Success as a Gold Miner (Part 1)

(Old timers at work near Santa Clarita, California back in the day.)

 Different Factors

Many different factors can contribute to your success as a gold prospector or miner. Here are a few tips that you can apply to great benefit in becoming a successful gold miner over the long haul:

Have a Definite Goal in Mind

Once you've been weaned from the novice stage, you should establish just what it is you want out of mining. Do you want to try and make a living at it? Supplement your income? Or, just mine for the fun of it?

Each of these goals requires different expenditures of commitment, time, effort, and money on your part. If you start off on the right foot and have a definite goal in mind that you can plan for and work toward, you'll gain success over time. Trust me on that.

Be Willing to Work Hard

Most of you out there already know that nothing comes easy in this life (or at least it hasn't in mine). Your willingness to work as hard as necessary to reach your mining and gold recovery goals is an absolute must in achieving success. You've heard me tell you many times here in "Bedrock Dreams" that gold mining is very hard work. Hoo boy! Is that an understatement.

If you're dead serious about your mining and prospecting efforts, I can guarantee you that at least part of the time you'll be working harder than most 3rd World coolies do. Your hands will be ground hamburger, your legs will feel like they're on fire, and you'll be slapping ice on or tying heating pads to your back because it just won't straighten up on you! Ultimately, you'll wonder what drove you to this particular madness to begin with.

Mining Equipment
Gold Concentrates
Gold Concentrators
One thing I've seen again and again over time in my small-scale mining career is just how quickly the "wannabes" get weeded out once they realize gold mining isn't a get-rich-quick scheme and just how much hard work it requires. To put it bluntly, when it comes to gold mining lazy asses need not apply. Hell, if gold was easy to locate and recover it wouldn't be worth a zinc penny anyway!

Stay Motivated

Gold mining has its share of ups and downs. Again, most of you with mining and prospecting experience already know this to be a fact. One minute you're all hyped up and excited, pulling really good gold, thinking you've finally hit that magic paystreak, and already spending all that money you'll make.

 (Placer gold like this doesn't come easy.)

Then you start following that paystreak downstream only to have it pinch out on you 10 minutes later. Or, alternately, you find a nice nugget snugged up under a boulder and start rubbing your hands together in anticipation, only to find out that was the only nugget under a boulder in a 5-mile radius. Or worse yet, you're a "newbie" who just can't find a speck of color in your gold pan no matter how hard you try.

So it goes...That's why it's important not to get discouraged and to remain motivated. Maintaining a high level of motivation in the face of setbacks and adversity is absolutely fundamental if you're going to be a successful miner.

Just saddle up, lock n' load, and motor on.

There's more to come next time. Until of luck to you and yours.

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2012

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "More on Midwestern Glacial Gold (Part 4)"

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. You got it right J.R. if your not freezing your bottom off, your feeding every blood sucking insect for miles... but you and I both know we wouldn't trade it for anything.

    There are a lot easier ways to make a buck out there, if I find one that makes the end of my day more fulfilling I'll be sure to let you know.


    1. I couldn't have said it better Cal. Thanks for the astute comments. J.R.

  2. This is one hobby that you could possibly make pay for itself, or maybe better. So far, I haven't come anywhere close, but it's more than the gold I'm after. Just getting into the mountains,good friends, cooling off in the creek on a hot summer day.......the list of good points are endless. If you find a little gold, it makes it all the better.

  3. Great point you make here Gary. It's the process of the whole deal...not necessarily the outcome. Best! J.R.


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