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Prospecting & Detecting

Understanding Skim Bar Placers

Perhaps the most notable thing about skim placers is that they form on the top surface of gravel bars, as opposed to coarser gold placers where the weight of the gold particles allows the gold to settle down on or near bedrock.

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Volume is the Key to Success


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.

Common Mistakes of the New Detectorist


Detecting is not very complicated and the rewards can be tremendous. The difference between success and fruitless toiling can be remedied by a few small adjustments and a whole lot of perseverance.

Finding Streams of Gold


Without knowing or even thinking about it, I had put together a map that showed me a pattern of the ancient Sacramento River channel. I also had a distinct picture of where the ancient channels of several other creeks and rivers were running.

Excavator Testing Wet Placer Ground


The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.

Iowa Hill District


For the last two years we’ve held a hands-on prospectors training session in the Iowa Hill district of California’s Mother Lode country as a part of our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit event. Because of this, I thought it might be good to take a look at the history, geology and opportunities that the Iowa Hill district still offers to the individual prospector.

The Challenge of Winter Dredging


Dredges actually do pretty well in freezing conditions. There are a few tips you should know, however.

Proper Placer Sample Processing


...your sampling procedures should not be designed to catch gold your mining technique will never recover.

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