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Prospecting & Detecting

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Stories, tips & tricks

My New Passion--Crystal Hunting


I decided to dig near it to see if there were any more and immediately uncovered others. In total I found a pocket with over 100 crystals in it. I was hooked.

The Half-Mile Claim


We dug and extracted for two more hours. This time, as I dumped the concentrates, I saw a piece of gold three-fourths of an inch long and as big around as a pencil.

Montana Gold and Sapphires Revisited


I had a chance to visit the operation in person and talk with Neal. I was very impressed and I think our readers could learn a lot about building up a commercial placer operation from scratch…

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Crumb Hunting With A VLF Detector


Chris got a nice target signal on the edge of rising bedrock, but still in a low, but washed area. After breaking up the bedrock, he recovered several pieces of gold amounting to almost three pennyweight.

A Third Generation Small-Scale Hardrock Revival


One of his friends had 700 feet of small-gauge mine track and a hundred-year-old track bender laying out in his back 40; plus he also wanted to join the team. Perfect.

The Summer of ‘81


When it was all setup and running, you had everything coming off the dredge riffles into the boil box. At the hole section, some of the water got sucked down and pulled a lot of black sand and over heavies…

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The “Chuck It Out” Nugget


This was no ordinary nugget. It had not traveled very far from its nearby source, and that did mean a lot, as we were searching for the source of several such nuggets found during a gold rush that occurred in 1859.

Green Valley's Fine Gold Patch


Once across, I panned a couple of spots around some old grass roots and the fine gold was amazingly heavy. Every pan I ran after that had lots of color.

PLP Update


All 28 groups listed agree that Section 402 of the Clean Water Act does not apply and no dredge miner should be asking a state or federal agency for such a permit.

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Revisiting Old Haunts


I had some success following this premise this summer, finding a few nuggets in places I think I overlooked in the past.

Traders At JPMorgan Chase Indicted For Rigging Metal Prices


…the men sought to “inject false and misleading information about the genuine supply and demand for precious metals futures contracts into the markets, and to deceive other participants”…

A High Country Patch


As he was working near the extreme low end of the ground sluicing, I heard a yell through my headphones. Making my way down to him I could see the smile from a long distance.

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Exploring The Historic Rand Mining District, Southern California


My largest nugget from this area is almost one-half ounce. I’ve found several smaller chunks and many pickers in addition to the fines and flakes that I put in my poke.

My First Carolina Nugget


On my weekends off I spent many hours dredging the Second Broad River from Cane Creek Road up to the headwaters. I used a three-inch dredge with air and graduated to a five-inch with air.

PLP Update: How to Restore The Rights of Suction Dredge Miners


A two-pronged approach is necessary to restore suction dredging; federal preemption needs to be established as addressed above via petition; and clarification from the EPA is needed to establish that no Section 402 permit is necessary when there is no “addition” of a pollutant.

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Get the pitch correct on your sluice box!

Step-by-Step Crevicing


Gold trapped in the cracks can be encrusted close to the walls or mixed with sand and pebbles, making the gold difficult to see and then extract. Crevicing requires a lot of patience to achieve positive results.

Mom Finds 3.72-Carat Yellow Diamond


“Much of the ground where Ms. Hollingshead found her diamond is made of unweathered volcanic rock. When it rains, flowing runoff often leaves loose gravel, and sometimes diamonds, on the surface in these areas.”

Papa's Got A Brand New Dredge!


It was time to prime the pump and start the engine! Dan’s priming method is to use a small, submersible, 12-volt pump. My priming method is to use a hand-operated diaphragm pump.

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Selecting A Low-Risk Region To Explore, Mine or Invest


“The evidence is clear—mineral deposits alone are not enough to attract precious commodity investment dollars...”

Reminder: Annual Claim Filings Due


Please note that new mining claims filed on or after September 1, 2019, will be subject to the new fee schedule.

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