HOW TO PREPARE FOR GOLD SEASON
GOLD SEASON IS UPON US!
Soon mountain springs will be flooded with new gravel. So how do you prepare for the gold season?
(PHOTO PLACER GOLD FROM SOUTHERN OREGON)
What kind of gold prospecting equipment do you need to get gold?
That all depends on where you live. This is the perfect time to do some research.
Check with your local GPAA and clubs on what kind of gold is found in your area. Placer gold, fine gold, specimen gold, wire gold, flake gold, and/or any other type of gold.
What type of gold is in your area will dictate what type of equipment you should be using.
If you have a lot of streams and rivers with bedrock, you might consider getting equipment suited for gold sniping. Crevice Tools, Metal Detectors designated for gold prospecting, and even wetsuits are good options to look into depending on how serious you want to get.
If you’re planning on crevicing on the bedrock banks and benches of a river you will want at least one classifier, and a good gold pan.
Bring at least one crevicing tool, a good scoop, and a super magnet to fish out any nails in your crevices.
Crevice Suckers are also handy for this type of gold prospecting. Crevice suckers are basically non-motorized hand dredges.
Ancient gravel benches can span all the way up the side of a mountain valley. If you are metal detecting for gold nuggets be sure to survey the land carefully. Assess where the old benches were, and where they could have eroded down to. It’s important to stay as close to the bedrock as possible when metal detecting gold nuggets.
(PHOTO POCKET GOLD FROM A VEIN SOUTHERN OREGON)
If you know you are going to be dealing with a lot of gravel you may want to invest in a good Sluice Box, and possibly a Highbanker or a Dredge.
Before investing in any motorized machine like a dredge or highbanker, you may want to check with your local DEQ water management to see what the rules and regulations are.
The rules and regulations for dredging in Oregon are HERE.
If you are dredging you will need to invest in a good wetsuit with all the fixings. Depending on how serious you are (and how deep you plan on dredging) you can look into air tanks etc..
(PHOTO HARD ROCK SOURCE GOLD SOUTHERN OREGON)
Hard Knocks Hard Rock Mining
Hard rock mining is a totally different type of gold prospecting that requires a lot of preparation to truly be done right.
First you need to make sure you have a claim on the land you are planning on mining.
If you plan on hard rock mining for fine gold, you will need to look into equipment to help you break the gold out of the hard rock. Rock crushers are an excellent tool to help pulverize big rocks down to manageable paydirt.
Depending on how small the gold is, you may need to process it chemically, which is beyond the scope of this article and will require much more research.
If the gold is still a good size when broken out of the rock, you can process your paydirt with various gold recovery tools.
Gold Recovery Tools
Surveying the Land
It’s a good idea to check with the BLM about mining claims so you don’t trespass on someone’s claim.
You can also use the OnX Hunt app to see property lines (not claim lines) and find out who owns the property.
Researching where gold has been found and mined before is also wise. A great site for this is: https://www.mindat.org/