The First Mine in America
August 2005 by Dr. Ralph E. PrayMany people, mostly New Mexico Native Americans, but including this miner, wear turquoise from the first mine in America. I took my blue stones from the old mine by hand labor, underground, a half century ago.
Welcome back to our mining claim. In part one we located our claim, sunk our shaft, and stored some ore in the ore bin. Now we must decide how we are going to extract the gold. We briefly discussed setting up a lab in a 40-foot semi-trailer at the mine site, so let’s decide what we are going to need in the lab.
Thus far we have only briefly discussed the methods used by early miners to process auriferous desert gravels. However, old workings can be extremely productive places to search with a metal detector.
As I write this, I am still on a rush from taking my 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, prospecting for the first time this past weekend. It’s not that he hasn’t been along on numerous outings before: this is the first time that just the two of us went out for a day of drywashing and detecting under the desert sun.
• From public representative to public nuisance
• Don’t call us; we’ll call you...
• A look at the numbers...
In order to see what geologic maps can do, we need to think about what we are looking for.
I had two of the guys go down into the creek and each one picked out a small island of bedrock. I had them detect their piece of bedrock and then gave a critique to all on how they did.
I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Greenstone Belts in Minnesota • The Paradox Basin—Part II • A Sleeping Giant • Buying a Used Gold Dredge • Looking Back • Gold in Vermont • Picks & Pans: Prospecting on Perry Creek • 9th Circuit Court Hears Pilgrim Family Case • National Mining Hall of Fame to Induct Five • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices