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Thread: Spot selections, how should I pick mine?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Spot selections, how should I pick mine?

    I see a lot of new guys asking where to go..... Kind of presumptuous....

    I'm asking; how do you guys pick a spot to work?

    What kind of material should be on the bottom of the stream? Is there a color in particular? Is it a sandy base I am looking for? Do I want a bend in the river? Do I want a cut bank? Should I stick to gold rush tailings for powder?

    Also what is your favorite means for initial looking? Do you pan it for a test or do you sluice it to give it a real good look before deciding to move on?

    I have some spots I want to try next year but I'm a fisherman not a panner by trade and I was wondering how you guys might read the water.

    River Runnin

  2. #2
    Member trapperrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Seward, AK


    Not that this is a definitive answer by any means but you need to study geology, economic geology in particular. There are so many things you need to know to effectively prospect for PM's it's not even funny. I could tell you to look for granitic intrusions or breccias but you probably wouldn't know what I was talking about. Look for quartz veins, especially if they cut across the host rock. You'll need to move a lot of rock and sand around to get to the paydirt. Gold is usually deposited in the gravels so when you find them you are in a potentially good area - if there is gold there. The closer to bedrock you dig, the morel likely you are to find gold in your pan. Picking a spot to prospect and invest hours of back breaking shoveling into is a crap shoot. You can only do your research, learn what indicators to look for then get out there and look for it. Research is the easy part. Look for gold where it's already been found; at least you know it's been there and there is likely more there. Obviously you'll be looking for black sands down in the layers of sand and gravels; that's where the gold will most likely be. Get a copy of "Modern Prospecting" by Roger McPherson. It's good reading by a man that's worn out many many pair of boots in the back country of Alaska as a geologist, looking for precious metals. Diggin is the hard part; reading is easy and very worthwhile.

  3. #3


    Look to history, lots of great books, Dave Mckracken has a bunch of how to books and videos about movement of gold.

    The most important thing I think he passes on is keep sampling until you locate a paystreak then begin your production operation.

    The most important thing I have to pass on is spend some time to research who is in control of the mineral rights in the area or spot you plan to work.

    The DNR has a very confusing websight that has the tools if you are patient enough to figure out how to work it.

    I have met some people who didn't give a **** about respecting a claim owners rights, they ruin it for everybody....

    I enjoy the research about as much as the actual getting dirty part.

    Good diggen !!


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