My name is Rod and this is my website. I’ve been gold prospecting since 1984 in the South West USA, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Nevada and Colorado. One of my goals as an independent prospector is to share my views regarding equipment, recovery techniques and areas.
As a teenager, that first flash of gold in my pan set off gold fever. My friends and I began prospecting on a regular basis, selling our gold and buying better equipment. Eventually, we ran a small scale placer operation with heavy equipment. I’ve also hard rock mined for gold and silver. Today, my favorite method of prospecting is being a nugget shooter and that means metal detecting for gold nuggets and I’m very lucky to have expanded my circle of friends who share the same passion. I also enjoy detecting for gold bearing stringers and specimens in mine tailings. Its kind of funny to see how many terms have formed around a person metal detecting for gold, nugget shooter, detector prospector, nugget hunter, gold beeper.
There is a lot to learn to be a successful prospector. Its more than just finding bedrock, black sand (hematite and magitite) with trumpet plants present. You have to be willing to adventure and take risks. You also need firm determination to succeed and the willingness to learn how to research locations and historic mining data and maps. The most important thing is you must be willing to get out there and put your boots on the ground. There many undiscovered placer and lode gold deposits still out there in addition to vast numbers of areas that the old timers worked with just basic hand tools like picks, pans, crevicing tools and shovels. They left an amazing amount of gold behind for the modern day prospector. While they had dry washers, sluices and rocker boxes they were far from efficient or technologically advanced by today’s standards.
The metal detector is one tool that completely changed the game in regards to working old gold bearing areas. It allows us to locate nuggets in a way that the old timers never thought possible. In fact they walked right over many huge gold nuggets. Working old gold bearing areas I’ve noticed that little work was done if fine gold recovery was sparse. The simple fact is if they were not seeing good pay they just moved on. Geologically larger gold nuggets and fine gold are not always found the in same area. Many locations have good fine gold yet lack nuggets. Others, have good nuggets but virtually lack fine gold in the quantity that would encourage someone with just simple tools to pursue the area. And of course other areas are a mix. As you learn about geology and the ages of rocks you’ll also learn that gold by no means follows nature’s guidelines.
Whether a new prospector or seasoned veteran you have many opportunities and options. You can join a club, use their claims, stake your own claim with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or even just prospect in open areas where legal. And with buying equipment you also have more choices today than ever before. Metal detectors come in two main types, Pulse Induction (PI) and Very Low Frequency (VLF). I wrote an article that should help lend some insight into what model is right for you and the type of prospecting you do.
Today you also have more research tools available to you than ever before. Historic and geologic data is freely available from the USGS and other sources. The data has been compiled and distributed in such a way that it is compatible with many free programs like Google Earth and other platforms. Take a look at the Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS).
I hope you enjoy this site and find it informative. I’ve changed it quite a few times over the years looking for the right fit, especially with the name of the site. The website started out as Arizona Gold Prospectors (.com) back in 2003 and today it’s landed on GoldTreks.com. If you want to connect take the spaces out…azgoldpros @ gmail.com and you are welcome to take a look at some pics of our adventures.
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