Novembr 16-18—COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA: Annual show; The Columbia, SC Gem and Mineral Society; Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5
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 Post subject: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:51 am 
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So I watched a show last night on Greenland ruby's. They sent in a team of miners with different skill sets to assist the locals with their mining efforts.
I didn't see the credentials of the team, but they did manage to prove the claim.
It got me thinking about my methods and tools and the process of prospecting. Of course we dont just blindly wander in the hills and trip on the mother load. We research, study maps, investigate old claims and recent prospects in the area. Now with the internet loaded with tons of information from different sources we can piece the puzzle together better than ever. Then we gather up our stuff and head for the hills.
Prospecting on your own isn't what its cracked up to be. Too much gear, too many hills. Not to mention only 1 set of eyes, 1 thought process. If I can put together a team of individuals to make this a group effort what a difference it would make. The question is what skill sets to utilize?
First off I would find local old timer. Yes its a skill set of experience, local knowledge, legend, and lore. He or she may not be a hand on a pick and shovel but what an asset!
Second that young college student that is about to complete his studies in geology. Knows his formations, studies maps, is hungry for more actual field experience. Has new resources.
Third a gemologist of course. Need to know that what we find is what we are looking for, precious stone not pretty rocks.
Fourth a cook that can make road kill taste better than grandma's cookies. Its hard work the crews got to eat, and not just MRE's.
Fifth and last I want a muscle man. Not the guy to carry things but the guy that keeps the crew safe. Safe from each other, safe from people with intentions other than honorable. Ive spent a little time in some remote armpits of the globe.
Of course everyone will have the basic knowledge of prospecting and mining. Know how the equipment works and is used. Bring their own passion and perspective to the hunt.
Who would you choose?

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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:02 am 
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I think you've just about got your team covered there Dan :) Just don't forget the beer.


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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:36 am 
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beer is too heavy! Id have to portage in kegs. Whiskey,bourbon,rum not nearly the volume and in a pinch I can use it to start a fire. Keeps you warm inside and out. Now where do you find a crew like this that can actually function as a team? Family either argue or sulk. Friends seldom work well together for long. Miners tend to be . . miners. solitary, happier to talk to a rock than another person, certainly not up with their people skills. So we visit the retirement home to find old school local that doesnt get out any more. A few games of cards and cups of coffee and we'll find our local source of knowledge. A sample of rocks and minerals to the campus should help get a line on a student with interest in adventure. Sally is my cook of choice. I know Family! But she has kept me fat for 30 yrs and she doesnt mind sorting the concentrates. I can pretend to be the gemologist since I am in classes Im not truely qualified yet. I still know a few Marines, and army recon boys that might like a vacation in the hills getting some exercise using a shovel to dig something besides a fox hole. Timing is the problem here. How do you get these people together at the same time. All the commitments and schedules. Well I guess I understand why prospectors and miners work alone for the most part.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:42 pm 
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beer is too heavy! Id have to portage in kegs. Whiskey,bourbon,rum not nearly the volume and in a pinch I can use it to start a fire. Keeps you warm inside and out.


Good point - you do need something to keep the troops spirits up though, all well and good when you're finding something but when you're going through a dry patch. Maybe a couple of entertainers?

How about a paramedic? I could have used one that day, luckily a little town with an ambulance was only about 20 miles away.


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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:39 pm 
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Thats what the whiskey is for! if its worse than that just leave me on the mountain with a drink in my hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:23 pm 
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Whatever you do, don't forget the Sprite :)

Though whiskey might ease things a bit more quickly 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:21 am 
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When prospecting for gold, it was a very straight forward process. As long as you know gold was in the area it never surprised you to find it. You looked in the same general types of locations all the time. If it was there, it turned up as expected. In the crevace of the bed rock, behind the turbulance of the boulder, stuck in the roots of the willows in the gravel bar.
Gems I havent quite got the experience with but Im looking at secondary deposits the same as gold. Its in gravel, it works the same with water and gravity. Primary deposits on the other hand have so many variables I dont understand. worse yet Im totally illiterate in geology. Who thought up those names? Really they sound more like a disease than a rock!
So Ive decided my first team member to find has to understand the geological maps and stone age language thing. And be able to translate that to the rest of the team. Point to a real map and say look here because this rock in my hand grows there, " everyone look and touch the rock" go find! See how easy that is? :D
I know a lot of different people but I cant say I know a geologist. Physicist, engineers, chemists, tradespeople, doctors lawyers and thieves, but not a single geologist! :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:16 am 
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Maybe Stephen would be up for a trip out into the wilderness? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:46 am 
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When prospecting for gold, it was a very straight forward process. As long as you know gold was in the area it never surprised you to find it. You looked in the same general types of locations all the time. If it was there, it turned up as expected. In the crevace of the bed rock, behind the turbulance of the boulder, stuck in the roots of the willows in the gravel bar.
Gems I havent quite got the experience with but Im looking at secondary deposits the same as gold. Its in gravel, it works the same with water and gravity. Primary deposits on the other hand have so many variables I dont understand.


Yeah, I agree Dan. My dad was into gold prospecting before sapphires and other gems and that was pretty much how it was. My local area and the little Smallville-sized town where I grew up and where my parents still live began life as a rich gold field. There's still some around, their next-door-neighbour detected a few little nuggets a while back from some roadworks just up the road from his house.

When he started chasing sapphires, it was the same. The stones on our field are found in alluvial gravels, collecting in dips in the floor and around rocks because of their SG.

But primary deposits are different. When I started chasing the crystals at an old amethyst dig not far down the road, we were trying to understand it in terms of alluvial things since that's what we'd always known. It didn't take long for me to suspect that our thinking had to be wrong here - these crystals are often perfectly formed (if low quality) and have a shine equivalent to at least a #14 000 polish and have sharp corners and points. The thin band of gravel they are found in about three feet down consists almost entirely of sharp-edged quartz pieces with bits of granite. There's no stream wear here I concluded - these crystals are lying roughly where they formed and the coarse sand above them is decomposed granite rock that once overlaid them.

Same with the garnets a bit further up the road, embedded in a thick layer of schist. That's the mother rock, they haven't washed in there.

Same again with Mount Gibson up near my in-laws place. The boulders and rock bars in the creek at the base of the mountain have great, thick bands of crystalline-looking quartz through them and every rock glitters. The moment you clap eyes on the spot you know it's mineralized.

Keep your eye out for thick veins of quartz in rock faces, boulders and exposed banks and get familiar with the look of pegmatites


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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:34 am 
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Thanks Lefty, the quartz veins I followed for gold and silver are similar but the rock formations are very different. Reading, listening, learning. It's what the off season is all about.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:34 pm 
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Yep, you spend the off season preparing for the on season. Reading, tinkering, planning.....

Did my bit to construct the peace offering going to be made to the lady who owns the property with the garnet deposit. This came from her place a couple of years ago, before i was faceting. Just finished it. A friend has over to make a setting and mount it. Hopefully it will sway her to say "yes, you can use your jackhammer and trommel and pulsator".

As always, I struggle to get a good photo.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Prospecting team
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:25 am 
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Now we're talking! It's not much for us to do something like that. But land owners really appreciate the fact that you have some respect for their interests and are willing to offer them something personal to say thank you for your time if nothing else.

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