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Hi guys,

Nice forum, lots of good interesting stuff in here.

I'm in Santiago, Chile, and the only metal detector of any reasonable price I can get my hands on is a Bounty Hunter Lone Star (and that is $300). Is this really just a 'toy' detector compared to what you guys use and will it be any good for 'the hunt'?

I've tried to study the local geology the best I can and find out some history but, I believe that you guys have the saying 'the best place to find gold is where gold has been found'. Is that really the case or is a good few days out in the mountains worth a trip? I'm an adventurous soul and have read and understood much on the subject of finding gold.... except from the fact that this area near me has no history I can find.

The area around Santiago has google earth's hi-res images, so if any of you fancy taking a peak and looking at some geological formations, river beds, possible rock colours, etc.... I'd appreciate a few co-ordinates if you have time.

If I don't hear from any of you I might just choose a random valley with some nice firewood nearby, have a poke around and let you know at least how the BBQ went.

You all take care.

DB

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Hi guys,

Nice forum, lots of good interesting stuff in here.

I'm in Santiago, Chile, and the only metal detector of any reasonable price I can get my hands on is a Bounty Hunter Lone Star (and that is $300). Is this really just a 'toy' detector compared to what you guys use and will it be any good for 'the hunt'?

I've tried to study the local geology the best I can and find out some history but, I believe that you guys have the saying 'the best place to find gold is where gold has been found'. Is that really the case or is a good few days out in the mountains worth a trip? I'm an adventurous soul and have read and understood much on the subject of finding gold.... except from the fact that this area near me has no history I can find.

The area around Santiago has google earth's hi-res images, so if any of you fancy taking a peak and looking at some geological formations, river beds, possible rock colours, etc.... I'd appreciate a few co-ordinates if you have time.

If I don't hear from any of you I might just choose a random valley with some nice firewood nearby, have a poke around and let you know at least how the BBQ went.

You all take care.

DB

Welcome to the forum, it is a great place. I too am a newbie awaiting delivery of my detector. There is nothing wrong with trying new places, but do it so that the places you explore have similar characteristics to places where gold has been found. I learned, for instance, that there is fine gold in the mid-west US because of glaciation. In CA and much of the west there is much faulting which has historical gold bearing relationships.

The recent thread on patch hunting makes a lot of reference to the El Paso Mountains. There is an El Paso fault in play in relation to the gold there.

I noted from a quick search (I don't google, I Ixquick) that there was a very large "Santiago Earthquake" a couple decades ago. Also that Wiki has a list of Chilean earthquakes that gives epicenter coordinates. You might be advised to do some research about the local faults and get, if you can, reliable maps which display their locations. Then tie that in with what google maps show and other geological indicators, etc.

But this advice is from one who has yet to be in the field, so look to see if any of the experienced folks can provide better suggestions, 'cause I bet someone here can.

Best of luck in your quest.

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Hi DB,

Welcome to the forums. The Bounty Hunter is a coin machine geared to beach hunting. Hers a link to some reviews.

Try this link for places to try hunting.

Good luck and get a gold pan!

nvchris

PS if you find a used gold detector here in the states set up a paypal account and i'll reship for you if the seller wont.

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I would contact the geology dept at your local college or university. I'm sure they have some publications or information which would help you. While most of the gold mined in Chile comes from the vast open pit copper mines, there's also some gold mines that also produce and those are the areas I would start with. I question I have in my mind is are you going to be able to hunt those areas with a metal detector?

Simply going off into the mountains without any idea where to go is counterproductive and pretty much a waste of time. Keep in mind that many mining companies have access to much more information then you have and they have been sending geologists into the field for years.

If I was living in Chile, I would be spending my time searching the Atacama desert for valuable meteorites. Doesn't sound like there's any land ownership issues and you will not even need a metal detector to hunt for them.

Steve

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Hi... again.

Thanks for the input.

I've actually visited the above links in my research funnily enough.

I'm stuck in Santiago for the next year or two and it would be nice to find an area nearby in the Andes for a try out. Then, due to my preference of the south over the north and my love of all things green I might consider heading down there, Tierra del Fuego was home to a 'gold rush' once.

Is there any way, with any alterations of the settings that the Bounty Hunter could be used for gold?

I know the mining companies have been sending out geologists into the field for years but does that mean that if an area hasn't had a mine set up that it can't have gold in it.... or am I completely missing the point here?

I really do appreciate your feedback however you might want to put some words in CAPITALS to hammer home a point I'm missing!

Thanks,

DB

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Here's an abstract of a book on the history of gold in Chile: Cheers, Unc

A history of gold in Chile

W. A. Cuadra, and P. M. Dunkerley

Shell S. Afr. Propr., Miner. Div., Johannesburg, South Africa

Although Chile is less famous as a gold producer than either Peru or Mexico, it was discovered in the quest for gold, its exploration was financed by gold, and in 1810, on the eve of its independence, it was producing as much gold as Peru and Mexico combined.The ancient Chilean cultures made little use of gold, but during their brief domination of parts of Chile the Incas developed a number of mainly placer mines.Since the Spanish conquest, there have been four cyclic periods of gold output in Chile. The first was from the founding of Santiago in 1541 to the end of the sixteenth century, when a series of rich alluvial deposits, mainly in the south of the country, produced an estimated 1 to 2 metric tons of gold annually. By the end of this period, the Spaniards had been evicted from their mines and towns by the Mapuche Indians and gold production declined markedly. At this time, the only consistently sizable producer was the Andacollo district.A second period of rising gold production developed from about 1740 onward, largely based on vein mines, from which ore was milled in trapiches and recovered using mercury. Gold mining was encouraged by the establishment of a royal mint at Santiago in 1749, and it peaked at more than 3 metric tons around 1810. Considerable production appears to have come from Andacollo, but it was at this time that the Copiapo area sprang to prominence and other important new districts were discovered at Petorca, Alhue, and El Chivato. A decline set in as a result of the disturbances of the wars of independence, achieved in 1823.The nineteenth century was a time of political turmoil during which silver (e.g., at Chanarcillo), copper, and nitrate mining, and the attractions of the Californian and Australian gold rushes, lured away many of Chile's gold miners. The most important new gold mine was El Guanaco, which may have achieved an output of 2 metric tons per year. Copper and silver mines commonly generated appreciable by-product gold. In the far south of the country, gold was discovered in Tierra del Fuego and gave rise to a short-lived bucket-line dredging fleet.In 1933 the third cycle of gold production was triggered by the rise in the gold price. Few new districts of any significance were found, an exception being Sierra Overa, but many of the old hard-rock mines were reactivated using modern technology, including flotation and cyanidation. Production peaked at 11.5 metric tons in 1939 before declining to 2 metric tons in 1960. This level was maintained until the liberation of the gold price in 1971 ushered in the fourth, most spectacular, and ongoing surge in production.The El Bronce mine at Petorca was reactivated as a modern production unit, but the momentum of the present period comes from the discovery of a series of subvolcanic, mainly epithermal, gold deposits mostly located at elevations of more than 4,000 m in the Andean Cordillera. El Indio was the first discovery, achieving initial production in 1980. The application of low-cost open-pit mining and heap leaching technology stimulated development or redevelopment of Choquelimpie, El Hueso, Marte, La Coipa, El Tambo, Guanaco, and San Cristobal. Chile's gold production attained 21.6 metric tons in 1989 and will increase further based on committed projects.

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DB: Your Bounty Hunter is a coin machine. Chile has a rich history of silver and gold coinage, not to mention relics and historically significant artifacts. If you swing your coil out in the boondocks long enough you just might uncover some of these. But as a nugget machine it is not good, unless the nugget is rather large and close to the surface. Most nuggets are small -- some are very, very small. There are a lot more of the small ones than the big ones. If you want to get some whoopie moments scoring on these, then if your budget is limited, you should look around for a specialized unit. This forum has a ton of references to the various makes and models. Sooner or later the little crumbs may lead a trail to their bigger brothers and sisters.

In addition to obtaining a decent detector (plus learning how to use it), try to identify areas open to prospecting where gold has been found before. There have been a lot of pretty smart and creative people who devoted their entire lives, passions and fortunes to finding the yellow metal over the centuries. The chance of you finding an absolutely new spot is theoretically possible, but not very likely. There are vast areas that contain absolutely no free milling gold of any significance.

Perhaps there is a club or association in Chile that has access to a gold bearing area. They also might have info on how to obtain a decent detector. And don't overlook platinum which also is found here and there in the Andes. And, oh yes -- share some photos or stories with us when the big day finally comes.

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Ok guys,

I'm getting the huge thumbs down on the bounty hunter.... will listen to you all and save my cash.

My Chilean wife is contacting the Universidad de Chile's geology dept, who we saw whilst they were on a field trip to the same thermals we were swimming in.

And my reading of the posts in this forum will not stop till the day I post a nice photo of something worthy of an impressive grin!

Thanks,

DB

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Hello,

I have metal detectors that are for coins and relics that will find gold, but from what I've read and been told, a gold detector is the way to go. Because gold is found in highly mineralized areas, you need a detector with either manual or auto-tracking ground balance. You might have better luck using your detector to find old Spanish silver and gold coins. There must be some good areas where there were old Spanish settlements. You can even search old sites were battles occurred. By the way, how is the weather this time of year in Chile? Is Chile expensive to visit? What are some good sites to visit? There are some pretty good deals on plane tickets to Santiago. I've been to Argentina several times as well as Peru, Venezuela, and southern Brazil just across the border from Iguazu. I'd appreciate any information that you could provide me on Chile. Thank you.

Hi guys,

Nice forum, lots of good interesting stuff in here.

I'm in Santiago, Chile, and the only metal detector of any reasonable price I can get my hands on is a Bounty Hunter Lone Star (and that is $300). Is this really just a 'toy' detector compared to what you guys use and will it be any good for 'the hunt'?

I've tried to study the local geology the best I can and find out some history but, I believe that you guys have the saying 'the best place to find gold is where gold has been found'. Is that really the case or is a good few days out in the mountains worth a trip? I'm an adventurous soul and have read and understood much on the subject of finding gold.... except from the fact that this area near me has no history I can find.

The area around Santiago has google earth's hi-res images, so if any of you fancy taking a peak and looking at some geological formations, river beds, possible rock colours, etc.... I'd appreciate a few co-ordinates if you have time.

If I don't hear from any of you I might just choose a random valley with some nice firewood nearby, have a poke around and let you know at least how the BBQ went.

You all take care.

DB

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  • 8 months later...

I wish I had seen this post earlier - I am a lonely gringo living in Coquimbo and i have a GPX4000 which I have been meaning to use but haven't had the chance.

There is gold in a number of areas in Chile - most of the old timers will tell you there are no nuggets, only fine gold but this is not the case. I read a report recently from a gold miner of exploration in Valdivia and they did a 300m trench and found a substantial number of nuggets between 1gram and 126 grams so there are nuggets. The best place to get maps of where the gold mines are is at Sernageomin at 0104 Avenida Santa Maria in Providencia - they have a library there that you can visit which has available the maps - just ask for the "Carta Geologico de Chile - Serie Geologica Basica" and then state which area you would like to look at.

Now the bad part. Detecting in Chile is all but unknown in chile because the law only provides access to people with mining claims which tends to be either the big mining companies like BHP Billiton, Codelco, etc or people with political connections and some influence over the local judges who are the people who grant the mining leases. It is really is a bad system as the local judge accepts the application but can reject it, doesn't have to give any reason why he is rejectin your claim and there is no avenue of appeal. For this reason I have never used my detector.

The other problem is nealy all of the land is chile is privately owned, there is very little government owned land, referred to in chile as "Terreno Fiscales". Even out in the country in remote places the land is owned by someone and there is usually a caretaker or someone who keeps and eye on the property so problem number one is knowing someone with a piece of land in a gold area.

If you can find someone who will let you detect on their land, its relatively close to the gold mining areas and you need a buddy just let me know.

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Munizaga...I to am a gringo in another country(Brazil)been here 10 years full time..

three years before I moved here for six months at a time...get a local there that

knows a lot of the big ranchers...go to the ranch and have the local guy do the talking

and ask if gold was every found on the ranch..if so ask very politely if you can

experiment for a few days to see if you have a future there and tell the rancher you'll

pay him 10% of your gold if you find any...this approach can also work if speaking with

a ranch foreman if the owner lives in another city...many times my last stop before

leaving town is at the local bakery to buy some rolls or fresh bread to go with the

coffee if the folks at the ranch make the offer...if you get permission to hunt don't

stop the fresh bread...it keeps the door open...private land is better then don't

go telling anybody what your doing...the least the judge knows the better...also anybody

else....good luck and break that GP4000 in with some gold....keep us posted...

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Garmimpo,

Good to hear from you. I read your posts. I lived in Luziania, Goais back in 1997/98 doing work in a lab for a South African gold miner who was planning on setting up a gold mine. The brazilians once you figure them out are good to work with. Even after 10 years in chile i still haven't worked out the chileans out but I do know they are a pain in the arse to work with.

I agree with you doing it on the quiet is better, the regulator don't want the hassle of some small time prospector and its much easier for the nugget hunter. The Chilean ranch owners are a funny bunch - you're right that the owners nearly always live in Santiago or overseas and someone else runs the place so they are the people you need on side - if you can get the confidence of this person(easier said than done) your half way there. The savvy ranch owners don't want anyone to find gold or any other minerals on their properties because the law surrounding mining concessions is very much weighted in the favour of the mining company - if the land is not being cultivated then mining claims are granted without need for permission of the land owner - depending on the mining concession property line the mining companies can have access to the property without the permission of the property owner, they can build mines, processing planes etc as they please and they dont have to pay any compensation to the land owner(however usually the big miners do pay something or buy the land outright so as to avoid any hassles with the land owner).

munizaga

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Steve,

I remember reading that 87% was privately owned, 99% of the centre and south is privately owned. I understand there are still some areas in the north such as in the Atacama desert which are still government owned. Which land is government owned land is a bit of a guarded secret and the people who know which land is government land can apply to purchase the land, usually at a ridiculously low price, through the Minister of Bienes Nacionales - people with the right connections, usually the rich families or those with political connections ended up with all the decent land.

Regards

Munizaga

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Wow.... folks down there must be terrorized......... Tsunami should have hit Hawaii by now..any news? Hope the Chilean Government can keep up, they say that they are very well prepared...... but who can prepare for the earth moving over and over............

A very good friend of mine grew up down there... he remebers the '60 earthquake (9.5 ) and told me about how it looked like the earth was the ocean with waves moving through it.......

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I was in my apartment in Santiago with the kids and it was a wild ride for a few minutes but we are all fine - it happened 3.30am last night and it is 2.30pm the next day and I still don't have power. However most of the buildings look pretty good considering - i think the local building requirements have forced the builders over the last 30 years to build for earthquakes.

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Watch it on CNN, it looks pretty bad, No offical reports of how many deaths yet,lots, bad damage to buildings, I nhope they don't srew around down there like Haiti, charging for releife to come in, so they can line there pocket with cash, I'd say screw them and pull out all aid. Hope you and your family stay safe. corruption is in Haiti, to the highest limits, they should hang those officials in the town square. Grubstake

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