Crevicing Still Remains One of Your Best Gold Recovery Methods (Part 10)
(Decent crevices and drop offs on this section of bedrock? Perhaps, but I suspect the water flow here in flood stage would carry most of the gold down and away.)
Metal detectors specifically designed for electronic prospecting and nugget shooting can be useful supplementary tools when it comes to crevicing and sniping for gold in streams and dry washes. In this post I'll be providing you with a few tips and suggestions on using a gold detector in your crevicing activities.
10. The Tool and Equipment Factor (Using Your Gold Detector)
In an ideal world you'd be swinging that gold machine of yours over sections of bedrock and bedrock cracks and crevices locating nugget after nugget and pocket after pocket of flakes and fines. Sadly, this doesn't happen very often in the "real" mining world.
Gold Panning Kits
Does it happen at all? Sure, in those rare instances where the planets align themselves totally in your favor. Aside from sheer luck however, your main advantage in this regard will be your crevicing knowledge and experience along with a healthy dose of proficiency with that machine of yours. The combination of these factors is what will carry you through to crevicing success using a detector.
Become an expert at ground balancing. As I mentioned before, most gold areas (wet or dry) contain lots of "hot rocks" and highly mineralized or iron-rich soils. These can wreak havoc with your gold machine (or any metal detector for that matter) if you don't know how to properly use its ground balancing or ground cancelling feature. In the old days this function was controlled primarily by a set of potentiometers that had to "dialed" to the correct setting(s) and this could be, to put it bluntly, a royal pain in the ass at times.
(Control panel of the Fisher "Gold Bug Pro." This machine employs a push-button ground balancing feature.)
Fortunately, many new gold detectors now employ a push button ground balancing feature that, in my humble opinion, is a great improvement. I've used both types of these ground balancing detectors in the field and I'll take the push button function machine any day. Remember, as you work any stream or wash the levels of mineralization can (and will) change. You'll have your machine properly ground balanced for one section of bedrock and then move a few feet away and find yourself having to re-balance your machine again...and again...and again. So become an expert at ground balancing.
Be wary of your machine's ferrous/non-ferrous discriminator. Most, if not all, gold machines worth their salt will have a ferrous/non-ferrous metal discriminating function. This can be a good thing and a not-so-good thing. A basic premise of just about any detector is that when discriminators are used to "blank out" certain metals or certain types of targets there will be a resultant loss in sensitivity and depth, no matter how slight that loss may be in reality.
Any experienced nugget shooter will tell you NOT to use that ferrous/non-ferrous discriminator unless you're working an area so heavily trashed with bits of iron that it's virtually impossible to work otherwise. Many small placer nuggets (and large flakes of gold) can't be detected when you're using this discriminating function or will sound like or "read as" iron (ferrous) targets...so use the discriminating function sparingly in the field. Those of you crevicing in dry or desert placers will be the ones most affected by this principle since most scrap metal in those areas remains in place where it was tossed or abandoned.
There's more to come so stay tuned.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Crevicing Still Remains One of Your Best Gold Recovery Methods (Part 9)"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2013
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