Researching Online Mining Systems (Conclusion)

 (Mindat gold specimen.)

In the final post of this three-part series I'll be talking a bit more about Mindat. Online databases like Mindat are great research sources for small-scale gold miners, so take heed.

Value Added

I was going to take you through Mindat step-by-step but you're smart people who can easily read a manual. Mindat has its own users manual which can be found by clicking the following link:

There's no sense in me repeating what's already in Mindat's online manual. By the way, be advised the manual may not be up to date. That's the bugaboo of all databases anytime, anywhere. They're only as good as the data fed to them and only as current as to when they've been updated. That said, however, databases like Mindat can be of tremendous value when it comes to gold and gold locality research.

Here's something some of you out there already know. Good research is the greatest single tool in your arsenal for becoming a successful small-scale miner or gold prospector (this is even more true for you generic treasure hunters out there). I know you've heard this a thousand times before but it remains absolutely true nonetheless. Unless you live in some sun-drenched location like Florida or SoCal, winter pretty much puts the kibosh on your outdoor mining and prospecting activities. You couldn't ask for a better time, all things considered, to do a bit of online prospecting though. And if you're thorough and conscientious in terms of how you proceed you're bound to turn up something of value, be that a new location or a spot that's far away from the maddening crowds and that holds real potential.

Keep Learning

I'm always telling you that knowing something of the mining history and production characteristics of a given locality is a step to success as a miner or prospector. I do that for a reason. Only a fool, lazy ass, or a complete simpleton would try to prospect or mine an area without any advanced knowledge. Harsh words to be sure but none of you fit that bill. My readers are very smart people and savvy miners...mostly, anyway.

There's a direct correlation to your knowledge level and your overall success as a small-scale gold miner. That knowledge includes theoretical as well as practical concerns. The more you know, the more experienced you become, the more gold you'll get. You should always try and increase your mining knowledge each and every way you can by pursuing any and all avenues that make you a better miner or prospector. Experience alone ain't gonna do it. That physical experience in the field has to be tied in with the intellectual/mental knowledge gained. Then you have a REAL one-two punch at your disposal. Want to kick ass and get more gold? Keep learning. Hell, I've been at this gold mining and prospecting thing for over 36 years now and I'm still learning. I'm getting as broken down as they come these days, rusty in the joints, various and sundry aches and pains, and forgetful as a blackout drunk on a week-long bender. If I can learn and adapt so can you.

I Mean Well

Some say life's a chair of bowlies (bowl of cherries?). I don't know about that but I do know that small-scale gold mining isn't for sissies, girly men, non-hackers, whiners, complainers, short-cut takers, lazy bums, or pie-in-the-sky types looking to get rich overnight. It takes a special breed of person (man, woman, or child) to work like a damn dog for a few specks of yellow metal scattered inside a gold pan. You either love it or you don't. Love it and you'll do whatever's necessary to make things happen and take great joy in it all the while. Come into this thing of ours half-heartedly and half-assed, and guess what? You'll soon be winnowed out like the chaff to wheat.

 (You either love it or you don't.)

I'm rambling, I know. Show me a bit of patience, if you can. I always mean well. But the heart of the matter is this: if doing whatever's necessary to become a better and more successful miner includes using online databases like Mindat and the USGS System, then by all means do it. Don't make BS excuses about it or tell yourself you don't have enough time because I ain't buying it. So sorry Charlie. On the other hand, for those of you already using these systems and databases I doff my hat to you. Good job!

Take good care, especially in this world of ours that apparently is growing more insane by the minute. Love one another and stand up for what's right.


(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2016

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. JR, 100% right! I hear it all the time, "I don't have time for that". Well, for a lot of things, that's true. I haven't had time to go prospecting yet this year, and winter will be here in no time. This is a little different though. I have time to read this while I'm drinking my morning coffee. Who doesn't sit and watch TV in the evening after dinner? I have to say, I do that more in the winter also though. In the summer, if it's still daylight, I'm outside working on something. Bottom line is, you do have time for this. It is how you spend that time that counts. Instead of some stupid sit-com with the annoying laugh track, look up Mindat or something that might be useful. A few winters back, I stumbled across Mindat and marked as many spots as possible on a map. Now I have a "treasure map" of possible places to look for gold. I've tried a lot of them, some are better than others, but each spot is a place I would never have gone without it. Just exploring and seeing new country is a different kind of gold all it's own. Gary

  2. You're right on the money Gary!


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