Mystery mine

dowser

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Jul 13, 2005
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While exploring in Arizona in 2004, we spotted what we thought was tailings. Never knew hard rock, I was from Michigan. We got out of the truck to check it out. Must have been tailings, but none were piled up. It was all extremely mineralized volcanic quartz, spread everywhere. I noticed a hole the size of a grapefruit on the side of the hill. It was a pile of rocks hiding a mine, but the top rock was missing. We carefully removed the rocks, trying not to get picked by the cactus needles. We uncovered a hidden mine entrance. On the floor of this, crawl in entrance was 2 inches of cactus needles. And even though I had a flashlight, I couldn't see 2 ft into the hole. It took many years to blow 2 inches of cactus needles through a small hole 3 ft off the ground. I had to leave and plan a return trip in the future. When I made it back, I lost it. I finally found it on Google earth. I checked and it's claimable, nobody has claimed it, nobody is mining it. The 2 track that we first had used got changed. It's in an area thats remote. I am hoping to return this spring, and see what is in there. There is a named lost gold mine close to this spot. Supposedly rich gold ore.
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Clay Diggins

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The cactus needles are from packrats. That's pretty common to find packrats in mine shafts here. You may not have been able to see into the mouth due to a packrat midden.

Do you know what was being mined there? Most mines are not gold mines. What was the mineralization like? Quartz itself isn't an indicator of gold but other minerals can be depending on the type of mineralization.

Look on the Land Matters Mining Claims map at the area with the topo minerals and MRDS layer turned on. You can probably track the history of the mine and the ore type right from the map information function. At least that will solve some of the mystery.

Just because an area doesn't have any claims does not mean you can make a claim there. The land might be private or withdrawn from claiming. Look over the Land Matters Arizona Land Status map and pay particular attention to the downloadable Master Title Plat to see what the status there is. Hopefully you are on to something but it's best to do the research before you come all the way out only to find you can't be there legally.

Arizona is a concealed and open carry State and no permit is needed for either. That keeps folks more civilized than other places. Look before you leap. It's sometimes surprising how much of the desert is actually private land.

You can find plenty of hard rock mines in Michigan too. There are gold mines as well as copper and iron. Michigan is in the top 5 states for mining over the last 150 years. Look around your home range and you might be surprised what you find. :thumbsup:

Heavy Pans
 
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dowser

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The cactus needles are from packrats. That's pretty common to find packrats in mine shafts here. You may not have been able to see into the mouth due to a packrat midden.

Do you know what was being mined there? Most mines are not gold mines. What was the mineralization like? Quartz itself isn't an indicator of gold but other minerals can be depending on the type of mineralization.

Look on the Land Matters Mining Claims map at the area with the topo minerals and MRDS layer turned on. You can probably track the history of the mine and the ore type right from the map information function. At least that will solve some of the mystery.

Just because an area doesn't have any claims does not mean you can make a claim there. The land might be private or withdrawn from claiming. Look over the Land Matters Arizona Land Status map and pay particular attention to the downloadable Master Title Plat to see what the status there is. Hopefully you are on to something but it's best to do the research before you come all the way out only to find you can't be there legally.

Arizona is a concealed and open carry State and no permit is needed for either. That keeps folks more civilized than other places. Look before you leap. It's sometimes surprising how much of the desert is actually private land.

You can find plenty of hard rock mines in Michigan too. There are gold mines as well as copper and iron. Michigan is in the top 5 states for mining over the last 150 years. Look around your home range and you might be surprised what you find. :thumbsup:

Heavy Pans

No I don't know what was mined. I see signs of copper and irons. No it wasn't a packrat, the needles blew into the hole, the mine is old. The spot is claimable, I called on it. I have the Mine cache app. There is no past mine, within 100 yds. No indication of ore ever being processed. Even from Google earth, I can't tell mining ever happened there. But I can see digging, and tailings at the other old mines. Yes Northern Michigan has hard rock, but that is the Upper Peninsula, I'm South of any hard rock. Never experienced it till I saw it out there. No, it's a legit, real hidden mystery. Dowser
 
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dowser

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I tried to get to it last Spring. The area is changed, someone acquired a bunch of placer claims and changed the access to the area. It's off the Hassayampa river, and last spring it was flowing, couldn't cross it. I drew a map to it, just to have an authentic treasure map. Yes maybe it's been found, since I first discovered it. But nobody has filed there yet. Somebody piled up rocks to hide the entrance. None were huge rocks. They didn't hide nothing, they hid something. Maybe it's caved in, and now that I opened it, critters have entered. It's way back, where a gun might not keep you from disappearing. Yes I'm looking for someone to partner with. It might not be anything, but it could be a Mother lode. Vulture and Octave mines are nearby.
 

Goldwasher

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for every named mine I have found on the ground... there are at least two unnamed holes nearby.

that doesn't make them lost mines.

I would suggest using something beyond minecache for info

minecache doesn't show privet patents

make sure to use Mylandmatters it has the same data that minecache uses to show where old known mines are or as close as you can get plus data from blm that is updated twice a month
 
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dowser

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for every named mine I have found on the ground... there are at least two unnamed holes nearby.

that doesn't make them lost mines.

I would suggest using something beyond minecache for info

minecache doesn't show privet patents

make sure to use Mylandmatters it has the same data that minecache uses to show where old known mines are or as close as you can get plus data from blm that is updated twice a month

I just checked My land matters, thanks. Its not showing any previous nor ongoing lode claim. I will have to get there and see what's there. I know a lot more than I did in 2004. I already have my coordinates. I need samples and pics. Remembering back, it's still the most Mineralized, and confusing mine sight I ever saw.
 
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dowser

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To add to my Mystery
I originally thought it belonged to a minor that perished at Fools canyon, when the Walnut Grove dam broke. But if you work your mine every day then go home, knowing to return the next morning, why bother concealing it.
Then if you believe legends, like the Lost ****** Ben mine, where he lived N if where I discovered it, and was killed S of it. Story was he had rich gold ore, and people followed. He would have a reason to hide his mine entrance after left it. Just imagine, the real Mother lode, picking pure chunks of Gold off the walls.
 

SaltwaterServr

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Cactus needles don't blow into mines. That's pack rats. The speed of erosion covering up a mine can be only a few decades. Make sure to check if the land is patented, it could very well be since you're in the Wickenburg/Stanton area.
 
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dowser

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We carefully removed large hand sized boulders, purposely stacked up to conceal a 3 ft opening. We didn't have gloves, and it was difficult to remove a rock without getting picked. Once I got most out of the way I couldn't enter because of 2 inches of flat cactus needles, a carpet of cactus needles was on the floor. It was Sunny out, so shining a flashlight into the hole didn't show any distance. It could be only 3 ft deep and I couldn't tell with the flashlight. I've been exploring for years since I had first located this, and I've seen many pac rat nests, to know that these needles had blown in a grapefruit sized hole. How many years does it take to blow needles in. Makes me wonder if it's older than 1890. My guess is that someone had concealed a old Spanish mine. Maybe it's all mined out, but someone had concealed the entrance many many Cactus needles ago.
 
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dowser

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Things have changed since 2004. Accessible by 4x4 then, but not now. It would take quads. It's also along side a dead end trail that is washed out. The remoteness has kept it hidden.
 

SaltwaterServr

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Sorry hoss, those didn't blow in. It's rats. I've been in more than 70 or 80 mines in this exact area, some of which I can definitely date to 1904-1909 due to artifacts and the only needles are from pack rats. No way that the needles blew into a grapefruit sized hole. Just doesn't happen out here that way.
 
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dowser

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Okay, if you say so. It's still a Mystery mine to me.
 

mytimetoshine

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Pack rats or wind? Hmm the age old question[emoji848]lol
 

Assembler

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Pack rats or wind? Hmm the age old question[emoji848]lol
Hope you are not 'Needling the Pack Rats'..........LOL :laughing7:

Good one mytimetoshine and thanks.
 
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dowser

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It was Jumping Cholla cactus needles.
 

Goodyguy

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It was Jumping Cholla cactus needles.

That explains it then ........ They must have jumped through the hole. :tongue3:

Lots of reasons for an entrance to an abandoned mine to be covered up.
Here's to you solving the mystery safely. :occasion14:
Keep us posted.

Go for the gold
GG~
 
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Assembler

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That explains it then ........ They must have jumped through the hole. :tongue3:

Lots of reasons for an entrance to an abandoned mine to be covered up.
Here's to you solving the mystery safely. :occasion14:
Keep us posted.

Go for the gold
GG~
Not sure who is being 'Needled here' the pack rats or the mine.......LOL
Good one Goodyguy.
Be safe everyone.
 

pczim

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Who mines in a grapefruit sized hole? I’m confused :dontknow:
 
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dowser

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Who mines in a grapefruit sized hole? I’m confused :dontknow:

Rocks were stacked up to hide the entrance, the top rock was missing, a hole was showing. That's how I discovered it. Couldn't make it there this year, hopefully next year.
 

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