Besides the equipment and resources required to build and run a placer mine, there is one intangible but critical quality a miner must possess in order to be successful: instinct. Many individuals and organizations venture up to the Yukon to try their hand at mining gold. All required parts of a placer mine are put in place, yet still, more often than not, these efforts fail to produce enough gold to cover expenses. Geological surveys and other techniques that attempt to assess the concentration of valuable metals in placers can be useful, but are rarely accurate.

It's the miners who persist through the hard times, who return to their mountains every year and continue prospecting and mining no matter what the outcome, that seem to build a special connection with their environment. They get a feel for the structure of their ground and the unique mix of metals and minerals on their land. This allows them to recognize patterns and understand the character of the placers around them. This level of understanding, coupled with a purely unscientific "gut feel", is what gives the more established miners that ability to "smell" gold.

Frank is renowned for his ability to determine the quality of a placer. He has prospected many of the areas surrounding his claims, and has often acted as a consultant, sharing his expertise with other mining operations. There are few individuals who have a better understanding of placers in the Yukon's Silver Trail region, than Frank.
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