Gold in the Catalina Mts
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Thread: Gold in the Catalina Mts

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  1. #1

    Jan 2008
    Canyon Del Oro, Arizona
    134
    121 times

    Gold in the Catalina Mts

    Devonian Corals.
    Gold occurs in the large quartz lode of the Southern Belle Canyon not far from Coral Ridge, where there are reefs of petrified marine shells and corals in Devonian limestone.

    DEVONIAN ROCKS Between the Southern Belle Canyon and Pepper Sauce Wash a long ridge extending eastward, called Coral Ridge, is made up of quartzite, limestone and shaly limestones, in which there is a bed of corals and shells of the Devonian age. The fossils are of especial interest because of their wonderful preservation in every detail of structure. This is due to the permeation of the rock by silicious waters, which have changed the organized structure from carbonate of lime to silica, and have left the surrounding limestone unchanged. The weathering of the rock has left these fossils standing out in bold relief. A fine section of the stratified rock formation is found in Southern Belle Canyon. The strata are uplifted and extend southward at an angle of fifteen degrees. The section consists of regular strata of red sandstone, shale, quartzite, sandstones and limestones, resting upon diorite. At the eastern end of the section, strata of sandstone and limestone abut upon granite.

    Ideas of where to look?

  2. #2
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,713
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    If you just want to find some gold, try panning in the Canada del Oro on the N flank of the mountains. Lots of black sand, gold is fine grains but not hard to find. Good luck.
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  3. #3

    Jan 2008
    Canyon Del Oro, Arizona
    134
    121 times
    Thanks Oro.
    I got some flakes in Peppersauce and in Nugget Canyon, but not yet in the CDO.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by froggy View Post
    Thanks Oro.
    I got some flakes in Peppersauce and in Nugget Canyon, but not yet in the CDO.
    The canyon of gold is not where the modern canyon of that modern name is located.

    I've found a lot of gold in the real canyon but none in the current CDO.
    davin likes this.

  5. #5
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,713
    9189 times
    Well I am not sure what you are referring to there Bill, but perhaps a little more info might help our amigo Froggy in the quest for the yellow stuff.

    Perhaps this will help.
    OLD HAT DISTRICT (CANADA DEL ORO PLACERS SOUTHERN BELLE PLACERS)
    Location: Northwest and northeast flanks of the Santa Catalina Mountains, T. 10 S., Rs. 14-16 E.

    Topographic maps: Mammoth and Oracle 15-minute quadrangles. Geologic maps: Creasey, 1967, Geologic map and sections of the Mammoth quad- rangle, Pinal County, Arizona (pi. 1), scale 1:48,000. Wilson and Moore, 1959b, Geologic map of Pinal County, Arizona, scale 1:375,000.

    Access: From Oracle, dirt roads lead southeast and southwest to the placer areas on both sides of the mountains.

    Extent: The Canada del Oro placer area is the large alluvial fan at the northwest end of the Santa Catalina Mountains north and west of Samaniego and Oracle Ridges (T. 10 S., Rs. 14 and 15 E., Oracle quadrangle). Gold is found in gravel beds that reportedly range in thickness from 6 feet at the creek side to 252 feet at the top of the alluvial fan. The gold-bearing gravel occurs over a wide strip along the creek and in adjacent hillsides and extends south into Pima County. The Southern Belle placer is in creek beds below the Southern Belle mine on the northeast flank of the Santa Catalina Mountains (unsurveyed sees. 19 and 20, T. 10 S., R. 16 E., Mammoth quad- rangle). The gold is said to be concentrated in a pay streak on top of red clay material derived from the decomposition of diorite (diabase of Creasey, 1967). Production history: placers in Canada del Oro have been known and worked for many years. Some reports state that Spaniards may have worked the gravels in the early 1700's, but I have found no estimates of the gold recovered by these early miners. The deposits have been worked on a small scale throughout most of the 20th century; small amounts of gold were recovered in most years. Most of the gold occurred as well-rounded particles ranging in size from grains worth a few cents to one-fourth-ounce nuggets. During the early 1930's a nugget worth $25 (at $20.67 per oz) was recovered, and a 16-pound lump containing about 40-percent quartz was said to have been found in the late 1800's. The placers near the Southern Belle mine were known in 1884 and may have been worked before that time. These deposits have no recorded production and were probably worked out in the early 1900's. Reportedly, the gold recovered was coarse, as some large nuggets were said to have been taken out.

    Source: According to Wilson (1961, p. 61-62,) gold-bearing veins in the upper reaches of Canada del Oro, which heads on the north flank of Mount Lemmon, were the probable source of the placer gold in that area. I have found no detailed information about these veins, which were worked at the Copeland, Kerr, Matas, and other prospects. The gold in the Southern Belle placer is presumably derived from the gold-bearing Southern Belle ore deposit.

    Literature: Allen, 1922: Quotes Heikes and Yale (1913). Blake, 1899: Notes presence of placer gold; source at Southern Belle. Browne, 1868: Placer-mining activity at Canada del Oro. Burchard, 1885: Placer-mining activity at Southern Belle. Burgess, 1903: Locates Southern Belle placer; average gold content in 50-pound sample; describes lode mine. Creasey, 1967: Describes geology and ore deposits in vicinity of Southern Belle mine (p. 82-83). Does not describe placers. Heikes and Yale, 1913:

    Location; thickness of gravels; character and origin of placer gravels; gold values per cubic yard; size of nuggets; production from 1903 to 1912; placer-mining operations. Hinton, 1878: Notes placer occurrence; profitable workings. Hodge, 1877: Notes history of mining activity. Wilson, 1961: History; placer-mining activity during the period 1932-33; origin of gold. Quotes Heikes (1913).
    from Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona by Maureen G. Johnson, US Geological Survey Bulletin 1355 pp 44-45
    And;

    CANADA DEL ORO OR OLD HAT PLACERS
    The most noted gold placers in the Old Hat district of Pinal County are in the vicinity of Canada del Oro. These placers) which extend also into Pima County, lie at elevations of over 2,600 feet above sea level, near the northwestern base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, from 4 to 10 miles south of Oracle post office and 16 to 29 miles north of Tucson. 'l'he water supply of this placer area is chiefly from wells and from the intermittent flow of Canada del Oro Creek. The mean annual rainfall at Oracle, which is 4,500 feet above sea level, amounts to about 19.44 inches. On the Santa Catalina Mountains, which attain 9,150.feet above sea level at Mt. Lemmon, less than 10 miles southeast of the placer area, much heavier summer rains and winter snows obtain. Hence the large canyons may carry torrential floods during summer and a steady, small flow from melting snow in the spring. The Canada del Oro placers are presumed to have been discovered by Spaniards, during the early days of Tucson. Numerous old pits, trenches, and tunnels indicate considerable early placer mining, the yield from which is unknown. During the 1932-33 season, approximately thirty men intermittently carried on small scale rocking and panning in the Canada del Oro region, chiefly on the northern side of the creek. Although one $25 nugget and a few $5 nuggets were reported, the average daily returns per man were seldom more than 50 cents. The Santa Catalina Mountains are made up principally of preCambrian gneiss, schist, and granite; Paleozoic beds, post-Carboniferous granite, granite phophyry, diabase, and diorite' and Tertiary sedimentary rocks and lavas. Gold-bearing quartz veins, such as occur in the vicinity of the Copeland, Kerr, Matas, and other prospects in the upper reaches of Canada del Oro, were the probable source of the placer gold. . a Based upon information from Capt. J. D. Burgess, Heikes describes the placers occurring in T. 10 S, R. 14 E., Gila and Salt River Meridian as having apparently been deposited at intervals by floods from the- Santa Catalina Mountains so as to form a deposit of nearly equal value from surface to bedrock there being no pronounced accumulation of heavy gold at bedrock except in the stream. Cafiada del Oro Creek. which passes through the region. The bed of dry gravel is from six feet deep at the creek side to 475 feet at the summit with an average thickness of about 150 feet. The d~posit is in generai a loose gravel, uncemented. There are. however. alternating strata of deep-red. clayey material. These strata are of nearly uniform thickness of three to four inches and probably were formerly surfaces existing between floods, each being covered by a later flow of gravel from rainfall-eroded veins farther up the mountain. Shafts sunk on the hillsides from 27 to 50 feet in depth show values from 10 to 42 cents per cubic yard. The average is difficuLt to determine, as the gold is not equally distributed. All the gold is found in well-rounded nuggets ranging from a few cents to $5 in value. There is a tradition of a lump weighing 16 pounds with probably 40 per cent quartz, whose discoverers were found murdered in their camp 16 miles north of Tucson. The nugget had disappeared. In fineness the gold averages about 905. Generally the placer material is dug. screened. and hauled to the creek. and there worked by rockers. or sluiced when there is enough water. Many dry-washers have been tried. but most of the gold lies in the red clayey seams which apparently acted as bedrock for each period of deposition. Pulverizing this adherent material gives good results with the common bellows type of 'dry washer.' A boiler and P\lDlP were once used to throw water against the creek bank, but the water at that time proved insufficient for extensive operations.
    from Arizona Gold Placers and Placering, Eldred D. Wilson, Arizona Bureau of Mines
    pp 61-62

    I hope this helps.
     
    Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
    Oroblanco


    davin, lastleg, Alamosmoon and 1 others like this.
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  6. #6
    us
    Gold Whispers

    Feb 2010
    AZ
    172
    80 times
    Metal Detecting
    Never heard of anyone doing any nugget shooting with a detector in this area. It's not a big gold hunting destination like Greaterville. If it has potential for detectable gold I'd like to hear about it because I live in Tucson.

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2006
    1,710
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyGhost View Post
    Never heard of anyone doing any nugget shooting with a detector in this area. It's not a big gold hunting destination like Greaterville. If it has potential for detectable gold I'd like to hear about it because I live in Tucson.
    Gray Ghost,

    The local gold club used to have two claims up in Charlowe Gap that everyone worked occasionally. There is gold on the backside of the mountains but the magnetic sands make it almost impossible to recover nuggets at least with my gold bug2. I've metal detected all over those mountains and haven't seen a great area yet
    Some people claim they've found nuggets in pepper sauce creek and I've seen dry washers being used up there. The Desert Gold Diggers has claims back there on the other side of Oracle on the way to pepper sauce it used to belong to old Buffalo Bill Cody back in the days.

    I find a lot of gold in one of our claims near Arrivaca, AZ. I'm probably going there this weekend for some hunting I've pulled some two grams nuggets out of there in the past. Did some dredging there last year with all the rains. I've never found a thing in Greaterville but garbage.

    I live in Tucson also.

    PM if you'd like to go sometime.

  8. #8
    us
    Gold Whispers

    Feb 2010
    AZ
    172
    80 times
    Metal Detecting
    PM inbound.

  9. #9
    us
    May 2015
    Sacramento Ca. or Drain Or. USA
    Garrett AT Gold
    157
    82 times
    gold
    Devonian coral??/...that was a long time ago. You must be really old to have experianced devonian coral? At my age all I can find are the fossilized devonian corals but then i am only 70

  10. #10
    us
    Give respect, get respect.

    May 2016
    Arizona, California, Alaska, Oregon, Florida, Louisiana
    Garret Pin pointer pro AT. "Other" methods.
    163
    105 times
    Prospecting
    I never had any luck in greaterville area, nothing on Mount Lemmon but a wasted days trip if your not willing to stretch your legs and get in there and the problem is parking your vehicle unless your dropping over the backside. Arrivaca looks interesting. I might look into that sometime soon. At least it's not such a stretch as wickenberg or congress if your driving from Tucson area.
    davin likes this.
    -I rather work a small crevice than dredge a big bottom-

  11. #11
    us
    Fortune Favors the BOLD, while Karma Favors the Wise!

    Jan 2006
    Arizona Vagrant
    Modded SD2000 / Fisher FX-3 / Fisher Gold Bug II / Fisher Gemini / Schiebel MIMID
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighGradeSilverOreSales View Post
    I never had any luck in greaterville area, nothing on Mount Lemmon but a wasted days trip if your not willing to stretch your legs and get in there and the problem is parking your vehicle unless your dropping over the backside. Arrivaca looks interesting. I might look into that sometime soon. At least it's not such a stretch as wickenberg or congress if your driving from Tucson area.
    If you drop down to Nogales, jump on Ruby Rd, and do that drive up to Arivaca. You can see the Tweeker King at Ruby! HAHAHA I wouldn't leave any vehicle unattended West of the 19. I also wouldn't go unarmed along Ruby Rd either.

    Mike
    "You wouldn't like me when I'm mad, because I back up my rage with hard facts and logic!" - The Credible Hulk

    ............... ALWAYS REMEMBER: When you make a typo, the errorists win...................Aloha Snackbar!

  12. #12
    us
    Mar 2004
    Severn, Maryland
    None
    908
    3200 times
    Cache Hunting
    Amen. Been there before, back in 1982. Was still not what I would call a "Safe Area", but neither was Harlem at 2 A.M. running service calls at NASA at 113th and Broadway in NYC. At least in AZ, I could pack a gun.

  13. #13
    us
    Mar 2004
    Severn, Maryland
    None
    908
    3200 times
    Cache Hunting
    BTW back in 1980 between Florence and Oracle Junction, there is a place called "Black Mountain". People were digging and panning for gold then. Don't know what happened, if they found any good deposits, but it is also an area where Moonshiners had their stills, so we thought it just wasn't worth the risk.
    We got a new Game Warden about that time and he went driving back there at night with no lights and got the truck peppered with buckshot. He went to the retired Game Warden and told him.
    "Come with me" He went and bought a 12 pack and they drove out into the desert and parked the truck and drank the beer. He made him throw all the empties into the back of the pickup. "Won't people hear me coming?" "Yes, but now they will know your a Game Warden and not Liquor Control. There are Moonshiners up there and they didn't know who you were." True story, BTW.

 

 

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