Prospecting with the MXT at Desert Placers

Site No. 1:   Rye Patch Placer

This site is probably the best known nugget detecting site in Nevada. It has been very well prospected over the past 20 years, but there are still nuggets being found. Good nugget detecting areas are places where the gold is not too deep - this place fits the bill. The bedrock here is a shale. There are a lot of areas here where there are dozer scrapings, but the soil layer is not very deep and many places the dozer cut down a foot or so and hit the country rock.   Geologically, most of the dozer scrapings were in areas where there were concentrations of iron stained quartz on the surface. These quartz areas and the gulleys draining between them are the places where one would look for gold.

There are some more mineralized areas, but in general, the soil here is warm, but not too hot. I was able to run my MXT at full +3 gain without significant problems or too much noise. There were a few places with alkaline soil (salt in the soil) which made a little noise, but these were small and far between, so they were not really a factor in how I set up the MXT. I used the prospect mode in most areas, but a few places had a significant amount of iron trash, including broken bits of rusty can.  In those places, I used the prospect mode with the trigger forward to disc out the iron. I had the disc set at 3, which is low enough to eliminate most iron, but will allow nearly all nuggets. When in Prospect mode I had the SAT set at 6. The mini 6x4 DD coil was used because of its ability to get small gold.

rye_patch1.jpg (21491 bytes)
rye_patch2.jpg (18653 bytes)
rye_patch4.jpg (17932 bytes)


For More info on using a metal detector in prospecting for gold, Take a look at my Prospecting for Gold website

Site No. 2:   Other Desert Placers

There are actually a number of desert placer sites around Arizona, Nevada and California. If you put your coil over the gold you will have a good chance to find it. The point is to get out to where 10,000 other folks have not already run their detector. This takes research and time spent to explore.  Desert sites can be one of the locations where a Pulse type detector may do significantly better than a VLF, but gold can still be found with a VLF detector like the MXT.

The soil can be deep so be sure to use a coil appropriate for the area. Desert areas can be fairly low in trash, so my preferred setting on the was MXT to use the prospecting mode, with a discrimination setting  about 2. The 9x6 DD has been my preferred coil in most of these situations because of its depth and area coverage. I try to keep the gain as high as possible without too much chatter and instability. This higher gain setting helps with both smaller and deeper gold. 

chrisgold01.jpg (9811 bytes)
gold_basin05.jpg (33799 bytes)



MXT Home Base Page | About the MXT | Basic MXT Operations | Forum Links | Available Accessories |

MXT Pros and Cons  |  The MXT FAQ |Site - Specific MXT Detecting Journal