Speed Prospecting for Hard Rock Gold
July 2020 by Keith Bowen
An online video gave me some ideas, and with a lot of trial and error I developed a reliable method of panning free gold particles down below 35 microns quickly and easily.
• Can I get advice on a hard rock property in Calaveras County, California?
Some will doubt its value given the ultra-fine particle size… Some will become encouraged about not having to incur significant time and expense to break rock.
How big is the deposit? Are there boulders you will need to move? Do you just want to recover the nuggets or do you think there is good fine gold that you will also want to capture?
The type of mine dump that is best for metal detecting are the ones that consist of mixed sizes of rock and are located near some sort of excavation, commonly a shaft or adit. Sometimes the piles located along a trench dug by the miners can be productive as well.
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.
I worked my way to a flat area along a ridge where I could see a quartz blowout. As I got within 100 feet of it, I started seeing rock that I knew to be associated with gold.
Detectors were invented long before I was born, but it was in the 1960s when they started to become an item popular enough to power a fledgling industry. The key development was miniature transistor technology replacing the old fashioned tube technology of the 1950s, making lightweight, affordable detectors possible.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Can GPR be used for lode prospecting? • Ask The Experts - How do I extract gold from pyrite? • Ask The Experts - Should I dig faint sounds with no indicator bars while detecting? • Ask The Experts - Should the detector sound on iron and nickel in a gold area? • Hard Rock 101: Micro Blasting • Sluicing and Detecting Downstream • Tips and Tricks • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Does Caliche Grow? • 10 Keys to Prospecting Like A Pro • Polymetallic Skarn Deposits • Practical Advice for Milling Hard Rock Ores • Forrest Fenn Treasure Chest Finally Found? • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices