My intention was to end this discussion with waypoints and routes, then I found USGS maps of the Plainfield Quadrangle.
The other opportunity that I see is in seeking unusual types of deposits. Specifically, the prospector would be searching for the stuff no one (or almost no one) is searching for. These deposits are effectively hiding in plain view.
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.
The Wyoming Geological Survey released an online interactive map...
Before going into an analysis of the ore composition, two other major factors will affect the result. These are the accuracy of the assay and the effectiveness of the mill for the gold recovery.
When I teach people about finding gold, I often explain that it is helpful to think of any river or stream that carries gold as being something like a sluice box.
This assay system of ounces per ton sounds simple enough, but the use of the metric system and the additional measuring terms of “grams per ton” and “parts per million” (ppm) has created some misunderstanding of ore value.
I regularly get inquiries along the line of: “Hey, I found this rock, and I think it might be gold ore. How can I tell?” Prospectors are always on the lookout for gold-bearing rocks that may be the source of any nearby placer gold.
Once you have determined that the land is locatable, the next step in the claim research process is to determine if the land has already been claimed by a previous locator.
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.
Once you get down to the black sands or a few tablespoons of material, the technique changes dramatically.
Many specimens have a small amount of gold and are not pretty to look at. There is a nifty way to give them a makeover and make them much prettier than they were when you found them.
I will make the assumption that when any of you take a detector in your hand and head out prospecting for gold you are probably anticipating finding some gold. That’s the general idea, right?
Choosing the right method to move your ore and waste is all about making the right choices. Sometimes more than one method may be used during the life of a mine as an operation expands and grows.