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.
I have always enjoyed finding things. As a kid and up through college I searched for arrowheads, rocks and fossils. One day I saw an ad for a metal detector in a magazine, and a week later I was digging up everyone’s yard...
I thought things started off okay until I realized I had forgotten some of my gear and had to return to the house. My troubled start was not helped when my boy came up to me a few minutes after my return to show me his first nugget of the day.
In underground placer work, the contact point of the bedrock tunnel and the gravel is a very weak point and always has to be timbered. The bedrock here is thin, fractured, and the gravels loose from many years of oxidizing.
This article is intended to try to help someone who is breaking into gold detecting and using a pulse induction (PI) detector.
Exposed veins and outcroppings can be a great source for gathering good gold ore for processing. Veins and outcroppings do require a lot of work to free the ore from its earthen grip, but this labor can be very rewarding.
Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.
The type of mine dump that is best for metal detecting are the ones that consist of mixed sizes of rock and are located near some sort of excavation, commonly a shaft or adit. Sometimes the piles located along a trench dug by the miners can be productive as well.
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