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Turquoise Mining—Labor Intensive, But Worthwhile

For many years, the US had a historical tradition of small-scale mining. Individuals or small groups of miners would spend part of the year working the higher-grade sections of old mines and ship the high-grade ore to smelters or...

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Horsetail Gold


The horsetail is a type of plant that grows in sandy soil usually very close to a water supply. Its uses are many as it has a high silica content that allegedly can be of some medicinal value, but its primary function during the gold rush days was for...

Rahall Looks to Rewrite 1872 Mining Law


For over twenty years, Rahall has been introducing bills in an attempt to overhaul the 1872 Mining Law. On May 10, 2007, he introduced another bill, HR 2262, which would drastically change the laws governing mining if enacted. This time, his bill may have a chance.

Millie's Tailings


"Swanee" McBride knew how to make a safe trail along the narrow edge of a high, steep slope bordering his mining claims. It twisted into sharp turns as it wound around massive pines and huge boulders.

What is a Valid Mineral Discovery?


One of the greatest opportunities afforded to the citizens of our country is the right to stake and hold mining claims on federal lands. One doesn’t need to be a lawyer to stake mining claims, but a little bit of knowledge about mining claim laws can be helpful.

Picks & Pans: Highbanking on the American River


Steve and I decided to try our luck on the North Fork doing a little highbanking, or motor sluicing as the liberals would call it. 

Prospecting for Silver With a Geiger Counter


Light-colored volcanic tuff or tuffaceous sandstone often contains small amounts of uranium, enough to be detected with a sensitive radiation detector. Sometimes, the mass effect of the radiation is substantial.

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