Placer Claim Mined Out?

desertgolddigger

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I belong to a local club that owns a claim. This club has had this claim for many years, and acquired it after the old timers had mined it previously, and others after they commercial outfits closed up.
I walked quite a bit of the 160 acre claim, and noted that just about every wash had been worked. Most of the surface nuggets has also been detected by those with gold detectors. In other words, this place has been picked over and over and over.
But I m a stubborn type of person, and I figured, just watching how people ram their puffer and blower drywashers, that some gold was just being blown through them. maybe not much, but some small stuff that never got a chance to settle behind the riffles.
I know many of you would never go to the effort of digging for three to four hours through the tailings in these washes. Again, I'm a bit stubborn, and anyway, I just wanted to have some fun locally, instead of driving 300 miles roundtrip to something that gives a little more for less effort.
I've spent the last three weeks, digging a few times a week along about 30 yards of wash, and have recovered just about a gram of gold. That might not seem like much, but I have only dug up 5 grams, not counting this one gram in almost 20 years out here drywashing in the desert of southern California.
As you would know, things always seem to go wrong. My gas powered blower motor decided it was time for the repair shop, and haven't heard from the shop in two weeks. So I purchased a WORX WG521 corded electric leaf blower to use with my Royal Large drywasher. I'm using a portable generator to provide the power. And it actually is working better than with my old gas powered blower. I have to run the blower on the lowest speed, or I just blow everything through the riffles. Results are very good, as I am getting gold specks so small that I will have to use the Blue bowl in order to recover them.
I'm not only getting a little gold, I'm having some fun, and I am getting a good workout. I've lost 10 pounds since I started. So things are going well.
I'm still digging test holes around the old time hard rock mines in the hope I will find where the gold has drifted downhill below these mines. So far just a couple specks here and there. I figure I just have to move laterally one way or the other before I get something better Of course, I' don't really know if the old timers stripped the hillsides. Even if they have, they apparently aren't as thorough as I am. I hope that I may be lucky and find a larger piece of gold that the old timers, previous placer miners, and detectorists have missed.
Hope everyone is having as much fun as I have been having.
 
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desertgolddigger

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This morning, and not in the dark, I tried working a hard rock mine tailing pile. When it came to the large rocks, there was absolutely nothing, which included material from 18 inches down.

I checked the pea gravel, and got three hits with my detector. One was an absolutely tiny piece of super thin foil. The other two were iron or some kind of rusted metal, probably pieces from an OT tool.

I ran everything smaller than 1/4 inch gravel through the washer, and got three tiny pieces of gold from three buckets. I also found plenty of fools gold, dozens of pieces.

Ran a small batch of panning tailings, and got 14 tiny pieces.

So not a skunk, but close on the mine tailing pile.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Was out yesterday morning for another 14 partial buckets of material to take home. I've of late, been taking the material home to spread out on a tarp to dry. The wash just is too wet from the recent rain, and its not hot enough to dry the wash out.

I finally crossed the 3 gram mark for this month, a record take for me, and still have a few outings to add to the total. The wash bed is slowly petering out. Now I'm taking just over 1/10 gram per outing, bur that's a whole lot more than the day I decided to dig down wash, and got a whole one little flake of gold for my efforts. 1/10 gram is still real good for this claim, since it's been worked for around 100 years.

If the wind dies down tomorrow, I'll go clear the big gravel pile I made, and lay that on the access road. Then gig up another 14 partial buckets formhome processing, and hope I hit another sweet spot.
 
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desertgolddigger

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I made it to the claim this morning to start removing the gravel pile from the wash, and placing it on the access road. Only got about 3/4 of the pile sorted, and moved. So tomorrow I'll finish up. I dislike leaving piles of rocks littering the landscape.

While I was at it, I classified the 1/2 inch gravel from the smaller gravel and dirt. There was nine buckets of 1/2 inch gravel to take home and kay i n the backyard, and 3 1/2 buckets of the smaller stuff for the washer.

Si I only had room for one bucket of pay dirt from the wash.

I ended up with 0.046 grams of gold. I actually thought I'd get skunked. I just don't know of the gold was in that one bucket of pay dirt, or possibly was in the huge pile of gravel I processed.

Anyway, I'm one happy camper, not getting skunked, when I really expected that to happen. Tomorrow I should have room for a few more buckets of pay dirt to carry home. The wash is still wet. I'm guessing it will be a long time before things dry out, so hauling material home is my only option.
 

1637

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so have you checked out other clubs that have claims in that area. our club pcsc has the black jack claim i think its near you. .i believe the dues are about 80.00 a year. i just hate to see you work so hard on that claim when there are allot of other places near you.
 
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desertgolddigger

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so have you checked out other clubs that have claims in that area. our club pcsc has the black jack claim i think its near you. .i believe the dues are about 80.00 a year. i just hate to see you work so hard on that claim when there are allot of other places near you.
1637, Thanks so much. But I live in 29Palms. The Black Jack is a long way from me. I belong to the First Class Miners. I also belong to the Valley Prospectors, but will be letting that membership lapse, as driving all the way to Barstow is way too expensive, especially when all there is is fluff gold. I'm doing a lot better here at Humbug than anywhere else I've mined.

Yeah, I'd love to mine, and come away with five or more grams of gold in a day, but the only way that happens is if you get lucky, and find a large nugget. I mainly dig to keep my body fit. Gold is a secondary benefit.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Taking more time off from gold mining. Today I just worked at home, using the trommel to separate the 12 inch gravel from the smaller stuff, and dirt. My backyard is almost finished with that gravel covering it. Yippie!, No more weeding back there for a few years.

Still have to check the smaller gravel pile for possible gold. And to do that, I finally decided to invest in a no-brainer gold only metal detector. After some prolonged research, I decided the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is probably the easiest machine to use. It also detects gold smaller than a 10th of a gram down to three inches, based on videos I watched. It's supposed to arrive Friday.

I'll detect on our claim, and land outside it. I think that there are areas just outside our claim, going downhill from the hard rock mines that could possibly have gold. I've never seen any of our members go off claim metal detecting. As far as I can determine, no one has a claim filed next to our claim. At least I can't see any posts or discovery markers near our claim. Who knows, I might get lucky and find something good enough to file my own claim. Yeah, right! Never had that kind of luck.

Tomorrow, it's back to slaving on the remainder of that gravel pile.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Yesterday I didn't sift my backyard gravel pile, but went mining. I got lucky, and hit a rich spot, getting 1/3rd of a gram in just 10 buckets. But the work to get it was tedious, as even with the wet ground, the material was nearly cemented together.

This morning, I did do the gravel pile in the backyard, and just need to lay it. I created a huge pile of what I call micro pea gravel (smaller than 1/4 inch) which I will use my new detector to see if any little pickers are in it. The stuff smaller than 1/16 inch will go through the dry washer. Hopefully all this work will pay off with a little of the yellow stuff.

The detector comes tomorrow, so this weekend I might try it out on the claim, and adjacent to the old hard rock mines that are on the border of the claim.
 

southfork

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Yesterday I didn't sift my backyard gravel pile, but went mining. I got lucky, and hit a rich spot, getting 1/3rd of a gram in just 10 buckets. But the work to get it was tedious, as even with the wet ground, the material was nearly cemented together.

This morning, I did do the gravel pile in the backyard, and just need to lay it. I created a huge pile of what I call micro pea gravel (smaller than 1/4 inch) which I will use my new detector to see if any little pickers are in it. The stuff smaller than 1/16 inch will go through the dry washer. Hopefully all this work will pay off with a little of the yellow stuff.

The detector comes tomorrow, so this weekend I might try it out on the claim, and adjacent to the old hard rock mines that are on the border of the claim.
I hope the new metal detector is a game changer for you at least it's lighter than a bucket of rocks.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Anybody have a Minelab Gold Monster 1000? I tried it this morning, and it was sounding on little 1/8 inch pieces of gravel I know didn't have any iron or gold in them. Most of those hits it was telling me it was gold. I even turned down the sensitivity, and it still reacted exactly the same. On top of that, it was sounding off in mid air. It was a frustrating experience.

I tested it inside this morning with some gold I dug up. Smallest true hit was .013 gram gold flake. So I know it works. It's just confusing me when I try detecting my micro pea gravel pile.

Maybe tomorrow in and around our claim, I will have better luck.
 

Clay Diggins

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Neither the Gold Monster nor any other detector can detect just gold. The GM will hit on anything metallic just like any other detector. There is no such thing as a gold detector but some metal detectors are designed to detect very weak signals - like gold. Most detectors would pass right by your .013 gram gold flake without even a sound - your GM is obviously working as designed.

If you are getting random hits in the air it would be a good move to check that your coil connection is tight and there is no movement in your cable. Detectors detect metal and your cord is metal. It the cord moves in relation to the coil you will get a signal that seems to come from nowhere. Get in the habit of checking your connections and cabling everytime before you detect and you will eliminate a common problem.

You are just going to have to spend time digging signals and listening to your machine. If you are new to detecting I would suggest you will need about 100 hours of detecting (and digging targets) to come to a better understanding of what your detector is doing.

Heavy Pans
 

1637

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take some gold out to your claim and listen to the different sounds of your targets,get use to what gold sounds like, but there is no easy way not to dig allot of targets, i did just looked at youtube and theres allot of videos on there for you to check out.
 
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desertgolddigger

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1637, wish I could, but I'm afraid I'd have an accident, and lose gold, if I tried to use it out there. I will just GB the machine frequently, and dig everything just as I've always done. I just need practice centering on a target mostly with the GM1000. Right now, centering over the target, and digging is my biggest problem, now that the GB issue is solved.
 
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desertgolddigger

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I tried metal detecting with my new GM1000. I had all kinds of luck,,,,,,finding old cans, shell casings, a flashlight bulb base, and a large bullet. But no gold. I got targets that would indicate it was gold when I swept the coil to the left, and iron when swept right. Ended up being more bullets.

Everywhere I detected I just kept getting indications of shell casings and bullets. Tring to detect an area like this that has so much junk tells me not to bother at our claim. All I'd do is clean up junk.

I'll use the detector to sweep my pea gravel piles after a night of digging. Maybe some day I'll go out, and try sweeping some ground not claimed, in the hope I might get lucky. But it probably will be more of the same. 15 years ago I used my Time Ranger, and experienced exactly the same thing, lots if cans, shell casings, and bullets, bur no gold.

Oh yes, no hits on the OTer's hard rock tailing piles either, just more trash. I'd rather go out to one of the old building foundations, and try my luck. Maybe I'd get lucky and find nails. :-(
 

Assembler

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I tried metal detecting with my new GM1000. I had all kinds of luck,,,,,,finding old cans, shell casings, a flashlight bulb base, and a large bullet. But no gold. I got targets that would indicate it was gold when I swept the coil to the left, and iron when swept right. Ended up being more bullets.

Everywhere I detected I just kept getting indications of shell casings and bullets. Tring to detect an area like this that has so much junk tells me not to bother at our claim. All I'd do is clean up junk.

I'll use the detector to sweep my pea gravel piles after a night of digging. Maybe some day I'll go out, and try sweeping some ground not claimed, in the hope I might get lucky. But it probably will be more of the same. 15 years ago I used my Time Ranger, and experienced exactly the same thing, lots if cans, shell casings, and bullets, bur no gold.

Oh yes, no hits on the OTer's hard rock tailing piles either, just more trash. I'd rather go out to one of the old building foundations, and try my luck. Maybe I'd get lucky and find nails. :-(
Like many areas your coil st to close to other large target trash. Try lifting a small single target rock up to your metal detector coil that is way off the ground (I would start with 24" and increase if needed).
The idea here is to test your target rock away from any minerized background or worse any large metal trash that is near by.

Don't exspect a loud signal responce with your detector. Crush and pan is the way to really test the target rock etc.

P.S. You will not have to dig any metal nail trash targets at all with this method. It will be slow untill you start finding some values. Then the fun factor starts to kick in.
 
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Assembler

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Using different types of detectors and coil sizes is also a good idea.
 

southfork

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Takes time and patience I've had days when I would scan my boot too see if my detector was working. And days I dug so much iron I thought I was a scrap collector. Try it on days your scraping bedrock when dry washing one picker and your hooked.
 

Assembler

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Takes time and patience I've had days when I would scan my boot too see if my detector was working. And days I dug so much iron I thought I was a scrap collector. Try it on days your scraping bedrock when dry washing one picker and your hooked.
Good ideas there. In fact some do well just metal detecting bedrock etc.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Takes time and patience I've had days when I would scan my boot too see if my detector was working. And days I dug so much iron I thought I was a scrap collector. Try it on days your scraping bedrock when dry washing one picker and your hooked.
As I've said earlier, pickers are a real rarity on our claim. When I say pickers, I'm saying gold smaller than 1/8 inch diameter, usually smaller. That's probably why the two detectors I have, don't pick up gold They're too small, and too deep to be picked up.

GBing isn't a problem. You just hit the coil button, putting it in the deep mode. Then bounce the coil up and down, moving it in a circle to cover some ground, until the noise subsides. Then hit the coil button to put it in the shallow mode, which is the sensitive mode.

I just need to get away from places where people shoot guns. And I need to find a place off the beaten track, where not many people have gone. I'll try Google Earth to see if I can find some mines away from easy access. Just means I'll have to hike in, if there's such a place.
 

Assembler

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As I've said earlier, pickers are a real rarity on our claim. When I say pickers, I'm saying gold smaller than 1/8 inch diameter, usually smaller. That's probably why the two detectors I have, don't pick up gold They're too small, and too deep to be picked up.

GBing isn't a problem. You just hit the coil button, putting it in the deep mode. Then bounce the coil up and down, moving it in a circle to cover some ground, until the noise subsides. Then hit the coil button to put it in the shallow mode, which is the sensitive mode.

I just need to get away from places where people shoot guns. And I need to find a place off the beaten track, where not many people have gone. I'll try Google Earth to see if I can find some mines away from easy access. Just means I'll have to hike in, if there's such a place.
Have you tried a gold type of detector with a 4" round coil?
Don't expect deep coverage with this size coil except compaired to your eye balls. You must have at least some small sized rocks to try this out with. Every rock pile has some small rocks.
This will help you to see what is going on in some of the rock.
 

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