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Prospecting & Detecting

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Stories, tips & tricks

Fall Drywashing—Just the Right Time of Year


I could see lots of quartz, both loose on the hillsides and in the numerous small prospect diggings. There was a small gold rush here more than a century ago.

Humble Beginnings


Right away I got a target, and it ended up being gold from a nice little bench. With only an hour left of daylight, I continued heading upstream and found five more tiny pieces of gold with my VLF…

Treasure Hunters Challenge FBI Over Dig for Civil War Gold


The father-son duo spent years combing this bit of Pennsylvania wilderness with high-end metal detectors, drills and other tools to prospect for a fabled cache of Civil War gold.

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Out of the Ashes—New Access to Gold


As I arrived at my detecting location, I got all my gear and headed up the trail. I had to stop and take in the devastation all around me.

Arizona Prospector Rescued from Mine Shaft


“I heard him hollering down in the hole as soon as I got there,” he said. “I was just glad to see him alive.”

California State and US National Gold Panning Championships


This was two days of gold panning, with just over 250 gold panners trying to win a medal to show they were one of the best of the best.

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The Unusual Forest Nugget Patch


This is the story of a nugget patch I’ve been working on that is a bit unusual. I won’t be telling you where it is located, but I will tell you how I found it and how I’ve worked it.

California Sniping


I opted for the underwater portion of the river. All I have to do is float down the river and pick large flakes and small nuggets out of cracks and crevices while staying cool in the summer heat.

Large Gold Deposit Types


It is not necessary to have a PhD in geology, but you need to know the basics, so that’s what I am going to try to dig into here—the understandable basics of these gigantic gold deposits.

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How to Beat the Heat--and The Bedrock


The pit was a classic one—exposed shale bedrock with all the material being washed out one end of the pit. Within a few minutes I had a nice mellow signal that was in open ground.

Gold Prospecting: For Better or Worse--It Was A Dark and Overcast Night


With one outstretched hand grasping the bottle and the other waving at air, I moved forward feeling for the tent. No tent. No tree.

Using Geologic Publications to Discover Collecting Sites


I understand that a person without geological knowledge could be daunted reading a geological publication. You can pick out the good stuff from a geological publication without a lot of geological knowledge.

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Prospector Unearths Huge 'Duck’s Foot' Nugget


A retired gold prospector spent hours digging up his fortune in the northern goldfields near Kambalda, Western Australia, after finding the target with his metal detector.

Uphill Battle Continues for California Dredgers


There are currently three controlling agencies or entities over suction dredging in California—and you can make that four if the state legislature decides to further muddy the waters with additional legislation to block suction gold dredging in the state.

Understanding Skim Bar Placers


Perhaps the most notable thing about skim placers is that they form on the top surface of gravel bars, as opposed to coarser gold placers where the weight of the gold particles allows the gold to settle down on or near bedrock.

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Detecting Canyon Bedrock in The Sierras


My plan was to go up the canyon along a ridge and then drop into the canyon whenever I came across a spot that might give me reasonable access.

Mining Journal Receives Honor


For the 20th consecutive year, ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal was voted “Prospecting Magazine of the Year”...

Gold Prospecting: For Better or Worse


We all love to see that first glimmer of gold when it peeks out from under the black sand in our pan, or feel the weight of a nugget in our scoop when we dig a good target. But sometimes things don’t go quite so smoothly.

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New Research Tool for Miners in Wyoming


The Wyoming Geological Survey released an online interactive map...

Old Mine Sites and New Technology


We’ve had two trips to the deserts of Nevada and explored mines and mill sites, hiked miles of ravines in California, and swung our detector coils over thousands of square yards of bedrock.

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