Finding gold in a stream


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Hey Stream Prospector,

Looks like it will be a good read. Looks like you might be located in Australia. We would like to know more about you if you would like to post more about yourself and book here.

Do you just prospect the rivers by means of panning, sluicing, dredging (wet methods) or any dry methods or the use of a metal detector?

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

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Hey Stream Prospector,

Looks like it will be a good read. Looks like you might be located in Australia. We would like to know more about you if you would like to post more about yourself and book here.

Do you just prospect the rivers by means of panning, sluicing, dredging (wet methods) or any dry methods or the use of a metal detector?

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

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Sorry mate,

I'm new at these forums, perhaps I have messed my reply to you (nuggethunter). You are right I am from Australia. Most of my time has been spent searching streams, with pan and sluice in hand. There are some reasonably good rivers down here, but none as generous as those in America. Dredging is not something I have taken the time to consider, I have never taken prospecting as a means of support, more as a pleasurable pastime. I must admit though, never kept my gold, after I had collected a few ounces (Troy), (and sometimes it took quite a good amount of time to collect), I would sell it and have a good night or week on the town. Prospecting has always been a pastime that had to fit with my current employment. Retired now and too old to stick my head under the water. I just enjoy wandering a stream in my search, no matter how long it takes.

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I highly recommend checking your site with different browsers if possible, the words are not wrapping around the main page image and causing the letters to go over top and become unreadable unless I go REAL wide on my screen resolution (using Safari on Snow Leopard).

I would also recommend that you make a downloadable PDF version available for those of us who at times are outside of cell range or use an ipad etc. I carry all my claim maps, topo maps ect on my ipad and iphone and consider them an invaluable tool but I will not mess with a web based e-book, it's just to hard to read while you're driving. :) ... Plus that format will lock that text issue I already mentioned...

Note: I state what may be the obvious because I'm not sure if the pdf samples you have on the page were just for us to check it out as you specifically called it a "book" as opposed to a book and/or e-book version. If you'd already planned a PDF version, please ignore my comment and well done (still check out locking that text on the front page though as you have importantpost-28230-0-91343200-1324890836_thumb.j text there that is unreadable at certain screen settings, see attached picture.

Cheers

Jennifer

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I highly recommend checking your site with different browsers if possible, the words are not wrapping around the main page image and causing the letters to go over top and become unreadable unless I go REAL wide on my screen resolution (using Safari on Snow Leopard).

I would also recommend that you make a downloadable PDF version available for those of us who at times are outside of cell range or use an ipad etc. I carry all my claim maps, topo maps ect on my ipad and iphone and consider them an invaluable tool but I will not mess with a web based e-book, it's just to hard to read while you're driving. :) ... Plus that format will lock that text issue I already mentioned...

Note: I state what may be the obvious because I'm not sure if the pdf samples you have on the page were just for us to check it out as you specifically called it a "book" as opposed to a book and/or e-book version. If you'd already planned a PDF version, please ignore my comment and well done (still check out locking that text on the front page though as you have importantpost-28230-0-91343200-1324890836_thumb.j text there that is unreadable at certain screen settings, see attached picture.

Cheers

Jennifer

I guess im in the same retard boat as you Jennifer...its all jacked up on my puter screen. Can only read half of it.

Course my puter is about 10yrs old also...like me!

Tom H.

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Jen,

It loads fine for me.

Safari 5.2.1

Lion 10.7.2

Over priced @ $40 IMHO, Compared to Fists Full Of Gold by Chris Ralph @ $29.95 ( just an example).

140 page paperback that is a jumble of wikipedia paraphrasing, interspersed with flawed conclusions.

One saving grace is the $15 Kindle version. Wish I could return it for a refund………...

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I also get an insecure website warnings, i.e. insecure JavaScript, and the browser I used blocks this type of content, this can also be the reason for the webpage to not be properly displayed according to the info my browser directed to me.

https://support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1342714

Skip

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Over priced @ $40 IMHO, Compared to Fists Full Of Gold by Chris Ralph @ $29.95 ( just an example).

140 page paperback that is a jumble of wikipedia paraphrasing, interspersed with flawed conclusions.

One saving grace is the $15 Kindle version. Wish I could return it for a refund………

I have not had the privilege to read 'Fist full of Gold'. I do invite further comments and would appreciate a right of reply?

wikipedia paraphrasing - to describe a point bar?

Flawed conclusions?

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Over priced @ $40 IMHO, Compared to Fists Full Of Gold by Chris Ralph @ $29.95 ( just an example).

140 page paperback that is a jumble of wikipedia paraphrasing, interspersed with flawed conclusions.

One saving grace is the $15 Kindle version. Wish I could return it for a refund………

I have not had the privilege to read 'Fist full of Gold'. I do invite further comments and would appreciate a right of reply?

wikipedia paraphrasing - to describe a point bar?

Flawed conclusions?

I tend to agree, whilst $40.00 is in fact (in my opinion) a bit dear for his item, I think we're doing him a diservice by comparing it to Chris's book which covers a lot broader subject matter (it's not intended to focus on one area of our hobby such as the stream book is) and we all know good and damn well that Chris's book is worth a cover price of $99.00 any day of the week. I've paid a lot more for a lot less info... while the Doug Stone book (Gold & Treasure Australia) that I purchased from Chris (AZO) for $99.00 is a great book, lots of great info, colorful photos etc..... it looks GREAT sitting on my book shelf....... Fists Full of Gold is what I grab at least once a week to check one day on a mineral type, the next day to show someone a sluice configuration and the next day about nugget hunting...... It's hard to be an author out there making a scratch when you put yourself up against such incredibly underpriced resources as Chris's Fist Full of Gold..... and we need to be careful comparing this "single topic" book against what I (and I'm sure others) are considering the new standard in prospecting reference..... Fists Full of Gold..... ok Chris, you can jack up the price now, I have my copy. :)

That all being said, I think it's more fair to compare this topic centric book to the standard in that area (the area of single topic books)... again, in my honest opinion... those being the pieces of art that Jim Straight puts out...... and I won't even bother giving an impression on that because my Jim Straight books are my babies and are right next to Fists Full of Gold on the book shelf.... they're bloody awesome...... they're worth 4 times the price.

I have a motto... it's a lot easier to sell 100 people something for $1.00 each than it is to sell 1 person something for $100.00 and I go back to the e-book idea.... if you offered this as a $7.95 downloadable PDF you would sell HEAPS of them and you have a lot less overhead, get some money in the bank, some knowledge into the book, grow it and then make a physical copy you can charge more for.... go look at the Bedrock Dreams web site that Jim Rocha has and check out the e-books he's selling.... I own them all...why? Cus they're great books but I didn't know that till I purchased one and had it to read right away... then I bought the rest (and I purchase each new one he releases and I don't even live in most of the states they cover, they're just a great read)..... I wouldn't have taken the risk on a $20.00 hard copy being mailed to me...

Go check out Jim's site (e-books are on the right side of the screen after you scroll down).... he's got the right idea:

http://goldbedrockgold.blogspot.com/

Just my thoughts, please don't get discouraged, if there's one thing I've learned about all these cheap buggers on here (including me) is.... they mean well (well.. most of them, some just need to get "what happens to chickens eggs"). :)

Jennifer

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A warm thank you to Jennifer Bond and nvcris

Nvcris - I have noted your comments, especially those of Wikipedia paraphrasing, it took a little while to realise how Wikipedia functions. I am removing the 2 references to Wikipedia and replaced with reference to Physical Geography.net and The Encyclopaedia of earth. This comment is in no way meant to be sarcastic. By changing the 2 references I believe I have added strength and validity to the subject of the book, so therefore I sincerely thank you for your comments.

Jennifer Bond - I thank you for your kind comments and advice. I had considered the possibility of a PDF download and making the e-book available through my site at

https://sites.google.com/site/howtofindgoldinariver

I have taken your comments on board.

Once again I would like to thank both of you for your constructive comments

Allan

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  • 2 weeks later...

:) Howdy All... just a couple of comments: Finding gold in a stream is an example of a single subject in depth. To be able to write a book on a single

subject, Allen obviously needed to be most familiar with all that is involved and he seems to be comfortable with his observations (based on what I can determine). Price wise, as an example, I have cheerfuly paid over $50 to acquire a copy of "Mining Geology Outlined" (1936) by S. Frank Hunt for his assessment re: Mineral Belts, Metallogenetic Provinces and Exploration (April 15, 1922).

Jennifer... I fully agree with nvchris and you regarding "Fists Full of Gold"... 'a complete guide to the art of prospecting'" by Chris Ralph as being full of great information; it also sits on my shelf within reach.

Also jennifer... Thank you for the kind words regarding my single subject books (printed on a full color laser exorgraphic machine). You are the first (provided you, and others also read this tread)... to know as January 1st 2012, both are now out of print. Like an old gunfighter slowing down, at age 82, I have quit while I'm ahead. My small inventory will soon be gone... The print shop more than doubled the price of printing them and no discount for a large order :wacko::blink: ... While a door closes there is another door that opens... Best to all.. jim

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  • 3 years later...

Howdy,

Last summer I came upon a big patch of metal objects of all sizes, types and ages in a "patch" on the upper side of a steep bank, in a smaller sized stream. For 100s of meters all around, up and down stream, there was only the odd little bit of metal.

This puzzled me for quite a while, "How on earth did they get there"? What was the mechanism at work that put these varied and heavy items on the surface together, when they should've been deep on bedrock"?

I afterwards remembered this post and the new thought it presented to me of helical bores running systematically within a stream that from all appearances seemed chaotic and random.

I also remembered an article written about 1891 that I read after reading Allan's book. This reinforced the idea that the helical bore was known to the old timers and is a serious factor in gold deposition, and was likely the force responsible for my strange deposit. I now closely watch out for similar looking areas that give evidence of a bores end.

Here's a portion of the article.

Cheers.

LOCKS UPON THE MOLYNEUX WATERSHED.

By J. A. Millar. c1891

The subject of the distribution and manner of working alluvial deposits is a wide and interesting one, and is besides of the utmost practical and economic importance; but so extensive and varied have been the changes in the physical geography of our island that the alluvial gold seems to have been scattered broadcast over its mountain terraces and gulches, making it impossible for the miner to distinguish the worthless from the paying country except by actual trial, and in spite of all past experience he has so far not been able to establish rules or adduce bases for calculations to aid his judgment in the selection of the most likely ground. Indeed the fact is that all experience gained rather points to the endlessness of the physical and purely mechanical changes that have been at work in the distribution of gold, than to assist to trace their method of working, or lay bare the plan upon which the changes were designed and carried out. However, for the object of the present inquiry the whole question will be much simplified by reducing it to the consideration of gold in riverbeds.

Here the primary cause in the distribution was running water, and the final deposition of the gold closely follows the rules and laws that regulate the flow of water in confined channels. In addition to this, it is a well established fact that at points where payable gold has been found upon the terraces above a stream, the river or creek bed immediately below is almost sure to be barren, or not auriferous enough to pay for working, showing plainly that originally one lead of gold only existed in the valley, which, as it was cutting deeper and deeper into the solid rock, and changed the windings of its course accordingly, broke up the lead into fragments, leaving the older portions upon shelves and terraces, and sluicing the gold belonging to the destroyed parts to lower levels. River systems, flowing through gorges such as the Shotover, Arrow, Kawarau, and, to a less extent, the Molyneux occupy give absolute proof of this rule. Having worked for many years in the river beds of these streams, I do not know of a single exception to this rule. More than this, the rule applies not only to the gold, but also to the wash, itself.

In the portions of the river beds mentioned, wherever there are terraces of any extent on their sides, the wash of the barren parts of the river bed is quite different from the wash in the same river bed of the gold-bearing portions, and here again the wash corresponds exactly with that found on the payable terraces above the river so that it will be seen there is a chain of evidence so closely and firmly linked that the rule rises to the dignity of a natural law. Having seen that the final deposition of the gold in river beds is owing to the action of flowing water, it follows that it should be found in layers and leads.

Such is actually the case. In no river bed, past or present, is the gold promiscuously mixed up with the wash. The layers may be, and very often are, only a fraction of an inch in thickness, and the loads may be only leads of patches, but in every case the gold has been deposited strictly in accordance with the known laws of currents, and never in spite of or contrary to them. This brings us face to face with another bugbear namely, that of the richest gold in the deepest ground fable.

It is surprising how deep-rooted and long-lived some claptrap phrases are. All the known laws of currents, all scientific arguments and evidence show, and all practical experience incontrovertibly proves the fallacy of this fond delusion, and yet it is ever and anon reproduced as an authoritative dictum. It is impossible to go at the present time into all the details of the question, nor is it necessary to do so, as most miners to their cost have found that the richest gold in the deepest ground theory is a delusion and a snare and those who have not made that experience personally will probably not be satisfied until they do. However, that they may know the reason why the deepest ground in a current is barren, the principal causes may be briefly touched upon as they will throw much light upon the manner of the deposition of gold in water channels generally. Water in a confined channel does not flow or travel in a straight line, as an arrow shot from a bow, but it works its way along in spiral convolutions somewhat after the fashion of a snake or an eel. These convolutions are best compared to the flanges of an augur when made to revolve. Put an augur horizontally upon a support, turn it round, and you have an illustration of the flow of water in the deepest part of a river. The action of the water is technically and suggestively called the bore of the stream. When a stream travels at the rate of 10 miles an hour the bore moves along at about 15 miles, measuring the circumference of the convolutions.

Professor Geikie, in his "Text Book of Geology," says: "The transporting capacity of a stream depends on the volume and velocity of the current on the size, shape, and specific gravity of the sediment and partly on the chemical composition of the water. According to the calculations of Hopkins, the capacity of transport increases as the sixth power of the velocity of the current thus the motive power of the current is increased 64-times by doubling the velocity, 729 times by trebling, and 4096 times by quadrupling it. If a stream which in its ordinary state can just move pebbles weighing l oz has its velocity doubled by a flood, it can then sweep forward stones weighing 4 lb,"

So much for the force of currents, let us now see to the laws they obey. The bore invariably follows the deepest part of the stream, travelling near the centre of the stream when straight, but at turnings it is thrown off towards the further side. Thence it recoils and impinges on the opposite shore, and so, like a disturbed pendulum, it oscillates from side to side, and only regains its steady course where the reaches of the stream straighten. These two conditions the varying force and the directions of the bore are the primary causes at work in the distribution and deposition of gold in confined currents.

If they are not plainly understood by any one from my words and quotations, let him go to a fordable stream confined by rocks on either side, wade in to find the deepest part of it, and then follow that part down current. In the straight runs of the stream this will be easily done, but where it strikes against a projecting point the depth increases very much, and the movement of the water is changed. It will beat against the cliff, and rise up against it in curved waves (the convolutions), scouring the side and bottom of its channel with a force that is latent in the straight runs. Next, as high banks may be met nearly parallel with the course of the stream, hard up against which the bore will travel and twist and turn with an energy that would scarcely be expected from its average flow. By observing the nature of these movements and carefully noting their effect, the observer will be able to form such an idea of the actions of a current as will be of great use to him in looking for gold in a river bed, and will explain to him why the deepest ground is a delusion and a snare.

Innumerable instances, varying these conditions in a thousand shades, may be supplied, but this series of articles must come to a close, and it must suffice to say that "the richest gold in the deepest ground” theory has no scientific evidence to support it, and will invariably be found disastrous in practice. A word may also be said on potholes.

These differ from deep ground in so far that they have neither inlet nor outlet, and are often very rich in gold, in which case the gold is hardly ever found upon the bottom of the pothole but this is covered with fine sand sometimes feet in depth the gold being laid on top of the sand, and being generally richest at the periphery of the hole, owing to the same action of the bore, which sweeps the gold out of the deepest ground up into the one side or the other of the channel but while the action of the bore in a channel runs in a horizontal and forward direction, it assumes, when confined in a pothole, a centrifugal movement. So it will be seen that in all cases, however varied, the gold is always deposited strictly in accordance with the laws that regulate the flow of water, and it follows that by studying these laws the miner's purpose will be best served. Having pointed out where the gold is not, a few hints may follow as to the most likely places where it may be found.

These may be briefly described as follows: In the straight runs of a river the gold will be found on either one side or the other of the deepest ground. Very rarely does it occur on the two opposite sides in payable quantities. In the turns of the stream it always ledges behind projecting points, provided there be no projecting point immediately below the upper one, transforming the riverbed into a gorge. Immediately above and below a gorge is a very favourable spot for gold and also above or below the junction of side streams very rich deposits are met with. Immediately above and at the very brink of a fall, heavy gold lodges.

In all these cases the deposits of gold partake largely of the nature of patches, often fabulously rich, but not always of very great extent while wide-stretching beaches and bars are more famous for the regularity of the gold deposits they contain. However, taken as a rule river workings, quite independent of the uncertainty, but constantly threatening dangers from floods, have proved the most precarious of all mining undertakings in fact experience has proved that river mining is a lottery of big but few prizes, the investor in which must consider himself lucky if he gets moderately compensated for investment.

There are other more or less reliable indications of the whereabouts of gold such as a peculiar wash, a certain kind of pudding stone, and so forth to which miners pin their faith. There can be no doubt but that all these indications are fairly reliable guides when they are read right, and it is very desirable that miners engaged in extensive sluicing operations, and also the mine managers of large public sluicing companies, devote some concerted attention to the close observation of such auriferous signs that come under their notice.

In the new Mining Act, which comes into force with the new year, a number of fines are introduced, with what object is not always very clear, but one glaring omission is noticeable. It should have been made compulsory on all mining companies to keep accurate, or even precise, records of the wash that carries and that overlies the gold, and also of the wash upon either side of the run of gold. Such records to be prepared in duplicate, one set to be kept on the claim for the information of the mine manager, and the other to be placed and kept in the School of Mines or Dunedin Museum.

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