All About Basic Prospecting For Gold and Silver:

Prospecting for gold and silver (or other metals) takes some knowledge, and in that way it resembles any other natural or practical pursuit. Though theoretical knowledge and experience are not at odds when happily combined, yet either without the other proves very unsatisfactory. Thus the reader of this series of web pages, should he start out armed only with its theory, will find himself for some time pretty much adrift at sea when he comes to actual practice in the field. After a certain amount of time in the field, however, he gradually obtains some practical experience, he may find these pages of use to him. So, also, the seasoned prospector, who has hitherto trusted to luck, keenness of observation, intuition and experience, may find himself in the future much better equipped by acquiring a little of the theory. The information presented here is taken from a number of old mining and prospecting texts and compiled here for ease of access. While I have endeavored to give the prospector all assistance in what is necessary, as to the best means of educating himself, describing his outfit, etc., I have devoted special attention to the description of such geological and other phenomena as he is likely to meet with in connection with his work, so that he may have an intelligent idea of them when he encounters them. Check out the links to the various topics listed below:



Basic Gold and Silver Prospecting Topics:
1. Gold: That Precious Yellow Metal

2. The Basics of Hard Rock Prospecting: Part I
3. The Basics of Hard Rock Prospecting: Part II
4. The Basics of Hard Rock Prospecting: Part III
5. The Basics of Hard Rock Prospecting: Part IV
6. Prospecting For Natural Gold
7. Gossans and Other Surface Outcrops for Prospectors

8. How To Test For And Recognize Minerals
9. The Basics of Fire Assay Testing
10. Assaying Placer Gravel Materials
11. Basic Field Tests For Gold and Various Other Metals
12. Identifying Ores of Silver, Copper and Lead
13. Identifying Ores of Aluminum, Chromium and Iron
14. Identifying Ores of Antimony, Mercury, Nickel, Platinum, Tin & Zinc
15. The Prospector's Basic Mining Techniques
16. Becoming A Prospector For Gold And Silver Ores, Part I 
17. Becoming A  Prospector For Gold And Silver Ores, Part II 
18. Minerals For The Prospector, Part I
19. Minerals For The Prospector, Part II
20. Study Of Rocks For The Prospector, Part I
21. Study Of Rocks For The Prospector, Part II
22. Examining And Evaluating Mining Properties
23. Sampling Mines For Investment And Avoiding Salting

24. Gold Prospecting Basics, Part I
25. Gold Prospecting Basics, Part II
26. Gold Prospecting Basics, Part III
27. Gold Prospecting Basics, Part IV
28. Gold Prospecting Basics, Part V

29. Minerals Which Accompany Gold Ores, Part 1 (new addition)
30. Minerals Which Accompany Gold Ores, Part 2 (new addition)
31. Minerals Which Accompany Gold Ores, Part 3 (new addition)
32. Minerals Which Accompany Gold Ores, Part 4 (new addition)
33. Minerals Which Accompany Gold Ores, Part 5 (new addition)
34. Minerals Which Accompany Gold Ores, Part 6 (new addition)

Prospectors are, as a rule, are unusually active men, both mentally and physically, and hard workers when in the field. To the individual who has any taste for the freedom and sport of the unspoiled wilderness, and the pure, ever-changing delights of  Nature as it was created every day of exploring brings its quota of enjoyment. Hope in the quest always springs eternal, and the hardest labor brings with it such added health and strength as make it a pleasure, and the explorer at sixty, is as young in heart and feeling, as the ordinary business man at forty. In no other way, and in no other business, can fortunes be made, which in the making necessarily enrich the community at the same time, and in no other calling can fortune be realized in a day, without causing misery and loss to others.

When the successful prospector finds a valuable mine, he at once adds the present value of the find, to the wealth of the nation. When he converts that mine into the medium of exchange which supplies his wants, and receives possibly a large sum therefore, he gives value for what he receives, and may enjoy his gains with a clear conscience. The opening of mines in any locality, means a direct and lasting benefit to all the dwellers therein; to the laborer work, and good wages; to the farmer an added market; to the government, taxes and therefore, the business of searching for and developing mines, is an honorable one, and the prospector takes rank as a public benefactor.

The best previous education for a prospector would be a course at a school of mines, where he will learn the practical elements of geology, mineralogy, assaying, and other sciences. He needs to know how to recognize native gold and other minerals in their natural settings. And next to that, practical work in the mines themselves, and lastly the essentials of the prospecting field. The prospector should know how to open and explore his vein or ledge, when he finds it, with pick, shovel, and blasting apparatus. The prospector should learn how to use his pan or iron spoon for testing ores, and various materials. He should learn how to use a metal detector to explore for rich pockets of gold. An important point is to learn how to sample and average approximately the quantity of ore in, and value of, a deposit when he has found one. Valuable gold ore in a vein or ledge may lie in pockets, strings, bunches, irregularly distributed through the quartz or other material of the vein; he should learn to tell at sight the relative proportion of ore and gangue. These pages should help greatly in that quest to learn.




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