The Ups and Downs of Nugget Hunting
April 2017 by Fred MasonI returned to the WSPA claim. Still smug from my previous success, I was thinking I could not fail. However, the gold gods had other plans.
As he was working near the extreme low end of the ground sluicing, I heard a yell through my headphones. Making my way down to him I could see the smile from a long distance.
…it was immediately evident the previous owner had not been using a detector. During just a few months of working the dumps part-time, he recovered gold in quartz specimens valued in excess of $40,000.
Time is a commodity which if traded would dwarf the price of gold. Nobody has enough of it; we can’t make more of it; and whether squandered or spent wisely, once gone, it’s gone forever. To find gold we have to spend time.
Once again the coil was put over the spot but the target was in the pile now. I pinpointed, grabbed a handful of dirt and began sprinkling it over the coil until I heard that mild thud.
Most of us know making a profit as a small-scale miner is difficult; however, sometimes we combine luck with a little skill and bring home a few ounces of the yellow stuff.
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.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts: Is an XRF gun useful for prospecting and mineral identification? • Ask The Experts: Is this deposit worth working? • Ask The Experts: Can a long range locator probe detect gold in quartz? • Weathering, Erosion and Placers • The PIGMI—a DIY Crevice Tool • Diary of a Diamond Prospector • Epithermal Gold and Silver Deposits • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices