Finding Gold 2022
There are few other hobbies where you can have fun outdoors and potentially make money at the same time.The interest in gold prospecting is as strong now as it has ever been, but it’s definitely getting harder to find the yellow stuff these days. With the right knowledge and skills there is no doubt that plenty is left for you to find.
Over the past years, gold prospecting has become popular among many individuals worldwide. Whether you’re doing it as a leisure activity, or finding gold deposits for sales, having robust prospecting skills and metal detecting devices will make a world of difference in your experience. As you may or may not be aware, this outdoor adventure isn’t a walk in the park or something that requires mere luck. It takes mining knowledge, prospecting skills, field expertise, and industry experience to find gold nuggets or deposits.
Look in Places Where Gold has been found before
The best way to start your search for gold is to look in the same areas that the other prospectors once found gold.
Yes, it’s possible that you might be able to find gold any random place that you look, but you will find that gold is much more abundant in places where it has already been found and there is historical documentation that it occurs there.
Beginners often just go to the nearest river or creek to their home, do a bit of panning, don’t find any gold, and then assume that there is no gold left to be found.
The truth is, there are still a lot of gold out there waiting to be found by prospectors, but you have to know how to find it.
Research is the best way to find the places where gold occurs. You aren’t likely to find a brand new gold discovery, but what you are likely to find is an area within an existing gold rich area that still has some gold.
Find the old mines, rivers, and creeks where the early miners were searching and you are much more likely to have success.
Finding these places can take some experience. Some indicators are more obvious and others are somewhat subtle. An open mine adit is obvious, but a small creek that was hand-placered over 150 years ago might not be so noticeable.
Finding historic mining sites is often dismissed by the beginners, but I assure you that experienced gold miners understand the importance of locating these places.
Geology and Contact Zones
You need to learn the geology of your particular mining area. There are some natural gold indicators that can be found in most major gold producing areas, but each area can be different. You should learn to spot the types of rock that are associated with gold in your area.
Gold is difficult to find, but learning about the types of rock that it is generally associated with (as well as the types that it is not associated with) will help you find the best areas to focus your efforts.
Contact zones (also called a dykes or intrusion) are places where two major rock types come together. This is a natural geological process that happened millions of years ago. These events would result in rapid heating and cooling, and this often created the conditions needed for gold to form.
Learning to identify the zones can be difficult, but it is something that will become more apparent as you learn to look for it. There are certain rock types that are better from a gold mining perspective.
3 important rock types worth noting are granite, schist, and gneiss. I have found these 3 types of rock to be present in most of the places where I have found gold.
When these geological masses would contact each other, pressure and high temperatures would cause fissures that would result in gold formation. Gold would be pushed to the surface, making it accessible to prospectors without needing to tunnel deep into the ground.
Identifying the general direction of the geology in your mining area is important. In most of the western U.S., the mountains range in a general northwest-southeast trend. Look for contact areas where some other rock type enters at a different trend to the general geological mass. Many of the richest gold bearing areas will have a intrusions that are at a 90 degree trend to the prevailing geology.
While granite, schist, and gneiss are usually the main rock types, that isn’t always the case. It can potentially be any combination of rocks, although they usually make up at least one of them at gold-rich contact zones.
The color changes of soil are also good indicators of a contact point. Sometimes the major source of bedrock has eroded away long ago leaving behind only soil. You may spot a band of reddish soil, indicating an iron rich intrusion that once existed. The host rock has eroded away, but the red soil (and potentially gold) still remains.
The ground changes can be obvious or subtle depending on their size or the difference in color. Ground cover from grass and trees can also hide them. Sometimes the type of plants growing in the different soil types can help you find them.
Learn to Identify Natural Gold Indicators
I think that finding historic gold mining areas is the most important first step toward finding gold prospecting areas, but serious gold miners learn how to identify natural gold indicators. These are things that are commonly associated with gold.
While most of the rich gold mining areas have been found, there are certainly still some places out there with good gold that were completely overlooked by others. If you are fortunate enough to find one of these places, you are likely to be rewarded with some exceptional amounts of gold.
Once again, the main takeaway here should be that you need to learn you’re the geology of your mining district. When you understand the geology of the places where gold has already been found, you are more likely to spot the places where it might occur.
Often, the old geological reports that you use to research areas to prospect will tell you about the prevailing rock types found at a particular mine. Pay attention to those details.
Just as importantly, you need to know the rock types that are unlikely to be associated with gold. Don’t waste time looking in areas with a low chance of having gold.
Most of the time when you find gold you will also be finding some black sands. These sands are a variety of iron rich material, most commonly hematite and magnetite.
Black sands aren’t necessarily a great indicator for gold, since there are black sands abundant in places with little or no gold. However, in places where gold does exist you will frequently find gold with these black sands.
Very dark or reddish colored soils are usually high in iron content. In gold country, these are often the first places you want to start prospecting. Iron rich soils can be reddish or even purple, orange, yellow, and other bright colors. It takes a quality metal detector to handle these iron rich soils.
Finding gold consistently is take much more than just knowing how to pan for gold . equipment is important, but actually knowing where to dig is what will really make you successful.
Keep in mind that the places where gold is found is entirely dependent on the geology of the area, so you’d better learn a little bit out that!
You should also remember that there have been prospectors scouring the deserts and mountains for a couple hundred years now. Most of the major gold districts have been found already, so researching and finding these historic gold mining areas is a must.
Once you’ve found a gold-bearing area, now the fun begins! Select the right equipment for the job and start mining. Keep at it and you will be successful.
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