Prospecting & Detecting
Hearty trees, shrubs and plants are a product of the soil conditions in which they grow, so it makes sense that roots near an ore deposit will take on nutrients containing metals if they are present.
Four nuggets, ranging from one to four pennyweight, had been found originally. All four nuggets were found in a line about ten feet apart from each other.
The biggest nugget I have found detecting here was three grams and the following weekend someone found a 9-gram nugget while detecting. Some have even found quarter-ounce nuggets, with one being a chevron nugget.
Adam’s condition had been deteriorating every step of the way. At times, I could only coax him ten or twenty feet before he laid down again. He refused to eat or drink. At this point, I realized we might not get out of the canyon by dark and might need help getting Adam out at all.
While the bullion value of the nugget is already substantial, the size and rarity of the Ausrox Nugget combine to make its worth invaluable in the collector market.
The only thing that saved me was talking to a local miner who gave me a “heads up” that private individuals owned all the mineral rights in that section.
The nugget sat there in plain sight, though it was covered in dirt, while hundreds of people had passed that way every day.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
Picking the right spot to placer has to do with years of experience, and a little luck. The textbooks can tell you where it should be, but sometimes the rules just don’t seem to apply.
We just completed a trip to another river, and yes, there was definite movement and redistribution of gravels, and other prospectors have seen this as well.
The old report I read indicated all they ever did was dig some trenches and take samples. It sounded to me like a good place to take my metal detector...
Within this area, about two million ounces of gold and fifty million ounces of silver have been mined. Faults, dikes, veins and fissures that carry the ore form a concentric radial pattern—like spokes on a wagon wheel—around the caldera core.
When working fine gold placers with a drywasher, there are some natural variables that can be beneficial as well as others that can be a hindrance to achieving good recovery.
These are entry-level machines designed with gold prospecting in mind and with the ability to handle mineralized ground and see nuggets of a grain or so in size, perhaps smaller.