"Around the Mining Block:" Facts and Tips for Seasoned Prospectors and Miners (Part 1)

 (Photo of gold ore courtesy U.S. Geological Service.)

It's Still Damn Difficult

There’s no debating the fact that with gold at nearly $1,500 per troy ounce you don’t have to recover as much gold to make a few bucks these days. That said, it’s still damn difficult to make a living as a small-scale or recreational miner or prospector as those of you who have been “around the mining block” for a while already know.

Gold Pans
Gold Concentrators

I’ve already discussed the subject of making a living as small-scale placer or hard-rock miner numerous times in “Bedrock Dreams” so I won’t beat that dead horse again. Yet I still receive numerous e-mails and comments from “newbies” wanting to know how easy it is to “strike ‘er rich” and what they can do to make that happen.

I'm Not Here to Discuss "Greenhorns"

Lately it seems if I try to answer their queries or comments truthfully they become indignant, angry, or even try to challenge me on this topic. But hey, that’s OK. We all tend to learn as we go and they will too…one way or the other.

But I’m really not here to discuss "greenhorns" or their “get-rich-quick” dreams. This series of posts is mainly intended for those of you out there who already have small-scale gold mining or prospecting experience and have a pretty good grip on the hardships and level of effort needed to get the gold. That said, however, the wise novices out there would do well to read this post series too.

The Way It Should Be

Let me digress here for a moment to present to you once again my personal definition on the difference between gold mining and prospecting: “Prospecting is the art of searching for gold and mining is the art of recovering gold.”

Obviously, whether your focus is prospecting or mining you’re still gonna end up doing a little bit of one or the other along the way. Truthfully, that’s the way it should be if you’re serious about getting some gold. You seasoned veterans out there already know this.

Facts is Facts

But facts is facts, and even those of us who have been around the block for a while now sometimes forget how clear and potentially “mining unfriendly” those facts can be. And that point, brothers and sisters, is the at the heart of this series of posts.

Wolverine Boots
Dickies Work Clothes

So bear with me here. If you do, I promise to deliver some points and tips that may save you time, money, and heartache and perhaps even enable you to increase your prospecting and mining knowledge a bit.

There’s more to come soon, so don’t run off. And, as always, good luck to you out there.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: “California and Oregon Miners Beware: Big Brother Loves You"

(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2011

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