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What Am I Mining Here ?


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I found 3 mine locations in about a cirlce of 40 yards total. They were in solid rock , had to be tough as i chipped some away and it was no fun. These were all in the South Mountains of Phoenix. I chipped off a few slabs to take home for inspection. This sample was from where they had stopped busting off rock. Any ideas what they were mining here. From the green coloration i thought copper . Then i thought maybe not since a hundred years ago copper was not very valuable , and i can't imagine somebody chiseling copper out of solid rock and hauling it down the slope 50 yards to the nearest pack animal. Any ideas from the pic ???

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Hi Frank ,

tried that. These were not listed on the master map that was compiled by the city of phoenix when they purchased the land , but most of the mountain was claimed up until the early 1940's . This mountain held the max delta mine and it was the second largest gold producer of Maricopa county in the 1930's. Gold , silver , copper , and mercury were all mined in this moutain , there were more than 20 known gold mines alone. I suspect some of the pertinent data was deleted when the city purchased the land for a city park... now supposedly the largest city park in the country. I am hoping some of the old timers will recognize this type of tailing and shed some light. Have an awesome weekend. Lou

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Seems like you answered your own question, gold silver copper and mercury.

And along with them the byproducts of which were the greenish colored deposits you show in the photos.

Could be some chrysocholla, tourquoise, and various other minerals associated with the precious metals you mentioned.

Try searching some of the state of Az. links telling about mining history in the area in question you'll probably get more info.

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Thanks Adam ,

already had that info as i researched the Max Delta alot , as well as the Golden Standard mine. The park has 16,000 acres and 51 miles of trails and seems all the profitable mining operations were at the opposite end of the 3 mountain ranges that make up south mountain. They may have been test holes for all i know. I am taking my detector up to the top of the peak , theres a flat area where it is possible the miners made camp. One of the rangers is coming along , probably tuesday. That end of the mountian range is the ugliest i have ever seen. On the west end of the range is a mine still accessible , guess they ran out of dynamite. The tunnel goes back a hundred yards or so then you hear an aweful lot of growling... not too interested in seeing any more. It's right near the chandler blvd entrance to the trails. I am attempting to grid the whole range during weekdays with my weekends spent in the bradshaws. I would love to find some awesome minerals there , but you all can have the gold.

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Hello steve ,

hope you are having an awesome weekend. I started picking the tailing dump for the mine in the middle. Seems as the miner(s) tossed the tailings directly downhill as it is a 45 degree slope ( or a little more ) . I started at the bottom so that i cleaned a patch out and worked my way upward always having a clean spot between inspected and not inspected. Came up with nothing other than 40 five gallon buckets of samples like the one in the pic. I was hoping that the black areas on some of these were oxidized silver , now that would have been cool. Actually any mineral would have been cool... the search goes on.

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That's what I'm thinking . Those were test holes trying to develope a seem or Vien.

And Yes there could be gold in some of there chucked out rock.

They could not make money on the stuff you can today.

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After searching for Padre cave for six hours i headed over to the old mine site. The one hole is an 8 foot wide round hole that is at least 15 feet deep. At the top is an iron stake that appears to be an anchor for a rope to lower yourself down into the hole. you sure cant climb out unless you are a spider. Thought i would work the tailings a little today. I found a spot where the miner must have busted up his rocks for removal of specimens. There was a small area loaded with pea size rock chips. I sat for about an hour picking rock after rock and tossing aside in a little pile the ones that looked like nothing... just in case i want to look at them again. Found about 2 good sized handfuls of pea size rocks with gold in them. Will post pics as soon as they come out of the CLR. Some of them fizz like alka seltzer , the white stuff is bubbling like crazy. Anyway , never thoought to take some before pics , will take some from tomorrows batch when i get back home. One of the other holes had a couple copper specimens but this hole has my full attention now , just wish it had been some minerals like gemstones , but polly can have the gold. Just glad i work 5 minutes from there... makes it real convenient. Pics coming soon. Lou

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pulled a couple pieces out of the CLR and snapped a pic with my camera on my phone. Doesnt photograph very well in this light , even on macro. Sun is down now so that is out.

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OD,

So is this the same as what some call free milling gold? What size is the is the big chunk? Look's nice!

Rim

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Hey rim ,

i don;t know what free milling gold is so i can;t answer that one. That larger chuck is a little larger than a penny. Time to start whacking these rocks with a hammer until i get a morter/pestel .

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Free milling gold is gold contained in rock/quartz that when you crush it you can then pan the gold from the rock dust, oppose to gold sulfides which you have to rely on roasting first and or a chemical extraction of the gold.

Skip

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Au Seeker,

So OD's rock can't be crushed and panned? I didn't know free milling meant quartz only + gold. Think i'm confused as always..lol!

Rim

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Au Seeker,

So OD's rock can't be crushed and panned? I didn't know free milling meant quartz only + gold. Think i'm confused as always..lol!

Rim

Not just quartz but any rock that has free milling gold can be crushed and then pan the gold out.

I guess I should've stated gold contained in quartz or rock, instead of "quartz/rock".

Skip

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Well put guys ,and i certainly understand it. All of this i picked is attached to or inside rock . Should i crush this all the way to powder or about the size of sand ? Thanks in advance !!! Lou

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Too hard to tell if there is a solid chunk of gold in that rock. Hope someone comes along and gives you the right answer Ore.

Man I got to get to phoenix some how...lol!

GL!

Rim

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Too bad you are not here because i would take you out there and let you grab up all you could carry , i probably wont go back there for a while. I am going to concentrate on finding Padre cave. I am happy i found a piece of gold , but i enjoy gemstones and other minerals much much more. Lou

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Hey Guys ,

I went out there after work today just for a general hike to check the rest of the peak out. My intentions were just to hike and look... Left all my gear in the car except my water. I hikes all the way around that one peak... there are more mines on the other side , some much larger than the ones i saw on the front side. Same scenario. I ended up tieing my shirt closed to use as a sack , as the tailings contained the same as the others. This stuff is all over the place.. Now i wonder : was the vein so rich that they didn't care about the small stuff , or were they prospecting for something more valuable , or maybe some other mineral and didn't see the gold , or were they just plain stupid ? This is crazy.

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Well put guys ,and i certainly understand it. All of this i picked is attached to or inside rock . Should i crush this all the way to powder or about the size of sand ? Thanks in advance !!! Lou

Crush it until the gold is freed up, any larger gold will just flatten out, I would crush it down to sand size first and if further crushing is needed you can crush it down finer.

Wear eye protection when crushing it, you don't want to lose an eye!!

Skip

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Thanks Skip !!!!

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Now i wonder : was the vein so rich that they didn't care about the small stuff , or were they prospecting for something more valuable , or maybe some other mineral and didn't see the gold , or were they just plain stupid ? This is crazy.

A lot of times the miners took only the richer parts of the vein and left the smaller stuff behind. From your description, it sounds like it can be recovered with a Gold Bug 2.

Steve

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