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Prospecting & Detecting

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Just One More Time


We chose this particular area because an old channel had run here at one point and had been heavily worked on top of a mountain hilltop. Erosion patterns cut deeply on each side, leaving the channel exposed. The erosion cut sharply, dropping into ravines far below.

Detectors: Past, Present and Future


Detectors were invented long before I was born, but it was in the 1960s when they started to become an item popular enough to power a fledgling industry. The key development was miniature transistor technology replacing the old fashioned tube technology of the 1950s, making lightweight, affordable detectors possible.

The Heavy Minerals in Your Concentrates


The fact that mineral deposits can contribute specific types of heavy minerals is why the analysis of the heavy mineral concentrates in the streams of an area can be an important prospecting technique for finding undiscovered mineral deposits.
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Pocket Gold


Once a seam is found it can be traced for miles in either direction. While you are tracing a clay line, you are looking for indicators. The indicators that I look for are ironstone, hematite, different color clays intermingled with the clay line, and a very iron-rich, brown gritty soil.

Ask The Experts


• Can I get advice on a hard rock property in Calaveras County, California?

Think You Got It All? Guess Again!

think you got it all. guess again.

Is your gold recovery actually 95%, 90%, or even a really poor 50%? If you are not testing to know what it really is, you just don’t know. Some do regular testing, but most do not.

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Hard Rock Prospecting With Rusty


As we talked, Rusty stopped, backed up, bent down and began chipping at some rock in the road. He said he suspected there was a stringer right here that crossed the road.

Drywashing in Black Canyon, Arizona


After the hike and a quick snack break we gathered a few buckets of material to really dial in the drywasher for the most efficient recovery. This involves leveling the unit, setting the riffle box drop angle and regulating the speed in which the material is processed.

Sold: 87-Ounce Nugget


A gold prospector in central Victoria, Australia stumbled across an 87-ounce gold nugget in early February 2015, after his wife told him to head outside to get some air. He had given up smoking a few weeks prior and was getting a bit “grumpy,” she told him.
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Dry Washer, Wet System or Metal Detector?


I love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.

How to Stake Your Own Mining Claims—Part II


I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.

Ask The Experts


Can a metal detector be used to find limonitic gossan material?
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How to Stake Your Own Mining Claims—Part I


Many new prospectors start out prospecting in public areas and club claims, and this is perfectly fine, but the next step in the progression of becoming an experienced prospector is to locate and stake your own mining claims. 

Addressing EPA Overreach: What Dredgers Need to Know


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been attempting to extend their authority and intimidate miners and other public land users for decades. Suction gold dredgers are no exception, and we want to highlight a recent example of how to deal with this federal overreach.

Ask The Experts


Designing my own dredge...
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The Art of Underwater Nugget Shooting


There is a surprising amount of detectable gold under the water’s surface. The right tools make it much easier to find, and with a little patience and practice you can take advantage of this underappreciated bonanza.

Gold in Quartz


Because quartz and gold may be deposited together across a considerable range of temperatures, not all quartz veins are the same, and there are several different types of gold-quartz deposits.

Northwestern Alaska Mineral Resources


Gold and jade are actually only minor mineral resources for the Northwestern Alaska region as a whole. Modern prospecting has focused more on base metal than precious metal resources.
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A Family Quest for Gold


Back at our campsite, while the rest of us grabbed a late four o’clock lunch, Fallyn volunteered to do the clean-up panning.

Determining the Amount of Gold in Rich Ores


This is just the type of specimen that could have been easily ignored by the old-time miners. It felt a little heavier in my hand than a chunk of quartz of that size ought to have been.

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