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From reading the land to setting up your equipment

Hard Rock Milling: A Matter of Scale


Most prospectors understand placer mining a lot better than hard rock mining and don’t realize the amount of work that goes into processing different types of hard rock ore.

Turning Hobby Mining into Business Mining


The first thing a person should do is seriously consider whether they want to go mining as a hobby or a business, and the tax implications of the choice.

Buying a Mining Claim: Questions to Ask


At one time or another, many miners will look seriously at purchasing a mining claim...Usually it’s a significant financial commitment, so how do you know if you are getting a good deal?
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Refractory Gold Processing


After your excitement peaks when you first receive the high gold assay from the vein you just exposed, you ponder how you will extract and sell your gold. You will need to develop a flow sheet for your process to optimize your recovery and minimize your costs and permit requirements.

What is a Valid Mineral Discovery?


One of the greatest opportunities afforded to the citizens of our country is the right to stake and hold mining claims on federal lands. One doesn’t need to be a lawyer to stake mining claims, but a little bit of knowledge about mining claim laws can be helpful.

Extracting & Smelting Your Gold


Unfortunately, not all the gold that we prospectors find is pretty, or appealing to the eyes. They are not all nice, bright, shiny nuggets with lots of character that carry high collector value.
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Online Mining Classes Now Available at Mackay


The University of Nevada, Reno Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Department of Mining Engineering has begun offering online courses for miners.

Iron Minerals, Your Detector and Gold


It’s worthwhile for the prospector using a metal detector to know a little bit more about the association of iron and gold as well as how iron minerals affect your metal detector.

Customizing Your Dredge


I am going to suggest dozens of ways you can increase suction power, dredge to greater depths, and improve recovery methods in your sluice box.
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Using Vegetation and Soil Conditions as Prospecting Aids


Wouldn’t it be great if you could know if there is gold in the ground without setting foot on the ground? Well you can, to a certain extent, if you can recognize mined ground from unmined.

Prospecting for Diamonds


Let’s take a look at diamonds and diamond mining and see how they form, how they are used beyond just jewelry, and what leads geologists to find diamond deposits.

Ask the Experts


Questions regarding patented and unpatented mining claims and the legal rights surrounding them.
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Charles P. Watson, Chief Geologist

Ask the Experts


What is the best type of mat to use in a high banker set up?

Ask the Experts


How do I set up a small placer operation?

Using Google Earth and Other Maps


Last month, one of our readers requested an article regarding the possible use of Google Earth for prospecting research. It was a good idea, so here it is.
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Proper Assaying of Placer Samples


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.

A Data Miner Builds A Power Sluice


Data mining involves processing huge amounts of digital information to find hidden patterns and financial relationships. To executives, the findings are like gold, but on the weekends, I prefer seeing the real thing in the bottom of my pan.

How to Melt Your Own Gold


There are good and bad ways to melt gold. In this article, we’ll take a look at the right way to melt gold without losing any of the valuable metal.
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Fine Gold Panning Without Using Mercury


The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.

Regarding "Good Assays and Bad"


Last month I wrote an article entitled “Good Assays and Bad,” which gathered a few comments.

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