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Thread: New to Prospecting

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  1. #1
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting

    New to Prospecting

    My GF and I are heading up to the Redding area up in Trinity County for a couple of days first weekend in Sept, 5th through the 8th. I live in Orange County we are going Up by Hayfork CA

    I have been reading all kinds of information and watching videos to get a handle on panning and sluicing.

    I have 30 years in the precious metals industry as a refiner/lab manager. All the material I have processed over the years has been from electronics and secondary sources. No concentrates or mining material what so ever. I have used flotation tables, vibratory screeners, density separators, Smelting furnaces, both gas and induction. I have also done chemical extraction of PM's using acids and cyanides. But I have no experience in prospecting , But I grasp the theory of how gold moves and how and where it collects.

    I have permission from the claim owner to stay on his property for 2 days to sample and pan and look around. I figured I would shovel and classify some samples from different ares of the claim and mark where I got them from on the map. Run the material through the small stream sluice I have and then pan. He has 2 claims for sale. There are lots of tailing piles from when they were bucket dredging up there.

    I am hoping for some pointers from the more experienced members here, any and all suggestions are welcome.

    do's and don'ts , what to look for etc... what to do and what not to do.

    Last question for now, since this is on NFS land I need a camp fire permit, since this is a claim but not a designated campground are camp fires permitted on mining claims?

    I realize I am asking a lot but it never hurts to ask questions.

    Thanks in advance


    Scott
    Last edited by scoy; Aug 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM. Reason: want to add to my post
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  2. #2
    us
    retired bumb and part time Hobo

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    6,112
    4868 times
    to me , the most important thing is to have WRITTEN PERMISSION either on you or in your camp to keep the busybodys from bothering you. secondly id ask the local fire department what the fire hazards are in the area and if it would be ok to have a campfire , or ask the friggin forest service , they always have .02 cents to put in their agenda. but good luck and be safe!

  3. #3
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks russau! I will get it in writing from him and I will call the FS just to be safe.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    I can dig it! "WP"

    Mar 2007
    Arizona
    Whites TM 808, Whites GMT, Tesoro Lobo Super Traq, Suction Dredges, Trommels, Gold Vacs, High Bankers, Fluid bed Gold Traps, Rock Crushers, Sluices, Dry Washers, Miller Tables, Rp4 Shaker table, etc.
    6,054
    5590 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    What type of claim is it? Lode? Placer? In other words is the gold imbedded in solid rock (lode) or has it been moved by water(alluvial) or washed into a stream (Placer) or somewhere in between (Eluvial)?

    Makes a huge difference when it comes to giving advice.

    From your reference to panning I will assume there is a gold bearing stream. (placer)
    Depending on the terrain you may also want to try creviceing. Dig out any material you can find in cracks and crevices in the bedrock and then pan.

    Most common place to find gold on a stream (without dredging) is by digging the sand bars on the inside bends. Dig deep down to bedrock if possible. Also the downstream side of any large boulders. Under the boulders as well.

    Test pan to find good color then set up the sluice for faster production. Dig material from where you found good color (flakes or specks of gold) then continue to dig and run that material down the sluice.

    Both of you practice to become an expert at panning before you go to the claim because panning is the at the very heart of placer prospecting. (my wife is better at panning than me) Also you dont want to waste time learning how to pan at the claim.

    Use lead bird shot or snake shot to practice with keep your pan in the water during panning dont even lift it up out of the water until you have panned down to the black sand. Otherwise you are wasting time. Also if your butt isn't shaking like a duck you aren't settling the gold down to the bottom of the pan.

    Panning simplified....."Settle the gold to the bottom of the pan then wash off the top layer of material... repeat"
    Watch many videos on panning, *very hard to find one by an expert.

    When looking for placer gold think about low pressure areas, that's where gold likes to hide as it drops out of the main flow.
    That's why inside bends and behind boulders are good as well as cracks and crevices. Also where the stream widens to a deep pool etc.


    GG~
    Last edited by Goodyguy; Aug 27, 2014 at 04:03 PM.
    russau likes this.

  5. #5
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting
    GG,

    It is a placer claim.

    Scott

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    I can dig it! "WP"

    Mar 2007
    Arizona
    Whites TM 808, Whites GMT, Tesoro Lobo Super Traq, Suction Dredges, Trommels, Gold Vacs, High Bankers, Fluid bed Gold Traps, Rock Crushers, Sluices, Dry Washers, Miller Tables, Rp4 Shaker table, etc.
    6,054
    5590 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by scoy View Post
    GG,

    It is a placer claim.

    Scott


    Cool ..... Then the advice I gave is enough to get you started.
    I'm sure others will chime in.

    GG~

  7. #7
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting
    GG,

    Thank You!! Yes a gold bearing creek that runs year round. It is supposed to be good for detecting, sluicing and high banking. I made myself a hand vac tool out of PVC from directions I found online I actually made 2 of them, 1 I just suck water and gravel into and then pump the contents into a bucket and the other one I made some flap valves and can pump right into a bucket via a hose, leaving the the vac tip in the water the whole time. It works in my driveway in a bucket we will see how well it works in real life. I can tweak it from there. The claim has a vertical bedrock wall on the creek where it makes a 90 turn, The wall is on the outside of the turn and there is a large gravel bar on the inside. Lots of boulders and sand bars Water is low so the areas that have not been exposed are.

    I have been practicing panning, so has my GF Since I run a PM lab/Refinery I have access to gold shot, I use that as a collector for platinum group metal assays we do here, so I made up a few gm's of different sized shot and flattened them out to resemble flake I put those into my pan with some dirt and sand and we practice in the man cave lol! I have also used shot and BB's . Panning is an art form from what I can tell and I need some more practice. But at least I am getting back what I put in the dirt not as fast as I like but I am improving.

    Everything you have suggested so far to me is on my to do list.

    Scott
    Goodyguy likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting
    For some reason I did not see the rest of your post until I scrolled down I got distracted and did not finish reading it until later, that's why I sent you the long second post with the rest of what I know about the claim.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    I can dig it! "WP"

    Mar 2007
    Arizona
    Whites TM 808, Whites GMT, Tesoro Lobo Super Traq, Suction Dredges, Trommels, Gold Vacs, High Bankers, Fluid bed Gold Traps, Rock Crushers, Sluices, Dry Washers, Miller Tables, Rp4 Shaker table, etc.
    6,054
    5590 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Speed comes with practice and learning to trust your technique as well as developing trust in the traps on the pan.
    Try speed panning to see how fast you can go. Make it a contest between the two of you. It's a good way to develop your skill.

    You will be surprised at how fast you can go and still recover all the gold.

    When I'm in the field and know I'm on pay dirt I don't waste time panning. Set up the sluice and take the concentrates home for processing, because it's better to collect concentrates than it is spending your precious time in the field panning. Spend your time digging and feeding the sluice once you're on paydirt.

    Same with crevicing. Throw it all in a bucket and run it down the sluice and take the cons home to process at night or on a rainy day. I save most of mine for something to do in the winter.

    *NOTE make sure your pan is free of any oils before using it in the field. Get it wet, if water beads up on it you will loose gold.
    Clean it with alcohol or dish washing detergent and a soft scotch brite pad until no water beading occurs. Try not to make any scratches in the plastic. Super fine scratches are acceptable and nearly unavoidable.


    GG~
    Last edited by Goodyguy; Aug 27, 2014 at 05:03 PM.

  10. #10
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting
    GG,

    Those were my thoughts, spend the day sampling and collecting take them back to our camp site and clean them up in the evening.
    Again Thanks I know I am at least on the right track information and plan wise!
    Goodyguy likes this.

  11. #11
    us
    Oct 2008
    Northern California
    611
    1134 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Scoy, regarding a fire permit, be very cautious in what you do. Right now on all of the national forests in northern California, no fires of any kind are allowed outside of "designated recreation sites". Basically improved forest service campgrounds with amenities including iron or stone fire rings/stoves.

    This fire restriction includes all forms of fire including: camp fires, charcoal and propane barbecues or stoves (outside of you camp trailer or camper). They will cite you if caught doing any of these things.

    While recently prospecting on the Klamath National Forest, my brother and I could have stayed on a claim, but decided to stay in an improved Forest Service campground for just this reason. We had a nice camp fire and charcoal barbecue. $10.00 per night. A camp fire make for great evenings.

    Also, if staying in one of these campgrounds which allow camp fires, no fire permit is needed in the campground.

    Have fun Scoy and find some gold,
    Mike
    Last edited by delnorter; Aug 27, 2014 at 10:51 PM. Reason: Clarity
    Goodyguy and Hoser John like this.

  12. #12
    us
    Mar 2003
    Redding,Calif.
    5,854
    6707 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    NO PERMITS-NO FIRES NOWHERE NO WAY -was just at the ranger station in weaselville. Better check as most creeks bone dry !! Your heading into a extremely dangerous place with 100s a grows and 1,000s a illegals,trimmers and cartel action up the wahoo. The fairgrounds in hayfork has many 100s a freaks lookn' to trim bud and anything not nailed down is stolen immediately. Not a good year or time and the drive is HUGE from the OC. Look closer-Mariposa-Bagby rec area on 49 or Briceburg by Yosemite. Good gold,500 less miles and not the wild west as hayfork. Have friends with claims and they won't even go to their own claims they worked for over 30 years there on hayfork area. Outta sacramento Auburn Rec area or SF Yuba rec area better gold and not the wild wild west-John

  13. #13
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks Mike

  14. #14
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting
    It is that bad up there!?!? Well then that is something we just don't want to deal with.

    Looks like I am going to have to change my plans. That's a major disappointment. This one has year round access. I liked that about it.

  15. #15
    us
    Aug 2014
    Orange County, CA
    Bounty Hunter
    108
    83 times
    Prospecting
    Anyone have any suggestions where to look for claims for sale?

 

 

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