Here I am 20 days after the Shelter-in place, and I am still prospecting almost every day. I may not be in the field every day, but I am still prospecting.
At the end of my workday I’ll have dinner and settle in at the computer and study areas to prospect when I am able to move more freely. I refuse to watch TV, and the idea of social media being truly social is not how I want to spend an evening at home.
I’m not making huge plans for long extended trips to the next state. Instead, I’m drilling down on local areas and digging deeper into recorded recovery of registered mines and looking at the peripheral areas around the mines.
Almost every mine that I have researched was found by prospecting the placer areas around the mines as so many were. What I am looking for are places that the placer would deposit over the last hundred to hundred thousand years or so.
With Google Earth, I’ll have a topo overlay up and running with the LR2000 open and using my claim software overlaying everything and I get to prospecting.
I find an area that I want to work, I research the mines in the area, pick a mine and find it on Google Earth or at least the area that the mine should be then bounce back from topo to satellite.
Prospecting from a mile up shows me a lot and I take full advantage of the view. The topo and satellite show the water courses, and even though you can see the slope on the satellite map, the topo shows a lot more information as to the steepness of the slope and a better view of the contour. As much as I use satellite mapping - trees, shrubs, and in my case, a lot of cactus obscures the true flow of the area.
Using both is the best for me. I can look at the contour of the topo then anomalies on the Satellite for the best picture available long before I step foot on the ground. In this spot, the topo mapping shows a quick change in the contour And the Satellite shows what looks like old mine workings.
The next step is to overlay the claims past and present. I use active to assure I will not be claim jumping and to get some current info about the area and the closed claims, to pull as much information as possible for more research.
With the LR2000 I can pull records of when the claims were originally filed, how long they were active and claimant information. All of which is very important. In areas where there were not a lot of workings and a claim was only held for a year or two says volumes about the location. If a claim was only held for a year or so I become very intrigued. Why did the claimant claim the spot and what were the prospecting methods used to recover or not recover gold?
And just because it was only claimed for a couple of years back in the 1980’s does not automatically rule it off my list. Remember that there was very little satellite mapping back then and their view from the ground level is definitly not my view from 300’ above the ground. There is a good chance that I am seeing things that they may have not seen from the ground level.
If it really catches my interest, I’m logging it in as a possible spot to test using my “interest” gage spreadsheets with 1 = have to go and test, to 5 = I’ll get there, someday. And yes I have blacked out the GPS and the Claim names, you didn’t think I was going to X marks the spot did you?
All of this keeps my mind engaged and not wasting time in front of the TV, I am investing my time in my future prospecting. Which I know will pay me back many more times over than watching reruns.
Just my thoughts, I’ll see you out there... someday.