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Sunday, December 30 2018

When prospecting an area that’s known for gold, put yourself in the boots of the old-timers who came before togold indicators help you decide where to begin. Look at your site from all directions and think about what they could and could not do way back then. Your modern-day equipment and knowledge are a lot more advanced than what they had to work with, so you’re already a step ahead! Many times miners jumped in with both feet and started mining to beat the other guys. But being in a hurry meant they could have missed a lot, or moved on too quickly from their original discovery before it was completely worked out. Considering the lay of the land will reveal important clues that can help you better formulate a plan when you're out in the field. Here’s what to look for:

Host rock (or bedrock) could be shale, diorite, granite, quartz, clay or other material. Keep an eye out for changes in the area’s host rock and notice the direction in which it’s running.

Contact zones occur when a rock or mineral cuts or crosses the host rock. Generally, gold is deposited along contact zones, which can be a few inches or several hundred feet wide. If bedrock in your area runs north to south and you notice a color change in material that runs east to west, you’ve found a contact zone.

Outcroppings are a lump of high ground with weather-worn rocks which are generally rounded and usually situated on ridges, but can be located anywhere. Especially look for iron staining on outcroppings.

Ditch lines of yesteryear were generally dug into and run along somewhat level ground. Very close to diggings, especially in hilly or steep terrain, they may have been cut loose to wash downhill.  Follow the old water ditches and see where they end up.

Exploratory trenches were not used for water but most of the time were deeper and would often circumnavigate a rich area that may be throwing gold from clay lines, pockets, quartz seams and any other local contacts. Trenches were dug simply to expose any contacts that may be present. As a contact was crossed, old-timers checked it out in both directions for values.

Rock cairns are piles of rock or stone used for claim corners. Standing high on a slope looking down is a great vantage point from which to spot cairns and other man-made landmarks. By locating a historic claim, you definitely have a great place to begin! 

Posted by: Denise AT 12:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

Nugget of News Blog