Where To Gold Prospect
We’ve all heard the saying “gold is where you find it”. There are a few places where gold is, and the rest of the world where gold isn’t. It’s rare that a new “metal detectorable” goldfield is discovered. Even that discovery is usually the product of geophysical exploration, not someone getting lucky with a metal detector. Search where other people have found gold.
There are also various opportunities available to take “gold tours” to places like Alaska and Australia which have some particularly good gold prospecting districts.
Don’t do your gold prospecting in places you don’t belong.
Learn how to recognize gold claims and do not search on them without first getting the claim owner’s permission. In Canada and the USA, gold prospecting clubs/organizations usually own claims where members can go prospecting. To search on private or mining claim land, the owner may grant permission to search as long as you reassure the owner that you will not damage structures or leave unfilled holes, and will not hold the owner liable for accidents. If that is not sufficient, offer the owner to describe what you found and to map where you found it: this increases the owner’s knowledge of the geological value of the property. You can also offer to collect and deliver to the owner any small metal trash and hot rocks you uncover rather than simply discarding these items on the site: this improves the usability of the site for further prospecting. Offering the owner a percentage of what you find is usually not a workable proposition because that requires more trust than most people have. Besides which, raw gold (unlike cash) is not something that can easily be split to a fixed percentage.
Geological Settings For “Electronic Gold Prospecting”
Books on gold prospecting usually describe the occurrence of gold on and near the surface in the landscape as follows:
1. Higher up in the terrain, there’s gold in exposed quartz veins (“reefs”).
2. Also higher up in the terrain, there’s gold in the ground directly above quartz veins where the vein weathered in place.
3. Gold gradually moves downslope from its quartz vein source, carried by surface erosion and soil creep. So there’s gold in that dirt.
4. Gold moving downslope eventually reaches a stream channel. There it is carried by water along with gravel and sand sediments, especially during floods.
5. Rising floods deposit sediment, including gold, above and alongside the stream channel. These sediments remain as terrace deposits when the floodwaters recede.
This common “textbook” description is intended mostly to help the student learn to visualize geological processes. The actual geological situation on the ground in many mining regions is quite different. For instance, in many mining districts, gold is found in rock types other than quartz.