Prospectors who search only for gold, especially placer gold, are likely to walk over a great deal more treasure than they find. Limiting prospecting to one type of exploration can be an expensive and time-consuming enterprise that may leave the searcher thoroughly frustrated at the end of the hunt.
Gold and gemstones have a lot in common. Both are much heavier than sand and gravels and will settle out together in the same running water pools and will usually be found together on bedrock. Diversifying your equipment to recover more than one type of treasure is an important aspect of the prospectors arsenal. Any time you decide to work a particular area for one type of treasure, you might just as well get all the goodies it holds. Many prospectors merely scratch the surface in their efforts, find nothing, and become completely disheartened with the entire operation.
Recognizing rock and mineral associations and understanding regional geology is important. The successful prospector must not only focus on regional geology, but also on surrounding host rocks, mineral and rock associations & geological environments. Much of Canada is underlain by a stable continental core known as a Craton. Cratons consist of older continental cores referred to as Archons (rocks greater than 2.5 billion years old), Protons consisting of Early Proterozoic age basement rocks (1.8 to 2.5 billion years) and Tectons (Late Proterozoic basement rocks, 1.8 to about 600 million years old).
So what does all this mean? Well, using geological reasoning, a Canadian group headed to the Northwest Territories of Canada and after considerable time, discovered diamond-rich kimberlite at Lac de Gras that now is marked by one of the largest diamond mining facilities in the world.
A metal detector should be an integral part of your arsenal. Not only can you detect for gold nuggets, but you also find other trace minerals such as silver, copper, lead, zinc, manganese, etc. And let’s not forget the other hidden treasure. Don’t forget, the old-timers didn’t have garbage pickup. So they dug a hole and buried all their cans, trash, and bottles into the hole. When the hole was full, they covered it and dug another one. The old cans may be corroded but the bottles are highly collectible.
In addition, there is always the possibility of finding loose coins, or even a pot of gold or coins that these old-timers buried. Many of them distrusted banks and buried their valuables. Look for signs of old sites of habitation, such as house foundations, post poles, water wells, and old tailings piles. It is also possible to find old Indian artifacts, many of which were made out of copper, although there have been finds of gold.
There are times the treasure spirits are not inclined to favor us in one area, but will shower us with goodies in another. It’s well to be prepared and diversification may help you to reap greater benefits from your prospecting. One thing is for sure. You’ll find it a great deal more interesting!