Learn to Keep Your Mouth Shut

Many Miners Don't Seem to Understand

I know just as sure as I sit here typing away and sipping my second cup of coffee of the day that many of you out there are scratching your heads about the title of this post and trying to make a connection in terms of its relation to small-scale gold mining. Well wonder no more...just read on.

Gold Concentrators
Metal Detectors

In my treasure hunting blog, "Treasure Trove Dreams" I've emphasized this sterling little piece of wisdom more than once, and for good reason. Yet many miners, both novices and veterans alike, just don’t seem to understand that “flapping your gums” freely and loosely about good gold finds or recoveries can come back to bite you right on the ass (figuratively speaking that is).

A "Hypothetical" Example

So if you’re one of those well-intentioned folks out there who has an unfortunate propensity for diarrhea of the mouth then listen up: you need to slow down and think before you speak. Why? Well shucky darn “pard,” it’s just common sense.

Let’s use a hypothetical example (that is actually reality based) to make things a bit clearer to one and all:

A Few Flecks of Color

Novice Miner “A” spends a weekend working open placer ground that others have pretty much bypassed for any number of reasons. In the past Miner “A” returned from his solitary mining forays with a few flecks of flour gold recovered from overburden gravels but little else. Being a “newbie,” he presses on despite his overall lack of knowledge and mining experience because that’s what novices do. After all, a few flecks of color is better than nothing, right?

Carhartt Wear

One day a friend tells him what good ol’ J.R. has to say in “Bedrock Dreams” about gold deposition and, in particular, the importance of bedrock in stopping and concentrating gold in cracks and crevices. The very next weekend Miner “A” returns to his favorite spot, searches for available bedrock, finds it, and then proceeds to clean out some likely looking cracks and crevices.

Drawn Up in Short Order

Imagine Miner “A’s” stunned surprise (and joy) when he recovers 2 small nuggets (the first he’s ever found by the way) as well as a decent amount of coarse flakes. Hot damn! He can’t wait to “broadcast” his good fortune to one and all, which he does with utter abandon.

The very next weekend Miner “A” heads up to his special spot all loaded down with gear to “strike ‘er rich” with his new-found knowledge and is drawn up abruptly in short order. How so? Well, the word’s out and now there are a dozen or more would-be nugget hunters busy cleaning out what Miner “A” thought was his spot and his gold.

(I was actually the second recipient of this interesting tidbit of "loose lips sink ships" information and, since times is tough here in New Mexico as far as good open gold ground, I may just make a little foray to this spot myself in the next few weeks.)

Read My Lips

I can give you literally dozens of other examples just like this, including some where larger nuggets or fairly significant amounts of placer gold were concerned. Do you like to brag? Have an over-active ego? Want to impress others with your mining skills? Or are you just plain stupid?

If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions then, my errant friend, you are going to end up on the “brown” end of the stick eventually. Read my lips: “Learn to keep your mouth shut.”

Mining ain’t always a chair of bowlies ...

If you liked this post, you may want to read: “Characteristics of Gold-Bearing Quartz Veins (Part 2)"

© J.R. 2011

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