Welcome guest, is this your first visit?
Member
Discoveries
 
Results 1 to 8 of 8
Like Tree25Likes
  • 4 Post By bobw53
  • 7 Post By Clay Diggins
  • 9 Post By cshirsch
  • 5 Post By 63bkpkr

Thread: Gold is where you find it, but this is odd!

« Prev Thread | Next Thread »
  1. #1

    Apr 2013
    20
    49 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Gold is where you find it, but this is odd!

    I am working as new place near Greaterville, AZ and I have found where the gold is....in the topsoil! The layers from the top are - topsoil, then a small gravel/loose clay layer, then kind of a caliche layer, then a mix further down. I was working the side of the gulch all the way down and getting some gold but it was spotty. Finally I moved to a place where there was no topsoil and there was little to no gold. I test ran some of the topsoil on another spot and there it was. There is a tree where the topsoil is and it may be the reason the topsoil is still there. So, how unusual is it to find the gold in topsoil? Chris

  2. #2
    us
    Hardrock prospector

    May 2017
    Middle Oregon
    Whites, Fisher, Garrett, and Falcon.
    217
    35 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by cshirsch View Post
    I am working as new place near Greaterville, AZ and I have found where the gold is....in the topsoil! The layers from the top are - topsoil, then a small gravel/loose clay layer, then kind of a caliche layer, then a mix further down. I was working the side of the gulch all the way down and getting some gold but it was spotty. Finally I moved to a place where there was no topsoil and there was little to no gold. I test ran some of the topsoil on another spot and there it was. There is a tree where the topsoil is and it may be the reason the topsoil is still there. So, how unusual is it to find the gold in topsoil? Chris
    Hello
    Maybe both wind and flash flooding are the biggest factors in your location soil to move the gold into the top soils? This could effect how the gold settled there?

  3. #3

    Feb 2006
    559
    358 times
    Not knowing the specific topography or geology of that area, I am only posing a few guesses. If relatively near a flood zone, either modern or ancient, you could have what is known as flood gold. Another possibility is an eluvial deposit. For novices out there, I do mean eluvial, not alluvial.

    Working on first coffee. More to follow.

  4. #4

    Oct 2014
    Hatch, New Mexico
    467
    962 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I don't think that is all that strange in the desert.

    One place where I've been digging... Near some of the main veins, and there are spider veins... Reading up on the area, over the past 30-70 million years it has
    eroded down about 1000 feet... So I'm standing on hill top, next to an outcropping, that I can see has a spider vein in it... At one point that vein was
    over my head, and as it eroded away, the gold falls... The wind and the rain (to a lesser extent I believe, depending on EXACTLY were you're standing) takes
    away the light stuff and leaves the good gold heavy stuff...

    Literally, on a hill top... Just scraping the top soil off, maybe an inch or 2 inches deep and get gold... Deeper than 2 inches, and there is absolutely NOTHING.


    So Yeah, I believe it...

    As an aside on Arizona gold being where you find it.. At a hotel in Tucson, wandering around the parking lot having a smoke and started looking
    at the rocks they fill the flower beds or parking lot islands with... Picked out some nice ones, checked them with an MD20, and brought 'em home
    and crushed 'em.. Not a lot, and it was tiny.. But I got gold in a hotel parking lot.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    2,402
    6583 times
    Prospecting
    Good to see you are still working Greaterville Chris.

    The gulches in Greaterville have been worked extensively by hand. The method was to dig a pit to the shallow gravel pay layer on bedrock and then to attempt to drift mine those 6 or so inches of gravel back away from the bottom of the pit. As you know bedrock is anywhere from a few inches deep near Granite mountain and up to 6 feet deep near Kentucky Camp.

    Most of this small pit mining was done by the Hummel family in the 1930 - 1960 period. For reasons too complex to get into here they had a need to keep their mining out of the public eye so they used small teams of Mexican laborers to dig by hand. The method was to remove all the overburden in a 6 - 10 foot circle without processing then working the pay gravel with water.

    All that overburden had considerable gold in it but was discarded willy nilly. In the Greaterville gulches the gold is often spotty and random. Partially because of the way the overburden was scattered and partially because the locals know to look for a rich spot on the surface, work it until it plays out, and then move on to sample, sample, sample until they find another surface concentration. If the locals have worked a spot it will appear barren while a few feet away you may find good gold in a small area.

    In the gulches it rarely pays to try to reach bedrock. There are still some of the rich bedrock level gravels left but finding where those unworked gravels are is an exercise in futility. In the gulches the most productive method is to pan sample the surface in a 6 foot or so grid until you find a rich spot, work that spot with water until the pay ends and start sampling again.

    If you are interested in working bedrock there are a few areas up on the ridges that produce good gold on bedrock but as I'm sure you know solid bedrock is a few feet down through rotten shaley rock. That stuff is tough to work and process with anything but a metal detector. The largest nuggets in the southwest are found on those ridges but they have been detected by the best. A tough act to follow unless you are a master detectorist.

    Greaterville is a difficult deposit to prospect. Great gold but if you try to use conventional prospecting logic you will be left scratching your head. Add that to the fact that water is scarce and drywashing is futile and you end up with a lot of confused and frustrated prospectors. Study the history of the mining methods there and you will have much more productive prospecting trips.

    Heavy Pans
    Barry
    Last edited by Clay Diggins; Jul 17, 2017 at 11:18 AM.
    russau, Jeff95531, bobw53 and 4 others like this.

  6. #6

    Apr 2013
    20
    49 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    Good to see you are still working Greaterville Chris.

    The gulches in Greaterville have been worked extensively by hand. The method was to dig a pit to the shallow gravel pay layer on bedrock and then to attempt to drift mine those 6 or so inches of gravel back away from the bottom of the pit. As you know bedrock is anywhere from a few inches deep near Granite mountain and up to 6 feet deep near Kentucky Camp.

    Most of this small pit mining was done by the Hummel family in the 1930 - 1960 period. For reasons too complex to get into here they had a need to keep their mining out of the public eye so they used small teams of Mexican laborers to dig by hand. The method was to remove all the overburden in a 6 - 10 foot circle without processing then working the pay gravel with water.

    All that overburden had considerable gold in it but was discarded willy nilly. In the Greaterville gulches the gold is often spotty and random. Partially because of the way the overburden was scattered and partially because the locals know to look for a rich spot on the surface, work it until it plays out, and then move on to sample, sample, sample until they find another surface concentration. If the locals have worked a spot it will appear barren while a few feet away you may find good gold in a small area.

    In the gulches it rarely pays to try to reach bedrock. There are still some of the rich bedrock level gravels left but finding where those unworked gravels are is an exercise in futility. In the gulches the most productive method is to pan sample the surface in a 6 foot or so grid until you find a rich spot, work that spot with water until the pay ends and start sampling again.

    If you are interested in working bedrock there are a few areas up on the ridges that produce good gold on bedrock but as I'm sure you know solid bedrock is a few feet down through rotten shaley rock. That stuff is tough to work and process with anything but a metal detector. The largest nuggets in the southwest are found on those ridges but they have been detected by the best. A tough act to follow unless you are a master detectorist.

    Greaterville is a difficult deposit to prospect. Great gold but if you try to use conventional prospecting logic you will be left scratching your head. Add that to the fact that water is scarce and drywashing is futile and you end up with a lot of confused and frustrated prospectors. Study the history of the mining methods there and you will have much more productive prospecting trips.

    Heavy Pans
    Barry
    Hey Barry, great to hear from you. I was thinking that I might be working some overburden from the numerous 'coyote holes' in the area. I had to move away from KY Camp. They quit letting people go down there to unload. Too many problems arose from rude diggers giving them a hard time. Oh well, I moved closer to Granite Mountain. I'll be back out there in October. Still missing my old buddy you hooked me up with, Jeff.

    I don't get much but every now and then I get a small nugget. For me, it's all about the escape from everything. The gold is just the excuse to go. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	nugget.jpg 
Views:	24 
Size:	112.4 KB 
ID:	1473418
    Last edited by cshirsch; Jul 17, 2017 at 12:02 PM.

  7. #7
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    3,294
    2852 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    "Just the Excuse to Go" that really sums it up well. Thanks for sharing words and pictures!!..................63bkpkr
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  8. #8
    us
    Sep 2016
    Southern Arizona
    Fors for Gold +Whites GMT, Garrett ATX
    62
    37 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Clay, Greaterville is a large area, far from being played out or having all the nuggets found, but yes it is spotty. Near the south side of Granite Mt. the GPAA claim R double j, has been worked pretty hard, most of the outings (for Greaterville) are held there. The key is not to dig past the gravel area, if you hit caliche, you have gone too deep. After heavy rains you can find pieces in the exposed bedrock.The north side has private claims, 160 acres are held in private by some members of the Desert Diggers.probable the best area in Greaterville.
    Most of the gold I have found there over the past few years have not been much larger than a grain or 2, been awhile since I have found a nugget, but I have met several people, and seen the gold, that was anywhere from 1/4 - 1/2 ounce, that has come from the area.
    25 years ago I walked over most of the area, up and down every Gulch I could find and found many drift mines as you described . I remember finding some about 10 feet deep, straight to the bedrock with rope ladders( in the washes), just wish I had a GPS back then.
    If you move on to Arivaca, do not dig deeper than 6 - 8 inches

 

 

Remove Ads

Home | Forum | Active Topics | What's New

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: Mar 05, 2015, 03:44 PM
  2. Until I Find My First Gold Nugget.......Best Find for 2005
    By rockyredbaron in forum My Best Finds!
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: Aug 10, 2009, 03:19 AM
  3. My friends find gold,I find brass ducks!
    By kane23 in forum Today's Finds!
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: May 06, 2009, 12:00 PM
  4. gold - silver - Nope, but i did find a nice piece of brass - maybe my best find
    By gravediggermax-vabeachva in forum Beach and Shallow Water
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Apr 29, 2007, 05:59 AM
  5. Replies: 22
    Last Post: Mar 18, 2007, 02:33 PM
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.3.0