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Prospecting & Detecting

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Imagining the Ultimate Prospecting Adventure


I recently found myself wondering what would be the ultimate prospecting adventure. What would be the most amazing thing if I had no restrictions or limitations?

Gary It's There


This year was a test. We had never done anything like this before, yet we grossed $30,000 in the short time we had to mine.

Following the Clues


It took me awhile before I finally got a nice mellow signal. My nugget turned out to weigh in about two dwt (pennyweight). Over the next few hours, we all picked up a few more nuggets apiece.

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A Generous Lesson on Detecting Bedrock


The signal I was hearing was coming from a vertical bedrock crack on the bank of the creek. I removed my backpack, took out my crevicing tools and started to clean out the crack when I saw a glint of gold.

Back to Basics--Finding Gold With a Pan and a Sluice


Don’t hunker down and just keep digging in one spot where there is very little or no gold—if you don’t find it, you’ve got to get up and move on!

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How To File A Mining Claim


Filing claims is actually quite easy, though there are a number of pitfalls that you should watch out for. Over the years, I have made just about every mistake you can with a mining claim, and have learned a few things to watch out for along the way.

Persistence Leads to Over a Pound of Gold


I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.

Revisiting The Old Mini Patch


Today, the greatest gold rushes occur due to technological advances capable of discovering gold where it once was extremely unlikely or difficult.

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Carr Fire Gold


After burning more than 350 square miles, the Carr Fire near Redding, California, was finally out. Luckily our home was spared, and I had the opportunity to go metal detecting in burned areas previously too overgrown to access.

Secrets of Successful Prospecting


Winter is the time for research, and if you haven’t already done some research to find new places to prospect, now is the time to cram in some last minute research before the good weather arrives.

Pumping Water With Solar Power


Solar energy can be used for any size placer or hard rock mining operation. It is most practical for small and longer-term operations provided your mine is not located in a dense forest.

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My Introduction To Gold Prospecting


At the end of the day, Jerry showed me how to clean out the sluice box and then how to pan out the concentrates. As we finished panning, there it was—a little tiny smile of gold...

Mining Claims: Breaking All The Commandments


So, I took the plunge. I decided on the maximum I would pay for the claim, then placed my bid. A day later I received a congratulations e-mail that I was the high bidder, and oh, by the way, send us your money.

Detecting for Gold: A Return to Familiar Ground


I probably swung over a few targets without noticing them. My first target came  about ten minutes later as I went over a part of the high bench in this wide section of the dry wash.

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Placer Gold Deposits of New Mexico


While a large number of locations have yielded some placer gold, most of the state’s placer production has come from a few productive districts.

The Hunch


The mysteries of this spot were only just starting to develop. There is nothing but very bland granite-type rocks here,  meaning no bold, favorable indicators.

The Basics of Exploration Leases and Contracts—Part I


Let’s take a look at these important property aspects individually, because they all affect the value of a property and how much mining companies might or might not be interested acquiring it.

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Mutiny on The Mason


We decided to check some spots that were pretty good to us on previous trips. The detector was deceptively simple with few buttons and auto-ground balance.

Who Jumped Whose Claim First?


At this point, stress raised my blood pressure and I was figuring out escape routes through the brush, but thought it best to continue the conversation.

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