» » Risks
Whether a person is into placer mining as a hobby or as a business, the most common risk is spending time and money and then not recovering enough gold to make it worth while.
A fundamental aspect is that most exploration and mining are done in areas that have been known to be gold-bearing for a long time - generally over a century. It can be difficult or impossible to establish how thoroughly any particular location has been explored and mined.
Another fundamental aspect affects buying existing claims. It is like buying a used car. The owner knows a lot more about the car than you do. The question is why the owner wants to sell. There is always a nice reason provided. But the owner may be trying to sell now before it is obvious to anyone that it is not a good deal.
The costs of placer exploration and mining vary considerably:
Difficulties can be an advantage. Modern equipment and techniques can make it practical to mine a deposit that was inaccessible in the past. Modern excavators, pumps, generators, etc. have changed placer mining, opening up new opportunities. But there are always risks.
These risks include:
Exploration - spending money to find gold in paying quantities - can uncover great opportunities, but there is almost always a high risk that the exploration will fail to lead to a mine.
Developing a profitable mine on a well-explored property can involve less uncertainty, but it generally means that a substantial amount of money must be put at risk.
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