Newbie Question About Gold Ore
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Thread: Newbie Question About Gold Ore

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  1. #1
    us
    Jul 2020
    San Diego
    14
    20 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Question Newbie Question About Gold Ore

    Hi, this is my first post! I recently got bit by the gold bug, and now all my hikes are about locating different rocks types, thinking about the geology and taking samples. Although I'm new to gold prospecting, I'm an avid hiker and know the back-country areas here in San Diego pretty well; so when I saw the types of rocks I'm supposed to look for I knew the places to go to from my hikes.

    Obviously I'm not in mother-lode country but we still have gold down here, and from what I've read from old claims and USGS reports most of it is in quartz veins within a host rock like quartzmonzonite or monzogranite.

    I've only been trying this hobby for 4 or 5 weeks or so now, but I think I might have some gold ore based on images I saw online labeled as gold ore. That's where I'm hoping to get some insight from the more experienced folk on this site.

    A week ago I went to an old INACTIVE gold lode claim and took about a half dozen samples to take home and pan out. No luck in the pan, just a ton of pyrite. One of my finds during prospecting was a large eroding quartz vein that appears brecciated with quartz crystals, and black (sulfurs?) and chalcopyrite. Can gold ore be crumbly?

    In my free time I read about gold mining and I start seeing brecciated quartz rock with orange "stains"(?) coloring images online labeled as "gold ore".

    Examples:
    1. https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pr...I-TA7bBKLt8oAz

    2. https://raregoldnuggets.com/wp-conte...97160-Copy.jpg

    The samples I have look nearly identical to #1, including color. Am I on to something? Does the orange nacho-cheese-like colors of the specimen mean anything other than iron staining?

    I am ordering a rock crusher next week in hopes to finally pan out some gold, but I'm not sure. Should I stick with the creeks and crevicing as a novice or am I on the right track with the ore I've located?

    I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow, it's late now and the rocks are out back.

    Thanks
    jeff of pa, et1955, OwenT and 2 others like this.

  2. #2

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    6,022
    4755 times
    Welcome to the site ! First time post You need to start reading the mining laws OR better yet join "My Land Matter's" for Barry's EXPERT advice & wisdom in the mining field!! NOT to scold you or anything but refrain saying "hobby" when refering to prospecting and mining because "hobby" is not covered in the mining laws and will invalidate or keep you from getting a claim and save you some headache / heartache / problems down the road ! Anyway enjoy your new profession as a prospector and hopefully a miner and NOT a "hobbyist".

  3. #3
    us
    Jul 2020
    San Diego
    14
    20 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks Russau, I had no idea about the hobby label, I'm learning already! Thanks I'm excited to pursue my new profession!

    Here are some pictures showing the ore(?) that I am the most excited about collecting so far. These specimens crumble easily.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    6,022
    4755 times
    Not a problem ! Keep informed to stay safe & out of trouble through the courts !

  5. #5
    us
    Jul 2020
    San Diego
    14
    20 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Here are some shots from where I grabbed these samples

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
    3,809
    6740 times
    Prospecting
    SD, next time you go bring a whisk broom along. When you pull samples
    from a crack like that, take the whisk broom and sweep all that loose material
    in the crack into a container. Pan it out when you get home...might be surprised
    at what you'll find..

    Only other suggestions are to watch out for snakes, and stay the hell
    out of old mines..
    BentFunky and russau like this.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

  7. #7
    us
    Jul 2020
    San Diego
    14
    20 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Alright thanks Dizz! I'll bring a little whisk broom with me next time. I just had my rock hammer and did the best to sweep it into my ziploc bags with my hands. There's still plenty left of that vein to go back to, so I'll probably do that this weekend.

    Yes we have lots of rattlers out here, I haven't seen any this year. I usually come across a few every year.

    I agree I have no plans on entering an old mine. I'm more in this for the challenge and hunt, to prove to myself I can find and capture natural gold in the wild.

    Appreciate your insights

  8. #8

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    6,022
    4755 times
    I'm envious !! I wish I could still get out and do this ! I still have a million places I would go to if I could !! Good luck in your adventure !
    SDBanks and DizzyDigger like this.

  9. #9
    us
    Mar 2014
    Traveling US to work
    Current Equinox 600 Past Whites DFX Garret GTI 2500 and others Prospecting Minelab GPZ 7000 Past SD 2100 GP 3000 (retired)
    2,250
    1909 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    To define that you have Gold Ore your going to have to process it and actually find gold in the material your collecting. Generally that means to crush and pan it. Hopefully there is free gold in the material that make it easy to say you have gold ore. If the gold is locked up in sulfides, like the pyrites I see in your photo's, then you'll have to do more to process it and look for the gold. Usually though there is some free gold in pyrites, so you'll have to be vigilant in your panning to pick it out.
    Pictures on the internet are nice but not a real reference for defining that you have gold ore or ore's. Its good your doing some homework on the regions geology, as russau points out know your in the right before you poke around the homework can pay for itself in the end.
    BentFunky likes this.
    Everyone Believes they have gold buried in the back yard... small wonder so few ever look for it.

  10. #10
    us
    Jul 2020
    San Diego
    14
    20 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks DDancer, that is what I was wondering. The term gold ore to a newbie like myself was confusing. I'd see some people selling rocks online labeled gold ore, how do they know it has gold before crushing and panning? Maybe they are just dishonest sellers, I don't know, but now I understand the term gold ore is just whatever is carrying the gold, and the same type of material could be gold ore or not, all depending on what is inside. To that end, I am ordering a rock crusher, and hope to find some shine.

    As for knowing I'm in the right before I poke around, do you mean that I've confirmed that the area isn't an active claim and that I'm following the state laws? I've been using mylandmatters.org and thediggins websites to make sure areas are not claimed. Is there any other suggestions where I should look to make sure I'm following the rules?

  11. #11
    us
    Jul 2020
    San Diego
    14
    20 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Look at this vuggy quartz

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12

    Mar 2016
    3,155
    4838 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by SDBanks View Post
    Thanks DDancer, that is what I was wondering. The term gold ore to a newbie like myself was confusing. I'd see some people selling rocks online labeled gold ore, how do they know it has gold before crushing and panning? Maybe they are just dishonest sellers, I don't know, but now I understand the term gold ore is just whatever is carrying the gold, and the same type of material could be gold ore or not, all depending on what is inside. To that end, I am ordering a rock crusher, and hope to find some shine.

    As for knowing I'm in the right before I poke around, do you mean that I've confirmed that the area isn't an active claim and that I'm following the state laws? I've been using mylandmatters.org and thediggins websites to make sure areas are not claimed. Is there any other suggestions where I should look to make sure I'm following the rules?
    To add to what was said already...a rock sample (which is what you have), is not considered gold ore just because it contains gold. It needs to have gold in sufficient quantities that can be economically profitable to recover.

    Gold ore can certainly be crumbly. I was told around my immediate area, the richest ore was in rotten quartz.
    Also consider that although the quartz in the vein may have some gold in it, the largest deposit may be laying alongside the vein or even in the country rock immediately adjacent to it.

    State Mineralogist reports will describe the type of deposits. Google Books...also the USGS has tremendous numbers of geological maps that are geo referenced, meaning can see your position on in the map on your field computer.

    Some of those desert hard rock prospectors can probably provide more information than I can.
    Last edited by IMAUDIGGER; Jul 15, 2020 at 05:00 PM.
    DizzyDigger and DDancer like this.
    This Communication HEREBY Serves as OFFICIAL NOTICE That All Messages in This Thread Have Been REVIEWED. FURTHERMORE, All Messages of Positive Nature SHALL IRREVOCABLY Be Considered "LIKED" INSOFAR as Applicable to This Forum. FINALLY, All Discrimination is Strictly PROHIBITED.

  13. #13

    Jun 2020
    27
    28 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by SDBanks View Post
    Hi, this is my first post! I recently got bit by the gold bug, and now all my hikes are about locating different rocks types, thinking about the geology and taking samples. Although I'm new to gold prospecting, I'm an avid hiker and know the back-country areas here in San Diego pretty well; so when I saw the types of rocks I'm supposed to look for I knew the places to go to from my hikes.

    Obviously I'm not in mother-lode country but we still have gold down here, and from what I've read from old claims and USGS reports most of it is in quartz veins within a host rock like quartzmonzonite or monzogranite.

    I've only been trying this hobby for 4 or 5 weeks or so now, but I think I might have some gold ore based on images I saw online labeled as gold ore. That's where I'm hoping to get some insight from the more experienced folk on this site.

    A week ago I went to an old INACTIVE gold lode claim and took about a half dozen samples to take home and pan out. No luck in the pan, just a ton of pyrite. One of my finds during prospecting was a large eroding quartz vein that appears brecciated with quartz crystals, and black (sulfurs?) and chalcopyrite. Can gold ore be crumbly?

    In my free time I read about gold mining and I start seeing brecciated quartz rock with orange "stains"(?) coloring images online labeled as "gold ore".

    Examples:
    1. https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pr...I-TA7bBKLt8oAz

    2. https://raregoldnuggets.com/wp-conte...97160-Copy.jpg

    The samples I have look nearly identical to #1, including color. Am I on to something? Does the orange nacho-cheese-like colors of the specimen mean anything other than iron staining?

    I am ordering a rock crusher next week in hopes to finally pan out some gold, but I'm not sure. Should I stick with the creeks and crevicing as a novice or am I on the right track with the ore I've located?

    I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow, it's late now and the rocks are out back.

    Thanks
    I'm relatively new as well. From experience, Mother Nature is a trickster when it comes to gold. She has a lot of ways to make you believe that you have gold when, in fact, you have another mineral such as pyrite. I don't care to recall the number of times I've fallen for her tricks. Lots of YouTube videos online that can be helpful.

    Here are some of the lessons that I've learned. You might have already covered these bases, but passing along in the event they are helpful.

    1. If you want to enjoy prospecting but are a novice, becoming a member of a local prospecting club is the single best thing you can do. You'll go out in the field with experienced folks who generally love to help you learn.

    2. Keep your expenditures low until at first unless you have money to burn. Best starter rock crusher is a small sledgehammer and a few 2 x 4s to keep crushed material in a confined space.

    3. After you crush the rock you need to decide whether or not you want to classify the rock powder you just made. Classification is the process of passing material through a series of screens. Panning material that is uniform-ish in size makes finding gold a lot easier. If the gold in your area tends to be small, you definitely want to go down the classification path.

    Gold can be very tiny sometimes and can easily get lost among larger relatively heavy non-gold particles. Look for gold classifiers on Amazon. Should be pretty inexpensive.

    4. Gold panning is a learned skill. Not hard. Watch a few YouTube videos on the topic.

    5. Prospecting can be incredibly fun. However, significant others and children get annoyed if it takes you away too often and they feel ignored. I know. Crazy, right? Get them excited about prospecting and you're life will be more enjoyable.
    Last edited by BentFunky; Jul 15, 2020 at 06:05 PM.
    DDancer and DizzyDigger like this.

  14. #14

    Mar 2016
    3,155
    4838 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Best bet is to visit unclaimed lode deposit tailings.

    You will get an idea as to what and where...that will help a bunch.
    This Communication HEREBY Serves as OFFICIAL NOTICE That All Messages in This Thread Have Been REVIEWED. FURTHERMORE, All Messages of Positive Nature SHALL IRREVOCABLY Be Considered "LIKED" INSOFAR as Applicable to This Forum. FINALLY, All Discrimination is Strictly PROHIBITED.

  15. #15
    us
    Mar 2014
    Traveling US to work
    Current Equinox 600 Past Whites DFX Garret GTI 2500 and others Prospecting Minelab GPZ 7000 Past SD 2100 GP 3000 (retired)
    2,250
    1909 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    As to "poking around" SDBanks, yes I'm referring to verifying that your not going to run afoul of another's mining claim or private property. That goes for state and federal lands as well. I wont expand on how to go about that as there's plenty of info on that subject here in these forums by people more knowledgeable than myself. Your doing your homework I wish you good luck and heavy pans.
    Clay Diggins likes this.
    Everyone Believes they have gold buried in the back yard... small wonder so few ever look for it.

 

 

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