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Hi everyone I'm working an area that has produced a half gram in small flakes and dust in 10 hours of drywashing im wondering what people here would do? Would you keep drywashing hoping to find a richer area or would you move on to more productive grounds?

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If it was me I'd keep working it until something better came along. I'm sure you can find better places, but I'm just as sure there are worse places too. The main area I've been working pops out a few pieces the size of rice every day. I've tried 3 or 4 other areas and gotten nothing even though they seemed to be better spots with more potential. I plan to keep moving around, but something about an area that is giving up any gold has its merits.

My two cents.


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Hey, you have to prospect the area first...bring a mortor tub (home depo/lowes) and a couple of 5 gal jugs. Pour one 5-gallon jugs in tub. You'll need some paint buckets and fill them up in likely looking spots. Mark your buckets (#'s) and # matches the spot you got the test dirt from. Pan your buckets and the bucket that has the most color in it is your spot. If you don't like the color keep looking and testing.


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Are you enjoying what you're doing? As Ant Man and Lucky Lundy said, keep looking for other spots, but where you're at, might develop into more. Alot depends on how far you have to travel.


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There are many ways to look at this senario. You could work the area till it stopped giving enough color. But you need the proper tools to really work the spot (are you properly equiped?) Are you working the best calculated spot in the creek? & Cleaning it well? or should you be working richer placers 5 feet away on an inside bend? Has the area you are in been worked previously? Some creeks only give up fines, and others may give up pickers & nuggets... What type of creek are you in? What are the odds of coming across a nice nugget in the next cleanup?

Like Shep Said , Are you having fun? It really is about the adventure & fun... Finding gold beats getting the skunk any day.

Are you the guy I passed twice on the Little San Domingo last saturday? with a drywasher & Vacuum?

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Thanks for all the replies im working in the goldfield mountains planing on heading towards better areas when the opportunity arises but for now im just able to work in my local area. All im using are shovels picks and a drywasher.Im cleaning the gold with a spiral wheel and a blue bowl. Im having a great time but looking to cut the expenses slightly by finding gold. Drywasher gas , bearings, veh gas .ect.. As far as i know there is no prior working in the area some load gold claims but no signs of old tailings in the creek.. We have moved a considerable amount of dirt to get what we have. Almost all has been fines but we have found a few small pickers one still in quartz. Thanks guys hope you all have a good day.

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I agree with all of the previous posts; if you are on gold, stay on gold... It appears you are working OK ground by most prospecting standards - don't go chasing rainbows unless you can see the leprechaun standing next to the pot o' gold. Based on my experience, you are working a classic numbers game - can you upsize your equipment to produce more gold in less time within equipment cost reasonably? if so, stick with the known spot until it plays out and get as much as you can. Then move on. If not, seek new areas that pay as well or better.

My two cents also...


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Hi everyone I'm working an area that has produced a half gram in small flakes and dust in 10 hours of drywashing im wondering what people here would do? Would you keep drywashing hoping to find a richer area or would you move on to more productive grounds?

I hate going against the grain of advice here ...............BUT ..........

1/2 gram for 10 hours labor isn't minimum wage.

I would sample around for better diggin's.

If I'm not on $100 a day......... I'm looking elsewhere.

If I'm on more than that, I'm sticking tight.

An ounce, in 6 days, take the 7th off & I'm okay.

If I can do that by hand, time to file NOI, POO & bring in a 580 case, to bulk sample with.

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Old Gold Miner,

Where do you do your prospecting at? I want to go there!


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Old Gold Miner,

Where do you do your prospecting at? I want to go there!


Lot's of spots in CA, but SB 670 put a crimp in that.

SW & NE Oregon & several area's in Idaho.

But, you have to be far off the beaten track.

Anywhere EASY.... has had the panties stripped off it.

Those old timers did not miss much.

Idaho is better than Oregon, because there are several area's ... even today... tough to get in/out of.

Look in area's so isolated, in the 1800's, a hens egg sold for $2.

Meaning, supplies had to be hauled in by horse or mule back.

The cost of grub & supplies was so high, if a lone prospector was not on 1 ounce a yard bedrock material.

He could not make a go of it, because food/supplies cost was so high.

Area around "Buffalo Hump" Idaho still has some rich ground, as do many others in Idaho.

Sadly, I'm not going to reveal where I'm going in Idaho, come spring.

Because, I want to get there first & stake up some open ground.

That looks sweet, from the data bank I have.

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Reckon I need to climb down into some of the canyons I've driven by in California / Nevada gold country. The only way to get there is by rope. Just need to watch out for bee's nests, bear dens, rattlers, avalanches, other fun stuff. But I'm sure not many others have been there before.

Ant Man

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Some of the best ground, I & my extended family ever dredged, or worked was:

Hike, float or helicopter in only........ :olddude:

Reason the ground was still good, it had not had the panties pulled off it by previous gold seekers.

As most will not plan, nor take the time, or trouble, or go to the expense to get to those places.

Hence, in many instances, except for being worked by hand panning, or rocker box, no dredge or modern mining equiptment ever touched them.

In one instance, because a trail led to the area, we asserted RS 2477 R/W & were able to "permit" clearing the trail enough, we could get vehicles & eqt in.

That, "permitting" was a PITA, but worth the effort.

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Old Gold Miner,

I just looked up RS 2477 on the internet. No kidding! I never knew that, but do now. There are going to be a lot of tee'd off people in the mountains near here fairly soon. Need to get my posse together first. One thing I didn't quite understand was the permit you were talking about. Can you tell me more about that please?



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This is my experience about drywashing gullies.

You left out all the important details with your question.

So I will try to fill in the blanks. If you are working a

small wash or gully and finding flakes and dust. Dig to bedrock

or the hard pack bottom. Sometimes flakes and dust will settle

in layers above the heavy gold.

If you don't find better pickings on the bottom move up

stream and do some sample holes or trenches across the gully.

The heavy gold drops out first so you should start finding

pickers farther up stream in some of the flatter stretches.

Sometimes a foot or two in any direction will make a heck of

a difference.

As you are digging watch for old potholes that have been

back filled. These can prove to be quite profitable. Also

watch the banks,these gullies move around over time and what

looks like just a bank could have been the bottom at one time.

Any material that looks like it has been washed in anywhere

along a gully needs a look see. You can't believe where I have

found some big gold in desert gullies.

Don't walk away until you have sampled upstream and down to

bedrock or hard pack. If you run into hardpack clay or caliche

dig down in it for a ways and sample that too in your test

holes. Since you found gold in quartz ,I would darn sure do

some upstream samples.

10 hours don't mean anything if you are off by a few feet,

or a few inches too high. I worked two days on a stretch for

a couple grams of powder.Just as I was ready to to call it

quits I decided to run another batch. The next 4 feet of gully

yielded over two ounces of chunky gold that got trapped in an

old pot hole.

Learn to read the layers ,bottom ,and sides as you dig. You

may be surprised how a gully looked before its present state.

When sampling a wash or chasing a pay streak I drywash the

material and pan the concentrates for each load until I know

if it is worth fooling with or not. You can cover a lot of

ground like that,and sample lots of dirt. I try to run two

loads for each hole,more if the ground is deep. Run the top

layers ,pan,then run a load from the bottom and pan then you

have a idea where the pay layer is. In some spots the gold

can be scattered from the surface to the bottom.

If a spot is handy I just set up the Gold Buddy sluice and

pack the samples to it. The sluice will recover gold that the

drywasher can't ,and give you a better idea of what you really


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Thanks guys i bought a mini drywasher to do some testing and it appears you all were right testing just 20 feet away where the river USED to be produced some chunkier gold going to do some more testing tomorrow to try and pin it down closer.I lost my job knew it was coming so i am going to take a few weeks and test some more of the goldfield mountains then if i don't like what i see i will move to the Bradshaw area. The dry washer i got was made by grunt gold it is light and portable already did more testing with it than i could have ever done with my bigger one. After i do some more testing tomorrow i will lug out the big guy. I couldn't believe what a difference a few feet can make. Thanks guys

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