New guy in camp: Goldmember


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Greetings, Nuggethunters! :D Welcome to my campfire. B)

My name (here) is Goldmember. I've read a lot at your forum, and I'm glad to become a member.

I live in Los Angeles, and I like exploring the San Gabriel Mountains, and the surrounding deserts. Since youth I have been curious about mines and mining, and have always explored old mines when I find them. In the last year, I have become more serious about actual mining itself. I joined the PCSC, and am starting to invest in serious equipment.

I plan to spend a lot of time drywashing in the desert. This will be my first thrust of activity.

Later I will get a serious metal detector for searching and nugget shooting. Right now I have a $99 "Big 5 Special", which is a toy really. Keeps the nephews preoccupied, that's for sure.

I'm also getting a sluice box, as I plan to spend some time in the San Gabriel River canyon too. I only WISH I lived in Gold Country up in Northern California! Maybe someday I'll get a dredge, but it seems like kind of a waste in Southern CA. Is Highbanking allowed in the east fork?

I'm also curious about old hardrock tunnels. Yes, I know about the dangers. From what I can tell from my readings, most of the hardrock gold mines in Southern CA are pretty low-grade. Anybody know of any active hardrock mining in the southern CA area?

I'm also a bit of a rockhound, and am apt to spend as much time picking up "pretty rocks" as prospecting. My girlfriend doesn't particularly like all my boxes of rocks everywhere, LOL. Last spring I went out to the Hauser beds and got some nice geodes.

I'm also curious about minerals other than gold. I have a geiger counter, but there doesn't seem to be an abundance of radioactive minerals in Los Angeles county. From what I've read on Mindat, there are some deposits in the NE quadrant of the county. I am curious about platinum group and rare earth deposits. I read of the "Benco" mine, which produces unspecified rare earths.

Anyway, there I go, rambling again. Pleased to meet you folks here, and I look forward to talking about GOLD! :wub:

-Art (GoldMember)

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There's gold in the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, it's all over, I've seen nuggets, flakes, & fines. It's not easy to find, a lot of work to get, but you will treasure all you recover. I have met good people & bad up there, some gang members that thought they were tough, just keep working & ignore them unless you want a fight. There are a lot of people that think nothing of throwing a used diaper away up there, you will find them in some pretty strange places. There are old Chinese diggings above the river, they dug deep into the mountain, be wary as the ground is very unstable.

I've seen one ounce nuggets come out of the ground by Randsburg, & many smaller pieces. Again, they don't just jump out at you, you have to cover a lot of ground with a detector, or shovel like a deranged gopher into a drywasher & be ready to breathe an immense amount of dust.

The gold in Holcomb Valley is very pretty, alloyed with just enough silver to shine with an unearthly buttery yellow/red glow. Very fine, but there's still alot there. The oldtimers missed way more than they got.

What I'm saying is, there's plenty of gold out there if you are willing to spend the time, effort, & money, to get it. Just be aware that more gold has gone into the ground than has ever come out..... In other words, don't expect to get rich, just expect to have fun, finding it is just icing on the cake.....

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Goldmember,

First let me say welcome aboard. You will find almost all answers to your questions here from someone. I will address a few.

1. Low grade load claims. Most of my experience at hard rock mining has come from the GoldPark District and the Dale District in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Both are located south and southeast of 29 Palms. The Goldpark District produced some gold but shoring was a problem and not much money was made. the district averaged .60-2.55 ounces per ton. The mines are very unstable and my advise is to contact myself or someone else that knows the area so we can show you around.

The Dale District is a different story. There was and still is a lot of gold in the district. Most of the big producers were striped of their machinery during the 2 world war and the cost to bring back into producting was to costly. My father and I hardrock mined from 1952-1967 in the Dale District and my partner and I hardrocked from 1980-1994. BLM got involved along with some rock lovers and we got shutdown. The average gold was .68 ounces, but severally mines produced over 1.78 ounces per ton on a regular basis.

2. Drywasher: There are a lot of different kinds. I have 2. I have a Keene Puffer w/handcrak and 12v motor and a Keene 151. The Puffer is a good 1-2 man machine and the 151 is a very good high production machine. If your just starting out, I personally recommend the Keene Puffer or the Keene 140 w/vac & blower system.

I hope this helps some. After 54 years of mining, I'm down to drywashing. My back nor my pocketbook can afford hard rock mining anymore.

O'29 Prospector

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Goldmember,

Bob, O29 Prospector, is a wealth of information on hardrock mining and placer mining as are other forum members. B)

I can recommend two books to help you on your search of the Randsburg area. The first being "Death Valley and The Armagosa" by Lingenfelter, and the second being "Exploring the Gost Town Desert: a Guide to the Rand Mining Area by Roberta Martin Starry.

Good luck on your Quest.

Gary

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Goldmember,lot's of mines in the motherlode area were low grade producers.Perhaps the one big difference is that lot's of these mines had high grade pockets and much more tonnage than in southern california.A half ounce to the to was and is very good rock with mine efficentycy and management being a big part of a mines success.Stockpiled lower grade ore,dumps and waste piles are fewer and harder to access up north than in the lower areas and deserts,most having been used for road base over the past 60 years.The main library in L.A. will have all the mining reports you ever want to read on the state and county basis.....Dave

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Some publications you msay want to read are...Gold districts of California...The annual reports of the state mineralogist(almost every year from the 1860's to the present,the quarterly reports of the state mineralogist and special bulletins.All these have an index as to pick what area and topic of interest.Plus the ICMJ,mining journal on up to date diggings.Endless books if you want to do the research......Dave

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Guest keninla
Greetings, Nuggethunters! :D .

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Is Highbanking allowed in the east fork?

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-Art (GoldMember)

Hi Art,

Yes you can high bank at the East Fork but only in the same vicinity that you see all of the dredges. Below the Cattle Canyon Bridge. No motorized activity above the bridge.

Every time that I have been there I have gotten some gold. Sometimes a good amount and sometimes only a little. A lot of small flood gold in the upper three feet or so. Have to get down near bedrock to get the larger stuff.

good luck

Ken

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Greetings, Nuggethunters! :D Welcome to my campfire. B)

My name (here) is Goldmember.

I'm also curious about old hardrock tunnels. Yes, I know about the dangers. From what I can tell from my readings, most of the hardrock gold mines in Southern CA are pretty low-grade. Anybody know of any active hardrock mining in the southern CA area?

Art please take this as a warning ! ... the Governer mine in Acton started with a 1,000ft shaft and tunnels every 100ft off of that shaft -- add all the hardrock mines in LA Co. together and this one out produced that $ total ---and it was reopened a few years back and was showing real promiss at 42oz ton

when the mine manager ran into bad air and fell to the bottom, he's still there. (mine closed)

in short when anyone says "yes I know about the dangers" --- dought if you know more about minning

then this minning eng. did

happy huntting ---but be carefull --- Tom

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Thank you Tom for your concern. If it isn't hidden shafts and collapses, its bad air and old dynamite. There is a certain romantic nostalgia about old mines, but also a hard reality about their dangers. We all have our level of risk. When you read Blanchard's page, and about the grotto society, you'll be reading about riskier ventures than this.

The scariest old mine I ever went into was in the Calico region. Some of the foot-round timbers were "exploded" in the middle where the weight had crushed them ove the years. Late the next night, there was an earthquake that made rocks clatter on the steep hillsides, highlighting yet another danger of being underground!

Furthermore, CO2 is heavier than air, and will be released from the timbers as bacteria and termites metabolize them... then it will displace the regular air up and out of the mine. I read of an old-timer getting out of one of his workings "just in time." He went back in, and found a level where a candle would not burn, yet would burn a foot higher... the bottom of the mine was full of CO2, and there was a sharp gradient between the regular air and the CO2 pool. Fascinating, when it is someone else! ;)

The Red Rover mine had a bad fire years ago, they had a devil of a time getting it out.

Yes, I'm aware of there being at least one body down the Governor mine. That is right in the San Andreas rift zone; there must be all kinds of interesting mineralization. I read that the ore from the Governor was typically rice-sized grains of gold embedded in hard rock. This reminds me of another old prospecting axiom: never assume a piece of ore on the ground came from there... it likely fell from someone's pack. The same old-timer with the CO2 wrote of finding a hunk of ore as described above, in a wash in nearby Soledad canyon. They spent days exploring the entire watershed, never to find similar host rock, or any other promising spots, for that matter. Later someone identified it as "governor" type ore. Probably some miner took a piece of ore to try to find another outcrop of the same body.

I wonder who if anyone owns the Governor and Red Rover? (implied pipedream correct.)

Also, there are several mines across the 14 from there; know if any of those are still active? Supposedly there is a stamp mill in a field, visible from the 14, but I've never seen it. That whole area has really gotten built up in the last few years. Starting to fill up with Yuppies who are often enemies of miners or even people driving the dirt roads in the area... don't get me started on them!

Speaking of getting me started... now I'm gonna have to link this thread to the Big Tujunga one. :lol:

Nice talkin, be back after work.

-Goldmember

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Thank you Tom for your concern. If it isn't hidden shafts and collapses, its bad air and old dynamite. There is a certain romantic nostalgia about old mines, but also a hard reality about their dangers.

The Red Rover mine had a bad fire years ago, they had a devil of a time getting it out.

Yes, I'm aware of there being at least one body down the Governor mine.

I wonder who if anyone owns the Governor and Red Rover? (implied pipedream correct.)

Also, there are several mines across the 14 from there; know if any of those are still active? Supposedly there is a stamp mill in a field, visible from the 14, but I've never seen it.

Speaking of getting me started... now I'm gonna have to link this thread to the Big Tujunga one. :lol:

ART .... it looks like your above averge on your research of this area ...and thats good !

from the top down ....romantic nostalgia about old mines...... ya I know ! ---moved here from sunland in 1952 (age 12) and went into every mine I could find over the years, and lucky as hell to have come out of some alive !!!!---young and foolish

note: not all the dangers are inside these old mines, --a lady in Soledad cyn. unearthed a purple fruit jar with lid intact and sealed --took it into the house to show her son--this treasure she had found--

it was still half full of clear liguid with a smaller jar inside, they took the lid off and inside the small jar were the instructions rolled around the blasting caps, they called the boom squad and the liguid was nitro.

just a few years back two kids found the storage bunker for the big horn mine with seven boxs of dynamite inside, the bunker was concrete with railroad rails as rafters poured into the concrete.

when the boom squad blew it the roof went 300ft up in the air - and the steel door was never found !

it was the Puritin mine that burned about a mile west of the red rover --with stamps still visiable from 14

the governor was sold for back taxes and any info can be found thru the tax office -red rover also

the mine south of 14 from there is the Gage mine - (governor gage) --not active now ! but was in 52, also most of these old mine were in working order then --with head frames - ore shoots- buildings etc.

be safe and contact me if your out this way ---Tom

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When I bought my first Dredge, dredging was still allowed in Piru Creek. I dredged there a number of times. There is good gold down toward Julian, and even better up towards Randsburg off Highway 395.

Placer is a lot easier for the new prospector - not a lot of equipment needed to get the gold vs. Hardrock.

Chris

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