Prospecting is synonymous in some ways with mineral exploration which is an organized,
large scale and scientific effort undertaken by mineral resource companies to
find commercially viable ore deposits.
Prospecting is quite intensive physical labor, involving a considerable amount of traversing
(traditionally on foot or on horseback), panning, sifting and outcrop investigation, looking for
tell-tale signs of mineralisation
The traditional methods of prospecting involved carefully and intensely combing through the countryside,
often through creek beds and along ridgelines and hilltops, often on hands and knees looking for signs of
mineralisation in the outcrop.
Once a small occurrence or show was found, it was then necessary to intensively work the area with pick and
shovel, and often via the addition of some simple machinery such as a sluice box, races and winnows.
For most base metal, the rock would have been mined by hand and crushed on site and the ore separated
from the gangue by hand.