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Prospecting & Detecting

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Procuring Mine Owner Permission at a Mine Site


The first experience involved an overgrown gold mine operated during the 1880s. A razed mill adjoined the mine and could be glimpsed from the isolated public dirt road I was traveling.

Drywashing for Fine Gold


When working fine gold placers with a drywasher, there are some natural variables that can be beneficial as well as others that can be a hindrance to achieving good recovery.

Entry-Level Metal Detectors for Gold Prospecting


These are entry-level machines designed with gold prospecting in mind and with the ability to handle mineralized ground and see nuggets of a grain or so in size, perhaps smaller.

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Nice Specimen Gold Recovered in Northern California


Each specimen is carefully examined to determine if it would be beneficial or not to use an acid treatment to reveal more of the gold.

More on Detecting Pocket Gold


What I hope to do here is to give you some information that will help you, the reader, pick out locations that will be better for you to detect and give you a possibility of finding gold.

Early Summer Mining in Wyoming


Old tailing piles extend for miles. There was still plenty of water flowing here, so WPA members set up highbankers at several settling ponds.

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The "Madonna Nugget"—A Weekend Hunt to Remember


I worked my way to a flat area along a ridge where I could see a quartz blowout. As I got within 100 feet of it, I started seeing rock that I knew to be associated with gold.

Sunset Sunbaker


He began hiking my way and was as astonished as I was when he saw it. Another high five moment! It makes you wonder how long this gold had just been sitting there on the ground.

A Prospecting Adventure in Mexico


There you’re expected to be personally responsible in making decisions, and yes, it can be costly. When you are responsible for your own life, you live life more, and with it you certainly risk more.

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Police Urge Author to End Treasure Hunt


The plea from State Police Chief Pete Kassetas follows what authorities believe is the latest death related to the effort to uncover Forrest Fenn’s treasure.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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