Understanding Rock Formations: Petrology for Prospectors
February 2021 by Chris Ralph
There are times when being able to recognize a type of rock can make you a much more successful prospector.
Gold trapped in the cracks can be encrusted close to the walls or mixed with sand and pebbles, making the gold difficult to see and then extract. Crevicing requires a lot of patience to achieve positive results.
Plumas has been historically rich in gold because of its favorable geology. The Melones Fault trends north-south through the county and many rich gold-bearing districts lie along its course.
As a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits, I’m not allowed to talk about specifics in the court-ordered negotiations currently underway in San Bernardino. However, I do want to let you know we are making progress…
Walking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.
This time we took the detectors. Roger had worked that spot very well and wanted to see if my new detector would uncover any gold he might have missed.
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.
"Suh-wheet!" I exclaimed as I sprang to my feet and quickly pumped my detector coil high overhead to alert Smokey that I had just found a nugget.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Where did the gold go? • Ask The Experts - True north or magnetic north? • Ask The Experts - How do I avoid claim jumping? • Ask The Experts - Are closed placer and lode claims worth my time? • Gold Geochemistry: Where Does Gold Come From? • Goal Setting and Rock Tossing • Principles of Designing Your Mill Production System, Part II: Mill Design • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: A Claim to Die For • Tips and Tricks: How to Make Your Own Gold Bars Without Burning the Place Down • Minnesota Lawmakers Move to Stop New Mines • Drywashing for Desert Gold—Part I • Seven Troy Ounces of Premonition? • I Was Looking for Gold But I Found Jade • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices