Parting Tips for All of You (Part 2)

I'll continue to mine this vein of information and hopefully you'll pick something up you find useful. As an aside, I want all of you to take care this Holiday Season and please don't let the hustle, bustle, and general madness of the commercial end of Christmas wear you down. As we all know, it's not about selling should have much deeper meaning for all of us.

Tip 8: Remember That Gold Does Funny Things

Actually, it's not gold that does the funny stuff. In truth it's Ma Nature who loves playing tricks on us and she'll often deposit gold in the least likely spots or places. Not consistently, but there are those times so be open to her whims and pranks. That's why I've found good gold at times in spots that were 100% opposed to the typical gold deposition rules you've heard or read about or watched on video countless times. I'm talking about nuggets in blow sand, nice pockets in the top six inches of dirt, and paystreaks far removed from current streambeds. So the moral of this little tale is that you must always be open to the possibilities and not accord deposition physics the full measure of your attention out in the field. Granted, going with the science end is ALWAYS your best bet for finding gold, but not in every circumstance. Keep your eyes open and more importantly, let your intuition guide you. That little voice within is there for a reason and sometimes it's right on the money!

 (Doesn't look too promising does it? Well, you 're probably right, but...)

Tip 9: Sample, Sample, Sample

I know most of you have heard this refrain from me dozens of times over the years but the core truth of its message remains solid. Thorough sampling is your best "pard" out in the field, especially if you're set on running motorized gear to recover gold. As a matter of fact, it's true no matter what the hell you're using! Most people are impatient and don't like the methodical approach to gold prospecting and mining. I could give you some classic examples regarding a certain "crew" on one of the so-called reality TV gold shows. Don't be like those idiotic stumble bums. Digging blindly anywhere or moving quantities of dirt and gravel WITHOUT first knowing what's there or what can be expected in terms of gold recovery is one definition of insanity. So don't be a lunatic, OK?

 (Your main sampling tool.)

Tip 10: Use Bright Colors on Your Hand Tools

This tip may sound a bit prosaic but it's a good one.When you're out there crevicing or digging away with hand tools it's far too easy to walk off and leave something behind after you've pulled those items out of a backpack or from your trusty five-gallon bucket. I know this because I've done it more than once! One solution to this mini-problem is to either spray paint the handles of your hand tools with fluorescent orange paint or any other bright color that will stand out and catch your eye quickly. Alternately, you can wrap the handles in brightly colored tape. Or??? Whatever you do, make those smaller hand and crevicing tools stand out sharply.

Tip 11: Keep Thy Shit Together

No, I'm not talking about tools and equipment again, although this admonition certainly applies. I'm talking about keeping your own shit together out in the field in every way imaginable. Be ready for untoward things to happen like weather issues, high water, rock falls, flash floods, lightning, fires, nasty critters and the worst of the bunch...dumb-ass people. So keep your wits sharp and stay alert out there. This is especially true if you tend to go it alone as I did most of my mining career. Work smart and work safe. Anticipate potential issues or problems before they become your reality. Do this and your mining days will be much safer and brighter.

Tip 12: Hold Onto Your Black Sands

In past years I never used to keep my "left overs," or black sand concentrates from panning, sluicing, dry washing, and so on. That was until I read a geological paper that stated how much micron-sized gold there is in some of those leftovers. No, you won't get rich recovering micro-dot gold from left-over black sand concentrates, but you will get more gold than if you HAD NOT re-run these concentrates. Gold is gold, right? The main bugaboo here is recovering that ultra-fine gold from those concentrates. There are a number of ways of doing this and all require a fine gold recovery system and lots of and lots of patience. Oh, and certain chemical solutions can help too. If you're hot to trot on recovering more gold from your black sand leftovers there are numerous websites online and videos that can help you see the picture clearly. If you live in an area where the seasons (extreme heat or cold) can put the whammy on your outdoor mining activities then why not re-run those concentrates in your garage, barn, or shed? After all, you have nothing better to do except sit on your bum watching multi-millionaire crybabies kneel on the sidelines during the National Anthem complaining about how racist the rest of us are.

(Re-running black sand concentrates through a "Blue Bowl" fine gold recovery system.)

Tip 13: A Good "Pard" is Worth His or Her Own Weight in Gold

I'll tell you straight up that good mining "pards" are very hard to find. Just like real friends, they're a rarity and must be treated as such. After 40 years of this mining and prospecting thing I can still count the stand-up "pards" I've worked alongside of with the fingers of one hand...minus the thumb. If you have a hard-working and trustworthy "pard" already then you are golden brothers and sisters. Literally golden. Remember that and treat your "pard" with respect and care. In fact I recommend you treat all people that way except those who don't allow you to. Anyhoo, the reason I worked alone the majority of my field time over four decades was simply because I'm extremely picky when it comes to who works with me. Don't get me wrong here. There are plenty of slackers, non-hackers, blowhards, and loudmouths out there ready to tell you how to do things while they sit on their asses and direct you. Or bitch, whine, moan, and complain the entire time. So if you have a good "pard" already take joy in that fact. If you don't and are looking to team up with someone, be damn sure that person is not going to be a lazy ass or a vexation to your already troubled spirit.

 (And if he is a she the same rule applies.)

More to come...

(c) Jim Rocha 2017

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. With you till the end, you have been a great pard to a lot of us, worth your weight in gold

  2. Thank you Mr. Bob. Much appreciated!

  3. Jim, the end is near.....have you though of a Grand Finally?
    After all, this is too good a thing to just wash off into the tailings pile..........

  4. I don't know about the Grand Finale thing Gary...sometimes it's better to walk away quietly with the satisfaction of knowing that you completed 10 years of something good. Quien sabe?


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