10 Tips for Smart Miners: Choose Your Partner(s) Carefully

(When you have this amount of work to do in a goldfield, you better have a good "pard!")

Be a Smart Miner

Once again, if you have a choice between being what I call a smart miner (someone who has it together and thinks and plans ahead) or conversely a not-so-smart miner (someone who doesn’t have it together and never thinks or plans ahead), your best bet is to become the former and not the latter. Why?

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Well for starters, smart miners tend to work more efficiently overall, are less problem-prone out in the field, and tend to get the most gold. Even if the first two qualifiers don’t grab your attention, the third one should. That’s my ever-so-humble opinion anyway.

So over the next few posts I will provide 10 tips meant to help you become one of the placer mining “elite” out there, a smart miner:

Tip 3. Choose your partner(s) carefully.

No matter how experienced or inexperienced you may be as a placer gold miner, chances are you either already have a mining partner or will have at some point in time. For some of us our mining “pards” will come and go over time, some will be with be us for the long term, and some will last only a short while.

Even though I’ve spent many years gold prospecting and mining by my lonesome, I don’t always think that is a good thing. Right off the “get go” safety is an issue in this regard.

Good “Pards” are Assets, Not Liabilities

But beyond the safety thing there’s just something to be said about working alongside a solid partner who shares your enthusiasm, who works as hard or harder than you do, and who can be counted on to cover your back in any and all situations. These are just a few reasons why it is so important to partner up with someone who will prove to be an asset and not a liability.

How does having a good “pard” make you a smart miner? In a number of ways, my friend. For instance:

• Dividing expenses, resources, and equipment;
• Exchanging mining experience and expertise;
• Increasing your mining output and gold recovery;
• Learning from one another;
• Keeping each other safe;
• Sharing the camaraderie gained from joint effort, hardship, and hard-won success.

These are just a few of the assets a good mining “pard” can bring to the table.

What to Look For

But the strongest admonition I can give you about having a mining partner can be found in the title of this tip: “Choose your partner(s) carefully.” Otherwise my friends, you’ll likely find yourselves angry, frustrated, and ready to commit random acts of violence. Trust me on this…I know.

What are the characteristics to look for in a good mining “pard?” How about things like honesty, integrity, and dependability for starters?

But here are some additional traits I always look for: a good sense of humor, a willingness to work hard, and someone with a strong positive attitude. Finally, you want a “pard” who has a mind of his or her own and who is willing to “agree to disagree” at certain times…no one really likes a “yes” man or woman.

What to Avoid

Just as you want to search for favorable traits in a potential mining partner or partners, you’ll definitely want to avoid unfavorable traits like lying, scamming, or being a royal pain in the ass 24-7. Here are a few general types of “pards” you’ll want to stay well clear of:

The Whiner/Complainer: This person continually whines and complains about every little aspect of what’s going on. “It’s hot, it’s too cold, it’s too far, it’s not far enough, there’s not enough gold here, there’s better gold over there,” etc., etc., ad nauseam. You know the type…you just want to plant your boot in their ass after a while.

The BSer/Blowhard: There’s no escaping this person who runs tall tales every waking minute, trying to convince you that he or she has been there, done that, and has recovered more gold and bigger nuggets than anyone else in the entire Motherlode. Likes to strut and pontificate but you’ll play hell getting even 1 or 2 hours of real work out of this one.

The Know-It-All: Always able to tell you how each and every piece of mining equipment operates down to the smallest screw. Examines your set up with a serious-looking frown before announcing you need to adjust this or that or things won’t run right. Always ready with lots of smarmy criticism and tons of extraneous suggestions. Keep your hands at your sides or you’ll end up strangling this jerk.

The Scammer/Manipulator: This one will put you through the paces, conveniently forgetting to bring a wallet along to help pay for gas or supplies. Tries to play on your essential goodness, generosity, and sense of fair play to weasel out of his/her end and attempts to make you feel guilty if you call their B.S. My suggestion: keep your guns at home.

Sure, a bit of this is tongue-in-cheek, but not much. The sad thing is that I’ve seen each of these types (and many more) out in the field at one time or another. Thankfully, I was able to filter the crap well enough to end up with some pretty decent folks as mining partners.

So should you…..

If you liked this post, you may want to read: “Classic Mining Quotes”


© J.R. 2010

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com