Weathering, Erosion and Placers
April 2017 by Chris RalphThe big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
As we walked back we were just reaching the point of where the faulting should be and there, covered with deep grass, was very faint evidence of an old road going up the mountainside! What was that old road doing there?
The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.
On our fourth trip, we finally reached the top edge of the old hydraulic pit, and it was monstrous.
With the exception of well-established operators with proven reserves and years of field experience, the high price of gold brought a flood of speculators, con men, and real estate brokers into the mix who were not previously engaged in the gold mining market.
Many years ago I was in the American Canyon. I remembered a few details about a placer deposit there, so we decided to make a trip down and re-check some of these old workings.
I like to think in terms of “conductive mass” because it is a combination of both the conductivity of the metal and the size of the target that determine how a detector sees conductivity.
Rick donned a pair of fiberglass shin guards that he normally wore dredging, just in case he uncovered the rattlesnake during his digging and rock moving. I wasn’t convinced they were going to provide enough protection.
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? • The PIGMI—a DIY Crevice Tool • Diary of a Diamond Prospector • The Ups and Downs of Nugget Hunting • Epithermal Gold and Silver Deposits • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices