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Prospecting & Detecting

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Stories, tips & tricks

Mineralization, Ground Balance and Metal Detecting


The right ground balance setting for the conditions you are working is critical. If your detector isn’t set properly, you will lose depth of detection, sometimes to an extreme degree.

What To Do With All That Gold?


I can tell you that a lot of driving and digging hours went into getting that gold. I wish I had something to show for it. I told myself I would never do that again.

All About Trommels and Screens for Placer Gold Recovery


The right speed accumulates only the heavy materials and allows all of the lighter stuff to flow through. This optimum speed is dependent on the size of the gravel you need to move through the system.

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Strategies for Detecting Heavily Pounded Areas—Pt II


Look around for areas where you don’t see detector holes or drywasher piles and try your test hole at these spots to determine depth to bedrock.

Auburn, California


Many of the gold camps were violent places, but in this regard, the town of Auburn exhibited a different behavior. There were few of the duels or lynchings that characterized many of the other early settlements.

Old Water Channels Provide Important Clues


After washing the top sixty to ninety feet of gravel, the old- timers hit the bedrock. The bedrock paid one-eighth to one-half of an ounce to the square foot…

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The Mystery of the Grand Summit Mine


I didn’t follow-up on this opportunity at that time, as I already had as much on my plate as I could handle, but the potential for this property has never left my mind.

How Do I Recover Gold In Black Sands?


Prospectors deal with black sands in lots of different ways. I know that some prospectors worry about getting every speck of gold and save black sands in buckets until they have hundreds of pounds.

A Walk Through The Gold Indicators


The question that most new people have is, “What do I detect?” Most people have a picture in their mind of what it takes to make what they are seeing a good place to detect. This is what I will try to sort out for you.

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How Topography Affects Prospecting for Gold


Keeping in mind how the local topography affects where gold has been deposited can help you find more gold, and is certainly something the prospector needs to keep in mind.

Getting Into Hot Water While Reclamation Dredging


Once I started dredging with heated water pumped into my wetsuit, I never went back to not having heat except late in the summer when the water is very warm.

Strategies for Detecting Heavily Pounded Areas


The problem is every other nugget hunter and drywash prospector had the same idea. As a result, you can spend days, weeks, and even months detecting these areas and not find a single nugget.

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Drywashing Moist Dirt


Over the years, I’ve proved to myself over and over again that I don’t have to wait many weeks after rains before I head out to the goldfields to do some gold digging.

Finding Gold With A Simple Sluice Box


…the sluice is a normal first step up from a gold pan for many prospectors. They are simple to use, easily portable, can capture a lot of gold, and can process gravel 10 to 20 times faster than a person can pan…

Detecting A Trashy Area


Some prospectors would have assumed it was another shotgun shell, but in this case it was 17.6-pennyweight nugget!

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Winter Prospecting


Just because we have snow doesn’t mean we’re not going to prospect, we just have to change our direction and head more down towards the flat lands.

Are You Being Followed?


These “people”—and I use that term loosely—worked together with others. What was happening to me was like scenes out of the old James Bond movies.

Crisson Gold Mine Robbed At Gunpoint


The suspect brought a duffel bag with him that he filled with two employee cellphones, wallets, cash from the register, gold nuggets and several trays of jewelry.

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Overcoming Repeated Skunks


When hunting for nuggets does not yield any gold for a couple days, it can get pretty frustrating. But it turns into serious mental anguish when it stretches into weeks or months.

Butte County: Another Mother Lode Favorite


There are so many places in this region to discuss that one article won’t be enough to cover it all, so I’ll focus on a couple of places that we found interesting while searching for gold.

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