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Just a simple question for you all. Is this nugget shooting your hobby or your work? If it was your work, what would you do to make it profitable? If it isn't your work, why not?

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Just a simple question for you all. Is this nugget shooting your hobby or your work? If it was your work, what would you do to make it profitable? If it isn't your work, why not?

I dry wash. I'm disabled retired. For me I'd like it too be my work, but finding $2 a day is pretty poor wages.

To make it profitable I have to get my rv fixed or find a new rv or trailer. Spending $25 on a tank of gas I nned to be able to spend 14 days at a time digging and then go back to town.

I did go out 2 days this trip. Put about 1/16 into a 2 dwt bottle. Figure if I filled the bottle thats about 1/12 of an ounce

Simple math says 1200 divided by 1/12 =$100//16 * .8= roughly $6 in gold.

I assumed the gold to be roughly ,8 pure.

Now granted being I had to drive to the location. Set up , and dig for a few hours and then drove home. I really did not dig for a full day each time. That's another reason I prefer to stay for severl days a trip.

If I only spend travel money one day in 2 weeks and can make $6 dollars a day I'd actually be making a few bucks as well as enjoying the 1quiet and the desert which I love.

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Making a living mining placer gold with detector or drywashing here in the deserts would be a very difficult living and impossible for me to support a family and pay my bills ie: mortgage, utilities, etc. and live comfortably like I do now for the most part. I tried it in the early 1990s and decided it was not for me. There was no steady money and though one makes good finds it is in spurts and not a steady income needed to keep the family going.

If a person is single and has the equipment needed you still must have a paying claim and on top of that BLM does not allow one to live on their own claim to work it year round so you still need a place to live, utilities, etc. I have seen very few claims in this day and age that will pay in sufficient quantities to support even a single prospector comfortably. If such a claim was within reach this question would not have been asked.

As a hobby I am under no pressure and several ounces of gold a year can really be a boost to my modest income allowing for a few extras we may not otherwise be able to afford as well as being able to stash some non taxable income for a rainy day. I lived in the desert for 8 months with my family in an Airstream trailer trying to be a gold miner and never have I worked so hard for so little return in my life. On top of that the BLM forced me to move several times, each time further from my work.

Wife finally threatened to leave my sorry hide if I didn't get a job and a home for us which I did. Got to give her credit for lasting that long out there...

Not saying someone else can't do it, but its not for me!

And that's my :twocents:

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I have to second what Bill has to say. I also tried being a full time placer miner in the mid 90's. It was one of the most fun times in my life but no real money in it. We ended up with a couple of ounces for six months work, even at todays gold price, that would be pretty slim wages. I still like to dink around drywashing but I really like wondering the deserts with a detector.

Bunk

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Its a true dream to achieve. Making a reasonable living hunting with a metal detector and some other prospecting tools.

There are a few out there that do it.

I just keep pounding my head against the :grr01: wall trying to survive a little prospecting, hunting, building drywashers, etc. etc. A vicious circle that I LOVE.

Living with a dream that it will get better as time goes on. :nutty:

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Bill has summed it up and made it pretty clear. I have been recreational prospecting for almost 58 years and in that time I have done hard rock, metal detecting, and drywashing. All that I feel I can add to how Bill summed it up, is something my father taught me: "If you think you're going to get rich mining gold for a living, quit now while you're ahead".

This one of the best hobbies I know of and as long as you keep it a hobby, it will always be enjoyable.

OL'29er aka Bob :olddude:

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I did pretty much full time 10 years ago when there was very little

competition...since then lazy...old hurts and at least 50 other

super detectors in just this one town that do make their living

prospecting have pretty much cleaned up what used to be a 10 -

100 gram days....most of those guys have moved their operations

500-1000 miles away and are making good finds in virgin grounds...

another problem for me is the locals talk to each other but not

a gringo....they only come to me when they want to buy a $500.00

coil from me for $50.00 or sell me their gold for spot + 10%...

but I still flog it... just not full time....

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I also echo the other members. However, laces like Alaska, Australia and maybe even Northern California might be ok, but even so, chances of getting rich are slim to none.

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I also echo the other members. However, laces like Alaska, Australia and maybe even Northern California might be ok, but even so, chances of getting rich are slim to none.

I think the question is not can you make a living as a prospector.

You can undoubtable make a living.

The real queston is what are you willing to live with out ?

There are americans whom live in homes earning less than $5000 a year.

I doubt that they are living what most americans will call the american dream.

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At a local gold supply store here in Sacramento they tell me there are some guys that work 4.5 days a week for gold since they lost their jobs and make approximately 1500 a week doing it. 6000 a month is good money in my book. They most likely work all day and possibly get it in a non legal way right now :hmmmmm: All let you guess how they get it. I cant be sure on that. maybe they are panning :hmmmmm:

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Guess, I was one of the lucky ones. Got the fever, quit a good union job, sold my house for a good profit and moved to the Feather River canyon for 6 years. Lived a 'poor' life dredging and drinking Brown Derby beer. Wouldn't trade those 6 years for anything; but I was also single and had a cushion when times got slow!

Couldn't do it now. I love getting out for a week or so detecting now, but at the end of the week or so, glad to be going back to work, where I use my brains more than my legs.

Shep

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Keep your day job and dream the golden dreams at night and vacation. I have done it in the past(gold dredging,detecting,drywashing,detectors,gems,minerals,relics,antiques,manufactured equipment,sold retail & wholesale) BUT in this litagaous world with bureauratz and enviros running buck wild it'd be a cold day in LL or you will live in abject poverty forevermore. FOR EVEY RULE A LIFE THERE ARE EXTREMELY FEW EXCEPTIONS,but some never the less. :unsure: John

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Keep your day job and do it as a hobby especially if you have children, they deserve a money flow in the house hold for activities and trips. If your single and have not so many responsibilities, well " Heck " go for it for a time..you just never know. Like some guys on the forum you can one day say I tried it and have no regrets and by the way they make great stories for the grand kids.. For me it's an activity I love to do when I am not contracting. It keeps me in the out doors.

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What got me was a 6 ounce pocket I found while drywashing at San Domingo.... We moved into the desert after selling our property in Apache Junction and bought a airstream trailer and headed out to find our fortune.

Some days I worked 12 hours for less than a pennyweight of gold and it was 200 something an ounce. We made a living I guess because we didn't starve, but buying any extras like dinner out or school clothes for the kid were a big deal.

I would not trade that effort/dream either... Nor would I repeat it.

8 years ago I used gold from detecting to buy more land...

Several years back I made more in a year detecting on weekends than I did at work, but I didn't pack up and head out this time just kept my mouth shut and worked the area in private.

But that hard 8 months in the desert in the early 1990s taught me something.

There are much easier ways to make better wages and I get to keep my hobby simply my hobby and my family is still intact :inocent:

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I have to second everyones opinion on full time gold mining for a living as it applies to the average guy on these forums.

I got asked the question all the time When I was running this Pay to Play place this summer,

people would come in and and tell me they had lost their jobs, etc,etc and I was doing it why cound't they?

BTW: The property was a world class mine in the late 1800,s to 1933 producing millions in hard-rock and placer, it just sold for 5 million to the Canadians/Chinese for open pit Moly.

Whoa! I would tell them ! I never said that I was making a living at it, I am just having fun and getting access to ground I would never see otherwise, when I was working full time( until 06/08)I was making for me more money than I ever had in my life but I still had Military retirement and SS and health coverage.

If you don't have an income to support you now and health coverage don,t even think of it, flipping burgers is more productive for the hours and days you put in.

There are at least 5 people on the various gold forums who in the past 2 years have taken up full time R/V living because they have both husband and wife lost regular jobs and houses but had paid for R/Vs to move into.

There are opportunities out there for positions to supplement your fixed income by gold mining, you just have to network, talk to everyone ,read , what ever to find them, one of the best I ever had was a "volunteer" for the FS, I worked 3 days a week, had a new pickup, an R/V space with everything furnished, both me and the wife got paid $13 a day lunch money and had access to every ranch in a two state area that had any FS land which was all of them!

At the time I was in the whole sale rock business for Agates, Crystals, Onyx ETC , talk about leads! Those old ranchers knew where every rock outcropping was,I staked claims on crystals,silver and agate, sold the crystal claims for 6k and then found another occurrence and staked and sold them too, it gave us enough extra funds to go to Alaska for 6 months! Anyone want to buy a silver mine with geodes included? I bought Petrified wood for 8 cents a LB from the Govt. and sold it by the truck load! There's hundreds of these positions that will supplement your fixed income and then you can prospect to your hearts content! There is actually more of these positions now than ever!

Full time R/V living is not full time making a living mining but it can help supplement existing income, its not for everyone and it has its tricks of the trade as they say.

Good Luck

Max

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I have always considered it a profitable hobby... even when I was dredging full time. Even now, my jewelry is just a profitable hobby.

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I could see how full timed RVing, if roughing it part time, workamping, and prospecting could generate enough to keep a family going, with other streams of income coming in.

I find it interesting with the price of gold what it is now that it isn't more than a possiblity to make a living. I guess at one time to make it profitable companies turned to hydraulics to wash away rock layers, increasing the area that was worked at one time.

Are there ways to simplify working the hill that are less time consuming that pick and shovel methods? Separation seems to be the hold back in working dirt. Or maybe location methods for large areas?

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gold London spot 1251 per ounce today what does this tell us about the global economy ? :yikes:

That's a topic in itself. Not that I really care so much globally, but there is a lot of meaning, since the US dollar isn't tied to the yellow metal anymore.

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Capt.

If there was an easy way, do you think gold would be what it is? Releasing gold from Mother Nature is always hard work. The real trick is to make if fun hard work.

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Capt.

If there was an easy way, do you think gold would be what it is? Releasing gold from Mother Nature is always hard work. The real trick is to make if fun hard work.

No not at all, yet there are many reasons for gold prices to be where they are at.

Rather than the easy way, I would choose to think of it as the most effective way, otherwise there wouldn't be companies in the business and yet some of their tailings are reported to be of benefit to sort through.

So I'm thinking of the various methods and what are the most productive with consideration to time and money spent.

I like to ask questions that might challenge conventional wisdom, while learning about methods and monetary risk.

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