Prospecting & Detecting
The interesting thing about the Mother Lode area is that we can pretty much find at least a little gold in any creek or river (and even in some of the many dry gulches).
Prospectors who specialize in nugget detecting are especially interested in this special desert type, as it produces nuggets that are close to the surface of the ground and therefore more suitable to be found with a detector.
Nevada produces about 75% of all the gold mined in the US. This means that all the other 49 states combined only produce 25%, and this includes California, Alaska and Arizona.
My mining partner Keith McBride and I spent a week in May working on a twenty-nine man crew split up into six teams at a couple of “pay to mine” mining camps.
In this article I am going to talk about the different sources of gold and the clues a prospector can follow to find the source.
It rained over four inches that night and the creek flooded both my backyard and my workshop. When I opened the door to my workshop Christmas morning, an unwelcome sight greeted me.
…we focused on various layers of hard-packed flood material out of the creek, and we also obtained some material up quite a ways from the creek itself on bedrock.
The lesson of keeping one’s eyes open to other possibilities is one of the great secrets of successful prospecting. Prospectors need to always be on the lookout for opportunities.
How rich does a hard rock ore have to be for it to be worthwhile to process and extract the gold?
Every year I go through this and every year it becomes more difficult to find new territory that is available for us to prospect. Is there anywhere that hasn’t been worked?
Knowing how to get the greatest depth performance out of your detector can be a handy thing, but it’s not an easy, simple matter.
I’d start the day by crawling out of my dome tent, cooking up some Spam and eggs, and heating water for instant coffee on the Coleman stove.
On my final prospecting day of 2020, I went up to a spot where I had found gold years before and had my best day of the year—four nuggets for nearly one-quarter-ounce of gold.
If the material drops down out of the hopper too fast, it can overwhelm the riffles and you can blow the gold right out. If it runs too slowly, the riffles can clog up and the process is too slow.