Handbook for Prospectors


    IT may be very gravely doubted whether it is possible to write a handbook for prospectors which is of any use to the men for whom it is intended. Modern prospecting expeditions, equipped and sent out by important syndicates, are usually under the charge of trained mining geologists, who require no information upon elementary crystallography or geology. On the other hand, the rough practical prospector, who has in the past been responsible for the discovery of many of the world's most important mineral deposits, neither knows nor cares, nor wants to know anything about the “dodecahedron of the isometric system”; his phraseology is of quite another type. It is difficult to imagine what kind of a prospector would be benefited in the slightest degree by such drawings as the author's Fig. 28, which shows a hand drill and hammer; it surely ought to be obvious that a man who does not know what these are had better leave prospecting alone; incidentally, it is probably impossible to imagine a hammer shaft worse shaped than that shown in the figure in question; it is quite certain that no practical prospector would ever attempt to use such an obviously futile appliance. Again, the detailed instructions given for such things as tying packs and arranging and priming a dynamite cartridge are surely unnecessary and can never be learnt from books. It would also be interesting to know how many prospectors the author thinks would be benefited by his table of the atomic weights of the elements as determined by the International Committee. There may be one or two things in the book, particularly in the first twenty-three pages, which may be of use to the prospector; the remainder would probably be useless to him even if he could understand it.

    Handbook for Prospectors.

    M. W.

    von Bernewitz

    By. Pp. ix + 319. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc.; London: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., Ltd., 1926.) 15s. net.

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    Handbook for Prospectors . Nature 120, 223 (1927) doi:10.1038/120223a0

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