Placer Claim Mined Out?

desertgolddigger

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May 31, 2015
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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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May 31, 2015
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Results for today's prospecting foray is almost a bust.

I went to the club claim and dug four different locations on the slopes. The only two that paid off, one little piece of gold each, were in the steep washes. These little bits of gold are about the biggest I've found in this area.

Detecting the slopes produced the normal junk metal; no gold.

I went off club claim about three miles into the area near a small mountain ( I call it a large hill), and dug two holes, which were a bust. There's lots of green rock and some green quartz in the area, and I remember someone saying that green rock can be an indicator of gold. I'll keep trying in that area. My samples were 1/4 bucket from bedrock, so maybe not enough dirt dug.

At least I know the steep washes on our claim do have little chunkies. Next placer, I'll drag my drywasher up the hill to a level spot some previous drywashing miner set up at, and dig all morning. Hopefully these steep washes have been replenished since that guy worked them.
 

Red_desert

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I think I'd rather be finding the larger chunky gold... although, any size gold is better than none.
 

Assembler

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May 10, 2017
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Results for today's prospecting foray is almost a bust.

I went to the club claim and dug four different locations on the slopes. The only two that paid off, one little piece of gold each, were in the steep washes. These little bits of gold are about the biggest I've found in this area.

Detecting the slopes produced the normal junk metal; no gold.

I went off club claim about three miles into the area near a small mountain ( I call it a large hill), and dug two holes, which were a bust. There's lots of green rock and some green quartz in the area, and I remember someone saying that green rock can be an indicator of gold. I'll keep trying in that area. My samples were 1/4 bucket from bedrock, so maybe not enough dirt dug.

At least I know the steep washes on our claim do have little chunkies. Next placer, I'll drag my drywasher up the hill to a level spot some previous drywashing miner set up at, and dig all morning. Hopefully these steep washes have been replenished since that guy worked them.
If you can pinpoint the type of rock or rocks that the little chunkies are coming from you will have something to search for.
 

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desertgolddigger

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May 31, 2015
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If you can pinpoint the type of rock or rocks that the little chunkies are coming from you will have something to search for.
This is on the club claim, as I stated. There's little chance it is coming from a new source, though I'm looking.

What I found is from the old timer surface quartz digs. Don't know how many centuries it'll take for all the placer gold from these old digs to filter down the slopes.
 

Assembler

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May 10, 2017
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This is on the club claim, as I stated. There's little chance it is coming from a new source, though I'm looking.

What I found is from the old timer surface quartz digs. Don't know how many centuries it'll take for all the placer gold from these old digs to filter down the slopes.
Correct.
Just trying to point out what type of rock it may be coming from. This will be a good to look for no matter where you decide to look next.
 

Assembler

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May 10, 2017
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I went off club claim about three miles into the area near a small mountain ( I call it a large hill), and dug two holes, which were a bust. There's lots of green rock and some green quartz in the area, and I remember someone saying that green rock can be an indicator of gold. I'll keep trying in that area. My samples were 1/4 bucket from bedrock, so maybe not enough dirt dug.
Try using your eyes / magnifying glass to spot crystallization in the rocks and hopefully spot visible values.
 

Apr 17, 2014
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This is on the club claim, as I stated. There's little chance it is coming from a new source, though I'm looking.

What I found is from the old timer surface quartz digs. Don't know how many centuries it'll take for all the placer gold from these old digs to filter down the slopes.
Your roads and the deeds and claims won't be there anymore by the time nature reduces the waste piles into placer deposits. Neither will we. The worlds largest known gold deposit ( over in Africa) was first thought to be hard rock, then found out to be a billions years old placer that had become a sedimentary deposit and lithified. In our lifetimes we can only find what is here now. Creation of new sources will most certainly occur, but not in our time.

.
 

Assembler

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I went to the club claim and dug four different locations on the slopes. The only two that paid off, one little piece of gold each, were in the steep washes. These little bits of gold are about the biggest I've found in this area.
These little bits of values you could spot at the rock surface with your eyes.
Detecting the slopes produced the normal junk metal; no gold.
Try detecting individual rocks away from the background iron junk as well as natures iron in the ground.
 

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desertgolddigger

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These little bits of values you could spot at the rock surface with your eyes.

Try detecting individual rocks away from the background iron junk as well as natures iron in the ground.
When I metal detect, I mostly work around the rocks, over the bedrock, and detect the float. Of course, Everyone is doing the same thing, so you have to manage to detect an area out of the way. I observe where our club members metal detect, and try going elsewhere in the hope very few have detected those areas. I observe, and try doing something no one else is trying. It just hasn't paid off yet.
 

Assembler

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May 10, 2017
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When I metal detect, I mostly work around the rocks, over the bedrock, and detect the float. Of course, Everyone is doing the same thing, so you have to manage to detect an area out of the way. I observe where our club members metal detect, and try going elsewhere in the hope very few have detected those areas. I observe, and try doing something no one else is trying. It just hasn't paid off yet.
Well some will say that an area can never be detected out because of the typical cone shape path of the typical detector.
If you get into an area that has the chunkies still in the rock the detector will have a better signal in general if the rock is away from junk iron / iron background.

Detecting bedrock is often very good. The float rocks will respond better if away from junk iron etc.
 

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desertgolddigger

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Happy New Year to All.

Went out several days ago prospecting. First stoop was that small mountain (I call it a large hill). I decided not to look for color in those large washes. I decided to follow what I call drift gravel on the slope. I picked an area that had what looked like caliche, but isn't It is irregular white rock that I saw in another area that the old time miners apparently found gold in. That area was pock marked with dozens of surface digs in this type of rock.

I dug a total of five test holes going up the slope, finding a speck of gold in each 1/4 bucket. I finally decided that I still had a ways to go to the source, and left my equipment at the last hole, and walked up the slope, following this drift.

I found the source about 150 feet farther up the slope. Unfortunately, someone had beat me to it, as the whole source had been pick axed. I guess I can say I learned a little about finding the source. Maybe I'll get lucky one day. I think this hill has more to offer. It's just a matter of locating one, no one else has found.

I moved on to the northwest another three miles or so, near another of our club claims. I broke out the metal detector, and spent about an hour cleaning up a hillside of, you got it, more junk metal.

I then dropped down into a nearby wash, and dug several more test holes, finding about half a dozen specks. I wasn't enough to get me to go back. Apparently someone, in the distant past had placer mined this area, as several short access wheel tracks backed up to this wash. I get the feeling there might be some gold a few miles farther down this wash, but there's no access to it, other than by foot. Too much for this old body.

So this day was again a learning experience. Got a few speck to take home and add to my meager collection.

Right now is the rainy season, so placer mining is out until about a month after the last rains. But prospecting and metal detecting are still possible on days that look safe to go out into the desert. I just need to be careful, as the area I prospect in is a flash flood area.
 

Assembler

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Happy New Year to All.

Went out several days ago prospecting. First stoop was that small mountain (I call it a large hill). I decided not to look for color in those large washes. I decided to follow what I call drift gravel on the slope. I picked an area that had what looked like caliche, but isn't It is irregular white rock that I saw in another area that the old time miners apparently found gold in. That area was pock marked with dozens of surface digs in this type of rock.

I dug a total of five test holes going up the slope, finding a speck of gold in each 1/4 bucket. I finally decided that I still had a ways to go to the source, and left my equipment at the last hole, and walked up the slope, following this drift.

I found the source about 150 feet farther up the slope. Unfortunately, someone had beat me to it, as the whole source had been pick axed. I guess I can say I learned a little about finding the source. Maybe I'll get lucky one day. I think this hill has more to offer. It's just a matter of locating one, no one else has found.

I moved on to the northwest another three miles or so, near another of our club claims. I broke out the metal detector, and spent about an hour cleaning up a hillside of, you got it, more junk metal.

I then dropped down into a nearby wash, and dug several more test holes, finding about half a dozen specks. I wasn't enough to get me to go back. Apparently someone, in the distant past had placer mined this area, as several short access wheel tracks backed up to this wash. I get the feeling there might be some gold a few miles farther down this wash, but there's no access to it, other than by foot. Too much for this old body.

So this day was again a learning experience. Got a few speck to take home and add to my meager collection.

Right now is the rainy season, so placer mining is out until about a month after the last rains. But prospecting and metal detecting are still possible on days that look safe to go out into the desert. I just need to be careful, as the area I prospect in is a flash flood area.
You can still use a metal detector on single rocks to help sort the good from the bad.
 

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desertgolddigger

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May 31, 2015
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You can still use a metal detector on single rocks to help sort the good from the bad.
None of the rocks in this area contain gold larger than about 50 mesh. My metal detector isn't that sensitive. These only place where I've ever encountered large enough gold to be detectable is where gold comes from quartz deposits.
 

Assembler

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None of the rocks in this area contain gold larger than about 50 mesh. My metal detector isn't that sensitive. These only place where I've ever encountered large enough gold to be detectable is where gold comes from quartz deposits.
The point here is that a 'swam' of colors in a single rock is what you are trying to detect forget the single 50 mesh speck here or there.
 

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desertgolddigger

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May 31, 2015
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The point here is that a 'swam' of colors in a single rock is what you are trying to detect forget the single 50 mesh speck here or there.
I doubt there are any left from the old timers, and new timers piles of rocks, but I'll give it a try. I only have two hands, so I carry a bucket with mini pick and shovel in one, and classifier in the other. I'd have to tote back some rocks with the classified test material to see if there are values detectable in them. Just more weigh for my poor arms to carry. I don't have the musculature you Guys have, so I have (at 73 years young) to pare down what I can lift over a distance.
 

Assembler

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May 10, 2017
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I doubt there are any left from the old timers, and new timers piles of rocks, but I'll give it a try. I only have two hands, so I carry a bucket with mini pick and shovel in one, and classifier in the other. I'd have to tote back some rocks with the classified test material to see if there are values detectable in them. Just more weigh for my poor arms to carry. I don't have the musculature you Guys have, so I have (at 73 years young) to pare down what I can lift over a distance.
Well you have a better idea what is there and will make a call on what is left.
Just a idea or thought here what if the old timer that used a pick axe to pick out a deposit left at least some chips or broken rocks spread around that hole. Some of the chipped materials could have something in them especially if only there eye's where used to sort the materials. This is where the metal detector could be used to sort the good from the bad.
 

Apr 17, 2014
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Tartarus Dorsa mountains
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I doubt there are any left from the old timers, and new timers piles of rocks, but I'll give it a try. I only have two hands, so I carry a bucket with mini pick and shovel in one, and classifier in the other. I'd have to tote back some rocks with the classified test material to see if there are values detectable in them. Just more weigh for my poor arms to carry. I don't have the musculature you Guys have, so I have (at 73 years young) to pare down what I can lift over a distance.
I'm old too. You need gear. Pack gear. For in with the tools and out with the goods. Even leave some tools behind for next time if you are going right back and it is unlikely some AZZtard will pilfer your stuff before you return.

There are at least 2 kinds of people that might come across your stuff. Those who will steal it and those who will not. To place more of those souls in the latter category I clearly label my stuff with a message that it belongs to me by name and I intend to come back for it, it is not lost nor abandoned. Seems to go along way for almost any circumstance.



I recall a seminar presentation by Gene LaBarge ( you can find his fingerprints all over MAJOR gold deposit mineralology) back in the day he showed a photo slide of his PHD candidate student loaded down with more than 3X the gear any marine could have carried ( a volume shot) . He called him pack horse deluxe :D
 

Assembler

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May 10, 2017
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I'm old too. You need gear. Pack gear. For in with the tools and out with the goods. Even leave some tools behind for next time if you are going right back and it is unlikely some AZZtard will pilfer your stuff before you return.

There are at least 2 kinds of people that might come across your stuff. Those who will steal it and those who will not. To place more of those souls in the latter category I clearly label my stuff with a message that it belongs to me by name and I intend to come back for it, it is not lost nor abandoned. Seems to go along way for almost any circumstance.



I recall a seminar presentation by Gene LaBarge ( you can find his fingerprints all over MAJOR gold deposit mineralology) back in the day he showed a photo slide of his PHD candidate student loaded down with more than 3X the gear any marine could have carried ( a volume shot) . He called him pack horse deluxe :D
Dr. Gene LaBerge?

https://uwosh.edu/geology/faculty-and-staff/faculty-emeriti/

Today it is possible for the use of a zip line to help move stuff if there are trees around.
 

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