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Prospecting & Detecting

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Stories, tips & tricks

Reading A River: Understanding Erosion and Gold


Rivers are not just random and accidental; streams and other drainages are what they are because of the forces of erosion acting on the bedrock.

The Basics of Permitting and Bonding Your Mining Operation


With the recent surge of interest in gold projects, it’s about time to revisit a subject that strikes fear into the hearts of small-scale miners: Permits.

Plotting and Persistence Lead to Big Gold


When he got home that night, he looked at the plotted points of gold and trash he had dug and saw that there was a distinct line where the gold nuggets were being found.

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Small-scale and commercial suction gold dredges.

Using Countercurrent Material Flow to Improve Gold Recovery Efficiency


There is a material processing principle widely used in large milling operations to improve recovery that is poorly understood by most of the micro-mining and prospecting community...

Mining In The El Paso Range of Southern California


While none of the historical mining camps are active, the area is still a hub of activity for the modern prospector, and claims still blanket the hills and gulches.

Tips and Tricks: A Dredging Tip for Clearing the Tailings Pile


After a short time, the tailings pile can get very large, and can actually block the downstream end of the sluice box.

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The Kern River


There are clubs with claims in the area and there’s a section of the river open to the public, but the rest of the area is claimed up so do your research first.

Prospecting Old Mine Dumps With A Drone


Due to the lockdown, I spent lots of time indoors this spring and I decided to add a drone as a faithful mate in my research.

Hard Rock 101: Blasting With Kinepak Explosives


Fortunately, there are products on the market that can address these problems and make a small-scale mining operation feasible.

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Ancestral Yuba River Placer Gold Deposits


The small-scale miner has reasonable opportunity to exploit some of these small, rich placer gold deposits. 

It's Not Always El Dorado


This was “pocket” country. All around were “pockets” that had been hand dug by old and new miners.

Sniping for Gold—The Next Best Thing to Dredging


I poked my head out of the water and said, “You won’t believe what I am going to show you!”

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Charles P. Watson, Chief Geologist

Hard Rock 101: Advanced Micro Blasting


They… create negligible fumes and much less fly rock than blasting. Below are some tips on maximizing your effectiveness with these tools.

Now Is The Time For Exploration


I’ve been following the precious metals for decades, and I haven’t seen a move this powerful in many years.

Gold in Unlikely Places—And 'Eating Crow'


The red dot on the diagram points out where the gravels there were also carrying, but not as much color. The gold was sparse below the point indicated.

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Get the pitch correct on your sluice box!

From Iowa to Alaska—How I Became A Gold Miner


May 18, 2019, after 26 years, I had finally saved enough money. I bought my one-way ticket to Fairbanks, Alaska, and I started off by finding a new job…

Jamestown and Our Mother Lode Gold Rush Adventures


There are many other locations in the area where gold has been found, but Woods Creek is the most famous of the creeks and gulches in the area where the 49ers searched for that elusive yellow metal.

Why Assaying Placer Gold Deposits Doesn't Work


Let’s set up a thought experiment: Suppose you had some material that ran one ounce per ton gold, which is generally considered high grade to fantastic grade depending on the circumstances.

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How Should I Work This Prospect?


How big is the deposit? Are there boulders you will need to move? Do you just want to recover the nuggets or do you think there is good fine gold that you will also want to capture?

Tips and Tricks: Preparing Your Dredge Engine for Storage


From this I inferred that engine 2 had a carburetor problem. In this article, I discuss the specific engine/carburetor problem, and the surprising solution to this problem.

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