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Prospecting & Detecting

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Stories, tips & tricks

Quartzsite Gives Up Some Big Gold


There is always an overwhelming feeling when finding gold of any size, but one like this doesn’t come along very often.

Prospecting After Winter Storms


So, how much rain does it take to cause a major movement of gravels in a stream and redistribute the gold? The technical answer is enough water to move the bed load of the river.

How to Stake Your Own Claim—Researching Mining Claims


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.

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Home of the Original Gold Claimer

The Birthday Nugget Patch


Down around 10 or 12 inches I hit a large cobble that appeared to be one type of hot rock for this area. I thought bad things about the new technology until I checked the rock.

Volume is the Key to Success


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.

Getting Started


He excitedly told me he was going mining and wanted to know where he should go, how to do it, and so on. After he calmed down, I got excited. “I need to go!” was my response.

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Becoming a Successful Detectorist


During my adventures I’ve learned a few key best practices that help me to consistently find gold nuggets with my detectors. You can apply many of these best practices to any type of prospecting. These best practices are really common sense; however, they are easy to neglect.

My Lucky Thirteen Nuggets


Even with my favorite top-of-the-line gold detector there were several false digs. Many of the hot rocks gave a solid signal that was too much like a nugget to ignore. After trying several tests I just dug everything because it is better to be safe than leave a big, deep nugget for a more diligent gold hunter.

A Break in the Weather


Back at the entry point of the mine, we took turns slowly crawling down the slope leading into the mine portal with our metal detectors, hard hats and flashlights. The mine was hand dug and is about 75 yards long.

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Prospecting Knowledge -- Pass It On!


I had two of the guys go down into the creek and each one picked out a small island of bedrock. I had them detect their piece of bedrock and then gave a critique to all on how they did.

Weathering, Erosion and Placers


The 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.

The PIGMI—a DIY Crevice Tool


I’ve had great success using it to gather gold from crevices. I’d like to share the design with all of you gold miners reading this article and hope that you get as much satisfaction building and using it as I did.
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Solutions to Treasure Hunting and Prospecting

Diary of a Diamond Prospector


I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.

The Ups and Downs of Nugget Hunting


I returned to the WSPA claim. Still smug from my previous success, I was  thinking I could not fail. However, the gold gods had other plans.

Selectable Frequency vs Multi Frequency Detectors


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.
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Detecting Alluvial Bench Deposits -- Pt II


Walking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.

Nevada's Lithium Boom


When prospecting for lithium, after confirming for macro attributes through research and field work, including examination of surface geology, the main tool is an accurate lithium assay.

Old Patch, New Detector


I have been detecting the area on and off since I discovered it. Every time I bought a new detector it was the first place I went to.
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Detecting Basics: Lose the Bad Habits Not the Gold


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?

Feather River Gold


I didn’t think too much of our dredge hole and we were both considering a move when we hit bedrock. There was a good quantity of flakes and fines, but no nuggets.

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