set up a small placer operation?
Explosives used correctly will save you both time and money being one of the best and most productive tools you can use.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts—Do I still have rights to this mining claim? • Ask The Experts—What is a "closed" claim? • Eastern Arizona: Gold and Base Metal Deposits Part II • Rediscovering Placerville, California Part II • Prospecting With The Help of Fluvial Geomorphology • Oregon Anti-Dredging Bill • Mud Men: Pocket Miners of Southwest Oregon Part II • The Gold of Plumas de Oro • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices