Tips For a Newbies First Outting


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Hi,

I have read the forum a bit to be weary of receiving replies that don't answer my questions (being a newb), but are in the realm of individual philosophy, lol... so if you could bear with me and give me some good pointers, I would be very grateful.

I've been MD'ing with my trusty Minelab (Quattro) doing beach hunting (when on vacation) and hitting up the local parks and such for some time. I've been wanting to go out to the desert and do some prospecting for years. Now that the weather has gotten nice this year, I've decided to finally do it. I purchased a small recirculating highbanker at a very cheap price and my buddy and I are excited to give it a go this weekend.

My biggest unknown is... where should I go? I'm not looking for GPS coordinates (though I wouldn't turn em down, lol) of hot spots or anything, just some places within an hour or two from the Phoenix East Valley that would be worth trying it out at. I've got old maps where placer claims used to be from the Prescott area, but my intentions where geared towards the Rye/Gisela area, or perhaps somewhere south of me. I have a 4x4 vehicle that will go just about anywhere and climb over just about anything. Being a newb, and knowing I may need to go several places before having any remote success, I would like to try an area first that doesn't require hiking it all in a long distance as I expect to have to do that several times (water is especially heavy, lol).

I guess the answer I am looking for is something like: "Try the dry washes in/around XYZ. You probably won't strike it rich, but you'll be able to get some color if you spend enough time."

My next set of questions are more related to the practice. I've been told what highbankers (likely applies to all techniques though) is to dig test holes, pan em, and what ever hole has the best color, use that section of earth. Is this what you guys do?

Also, it seems the VacPac would be invaluable. I have no experience, but logic would say being able to suck out the material in the cracks of bedrock would give higher yeilds than just shovel loads? Should I have this high on my list of things to add to my arsenal?

Any other advice...? I know I'm asking for a little spoon feeding, but despite a couple books, the research online, ect, I still don't feel confident I have the knowledge on how to see just a little color from my efforts when I go out, which would be a big discouragement, even though I know its trial and error.

Thanks in advance!

Jason

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Hi Jason,

Joining one of the clubs will also give you a leg up on finding gold with your recirculating highbanker and/or a detector specifically setup for gold detecting.

good luck

Karl

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there's always greater gold potential 50 feet away from the spot you are now working. or so it seems.

actually your best route is to scan the horizons with a Metal detector. if you find something, mark the spot, and dig there.

if not, chances are your chosen hole is as good as it gets. They don't call gold, elusive, for nuthin you know.

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Hi,

I have read the forum a bit to be weary of receiving replies that don't answer my questions (being a newb), but are in the realm of individual philosophy, lol... so if you could bear with me and give me some good pointers, I would be very grateful.

I purchased a small recirculating highbanker at a very cheap price and my buddy and I are excited to give it a go this weekend.

My biggest unknown is... where should I go?

it seems the VacPac would be invaluable. I have no experience, but logic would say being able to suck out the material in the cracks of bedrock would give higher yeilds than just shovel loads? Jason

you can never have enough equipment. what you take with you is only limited by the towing capacity of your burro.

Like rob says, get some placer books with maps.

if you are out in the middle of the desert with your highbanker, take some 3 mil visqueen so that you can build a catch trough for your water, which you can use to recycle through the highbanker system (provided you are using a trash pump). the suck hose should be rigid pvc hose; the discharge side could be flexible hose. setup in a convenient spot is 60% of the effort.

Some sort of clod breaker is very helpful, and don't get in a such a hurry that you flush the dirt through the system. take your time and work thoroughly and evenly for the best results. In essence, your highbanker could go anywhere a drywasher can go; limited only by a water source and your ability to haul water in. if not, pull water from a creek and look for bank or bench strata with bigger pebbles or rock; say larger than 2 inches in Dia. if there's gold of any size, it will be in that. bigger rocks denote floods and water power that will move larger pieces of gold.

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Jphx,

I don't know if you know who just posted those answers above, but they are three

of the most highly qualified folks in these parts. Hope it helped.

I would only add for my .02 worth, to plan a h e a d.

Take plenty of basic's for survival and minor repairs.

Have a sunny outlook, that will take you further than anything.

Do your homework! It will save you hours frustration and miles of walking.

Research the areas that interest you, or that you have heard about.

Don't expect anything...one way or the other. The unexpected is where the opportunities show themselves.

I wish you the best of luck. Stay with it.

You will find that the hunt is the best part.

Flak

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Jason,

Like you, I just got a Gold Buddy self contained highbanker. Research on this board has helped alot. I know the areas I want to use it in, but can't help you out in AZ cuz I'm in CA. Practice makes perfect, and thats what i'm finding out.

bob

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Jason, I'd love to help you out with an area, but I work in the upper Bradshaws, so don't make it down that way much. Now if you'd like to expand your search area a little...who knows? I'll send you a PM about an area I was researching today since it was too nasty to get out. Not going to gaurentee results since it was only online research, but sounded good enough for me to add it to my list. Hope it helps in some way.

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I don't know where you could work near where you live, but Delos Toole has a few books and maps. there are others. What you most want is one of 3 places:

A shallow placer where the overburden isn't more than 3-5 feet deep to bedrock or false bedrock.

Off hand, this would be meadview or gold basin. some places like the bradshaws or payson area would be good candidates, and once you train your eye for dirt color and type that produce gold, you can always try adjacent areas of possible virgin potential.

A river or wash where placer gold has been discovered or worked, and an adjacent bench (sides of the wash 'walls' higher up) where you can work some rocky ground as part of the wash material.

You'll have to browse areas of sites where placer gold finds have been mentioned, old mining magazines, CA mining journal, and websites where someone has posted a few tips (AZOutback, here, and Nevada Nugget hunters to name a few); look in the archival pages.

the 3rd site is wherever you had luck with a detector and found gold, would be prime candidates to work with a mechanical contraption. In these areas, there's alot more smaller gold than bigger gold. If you are getting nuggets, then you are in an area where the non-paying overburden has been washed off, and the paystreak of old is now exposed as the surface layer which you are walking around on.

Your challenge will be to figure out the best strategy to obtain concentrates as this will be the near last step in order to get the gold values out.

Thew highbanker, sluice, drywashers, are not the end use products; they are only concentrators that by using air, water, and gravity, allow the operator to get the heavy minerals separated from the lighter minerals and soil. after stockpiling these concentrates, it is still necessary to rework that in order to separate the gold and other values from the iron and other relative worthless particles.

That can be done in the field or at home, using a gold pan, or a desert fox, or some other finishing contraption. Once separated, it will still be necessary to get the tweezers and gold sniffer, and fill the vials and bottles with your gold.

Last but not least, maybe you should invest in some of tube that can be used as a chute that will allow you to dig in one spot and easily transport the 'goods' to the convenient highbanker work site. that way, you won't be working in a mudhole.

hope this helps

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