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Prospecting & Detecting

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Stories, tips & tricks

Speed Prospecting for Hard Rock Gold


An online video gave me some ideas, and with a lot of trial and error I developed a reliable method of panning free gold particles down below 35 microns quickly and easily.

Forrest Fenn Treasure Chest Finally Found?


Fenn posted photos of what he claims is the long-hidden chest and its contents after it was found, though some believe the whole thing was a hoax because he refuses to identify the finder.

Dredging Tips and Tricks: T-80 Air Compressor Maintenance


The next morning, I retrieved the compressor and again attacked the sticky head bolt. As if by magic (and some applied physics) the head bolt sighed and finally broke loose.

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Clearing the Nugget Trap with a Detector


On the day prior to Mother’s Day I was able to get out and spend a few hours prospecting. I wanted to try some new settings on my detector, and I had a place in mind to do that.

Desert Prospecting Yields More Than Just Gold


This wash was not far from where I once dug a half-ounce nugget, so I knew there was gold in the area.

Memories of Shirttail Creek, Northern California


…for a few hours, we fervently dug for gold. After we did a cleanup, I couldn’t believe the amount we got.

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Going Over Old Ground With Newer Technology


When we got set up and I started to swing the coil over a small mound, I got a good signal, faint but repeatable.

Hard Rock 101: Breaking Rock—Part I


What do you do when you’ve located a promising deposit of gold or gemstones, but it’s trapped in solid rock?

Tips and Tricks


I cleared the connector by poking a small Phillips screwdriver through it. To ensure the bore was clean, I dunked the connector into some water and then blew it clean with my shop air compressor.

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Prospecting in the Age of Covid-19


I have a bunch of ideas about what to do in the near term and then other thoughts about what things might look like a few months from now when I hope the situation will look a lot better.

Sharing Gold Fever with a Friend


While sitting there, I wondered if I should go over the hole again. I did and got a louder signal that turned out being about another twelve inches deep.

Panning on North Fork American Yields Good Gold


This second trip down was a challenge. It started in Colfax on the Stevens Trail, where the distance to the river is four miles with an elevation drop of about 1,000 feet.

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All About Lead Minerals, Silver and Gold


Many miners know that lead is very commonly associated with silver values, but the truth is that it is also associated with gold values in many locations as well.

Sampling for Success—Part II


The first and most important thing of the sampling process is to try to be as unbiased as possible. There is a natural tendency to select rock that looks the best—even unconsciously.

Miners Fight Back When BLM Says 'Your Claim Is Too Long'


BLM stated we had 30 days to amend our claim so that it fit within one 40-acre square or we would forfeit the claim.

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It's Another 'Ben Day'


I looked over and saw Ben on his knees, digging at the edge of the Manzanitas, almost underneath them. I thought back to the previous weekend when we were planning this trip—that day had been a “Ben day.”

How to Research Prospecting Locations and Mining Claims


If you are interested in researching mining claims for any purpose, you will first have to decipher the BLM’s LR2000, a Rube Goldberg database seemingly designed by a 1980s Soviet-era computer hacker.

Some Tips and Tricks for Dredgers: Determining Pulley Size and Belt Length


If Epd is larger, then the compressor will be spinning faster than the manufacturer’s maximum specified RPM and might destroy itself. If this happens, then the compressor again might not produce enough air to support a diver. Neither is a desired outcome.

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Holcomb Valley Gold, Southern California


The first time I found gold in the creek here is when I decided to try a new place to drywash on a hill not far from the dirt path I was on.

How to Turn Your Gold Finds Into Cash


Even if you are not ready to cash in right now, it might be good to evaluate your options and make a plan of action so when that day comes you know exactly what to do.

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