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Prospecting & Detecting

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Stories, tips & tricks

How to Use BLM’s New Mineral and Land Records System


This new map-based tool is far superior to the old version with lots of potential layers and information that a prospector can use in research.

A Short But Productive Hunt


The prospects I found are known to carry heavy chunks of gold, sometimes in quartz, ironstone, or many times a rusty-looking type of shale covering.

Old Dog(Fighter), New Trick


Then it occurred to me that the drywasher was designed by an engineer. Gotta love engineers! Those slide-rule geeks always tinker with gravity, angles, curves and flow.

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Talking Metal Detectors with Brent Weaver of Garrett


… I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Brent Weaver, Garrett’s chief design engineer to talk about gold-oriented detectors, how they work and how prospectors can get the most out of them.

Strategies for Detecting Heavily Pounded Areas—Part III


This helps me to see if there is a pattern taking place with where I am finding nuggets, and when I study the map layer with all of my pins marking nuggets, I can drop in new pins where I want to search the next day.

The Highs and Hazards of Desert Prospecting


We hit on a good spot the last time we were at this location and we made up our minds that we weren’t going to let hurricane-like winds stop us.

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Just Feel The Heft of It


“Just feel the heft of it!” Those were the words that lit the fire that created a prospector. Before I tell you what took place, I have a desire to tell you when and where it took place.

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.

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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.

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.

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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…

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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