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From reading the land to setting up your equipment

What Have You Got to Lose?


It’s accepted knowledge that wet methods will recover more fine gold than dry methods and processing the gravel as a whole will get more gold than only using a metal detector. The question is how much more?

How to Upgrade Your Pocket Plunger


These three simple upgrades, when taken together, will considerably increase a pocket plunger’s magnetic pull and make it less susceptible to breakage.

Ask The Experts: Should I remove someone else’s claim post from my claim?


Q: Can and should you remove their poles and notice right then and there or should you wait until you have convinced them of their trespass?

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Ask The Experts: Question about resolving a quitclaim error


Q: I am in the process of filing an appeal with my lawyer, but am seeking more “expert” advice in the arenas of “mining claims” and BLM jurisdiction.

Moving The Big Rocks


The anticipation of finding out if the system of snatch blocks, shackles, chokers, anchor points, and the strap binding the massive slab of rock in the bottom of the river would even budge an inch was weighing on me. 

Attention to Detail - Part II


Ditches almost always started in the high country and contoured the mountainsides, making a long drop, usually many miles away, to the goldfields. There are ditches in Trinity County that originate at seven and eight thousand feet in the Trinity Alps that carried water almost thirty miles.
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Ask The Experts: How do I identify gold in hard rock that may be mixed with other metals?


Q: Aside from the softness scratch test and other methods of identification, what feedback would you have on identifying gold in hard rock that may be mixed with other metals that affect its color?

Ask The Experts: Is there a safe DIY alternative to cyanide or mercury for extraction?


Q: With safety as a given, what can the average miner, or Joe-blow greenhorn do to identify and extract some metals or minerals with off-the-shelf products or natural ingredients?

Ask The Experts


Which comes first, claim filing or staking?
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A New Method for Handling Stubborn Gravity Middlings


The solution focused on the relative difference in malleability between gold and waste, rather than the difference in density exploited by gravity circuits.

The Essence of Gold Prospecting


When doing your initial armchair research and selecting potential areas to explore, consider all the indicators, both natural and man-made.

The Heavy Minerals in Your Concentrates


The fact that mineral deposits can contribute specific types of heavy minerals is why the analysis of the heavy mineral concentrates in the streams of an area can be an important prospecting technique for finding undiscovered mineral deposits.
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Charles P. Watson, Chief Geologist

Pocket Gold


Once a seam is found it can be traced for miles in either direction. While you are tracing a clay line, you are looking for indicators. The indicators that I look for are ironstone, hematite, different color clays intermingled with the clay line, and a very iron-rich, brown gritty soil.

Care and Lubrication of a Model 13 Laboratory Wilfley Table


A Wilfley table works best when all of the mineral being run across it (the pulp) is about the same size.  For this reason, I took a good look at each of the samples.

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• How small should I crush my hard rock ore?

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Dry Washer, Wet System or Metal Detector?


I love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.

How to Stake Your Own Mining Claims—Part II


I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.

How to Stake Your Own Mining Claims—Part I


Many new prospectors start out prospecting in public areas and club claims, and this is perfectly fine, but the next step in the progression of becoming an experienced prospector is to locate and stake your own mining claims. 
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Enrichment of Mineral Deposits by Weathering—Part I


The exact minerals formed in the concentrated supergene deposits depends much on the type of country rock around the deposit and the chemistry of the deposit itself, but if conditions are right, this process will form some rich patches of bonanza ore, in some places valued at thousands of dollars to the ton.

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Designing my own dredge...

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