How to mine for gold

Pit & Shaft Gold Mines

It’s very easy to sit on a riverbank with a shallow pan and find a few flakes of gold, but if you really want to make a profit with gold prospecting, you’ll probably need to do a little digging.  Most people who’ve struck it rich in the gold market have done it from a mine, and most of the gold in the world has been mined from lode rather than placer.

It can be very hard work, but a serious miner can make quite an impressive mint pulling treasure from stone.  Finding a vein of gold isn’t too difficult.  Finding a vein of gold rich enough to justify opening a mine is another thing entirely.  But if you do, you could experience the legendary wealth of mine-owners around the world.

Finding A Vein Worth Mining

Prospecting for gold is easy to start and hard to finish.  The old rule of thumb is to look for gold where it’s already been found.  Research local gold-rich sites in your area, then head out with a metal detector.  Look for a good stretch of rocks either underfoot, in exposed cliffs, or in the hills around you.

Once you’ve found the rock, keep an eye out for quartz – a hard, grey, white, clear, or pink crystal – embedded in the rock.  Quartz is a major indicator of the presence of gold.  When you find it, pull out your metal detector, adjust the settings to find gold, and start scanning the area.  If you get a hit, you’ve found what you’re looking for.  It you get a big hit, you’ve found what everyone is looking for.

Claim Your Site

Stake out a good stretch of land and speak quickly to the appropriate state or federal land management office to validate your claim.  Be careful not to over-stake your bounds against an existing claim, or you could quickly run into personal and legal issues.  Claim-jumping is a very serious offence, so make sure you’re aware of other claims in the area before you get started.

Start Small & Expand If Necessary

Don’t get excited too quickly.  It’s easy to spend your life savings in the hopes of striking it rich, but it’s a very bad idea to start buying heavy machinery and dozens of workers right away.  Start with a few people, a few shovels, and a few picks.  If the mine is good, it will more than pay for itself as you go along:

  • Start with an open-pit mine.  Start digging downward and expand the edges of your pit as you go.
  • If you’re striking a lot of gold, hire a few more workers and expand more.
  • If you’re still bringing in a lot of ore, rent a few machines to help you dig.
  • If the rental equipment is proving itself, look into buying a couple permanently.
  • Continue in this pattern as long as your profits stay up – slow and steady wins the race.

Once you’ve got a nice pit going, it might be time to expand into tunnels and shafts.  In most cases, your claim will cover both pit and shaft mining operations, but it’s always best to be sure you don’t overstep the limits of your permits.

Protecting Your Rights As A Claimant

Many of the laws that govern mining are more than a hundred years old, and as with many laws, they are designed to benefit the system more than the people.  There are many advocacy groups around the country that will help you protect your claim, your rights, and your profit margin.  Look into some of these groups and join them in preserving the rights of yourself and other gold miners around the United States.

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