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Detecting tailings with a Minelab GPX-4000

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That is a tough one. If you are talking tailing piles that are mostly larger cobbles, good luck.... they are nearly impossible to detect. If you are able to find tailings that still have a mix of gravels and smaller cobbles then give it a go. If you are new to the machine, factory settings will work just fine till you start to get a much better feel for the machine. Sens. smooth with a mono coil should be pretty good for most detecting.... Fixed tracking with frequent ground balancing.

Maybe some one else can chime in with more.....

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Like El D. says the bigger the rocks the worse it gets....

Drill a hole in one front and one back leg on the detector and put in the holes a plastic tie wrap and leave it in a

large loop....get two quick release straps....one to go around your neck and one around your waist...now you have

a hip mounted detector...adjust the straps so that when you lean forward the detector stays close to your chest...

The reason is when detecting large piles your constantly swinging the detector up and down and side ways and

your arms will tire out very quick....I love a hip-stick but it won't work well in this set-up....

Second reason is your going to be doing a lot of sliding down hill and with your detector box up high out of the way

it's better protected....

Get a big pick that will move a lot of material or shovel....those dredge piles have a lot of rusty iron piece in them

and your going to dig some deep holes...they also have some big nuggets so dig everything....

Also like El D. says use the "factory presets" FP in the detector....also what coil are you using? the bigger the coil

the deeper the targets....take your time and dig'em all...

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Guest Gripper

If you are new to detecting, use the factory settings that Minelab recommends in the manual (available on their website for free download). Tailings don't require much adjustment to detect effectively, as there is usually very little soil to adjust to.

You will dig a lot of trash in tailing piles. Sometimes they are really deep and take a lot of time. But there is gold in there with all of that junk. Are you willing to weather hole after hole of trash for the hope of a nugget? I have and it has paid off (like 50c per hour). But I have dug 135 trash targets since my last nugget a month ago. And like the pros said, FORGET about the big rocks.

The question is, can you take the trash?


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Never had much luck on tailing piles but it is a start, for one thing take a look at the composition of the rocks in the tailings, rounded are river run, blocky chunks are the bottom or bedrock material and this is what you should be interested in, once in a while too you will see blocks of dirt that were chunks of clay that didn't break up going thru the dredge, these should be scanned carefully..Another item I use is a garden tool called a cultivator it has long curved tines and I use it to pull rocks around or break up dirt clods etc most helpful anywhere moving rocks around they are inexpensive..Research will help you too to determine the type of nugget material being found, was it course, shotty, heavy, fine, etc sometimes the Geological reports will say...Good Luck Hunting...Geo

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