Prospecting & Detecting
There is always an overwhelming feeling when finding gold of any size, but one like this doesn’t come along very often.
So, how much rain does it take to cause a major movement of gravels in a stream and redistribute the gold? The technical answer is enough water to move the bed load of the river.
Down around 10 or 12 inches I hit a large cobble that appeared to be one type of hot rock for this area. I thought bad things about the new technology until I checked the rock.
While recovery rates are important, they must necessarily be secondary to the volume of material processed. Running more material at lower recovery rates is generally preferable to increasing the efficiency of the system.
During my adventures I’ve learned a few key best practices that help me to consistently find gold nuggets with my detectors. You can apply many of these best practices to any type of prospecting. These best practices are really common sense; however, they are easy to neglect.
Even with my favorite top-of-the-line gold detector there were several false digs. Many of the hot rocks gave a solid signal that was too much like a nugget to ignore. After trying several tests I just dug everything because it is better to be safe than leave a big, deep nugget for a more diligent gold hunter.
I had two of the guys go down into the creek and each one picked out a small island of bedrock. I had them detect their piece of bedrock and then gave a critique to all on how they did.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.
I returned to the WSPA claim. Still smug from my previous success, I was thinking I could not fail. However, the gold gods had other plans.
Walking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.
When prospecting for lithium, after confirming for macro attributes through research and field work, including examination of surface geology, the main tool is an accurate lithium assay.
I will make the assumption that when any of you take a detector in your hand and head out prospecting for gold you are probably anticipating finding some gold. That’s the general idea, right?
I didn’t think too much of our dredge hole and we were both considering a move when we hit bedrock. There was a good quantity of flakes and fines, but no nuggets.