Hit the hills this weekend, got one nice nugget


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I finally got out in the last few days for a full long weekend and prospecting trip. We had a real late spring this year, I think the largest snow pack ever recorded this late in the year. I went up to a spot I had located last fall, and found I couldn't get in except the lowest of the workings, with snow banks still blocking the road way (at an elevation I would not have expected that problem). The road in was badly damaged by the rain and snow run off. Some ruts were up to 4 feet deep.

In spite of that. I did get a chance to do some serious prospecting, though not exactly in the locations that I had planned. Things started out real good at the only mine I could reach. Within 10 minutes I had found a real nice nugget and I felt that in spite of the limitations, I was going to do real well. Unfortunatly the rest of the weekend was iron wires, bullets, buttons, rusted can pieces, etc. I had hoped to do better but still, I got my one nice 4.2 dwt nugget. Next time I'll get in much farther and get to do some of the prospecting I had intended for this trip. Here is a photo of the nugget.

PS - Just a tune up for Moore Creek!!!

Chris

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The area where I was detecting had been ground sluiced in the old days. Gound sluicing is a low pressure form of Hydraulic mining. This photo shows a ground sluiced area. The piles of light colored rocks (mostly quartz) are piled around - these are the cobbles too big for their sluice box. Works a whole lot better than dry washing if you have the water flow! At this location they built ponds to hold the rain and snow melt in the spring. Also attached is a photo of the ground sluiced area.

Chris

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:D Congrats on your find Reno Chris,

see lots of that type of ground over here, Steam engine & pump to feed 2 inch nozzle, and ground sluices on skids... I always look how rock piles are stacked, the Chinese, stacked tight and made walls with there tailing's and left little gold...

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Guest keninla
:D Congrats on your find Reno Chris,

see lots of that type of ground over here, Steam engine & pump to feed 2 inch nozzle, and ground sluices on skids... I always look how rock piles are stacked, the Chinese, stacked tight and made walls with there tailing's and left little gold...

Nice nugget Chris-

Be sure and leave something for me at Moore Creek. I am there a few weeks after you.

Ken

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Hello Reno Chris,

Thanks a million for posting the nugget and story. First I would like to say that's a nice nugget with some good character shown. I really enjoy seeing pictures of the old time workings. Makes you wonder what some of their sluices looked like when they were into the paying gravels.

Did you happen to find the nugget in virgin ground or in a pile?

Looks and sounds like the area has a lot of potential.

Thanks for sharing,

Rob Allison

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The piles are tossed cobbles - no real stacking here at all. I have tried them but found only a few pieces of junk - I would expect any finds in them to be gold-quartz specimen chunks - there are no fines in them and most are dropped right on the bedrock. I think it was stuff too coarse to roll through their sluice under the low water pressure they had. I'll bet the sluices were just long wooden troughs with wood or rock along the bottom as riffles. The nugget came from an area where it appears they did not clean off the material all the way down to bedrock and the nugget was in that material that was left behind. Almost all the gold here is coarse. When I found this place last fall, I got 4 nuggets totaling over 15 dwt. The average size of all the pices I have found up there is 3.9 dwt. Just for grins to see what amounts of fines are present, I took a couple pans full of material on the inside bend of a little drainage that has water in it because of the melting snow, and I did not get a single color. Plenty of black sand, but not even a speck of tiny gold (and the pan came from only about 30 feet away from where the nugget was found.

The area does have a lot of potential, and there is virtually no sign that anyone has ever detected here before, but I wont say much more than just that.

I was surprised how much snow was left in the shady areas. Daytime temps were in the 80s - yet still the snow lingered in the shade. I'll be the snow was over 10 feet deep up there in the middle of winter - thats why I had not been back in spite of how well I had done the first time in. The water drainage from the melting snow left the roads very muddy even though it has not rained in several weeks. You should see my suburban - it looks like a mud ball.

Chris

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Great looking nugget Chris, congrats. What is the bedrock in the second pic? Looks like the texture of decomposing Granite, but the color is too dark. Was it an ancient river bed? Thanks for sharing. See you in Moore creek. Later...Jim P.

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The rock you are refering to is not actually granite, but is an igneous intrusive rock (the same as granite is). The gold occurs here as a "contact" type of deposit. The gold is in a slate/schist rock, within about 300 yards of the contact with the igneous intrusive rock. It is not an old river bed, it is a residual placer formed at that contact (which is why the nugget is rough and not water worn).

See ya at Moore Creek! (actually I think we'll all be meeting up in Anchorage on the way in).

Chris

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Hello Chris,

Curious if you tried a smaller searchcoil such as a Coiltek 10x5 Joey or Minelab 8-inch round on the exposed bedrock areas? Surprised there isn't any smaller gold down in the bedrock. Do you think the old-timers when they ground sluiced the area dug out some of the bedrock? I know in some area here in Arizona the old-timers removed several foot of bedrock to make sure they weren't missing much.

P.S. I would be scanning all those areas just along the edged where the old-timers stopped digging.

Talk with you soon,

Rob Allison

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The bedrock areas have yielded nothing - I do think the old timers did take a bit of the bedrock as it is somewhat decomposed. I have a joey mono, but have not tried it - I have used a Minelab 11 mono. The coil I have used the most there is a wallaby mono. Most of the gold has come from areas near and at the edges of where the old timers stopped. Some of the unworked area away from the workings is a problem to detect because there is a layer of pine needles, bark, small branches, etc. up to about a foot thick - which limits the chances to detect nuggets beneath it. Old reports say that the gold was coarse - 1/2 dwt nuggets were common, and much of the gold was between 1 dwt and half an ounce.

Chris

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Hello Chris,

Thanks for the detailed information. Sure sounds like a great spot to detect. The Wallaby Mono is a great coil and will get good depth. Hope on your next trip you find more nugget gold.

Only 3 weeks until we land at Moore Creek. :D

Rob Allison

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Rob:

That wallaby mono is a very fine coil - it is becoming my favorite general use coil.

I need to give you a phone call I have a couple small items I'd like to buy and was wondering if you might be able to bring them with you (they are small and light).

See you in June! (but not at Rich Hill :lol: )

Chris

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Hello Reno,

I was half tempted to take the Coiltek Wallaby Mono to Moore Creek. However, Steve mentioned you will find more hot rocks & basalts with a mono.

Yes, give me a call anytime after 4pm M-F or later in the evening on the weekends. I'm going to be gone tonight, but any other time is fine. If the items are fairly small I should be able to find room for them.

P.S. What, no Rich Hill in June? Haha... :rolleyes:

Talk with you soon,

Rob Allison

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