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Where's the Gold: Prospecting with a Metal Detector


Where's the Gold: Prospecting with a Metal Detector
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I almost wish that I could do this one and not leave any hints. This is a working mine on a private claim that has been in production for some time and has consistently produced a lot of small chunky gold off of the bedrock. Let’s see if you are thinking outside to the prospector’s "googles" on this one.


  1. High bench with a slow slope to a narrow wash.
  2. The wash, not very wide. Not very consistent areas of exposed bedrock in the upper wash becoming much deeper, more consistent and exposed in the lower part of the wash. 
  3. The lower flats, mineralization was the highest here to the detector.
  4. Overburden push pile from prospecting to the bedrock with the backhoe.



First off, how did I know about the gold on the claim? I prospected, which means I talked to the owner of the site, got a lot of great information about what and how he had been recovering the gold over the years, then asked permission to hunt. Asking questions is a part of your prospecting and research.


If you selected D, then you are spot on. The hint is in the description of the area and in B, in finding spotty areas of bedrock in the upper wash and consistent bedrock below. The gold is on the bedrock and the mine operator was going straight to the bedrock in the washes considering everything else as overburden and not worth his time to run.


Even if he had said no to my prospecting request, I had gathered some great information talking to him about the area that will help me in areas surrounding his claims on the same trend. I will be going back to the area, and detecting knowing what I am looking for gets me on the gold that much quicker.   


Kevin Hoagland is the Executive Director of Development at the Gold Prospectors Association of America and the Lost Dutchman's Association of America. He can be reached at


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