These two definitions are going in my book. They come from a door stop of a title, A Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, and Related Terms, published in 1968 by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It’s 1,269 pages and it must weigh seven pounds. I bought it today at Amber Unicorn Books here in Las Vegas. Half-off sale. My kind of book.
fossick: a. Australian. To work out the pillars of abandoned claims, or work over waste heaps in hope of finding gold.
fossicker: a. One who searches for small amounts of mineral. b. One who picks over old mine workings. Fossicking is casual and unsystematic mining. c. Australian. A sort of mining gleaner who overhauls old workings and refuse heaps for gold that may be contained therein.
I am definitely a fossicker. Visit this Australian site for more wonderful and colorful language. (external link)