Do you ever wonder why we stake more lode claims than placer even though most recreational prospectors prefer placer over lode?

August 20, 2016



Placer gold is gold that has eroded from lode veins or deposits. The nearer you are to a vein or deposit the more likely you will find flakes, pickers and nuggets. Fine pieces of gold will travel miles in high, fast water. The old timers would trace these small finds up stream or up slope to the original gold outcrop or source. 


Advantages of small scale placer operations include:


1.  Placer claims require less expensive equipment.

2.  What gold you find if any is in your hand or vial today.

3.  Unless you disturb a large area or leave deep pits, your little operation seldom needs BLM reclamation bonds, permits or a plan of operations.


Disadvantages of small scale placer operations include:


1.  Generally the easy to get to placer claim has been worked to death, year after year unless they are near the source and replenished by monsoon storms.

2.  There are a few exceptions to the above and those are the areas that we focus on when we stake a placer claim.

3.  Rarely will you find large nuggets or hot spots in these easy access claims unless you spend time and test or just get darn lucky and find the source.



We at Mine Finder Gold / Ranger Gold Exploration LLC have over 70 years of experience in the mineral exploration field. Answering the question of why we stake more lode claims than placer, our history shows that there are clear advantages of looking for placer gold in lode gold areas. 


We know from years of past experience that gold veins and deposits often occur in clusters (like a small bunch of grapes) or, along mineralized zones or trends such as major faults, etc. These are the type of areas we focus on. We refer to this as grass-root prospecting. These areas can be located by using modern technical means. 


Most of my best placer gold, large nuggets, pickers and specimens have been recovered within a few feet or yards of these areas as I took the time to trace the fines to the lode gold sources. 


Remember that if you are looking for elephants you go to elephant country and if looking for GOLD you go to GOLD country. Fortunately, Arizona has a lot of undiscovered gold. Arizona has a very favorable climate for prospectors, especially from September until May. Yes, it gets a bit warm for a few months, the upside is during those warm months you have no claim jumpers to poach on your claim.  


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. 


Thank you.



Unscramble each of the clue words taken from the article above. Copy the letters in the numbered cells to bottom cells with the same number to solve the puzzle. 


August Newsletter Puzzle Answers:


Grass Root


Final Answer: Mine Finder Gold



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