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Steve in KB---Dave in Darwin---Thanks!
September 07, 1999 at 08:39:39
Can't thank you guys enough for the great info. Still trying to digest it all and still looking for the vein or reef or ledge. By the way, What's a ledge? Talked to a miner who saw my float and he told me to go up and look for the ledge. Said the ore would go several ounces to the ton--he found a similar pocket that produced 60 ounces just in the hand sorted high grade in a patch 4 by 13 feet. So when he says a ledge, is he meaning like a real ledge? An outcropping of some sort?
Again, this ore has tons of galena. He did too, and his pocket is a mile or so downstream from where I'm working. Found more float on the hillside this week with bornite in it too. Fairly fresh looking rock. Steve--Ben asked about the drainage. It's no more than 3/4 mile total. There is an old gold mine upstream a half mile or so, and there was one somewhere near where I'm working from the 1800's that has never been re-located. Legend says it was a rich vein of sugar quartz. The only records left pertaining to this area are supply records that show this miner was able to purchase the most and best with gold so the mine was thought to be rich. No adits have ever been found, which leads to speculation that he was trenching.
I've gotten up to an ounce of placer gold in a strip twenty feet long and 3 or 4 wide. Quite shallow. All extremely rough, stained, and some fine wire. The creek was laid bare in the 1880's, and picked at occasionally ever since. No vegetation on the bottom--the iron oozes out of the bare rock on the sidehill and seems to ooze up out of the rock fractures on the bottom, cementing sand and grit. The gold is simply not water worn however, in the main. Perhaps the slight rounding is from being ground worn. You can easily see the matrix of the host rock in the nuggets--plenty of sand grained sized rock in the gold too which is in the majority, sugar quartz. Pockets or small vugs in the ore show exactly the same, unique patterning that the larger gold show. Extremely delicate, silvery black sulphide of some sort. The hills are nearly vertical--makes me think the float I find is dropping just about straight down. Grades are 80% to vertical and it takes a rope to come down from above the creek or chopping footholds to scale it from below. Rainfall is about 150 inches per year. Basically a triple canopy rainforest of fir, cedar, and hardwoods. I find large concentrations (1000 colors-80 to 100 mesh) per 5 gallon bucket of classified material in small streambank pockets just below where I've discovered float on the hill.
No doubt it's a sulphide rich deposit. Which leads me to another question. Just what will a gossan look like in this type of climate? Will it show much mineralization, or just be a patch of softer, off color rock in the bedrock? How big? How deep might it go? Is it part of a "ledge"(whatever that may be)? Host rock is a hard, slaty mudstone. Impermeable to mineralization. Sometimes fractured and hardened, sometimes not. Traditionally, deposits are found on contact with chloritized sheets of the same type of material. So far I've worn out two rock hammers!
Anyhow, it's quite a quest. I want to thank you all again for the information, and hope everyone on the forum is taking advantage and learning from the posts. It is the type of education that can come only from the people who do it all for real. Take care.
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