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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Assembler, the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is primarily a gold detector. It came with a small and large coil. I'm using the small coil, as it is supposed to be more sensitive to small pieces of gold. But, according to Nugget Shooter on YouTube, this detector is best used on dry washer tailing piles, though it is, as all detectors, capable of detecting all metals.

I've done a lot of reading, and watching videos in preparation to use the detector. It's just that our close claim is just that, close, and therefore been picked over hundreds of times over nearly the past century. That's another reason for all the metal trash. That's why I need to find an isolated mine, very few people have bothered to visit due to it remoteness. I just need to research all the gold mines, then look at Google Earth, and see if the roads leading there
are heavily traveled. I located one mine (abandoned), but it's inside the Park boundaries.
 

1637

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so this is one of the things that works for me, i have a 3 foot long piece of pvc with a rare earth magnet on the end, i mark out a 20ft sq area and use it to clean out all the metal junk before i start. i also have a cart with 5 rare earth magnets on it
 
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desertgolddigger

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so this is one of the things that works for me, i have a 3 foot long piece of pvc with a rare earth magnet on the end, i mark out a 20ft sq area and use it to clean out all the metal junk before i start. i also have a cart with 5 rare earth magnets on it
That would work if the metal junk was on the surface. Most of the junk on our claim is at least an inch down. I just won't detect there anymore. If I have to, I will just wait, and try areas off claim. I didn't make it that far today. I can only detect for an hour or so before I'm tired.
 

Clay Diggins

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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.

That's actually a really good sign. Lot's of junk metal in the ground means you can be the first one to detect the area seriously. If a good gold detectorist had already been over that ground you wouldn't be getting any junk metal signals. Nobody that is serious about detecting gold would leave the trash they detected behind.

There are a lot of techniques for getting rid of ferrous signals. 1637 already gave you a version of the best answer - magnets. Myself and lot of detectorist I know do the boot scrape. When you get a signal scrape a bit of the surface off with your boot and see if the target moved. If it did just poke your magnet at the signal, if it's iron (most likely) then the magnet will pick it up. If the magnet doesn't pick it up then it's time to get down and take a look.

Bedrock is your friend when detecting. Look for areas where there is no more than 4 feet of soil on the bedrock. Look over any exposed bedrock first. Your detector is really a lot better than you are at seeing little bits of metal stuck in bedrock.

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.
Forget what the detector says is in the ground.

Listen closely to the signal when you get a hit. Listen to it from different angles and then dig it up. If it's a piece of can slaw or old screen it's going to sound a little different. If it's can slaw you learned one sound for can slaw in that particular spot - put it in your memory bank, there will be more sounds for can slaw as you go.

Now go dig the next target the same way - see now you know a brass boot tack sounds different than can slaw under the same conditions - you learned something - something the metal detector doesn't know. Here you are just two targets into metal detector school and you already know more than your detector.

If you really believe your metal detector can tell if a target is gold try this simple experiment next time you are on the claim. Bury (about 4 inches deep) some small lead bullet shards and a single US five cent coin. Bury the nickel on edge. :thumbsup:


Heavy Pans
 
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desertgolddigger

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Last day of the month had me at the claim digging for dry washer material. My goal of getting 4 grams fell short for the month, but not by much. total was 3.93 grams. Tomorrow I'll run my panning tailings in the hope I might have missed something. Just need 7/100th gram to reach my goal.
 

Assembler

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Last day of the month had me at the claim digging for dry washer material. My goal of getting 4 grams fell short for the month, but not by much. total was 3.93 grams. Tomorrow I'll run my panning tailings in the hope I might have missed something. Just need 7/100th gram to reach my goal.
What if you can find most of a gram in just one rock using a meta; detector.
 
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desertgolddigger

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What if you can find most of a gram in just one rock using a meta; detector.
Then I have to invest in a rock crusher, a furnace, and probably a retort, and I don't know what else. I haven't a clue as to what things you need for hard rock gold recovery. And I wouldn't know how to do it. Besides, I don't know what to look for when it comes to rocks. I wish I had someone local to teach me.
 

Assembler

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Then I have to invest in a rock crusher, a furnace, and probably a retort, and I don't know what else. I haven't a clue as to what things you need for hard rock gold recovery. And I wouldn't know how to do it. Besides, I don't know what to look for when it comes to rocks. I wish I had someone local to teach me.
Invest in a T-post pounder pipe and a ram rod from round scrap stock as the rock crusher with a sledge hammer for reducing the larger rock. Then pan out the screened powdered rock dust. This should cost not very much. Most people start out this way.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Invest in a T-post pounder pipe and a ram rod from round scrap stock as the rock crusher with a sledge hammer for reducing the larger rock. Then pan out the screened powdered rock dust. This should cost not very much. Most people start out this way.
Sorry, this gal doesn't have the strength in her hands to do that. I've got arthritis in the hands and fingers. I can grip, but not tightly. I tend to drop things easily. I'd have to get something that's automatic, not requiring lots of strength
 

Assembler

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Sorry, this gal doesn't have the strength in her hands to do that. I've got arthritis in the hands and fingers. I can grip, but not tightly. I tend to drop things easily. I'd have to get something that's automatic, not requiring lots of strength
I would recomend getting a hand winch from harbor freight to lift a hammer to then release to drop down unpon the target rock. This will be slow however if you find some good rock targets you will not be crushing very much at a time.
You can also buy a 3-4lb. hammer from HF to crush by hand and then screen.
 
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desertgolddigger

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I would recomend getting a hand winch from harbor freight to lift a hammer to then release to drop down unpon the target rock. This will be slow however if you find some good rock targets you will not be crushing very much at a time.
You can also buy a 3-4lb. hammer from HF to crush by hand and then screen.
No, not more junk. I'd rather wait for a purpose designed machine. Sorry, but all you said, was said before by someone else, and my answer was also no. Also, not going to purchase anything unless I can find a pile if rick with gold in it, that will pay for the equipment investment. So far, I've gotten zero beeps on my two detectors. Not even from iron in the rocks.
 

Assembler

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No, not more junk. I'd rather wait for a purpose designed machine. Sorry, but all you said, was said before by someone else, and my answer was also no. Also, not going to purchase anything unless I can find a pile if rick with gold in it, that will pay for the equipment investment. So far, I've gotten zero beeps on my two detectors. Not even from iron in the rocks.
Ok don't buy anything more just focus with the metal detectors you all ready have and your own eyes. This is more then what most old timers had to work with in finding there values in the rocks.
 
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desertgolddigger

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I've a question concerning detecting OT hard rock Tailing piles.

It was mentioned to elevate the detector coil, preferably at least 24 inches above the ground, and to pick smaller pieces to scan.

Exactly how do you elevate the coil, hold the rock near the coil, and still see the detector LED screen? My idea is to make something out of PVC pipe and fittings. Also, to reverse the screen on the rod.

EDITED: PVC framework works nicely. One Problem solved.

I'm going to try again tomorrow to work a tailing pile, and look for dirty, and rusty rocks. Any other colors or things I should look for in prospective gold bearing ore?
 
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Assembler

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I've a question concerning detecting OT hard rock Tailing piles.

It was mentioned to elevate the detector coil, preferably at least 24 inches above the ground, and to pick smaller pieces to scan.

Exactly how do you elevate the coil, hold the rock near the coil, and still see the detector LED screen? My idea is to make something out of PVC pipe and fittings. Also, to reverse the screen on the rod.

EDITED: PVC framework works nicely. One Problem solved.

I'm going to try again tomorrow to work a tailing pile, and look for dirty, and rusty rocks. Any other colors or things I should look for in prospective gold bearing ore?
The easy way to elevate a detector and coil is on a board or sheet of plywood on two non conducting saw horses or posts (wood, plastic etc). Strap / twine a metal detector on the bottom side if you like and make a small pile of rocks off to the side and detect just one rock at a time to speed things up.
 
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desertgolddigger

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The easy way to elevate a detector and coil is on a board or sheet of plywood on two non conducting saw horses or posts (wood, plastic etc). Strap / twine a metal detector on the bottom side if you like and make a small pile of rocks off to the side and detect just one rock at a time to speed things up.
I'll see if I have something in the shed for such a contraption. I'll have to make due with either my PVC contraption, or maybe just use two 5 gallon buckets.
 

Reed Lukens

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That would be for the larger coil... You can just lift the coil and still see the display. I wouldn't bother building anything that changes a well thought out system. Put your hand down, flatten out the coil and check it that way if you really want to hold it high...
 
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desertgolddigger

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That would be for the larger coil... You can just lift the coil and still see the display. I wouldn't bother building anything that changes a well thought out system. Put your hand down, flatten out the coil and check it that way if you really want to hold it high...
You probably have long arms. I tried to do what you mentioned, but my head was almost a foot behind the data. screen. I'll either have to slide it towards the coil, or reverse it, in order to see.

If the detector says what its detecting is ferrous, should I still keep the rock, or toss it? So far I've not gotten one peep out of any rocks. Maybe the signal is very weak, and I'm not listening hard enough. I'll try headphones.
 

Assembler

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I'll see if I have something in the shed for such a contraption. I'll have to make due with either my PVC contraption, or maybe just use two 5 gallon buckets.
Just use 2 - 3 cardboard boxs stacked with the detector siting on top and scan just one rock sample at a time.
As far as the rocks used for detecting that us up to you.
 

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