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Guest Elijah Withers

Education For An Amature Prospector

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Guest Elijah Withers

I have read every magazine and book about prospecting and gold mining that I can get my hands on for the past 8 years or so. Yet I get in the field and feel like there is knowledge I'm still lacking. There are lots of rocks I can't identify. I don't care about getting a geology degree, but I'd like to learn some better field skills. What classes would benefit me the most if I were able to take a couple classes say during a summer semester somewhere? Life doesn't allow me the time to pursue a full 4 year degree. Any suggestions classes and places I could take them would be greatly appreciated.

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Life is by far the best teacher. Just join a small local jokel gem/mineral club and go on outings,gold or metal detecting clubs also. HANDS on stays as both sides of the brain are working and not just one sided reading. Experiences are remembered for a lifetime and you meet some righteous wild,nutty, fun folks in the process-John

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If your local university offers a class in mineralogy and petrology, you will learn lots about rocks and minerals in it, but they will not teach you about mineral deposits in that class - just the characteristics of rocks (petrology) and minerals. Many universities offer a mineralogy and petrology class as a part of the requirements for a geology degree. Check and see also if they have an ore deposits class - far fewer offer those, and the places that do will require you take the mineralogy and petrology class first anyway.

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Elijah,

 

You have the right idea - Read a book! :)

 

Books can be opened any time of the day or night and on week-ends.

 

I offer free webinars online related to petroleum geology. There are hundreds of online webinars!

 

Rock Identification? The National Audubon Society's "Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals" is an excellent field handbook.

 

- Geowizard

 

www.alaska-gold.com

 

Note: The information above is not an advertisement or endorsement of any product or service. :)

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Guest Elijah Withers

I've always been an avid reader. And I've aquired dozens of book on prospecting and geology. I find the field handbooks to not be overly helpful, as their beuatiful collector quality specimen pictures rarely resemble what I find in the great outdoors. The most useful fieldbook I have so far is LaRune's Rockpecker. With patience to do the testing I do ok identifying a good number of rocks. I guess what I need is to train my eyes to recognize rocks in the field. The time with experienced prospectors I hope to gain this summer. I'm spending a few months with the New 49'ers if all goes as planned. My local community college offers a petrology class. With luck I'll be able to take that soon. I don't imagine there's any college in Louisiana offering an ore deposit formation class, so that one may be more difficult to find. I'll do some searching for webinars. May I post links on this thread? Thank you everyone for the tips and advice. I look foreward to the latest issue of ICMJ every month.

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EJ you just admitted to 8 years of reading everything you can get your hands on and when in the field going DOH'??? DO IT and no more pontification as experiences are LIVED AND REMEMBERED and quit wasting time being book smart and mining ignorant-John

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The University of Alaska offers classes in practical prospecting. I was lucky enough many years ago to take the class twice from the man that wrote the book - Leo Mark Anthony. The textbook is worth having if you can track one down. http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Prospecting-Mining-Mark-Anthony/dp/B001DCD4KM

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I see a few things on geology.com that may help if you have not found that one already.Also shows differant meteorites an the price some of them may be,sat images of craters around the world.An tools you can get for adventures.

I know there is more stuff out there that is just a litle thing I have found.

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EW,

 

You can give the rocks any name you want to!

 

What are the clues provided by a rock? Rivers have rocks that have come from places far away. What clues can a green rock with white stripes provide? A white rock with black spots? Maybe you saw it in class and maybe not. Maybe you looked at 100 different rocks and you cannot make any correlation between them. What are the correlations? Are red rocks igneous? What is a sedimentary rock? Is it important to know the difference? I found sandstone bedrock in my placer mine. It's dark grey.

 

What are the clues?

 

I agree it's interesting to note the different types of rocks and we can give them all names. Gabbro, Feldspar, Schist, Diorite, to name a few. So, now they have names. What interpretation can be made? Let's say we interpret a rock formation to be schist. Ok... It's a schist. ?

 

- Geowizard

 

www.alaska-gold.com

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Chris Reno's recent article dealing with most aspects of quartz provides the kind of background I like. While we may know one or two "facets" of a mineral, it is tied in with many other significant factors that can come in handy.

 

I'm also a big fan of LaRune's "Rockpecker's Notes".

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Guest Elijah Withers

Field experience.....not an easy thing to gain when one lives in Louisiana. I'm not really interested in petroleum geology. I have, however, gotten a job working at the refinery in Rawlins, Wyoming for the summer. So if any prospectors/rock hounds in the area would take a greenhorn under their wing, it would be appreciated. I don't even care about keeping the gold I could help dig up. I just want to learn. There are some gpaa claims not too far from here....so teacher or not I should be able to put a little gold in my pan this summer.

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It sounds like you are headed towards your summer of enlightenment.Wyoming is a virtual cornacopia for rockhounds.May I suggest one more book if your interested in more than just gold.That would be the newest edition of Rockhounding Wyoming or Gem Trails of Wyoming.There are diamond deposits,jade and newly discovered deposits of opal just to name a few.Being familiar with working in refineries as an electrician, I don,t know how much free time you'll have,but hopefully you'll be able to have enough spare time to explore yet another great state of this wonderful diverse country we call home.

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What always stumps me, as soon as I get the name of one rock down, along comes five more names for the same rock. Really hard to keep it straight when there seem to bee so many variations of names for what appears to be the same rocks.

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