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Prospecting & Detecting

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Preparing For The 2021 Mining Season


On my final prospecting day of 2020, I went up to a spot where I had found gold years before and had my best day of  the year—four nuggets for nearly one-quarter-ounce of gold.

Drywashing for Desert Gold—Part III


If the material drops down out of the hopper too fast, it can overwhelm the riffles and you can blow the gold right out. If it runs too slowly, the riffles can clog up and the process is too slow.

Placer Gold Deposits in the Western States


…to see the huge differences between the gold production amounts of the Western States, let’s look at the gold production—both hard rock and placer—of these 13 states up to the present.

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Clues for Detecting Ancient River Channels and Flats


The gold in this area can get quite large. Most of the pieces are about half a pennyweight on average.

Drywashing for Desert Gold—Part II


…whichever layer I’m getting the best gold, I’ll work that stratum. Some of the best gold in the desert is not always on the bedrock.

Decoding Dredge Capacity


Some typical questions that you might consider asking yourself about purchasing a dredge might be…

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I Just Tripped Over A Nugget


I metal detected a number of years before I saw my first nugget peeking out from the dirt before I had scraped or dug for it. This one was in the steep sidewall of a narrow, but deep drywash.

Gold Geochemistry: Where Does Gold Come From?


Prospectors often wonder why gold deposits in veins like it does. Why is one vein rich while another is barren, even though they are only a few hundred feet apart?

Goal Setting and Rock Tossing


Day three was a copy of day two. I started real low in the long wash to see if I could prove how far down the gold had made it.

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Tips and Tricks: How to Make Your Own Gold Bars Without Burning the Place Down


You find yourself with a bucketful of concentrates that you have accumulated over the season and consider the logical next step: to reduce the bucket of cons to a gold bar. Where do you begin?

Understanding Rock Formations: Petrology for Prospectors


There are times when being able to recognize a type of rock can make you a much more successful prospector.

Drywashing for Desert Gold—Part I


If you have a bad case of gold fever like me, then it’s nice to know that you can get some of that pretty yellow metal almost any time of the year, wet or dry.

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Seven Troy Ounces of Premonition?


He made some casual conversation until he got around to what really brought him into my camper.

I Was Looking for Gold But I Found Jade


Excited for this first notable evidence, I returned to that riverbed, looking for another paystreak and obviously more jade.

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Get the pitch correct on your sluice box!

Dealing With Hot Rocks and Mineralization


What about all that noise coming from the ground? What is a prospector supposed to do about that?

Pay Attention to the Features and Landmarks


People always ask me what is so important about locating contact zones. The answer to that: Gold.

Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: All Work and No Pay


At first we decided to see what the flat by our camp would produce where the old-timers had worked it with their Pelton wheel and dragline buckets.

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Which Coil Should I Use?


Selecting the wrong coil can potentially cause you to miss nuggets, so you want to be sure to select the best option for the situation at hand.

Our Old Friend, Mr. Crashbox


…what adjustment can I make to my dredge that will enhance its gold-catching ability?

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