Swing and a Miss
July 2014 by Chris RalphA very good baseball hitter might get a hit roughly one time out of every three at-bats, but for prospectors often the results are much sparser and it may take many trips before the prospector hits a home run.
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?
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.
Even with my favorite top-of-the-line gold detector there were several false digs. Many of the hot rocks gave a solid signal that was too much like a nugget to ignore. After trying several tests I just dug everything because it is better to be safe than leave a big, deep nugget for a more diligent gold hunter.
My hunch was that the gold is coming down the apron, falling off to both sides and into both gulches. I say that because the gold we found previously has the same characteristics and color across the entire area.
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.
The mine site consists of river gravels from an ancient channel covering over 20 acres, and the place is covered with very large river rock and small tree overgrowth.
When everything is still dry, one of my favorite methods of prospecting is using a straw to blow out small cracks and crevices that dot the exposed bedrock along a stream.
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