Garrett Electronics - trusted by real miners & prospectors!


Miner's News

Update on the 2016 Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit this April in Placerville, California

January 6, 2016

by Scott Harn
ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal

We opened registration for our hands-on training classes on Monday (January 4th) as part of our 2016 Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit in Placerville, California to be held April 15-18, 2016. The phone lines were a bit overwhelming in the office, to say the least.

We have prospectors coming in from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and from Canada so far -- and that's just from the first 48 hours of sign-ups.
Our Introduction to Underground Mining (H3) was filled within 48 hours, and the two Placer Mining (H1 & H2) classes are well on their way to filling up as well. (You can still give us a call to get on the waiting list for the H3 class -- we usually have a few cancellations.)
I'm going to attempt to answer some of the most common questions we received on the phone:
Q: Can I sign up for more than one training class? 
A: Sorry, but no. We want to give as many of our subscribers as possible the opportunity.

Q: What are the locations/dates/times?
A: Our training classes are on Friday, April 15, and Monday, April 18. Those registered for classes will receive an info packet to be mailed at the end of January with directions to the meeting location. We'll meet at 7am and head into the training site together, arriving about 8am. Classes run from 8am - 4pm.

The lectures/vendors/tradeshow portion is at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Show hours are from 10am - 5pm on Saturday, April 16, and from 10am - 4pm on Sunday, April 17.

Q: I'm flying in. What's the closest airport?
A: Sacramento is the nearest major airport and it's only about 45 minutes to the training class rendevous point off Highway 80. It's also only about 45 minutes to the Placerville Fairgrounds via Highway 50. (For those of you who signed up for a training class, you'll receive detailed directions to the training site in your registration packet, which will be mailed on January 29.)

Q: Do I need to register to come to the lectures/vendors/tradeshow on Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17?
A: No. It's $5 at the door to get in each day (and the fairgrounds charges $5 to park).

Q: How many of your writers will be there?
A: Many. Chris Ralph, Leonard Melman, Steve Herschbach, Don Robinson, Dr. Thom Seal, Clark Pearson, Ray Mills, Walt Wegner, Tom Leftwich, Shannon Poe, Ron Kliewer, Alan Trees, and more.

Q: How do I reserve an RV spot at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville?
A: Contact the fairgrounds directly at (530) 621-5860.

Q: I'm going to one of the training classes. Should I stay in Placerville or closer to the training site?
A: I recommend the Best Western Golden Key in Auburn. This is close to where we will rendevous in the morning prior to heading out to the training sites. I'll be staying there Thursday night, April 14, prior to the Friday morning class, and again Sunday night, April 17, prior to the Monday classes.  The Best Western Golden Key has given us a group rate of $82.31+tax (king) and $95.75+tax (2 queens). The price includes breakfast. You can contact them directly at (530) 885-8611. Mention the "Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit" for the group rate.

Q: Do you have any booth spaces available still?
A: I have 3 remaining inside the building, and 4 remaining in the breezeway between the main building and the lecture hall. That's it.

Q: Can I bring my dog to the training site. 
A: Unfortunately, no. 

Q: Is there stuff to eat at the fairgrounds?
A: Yes. We like to support local groups, and just like in past years the Union Mine Music Boosters will be cooking up lots of tasty stuff on-site. The food they provide is very good and the prices are extremely reasonable. 

Q: Is there stuff to eat at the training site?
A: No. Those of you who have registered for a training class will receive an information packet in the mail (or by email) along with a reminder to bring a sack lunch to your training class.

Q: Where should we stay in Placerville on Friday night and Saturday night so we are close to the tradeshow at the fairgrounds?
A: Our staff used to stay at the Best Western in Placerville but they hiked their rates quite a bit. It's still a nice place, but we opted to stay at the Quality Inn and Suites in Cameron Park. It's about a 10-minute drive to the fairgrounds. It's not quite as fancy, but the prices are more reasonable. Their number is (530) 676-1422. The Best Western Stagecoach Inn in Pollock Pines is another good option and only about 15 minutes north of the fairgrounds in Pollock Pines. The number is (530) 644-2029. And there are lots of other options on our Mining Summit information page:

Q: What happens if it's raining at the training sites?
A: We get a little wet and keep on mining. 

Q: What about campgrounds in the area of the fairgrounds?
A: We haven't tried any of the campgrounds, so we don't have any recommendations for camping. (If any of you reading this have a good recommendation, please let us know.)

Q: Do you have a lecture schedule yet for Saturday & Sunday at the fairgrounds?

A: It's not finalized yet as far as times go, but here are the topics so far:
  • Mineral Identification -- Chris Ralph
  • Metal Detecting for Gold -- Steve Herschbach
  • Gold & Precious Metals Markets -- Leonard Melman
  • Retaking Control of Regulations Through Mining Districts -- Scott Harn & Clark Pearson
  • Staking and Holding Mining Claims -- Chris Ralph
  • How to Research a Promising Location for Gold Prospecting -- Don Robinson
  • Recognizing Old Mines: Hazards & Benefits for the Amateur Prospector -- Prof. George Wheeldon
  • Current Regulations -- Charles Watson
  • Basic Gold Prospecting Techniques -- Chris Ralph
  • (Tentative -- one additional talk by Dr. Thom Seal)

Q: We are ust coming to the tradeshow on Saturday or Sunday. Is there something for our kids to do at the show?

A: Yup. The Motherlode Goldhounds will have panning stations set up outside. There's also a scavenger hunt booth where the kids can pick up a clipboard and a list of items they need to find inside the venue to get a prize.

Click on the link below if you would like more details. We look forward to seeing you there!

View an online sample issue


Precious Metals Recovery plants and equipment
Fighting to keep public lands open to the public
Specializing in the processing of precious metal ores!
Watch prospecting shows on your computer right now
Free Online Sample Issue