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Chris Ralph

Chris Ralph gold prospector

Chris hails from Nevada, a state with a rich history of gold mining in the western USA. He has more than 35 years of prospecting experience, panning his first little 3/16 inch flake from the historic mother lode country of California way back in 1975. He’s been staking mining claims and digging for gold all over the western USA ever since. Chris followed his interests on a more formal level and obtained a degree in Mine Engineering from the Mackey School of Mines in Reno, Nevada and then worked in the gold mining industry.

Currently, Chris serves as the assistant editor of the ICMJ Prospecting and Mining Journal, an American magazine devoted to individual prospectors and small scale mining. He writes about various aspects of prospecting for gold, and his articles regularly address techniques and methods for detecting nuggets, especially the use of geologic knowledge to increase the quantity of gold prospectors can recover from their efforts.

Prospecting-and-mining-journal-Aug-10.jpg     book-cover-fists-full-of-gold.jpg
ICMJ Prospecting and Mining Journal Fists Full of Gold by Chris Ralph

In 2010, Chris released “Fists Full of Gold” an encyclopedic book about gold prospecting that covers the knowledge prospectors need to go beyond the beginner level and succeed at finding their own gold. The book focuses on the skills a prospector needs to be successful in detecting nuggets time and time again. He also has his own website – Chris Ralph’s Prospecting Encyclopedia.

Posts

Why Every Dry Blower Owner Ought to Purchase an SDC2300

November 06, 2014 11:51am

This summer I’ve been using my SDC 2300 for patch hunting and cleaning and just recently found a couple concentrations of small nuggets a few hundred yards apart. I recovered nuggets from these patches as small as 0.03 to 0.05 grams (some very small gold indeed), but I still wondered if there was even smaller gold present as well in the gravels of these nugget patches. 

Posted by Chris Ralph on November 06, 2014 11:51am | 0 Comments

The SDC 2300 Finds Both Little AND Big Nuggets!

July 25, 2014 05:41pm

I am just back from a two week prospecting trip to Alaska (11 days of digging), and I now have about 120+ hours of prospecting with the SDC 2300 and I have really been impressed with it. Just to show how successful the SDC 2300 has been for me, here are 50 grams (1.6 ounces) of SDC 2300 gold I have dug from both California and Alaska. 

Posted by Chris Ralph on July 25, 2014 05:41pm | 0 Comments

Trying Out Minelab's New SDC 2300

June 23, 2014 05:46pm

I've been enjoying the opportunity to test out Minelab's new SDC 2300. I do a lot of prospecting with various metal detectors and I have been excited about getting my hands on one ever since I heard some of the details of what this new detector would offer to prospectors.  Minelab is known for their cutting edge Pulse Induction technology, and the SDC 2300 certainly continues the tradition of revolutionary design that allows prospectors to accomplish things that just couldn't be done before. 

Posted by Chris Ralph on June 23, 2014 05:46pm | 0 Comments

A Tale of Greenstone Gold

October 09, 2013 10:10am

There are a number of different types of geologic settings that lead to the formation of gold nuggets. Some are rare, and some occur at many places around the world. One of the more common is associated with greenstone belts. Not every green colored rock is a greenstone, and what geologists are normally talking about with greenstone is a rock that once was black basalt on the ocean floor, but which has been subjected to the forces of heat and pressure that has changed the rock (metamorphic forces geologists call it).

Posted by Chris Ralph on October 09, 2013 10:10am | 1 Comment

Testing out the Minelab PRO-SWING 45

August 05, 2013 10:00am

One of the keys to success in metal detecting – whether you are hunting gold, relics or treasure - is that you need to keep at it. Success goes to those who are persistent and diligent in their efforts. The fellow who can only put in 3 hours each day will, in the long run, loose out to the fellow who is able to put in a full 8 hours or even more. It is especially true when you put in day after day of effort searching. You must not injure or wear yourself out.

Posted by Chris Ralph on August 05, 2013 10:00am | 0 Comments

Detecting in the Sixteen to One Mine - Part 2

January 22, 2013 09:20am

One might think that within not too long a period a person could run his metal detector over every inch of ground inside a mine. However because the Original Sixteen to One is a combination of a number of old mines and the property has been worked on a more or less continuous basis for well over 100 years, there are literally miles of old underground workings to explore and one could spend a lot of time going over every bit of the vein that was exposed in the walls of the old workings.

Posted by Chris Ralph on January 22, 2013 09:20am | 0 Comments

Detecting in the Sixteen to One Mine - Part 1

January 17, 2013 11:30am

Earlier this year I was given a very special opportunity to take my metal detector to one of the most famous underground gold mines in all of California, the original Sixteen to One Mine in the heart of the mother lode country at Allegheny. I was asked to give a little demonstration and talk about metal detecting technology, how it has changed and improved and to do some field testing of different types of detectors inside the mine.

Posted by Chris Ralph on January 17, 2013 11:30am | 0 Comments

Alaskan gold - Part 2

January 11, 2013 11:11am

The prospecting potential of the mining district where I visited included metal detecting for nuggets, but because there was plenty of water, the possibilities also included sluicing or high banking as well as suction dredging. The ground here was suitable for both pulse induction as well as VLF machines, most being fairly low mineralization, with some smaller areas strongly mineralized because of different underlying rocks. I brought both types of detector technology with me, as I wanted to be fully prepared. Although some larger nuggets have been found here, most of the gold is less than a half gram in weight. The gold deposits were well washed with nearly all the gold found within just the first few inches on top of bedrock. I spent considerable time detecting the bedrock on the bench areas above the creek that the miners had worked by hydraulic methods decades ago.

Posted by Chris Ralph on January 11, 2013 11:11am | 2 Comments

Alaskan gold - Part 1

January 08, 2013 12:22pm

Last year I received an invite to prospect a remote mining property in the interior part of Alaska during the summer of 2012. My companions for the journey were Steve Herschbach, who traveled with me to Australia last year, and George White. Now for those who aren't familiar with Alaska, access to the interior part of Alaska isn’t at all like it is in rest if the US. Alaska has far fewer roads and there are huge portions of the state that you simply can't get even close to by driving a normal automobile. Even the state's capital cannot be accessed by road - it can only be reached by boat or by plane. There are vast mountainous portions of the state with no roads for 100 miles or more. Unlike Western Australia where I visited last year, Alaska is not flat and gigantic mountain ranges block the way. So even if one wanted to drive cross country (as you could in Australia) that is simply not possible in Alaska, because the state is built upon a series of mountain ranges and swamps.

Posted by Chris Ralph on January 08, 2013 12:22pm | 2 Comments

GPX 5000 Tricks of the Trade – Using Multiple Timings

June 29, 2012 04:50pm

The GPX 5000 has quite an array of Timings and selecting the right Timing to get the most out of this detector requires a little understanding of the ground you are working. Certain Timings work better in certain environments, and understanding the gold bearing ground conditions is an advantage in choosing the best Timing. However sometimes using a pair of Timings can be even more powerful.

Posted by Chris Ralph on June 29, 2012 04:50pm | 0 Comments
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