Gold dust was recently found near Tower in Minnesota’s Iron Range, and, according to state geologists (and non-geologists who are able to intuit obvious things) where there’s gold dust there’s often gold. But before you get too excited and head to northeastern Minnesota to stake your claim, here’s how prospecting has changed since the first major American gold rush nearly 150 years ago.
|Staking your claim||Win another man’s deed in a game of poker at the saloon . . . or kill him for it.||Start a venture capital group and either buy private land or bid on a 50-year-term “mineral lease sale” of public land.|
|What you’ll need||Pan, pickaxe, shovel, TNT, and one of those neat, tattered sideways cowboy hats.||Excavators with hydraulic Earth drill rigs (that can come with a cost of up to $100,000 per hole) mounted on them, and neat, tattered construction helmet.|
|What to do should you strike gold||Exclaim YEEHAW! And run down out of them thar hills into town proudly displaying your gold nugget to anyone in the saloon who will look.||Establish a proper mine, and if it’s on state land, prepare to pay a royalty of anywhere from 3.95% to 20% on what you pull out of it.|
|Regulation||General Mining Act of 1872.||General Mining Act of 1872.|
|What to do with your windfall||Bury it and mark its location with an “X” on a hand-drawn map. Keep a handful for spending money in a small burlap sack.||Sell it to The Gold Guys . . . duh.|