Passionate Prospecting…

Don Hattie and Mark Conner

Over a couple of weekends I and many others had the opportunity to attend an “Introductory Prospecting Course”  offered through the Department of Natural Resources.  I can say with near certainty that we had 3 of the best and most passionate instructor’s in the province which included Don Hattie, Mark Connell and Steve McCutcheon.  Their breadth of knowledge, both in the field and theoretical, was beyond reproach.  I’m still not convinced Don is 95 as I know he’d be hard to keep up with in the field.

My sincerest thanks to those instructing and fellow students.  I had a great time and learned until I could retain no more.

Quote of the day: “Oh.. I’m feeding you a bunch of bullshit!”


“Igneous Intrusive or Igneous Extrusive?! Is is Mafic of Felsic? Pryoxene? Olivine? Amphibole? Syncline or Anticline?  Give me a dip and strike? Did you get that Kevin?”

I believe I am still having flashbacks late at night as I hear Mark drilling us with decades worth of experience and Don recounting 50+ years of field experience in a single breath, with Steve attempting to get a word in when possible.

Mineral samples



The course curriculum looks like the following:

  • Basic prospecting and the mining cycle
  • Field gear and safety procedures
  • Orienteering: topographic maps, air photos, compass and GPS
  • Elements, minerals and mineral families
  • Rock types, geological maps and lexicon
  • Glacial deposits & landforms
  • Mineral deposits & landforms
  • Selecting an area to prospect
  • Map staking (NB e-CLAIMS)
  • Sampling media, methods and protocols
  • Analytical labs, methods and protocols
  • Promotion and prospecting grants

If you are interested in learning about prospecting this course is well worth your time.  Hearing the voice of experience alone is worth the price of admission.  There is a tremendous amount of information presented to the point where several of those in attendance were taking the course a second time.

Kevin (aka kevgo)

About kevgo

Living in Fredericton, NB and venturing into the hills when able. So many hobbies and so little time, all sports, metal detecting, rock hounding, prospecting, computer 'stuff' and family round out my days.
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3 Responses to Passionate Prospecting…

  1. Roland says:

    I just took it this weekend and last weekend. It was great and the guys were great. Now does anyone know where I can get a batea pan like mark uses?
    Please let me know.

  2. kevgo says:

    Hey Roland. ‘Batea’ pan in terms of a wooden or steel cone shape pan for quick classifying? Likely can pick one up online, but I know they don’t carry them at BAP here in Fredericton. I have used the black plastic pans with ‘cheaters riffles’ on some gold samples I have. If you have played with panning the real thing it’s pretty fast to get down to gold/black sand with the plastic variety. I used to be very cautious.. but soon learned it hard to lose gold once you hav ethe technique down.

    Check out some of the modern batea-style pans. Pretty interesting, although I have never used one.

  3. Roland says:

    Thanks for the link that one looks interesting.

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