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Prospecting & Detecting

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How Long Does It Take to Find and Recover An Ounce of Gold?


Some ask if a prospector can collect an entire ounce in a day. It is possible; I’ve done it before.

The Value of Old Patches


Nuggets make for the best memories and this patch was just adding to mine. In the hours of daylight I had left, I worked from that nugget to the bottom of the patch, collecting eight more nuggets.

Tips for Cleaning Gold Nuggets


I pulled out the nuggets I had worked on previously and looked at the size of the wire basket that the items to be cleaned are placed into. It looks much like a miniature french fry deep fryer.

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Detecting Wet Ground Yields More Fun Than Gold


We all continued over to another location at the top of a massive placer operation. Arriving at the draw, I showed everyone where gold had been found before and we all began detecting.

Beach Mining for Placer Gold


What I saw was a beach area that was just completely covered in black sand. Rubbing my hands close together like a kid in a candy store, I could not wait to get set up.

Keep Watch for The Unexpected


As I have always done, I stashed those heavy black rocks in my pack and put them in the garden at home. They never were given a second thought until a half decade later…

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Imagining the Ultimate Prospecting Adventure


I recently found myself wondering what would be the ultimate prospecting adventure. What would be the most amazing thing if I had no restrictions or limitations?

Gary It's There


This year was a test. We had never done anything like this before, yet we grossed $30,000 in the short time we had to mine.

Following the Clues


It took me awhile before I finally got a nice mellow signal. My nugget turned out to weigh in about two dwt (pennyweight). Over the next few hours, we all picked up a few more nuggets apiece.

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A Generous Lesson on Detecting Bedrock


The signal I was hearing was coming from a vertical bedrock crack on the bank of the creek. I removed my backpack, took out my crevicing tools and started to clean out the crack when I saw a glint of gold.

Back to Basics--Finding Gold With a Pan and a Sluice


Don’t hunker down and just keep digging in one spot where there is very little or no gold—if you don’t find it, you’ve got to get up and move on!

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How To File A Mining Claim


Filing claims is actually quite easy, though there are a number of pitfalls that you should watch out for. Over the years, I have made just about every mistake you can with a mining claim, and have learned a few things to watch out for along the way.

Persistence Leads to Over a Pound of Gold


I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.

Revisiting The Old Mini Patch


Today, the greatest gold rushes occur due to technological advances capable of discovering gold where it once was extremely unlikely or difficult.

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Carr Fire Gold


After burning more than 350 square miles, the Carr Fire near Redding, California, was finally out. Luckily our home was spared, and I had the opportunity to go metal detecting in burned areas previously too overgrown to access.

Secrets of Successful Prospecting


Winter is the time for research, and if you haven’t already done some research to find new places to prospect, now is the time to cram in some last minute research before the good weather arrives.

Pumping Water With Solar Power


Solar energy can be used for any size placer or hard rock mining operation. It is most practical for small and longer-term operations provided your mine is not located in a dense forest.

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My Introduction To Gold Prospecting


At the end of the day, Jerry showed me how to clean out the sluice box and then how to pan out the concentrates. As we finished panning, there it was—a little tiny smile of gold...

Mining Claims: Breaking All The Commandments


So, I took the plunge. I decided on the maximum I would pay for the claim, then placed my bid. A day later I received a congratulations e-mail that I was the high bidder, and oh, by the way, send us your money.

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