Southern Oregon's Illinois River—A Lesson in Sharing
November 2013 by Gary C. EarleOur theory was that a dredge would collect far more material in a shorter period of time, leaving us with ounces of gold every day.
The first thing I realized was this was not a toy—this thing had power and I needed to really pay attention. I got into position, took a deep breath, and pushed that monster into the hard pack.
So why would a modern-day prospector want to learn about a method of mining that was banned by the courts more than a century ago?
The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.
Fran, and I had made a practice of turning big boulders in gold producing areas to find some great rewards. Sometimes it was slow and frustrating, but in the end “We got the gold!”
One of the first minerals most prospectors learn to recognize is quartz, because, in the right circumstances, it can be an excellent indicator mineral for prospectors. Quartz is common, easy to identify, and is often associated with gold and other valuable metal deposits.
At one time or another, many miners will look seriously at purchasing a mining claim...Usually it’s a significant financial commitment, so how do you know if you are getting a good deal?
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • One Potato, Two Potato... • Proper Placer Sample Processing • Strategic Metals—Part I • Dry Washing to Capture Fine Gold • Are There Any Good Prospects Left? • Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska! • Using Sucker Guns to Find Gold • Making Adjustments to Catch Fine Gold • The Subsurface Suction Dredge • A Few Thoughts About Successful Nugget Hunting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices