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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/24/2020 in Posts

  1. 1 point
    Clay and Detecting For GoldWell, here's the follow-up story to the last nugget find, the one found in the hydraulic wash, but this hunt presented a different challenge.After finding the two gram nugget, and pumped by it, I decided to head for the level ground of the abandoned placer pit below the bedrock rise.It was the late afternoon of a beautiful day. A cobalt bowl of blue sky roofed the mountains to my right and left. The air was still warm, and tiny butterflies sipped water from a fresh-water seep where vibrant green moss clung to life.For those that have hunted abandoned placer operations, the challenges are familiar. Abandoned placer mines are mines indeed, mines that produce metal shavings, and each and every one of them sound off in the headphones.For those that don’t know about placer cuts, they’re often large excavations into old, buried channels. To open a placer operation, where I hunt, the miners excavate down from ten to eighty feet into boulder clay or glacial castoff. For the uniformed, boulder clay was left behind by glaciers during the last ice age, all of it peppered with beefy boulders.So, to mine the buried placer, the boulder clay/glacial castoff must be stripped. But while working with clay, it’s obnoxious, sticky, and it gets everywhere. It clings to everything, smears on everything, and if its wet, it will pull your boots off!Nonetheless, the pit I’d chosen to hunt had been hammered hard by nugget shooters, yet a department store full of metal bits remained on its bedrock. As mute witness to this fact, my super-magnet looked like a hedgehog on steroids from checking my dig holes.Nevertheless, I worked my way to a brownish-yellow formation of clay. Nothing but trash.Detecting the small, clay area, I swung over a screamer of a signal. This in spite of the area having been heavily detected. The recovery however was a buts; it was a deep, square nail.Pounding the area some more, I heard a slight break, a tiny bump in the threshold. I just about didn’t investigate, as the EMI in that area generated a lot of false signals (the newer detectors now are better at silencing EMI, but not back then). However, I carved off several inches of clay and swung once more. A sweet, repeatable signal, soft, yet distinct.Scraping off several more inches of clay, the signal definitely grew. I dug around the signal and popped out a chunk of clay that held a signal. Checking the hole, there was still a signal there as well. I placed the chunk aside and kept digging. The sound got louder, but turned harsh, and I recovered a bent, rusted square nail.Returning to the lump of clay, I scanned across the coil then started breaking off pieces, passing them under the coil until I isolated the signal. Sifting and sorting, I dropped bits onto the coil, and, "Whap!", the same happy sound for the second time that day.It was nonferrous; the magnet had proven that in the early sorting. So, probing the dirt on the coil, one object finally growled back. I cleaned the clay off and had myself a sassy gram-and-a-half piece of gold, almost square in shape. I rattled it around in the bottle with its two-gram partner, and they gave off a lovely, golden rumble.Clay is nasty stuff to work, but sometimes it holds the gold for that reason.All the best,Lanny
  2. 1 point
    The hard copy proofs showed up today. Wow what a feeling! Can't wait to get the rest of them here and sent out to everyone.
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