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  1. #151
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by brianc053 View Post
    Wow, interesting perspective. So are you just collecting data for an eventual full-scale operation?
    See, for some context: I'm just a recreational "miner". I just got back from Virginia where my son and I dredged Friday and Saturday, and we literally get excited by -20 mesh specs of gold in the test pans. We keep every single spec...because there may only be a few. A great day would be 1/2 a gram.
    So...I'm curious about what you're finding in test pans up in Maine.
    - Brian
    PS - when i've cleaned up my concentrates from the VA trip I'll post a story with some GoPro video.
    I fully understand wanting to keep every speck found. In a lot of ways I am because this is my own land, so it is not like it is going anywhere, but if I was going on excursions and trips, I would definitely keep every speck too.

    For right now I am just plotting out where the gold is, what concentrations, etc. I have a few research projects planned this summer that will help me get an even better idea (trenching across one field of my farm).

    I still have to determine the best method to extract the gold, but I would like anything that I get, to pull the gold out of the gravel, and then be used for the lode gold. If I do it right I could dig the gravel in summer, and do hard rock in the winter...or get my gravel pit cleaned out, then switch to hard rock. But my gravel pit is pretty small.

    I make it sound like Maine has a lot of gold, but that is not the case at all. I am finding gold most places I go (75% of the places checked on my farm so far), but it is not big gold at all. Flakes, and specks rule...with only a few pickers. There is always hope there is something better; with the late snowmelt I have not had the ideal places to search for gold, but as I revisit the streams I have been too, maybe I will find pay streaks?

    The only real surprise was PGM's, that was a complete surprise.
    brianc053 and Jimoutside like this.

  2. #152
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    As is always the case with groundwork, start a big job and the skies of rain open up like a cloudburst piñata. I think the animals are lining up in pairs and headed for the Ark...Frost is still in the ground anyway, and snow is still in the woods. I know the latter, because bored out of my skull, I went prospecting despite the deluge.

    I wanted to get a lode sample in a clearcut we made last year, and nearby was a nice stream, but up until now had been covered with ice and snow. I had test panned that stream before, so I knew it had color, but when you are bored as I am, it is nice to see something shiny on such a gloomy week (no sun in sight for the foreseeable weather forecast).

    I only got one picture because it was raining so hard, but it shows how the stream comes down from the upper left of the picture, then horse shoes around towards the right and exits the upper right hand corner. You can tell from the tipped over trees it is eroding into the bank pretty hard. But that means where the trees are tipped over, and where the ash is standing (no Emerald Ash Borer here yet), that is one heck of an inside corner. I am betting nuggets to flakes there is gold in the gravel where the stream has been shifting over all these years.

    I will have to get the excavator down there and reach over the bank and pluck those trees out so I can work the inside of the horse shoe easily, but that is no big deal. I just got to wait for the frost to get out of the ground, and the skies of heaven to dry up.

    As for the lode sample I wanted, in skidding wood last year, a skidder kicked up a huge chunk of quartz streaked with mineralization, which looked almost as good as Tiffany Amber Thiessen, so despite the rain, and soaked through to my Scooby Doo underoo's; it was a decent day.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #153
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    I got permission from my neighbor to check a few streams on her land, but to save some steps, I had my wife drop me off in the truck. It was a good thing I did, I ended up hiking 4 miles in 5 hours, and test-panned 5 streams, covering about 900 acres.

    I wanted to check this location because it consists of the drainage coming off my land, and I suspected the area streams had gold. My land is difficult in that it is at the top of a big hill, so I have only a few streams on it, but just off me, they begin to converge.

    I suspected gold was in this area, and I was right, all five streams had gold, but honestly, the area they were draining meant they should have. The biggest surprise was that these streams were not even on the maps, so I was not expecting much size wise, but they were fairly decent in size, and quite pretty.

    The funniest part was “drinking out of the golden goblet”. Here we can drink the water in streams because it is safe to do so, and I had just panned this stream, but since I use my pan as a cup, I was drinking away when I saw specks of gold that had stuck to the bottom of the pan. It was kind surreal to see gold glittering off the bottom of the cup as I was drinking.

    It was raining so I did not see much for wildlife, no bobcat tracks in the snow, but I did see a few deer in a field.

    Here is the second stream I found and sampled, taken gravel just under the beaver dam.

    (This is part 1 of a 4 part series of posts)

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  4. #154
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    This stream was a complete surprise as I was not expecting anything to be here. It had good gravel on top of bedrock and test panned well.

    (This is part 2 of a 4 part series of posts)

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  5. #155
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    This was the stream where I was drinking from my gold pan and saw specks of gold as I was drinking.

    (This is part 3 of a 4 part series of posts)

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  6. #156
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    This stream is actually on me, but there is some history here. It is hard to see in the picture I know, but the stream has now shifted and eroded the left side of the picture, but down the center is a livestock waterer my forefathers went to great lengths to build. Again, it is hard to see, but two rock walls flank each side of a channel that directed water into the pool. The lower part of the dam is rimmed with rock to prevent erosion. All this was built for sheep since we live at the top of a hill, and have few places to water sheep while on pasture.

    As far as I can tell, this was built in 1850 or so.

    (This is part 4 of a 4 part series of posts)

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    brianc053 and Jimoutside like this.

  7. #157
    us
    Nov 2013
    Central N.H
    36" BGT Prospector, 30" BGT Sniper, And related gold prospecting equipment
    487
    413 times
    Prospecting
    Ore Cart your like the energizer bunny. You keep going and going. You have covered a lot of ground. Hope it pays off. If it all leads to some hard rock mining. It would be super. You have been putting the work in. Keep it up. But don"t give up on the silver. I still think this might be the pay off.

  8. #158
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by triple d View Post
    Ore Cart your like the energizer bunny. You keep going and going. You have covered a lot of ground. Hope it pays off. If it all leads to some hard rock mining. It would be super. You have been putting the work in. Keep it up. But don"t give up on the silver. I still think this might be the pay off.
    You very well may be right.

    I noticed a lot of silver metals at the bottom of my pan yesterday that exceeded the amount of gold I saw. I have not had a chance to test that to see if it is silver or pgm's yet though, as I got home late in the afternoon, and had church to go to last night.

    I am a little slow to say pgm's because this area drains the southeast side of my farm, which is where the granite rock tends to be instead of the slate. The pgm's have been on the Northeast side (and drain to a different watershed entirely). Still, according to Maine Geological Survey maps, this is the direction most of the topsoil took as it migrated away from the top of the hill. In fact, at the farthest point of my hike yesterday (due east), there is an old gravel pit. There was not much there in the way of gravel because it is the start of the sedimentation, but this is why I was not surprised I found so much gold.

    The literal trail of soil continues on further south on the other side of a road, but this is very rugged country with all the roads I speak of being dirt roads. There are no houses in this second section, consisting of 1300 acres, 95% of which is forest. But it is too far to hike too, then hike through, test panning the streams, then hike back home. Due to it being mud season, the roads are unnavigable so I will have to wait to have my wife at least drop me off in the area to cut down on some hiking miles. (not that hiking would not help my aging, and fat carcass). (LOL)

    As for being the energizer bunny...hardly...as I was some sore yesterday, and still am today!

    The worst part was the rain; I was soaked through to my underoos again!

  9. #159
    us
    Nov 2013
    Central N.H
    36" BGT Prospector, 30" BGT Sniper, And related gold prospecting equipment
    487
    413 times
    Prospecting
    Remember to follow the gold to the source. In the streams. Look for the bigger chunker gold and follow it up stream. It may not be coming from the hill side. And i think I read platnum is connected to lead. With the lead mines in the area. And of course silver can come lead. Usually with a little gold mixed in. You are finding a fair amount of gold in a few test pans. Wish you had a sluice and run a few yards. Would love to know the results. Good work hang in there.
    Jimoutside likes this.

  10. #160
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by triple d View Post
    Remember to follow the gold to the source. In the streams. Look for the bigger chunker gold and follow it up stream. It may not be coming from the hill side. And i think I read platnum is connected to lead. With the lead mines in the area. And of course silver can come lead. Usually with a little gold mixed in. You are finding a fair amount of gold in a few test pans. Wish you had a sluice and run a few yards. Would love to know the results. Good work hang in there.
    I was thinking about what you are saying last night, and realized on my sample reports I am making a fatal error.

    You mention pay streaks which is a very valid point, but on many of these streams, pannable runs can be very short in length. For instance, at a place I call Beaver Dam Stream (pictured), I found gold, BUT the pannable run is very short because it is bookended by two beaver dams, so its run, where I can pan anyway,is only a hundred feet long. I have NOT been calculating this into the “quality” of the location site.

    I do rate the location by gold “volume”, but that is more in terms of how many specks, flakes and pickers I find per pan. But a location may be in a pay streak and show quite a bit of gold in each pan, but not be a stream of vast length. If I go back and add that variable into each sample site, I will get a better scoring percentage on each sample location.

    Thanks for making me realize where my sampling scoring has been coming up short. This will improve my sampling of the area greatly.

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  11. #161
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by triple d View Post
    Remember to follow the gold to the source. In the streams. Look for the bigger chunker gold and follow it up stream. It may not be coming from the hill side. And i think I read platnum is connected to lead. With the lead mines in the area. And of course silver can come lead. Usually with a little gold mixed in. You are finding a fair amount of gold in a few test pans. Wish you had a sluice and run a few yards. Would love to know the results. Good work hang in there.
    One reason I might be getting quite a bit of gold in few pans is where I chose to test-pan. I know this is kind of wrong, but my goal at this point is to see if a location has gold so I seek out areas of the stream where this is most likely. I only pan on top of bedrock, on the inside bends, and in areas of gravel that have high amounts of quartz float.

    I mean like in my gravel pit, I deliberately panned gravel directly on top of bedrock as it was the highest likely location to find gold. Now that I have found it, now I must do further testing to see where it lies. Areas of my gravel pit are 32 feet deep to bedrock, so I already know I am going to have to move a lot of material to get the gold. But that is research for another day. Right now I am just trying to find where the gold is, and where it is not.

    Two other factors also come into play. The first is that these streams, if they have ever been checked for gold at all, was likely over 100 years ago, so I have no competition. And the other factor is, I am finding seams of quartz all over the place, so the gold in these streams, has not moved far.

  12. #162
    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!
    3,525
    6098 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post


    The funniest part was “drinking out of the golden goblet”. Here we can drink the water in streams because it is safe to do so, and I had just panned this stream, but since I use my pan as a cup, I was drinking away when I saw specks of gold that had stuck to the bottom of the pan. It was kind surreal to see gold glittering off the bottom of the cup as I was drinking.
    Enjoying reading your journal, but the above comment concerns me.

    What causes you to believe that the creek water is safe to drink? In one
    of your pics, above, you show a beaver dam, meaning there are beaver
    in the area. Doesn't take but a few "beaver biscuits" for that water
    to be full of giardia, which will give you a galactic sized case of beaver
    fever. Trust me, you don't want that in your body!

    Just be careful where you dip your goblet..
    delnorter likes 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.

  13. #163
    us
    Nov 2013
    Central N.H
    36" BGT Prospector, 30" BGT Sniper, And related gold prospecting equipment
    487
    413 times
    Prospecting
    Ore cart. The testing your doing is good. But always test back to the source if possible. You may have veins running under the streams. Or into it. And study the gold. Chunky gold or larger pieces means your getting closer to the source. And from your tests id says its very possible. There are some veins. But if it is virgin could be just a good amount of placier gold. Quartz means a lot. But also look for veins of pyrite, iron stone, arsenical pyrite,Tonalite, and schist. And other related minerals.

  14. #164
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by DizzyDigger View Post
    Enjoying reading your journal, but the above comment concerns me.

    What causes you to believe that the creek water is safe to drink? In one
    of your pics, above, you show a beaver dam, meaning there are beaver
    in the area. Doesn't take but a few "beaver biscuits" for that water
    to be full of giardia, which will give you a galactic sized case of beaver
    fever. Trust me, you don't want that in your body!

    Just be careful where you dip your goblet..
    Oh yes, one always has toe be wary of where they dip their goblet, or at least my wife threatens me with that same line all the time!! (Only teasing you with my innuendo here, and mean no offense).

    You are right of course, in that there is no way to tell if there is bacteria present in the water. I have never had any trouble in drinking stream water here in the 45 years I have been alive, but that does not mean sickness will not, or could not happen. I should get a Lifestraw, but I am already packing so much other crap.

    One thing I did not mention was that I got seriously turned around on this last adventure (the five stream adventure). I have not been in that area much, and while not scared-stiff-lost, for about a half hour I wondered around a bit. Beyond packing a pistol, and a Lifestraw, I thought a few times of how nice it would be to have GPS too!! I do carry a compass though! I am not so stupid I will not do that.

  15. #165
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    466
    527 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by triple d View Post
    Ore cart. The testing your doing is good. But always test back to the source if possible. You may have veins running under the streams. Or into it. And study the gold. Chunky gold or larger pieces means your getting closer to the source. And from your tests id says its very possible. There are some veins. But if it is virgin could be just a good amount of placier gold. Quartz means a lot. But also look for veins of pyrite, iron stone, arsenical pyrite,Tonalite, and schist. And other related minerals.
    I do not really take written notes, but I am always checking any outcrops for mineralization. For instance in the last trek, I found an old rock wall in an old pasture, and took a picture of a piece of quartz with heavy mineralization. So I do keep my eyes open.

    One thing I have never found is any appreciable size nugget. I find pickers, flakes and specks of gold, but so far no real nugget like others on here find. Maybe some day!

    Here is that Quartz found on an old rock wall.

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    DizzyDigger and Jimoutside like this.

 

 
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