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Shallow gold deposits forming directly from weathering and chemical disintegration of a gold-bearing quality vein near the surface. Residual deposits tend to be rich, but localized in occurrence, i.e., close to the vein or outcrop area.


Eluvial gold placers usually represent a transitional stage between a residual placer and a stream placer. Where one type merges into another, they cannot be clearly distinguished. They are characteristically found in the form of irregular sheets of surface detritus and soil mantling a hillside below a vein or other source of valuable mineral. It should be noted that the parent vein or lode mayor may not outcrop at the actual ground surface. Eluvial placers differ from residual placers in that surface creep slowly moves the gold and weathered detritus down hill, allowing the lighter portions to be removed by rain wash and wind. As the detrital mass gravitates downhill, a rough stratification or concentration of values may develop but this is rarely perfected to the degree found in stream placers










Intact Residual & Eluvial placers are RARE BIRDS. :ROFL:

Most were mined in the gold rush era (circa 1849-70, then again in the depression era, then again in the 1950’s-60’s.

So, nothing is left of them, except the mined out areas.


It was hand panned & rocker box mined circa 1865 to 1875 by whites (no Chinese).

No depression era, modern day or mechanized mining was ever done.

Old timers left more than they took, because of the mining methods they had to use then.

If they could not average 1 ounce per square yard of bedrock they exposed, they left it.

Bedrock depth runs from 1ft, to 5ft on average.

The picture below is gold recovered from a single ¾ full 5 gallon bucket size sample.


Hand dug & taken from 18 inches above bedrock to bedrock.

Ran through a small highbanker on site.

15 samples that size ran an +/- 1/8th of an ounce per individual sample.

Bulk sampling with a backhoe & portable trommel will proceed shortly.

Estimated ballpark remaining mine-able yardage exceeds 20,000 yards

No sense asking where, because I’m not telling, :rolleyes:

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We were flying in a 185 Cessna last fall when I spotted these old workings.

Circled around, took a good look & got a lock on the GPS position.

Then came back later in a 4by to check it out.

Took a few miles of chainsawing to get all the deadfalls out of the old overgrown narrow wagon road.

Then a 200 yard hike & there it was.

No signs anybody had been there since about 1940.

Did a little prospecting & got color all over.

Did a title search, made the owners (timber company) an offer & have a signed off option to purchase.

This summer went back with a pump, highbanker & strong young helper.

Pick & shovel sampled more & was astonished at the results.

Going back in a few weeks to bulk sample.

If the bulk sampling is half as good as the highbanker samples were.

I will close the purchase deal.

Bring in a Cat D5E, Cat 225, dump truck,100 yard a day wash plant, etc.

Dam the creek to create a resorvior, build a settling pond & we will be mining shortly thereafter.

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Thanks for the kind words.

In a lifetime of looking (40 years), I have only found 3 worthy of 100 YPD wash plant.

This one is at high elevation & not much water around.

No Chinese to dig 10 miles of ditches either.

Old timers ditched what water there was close.

So they had just enough water to use a rocker box.

Then by hand cast cobbles aside both ways

Then ran the water down that stretch & recovered what gold they could.

Then moved over a bit & did the same again.

They didn’t move the cobbles twice.

So, everything under the cobbles is un-mined.

So, they left as much un-mined ground, as they mined. :thumbsupanim

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Sure is beautiful country miner....just the thought of moving all of those rocks by hand makes my back hurt....

how far is the running water from the site you plan on digging?......anyway to build a darn and to increase

the flow?.....

Wish you good luck and and a lot of gold......thanks for giving us a thrill.....

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There are 3 little streams there.

Each runs about 100 GPM

Old timers issue with their ditches was.

They lost about 50 percent (or more), that percolated away in their ditch runs.

Tentative plan is to trench the 3 little streams together.

Where that confluence will be.

We will bulldoze out a reservoir, with a dam spillway to feed an 8 inch pipeline.


Then run the pipeline downslope to gravity feed the wash plant.

That way we will not lose any water in ditching & will not need to use a pump, or pay pump fuel costs.

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Sure is beautiful country miner....just the thought of moving all of those rocks by hand makes my back hurt...

Wish you good luck and and a lot of gold......thanks for giving us a thrill.....

I wish the tree's were not there.

Trouble with them is we will have to log them off.

Just to get them out of the way.

Lots of labor, for very little return.

The nearest lumber mill is a long long long way away.

Plus this isn't big high end timber. So, we will get screwed on the scaling.

I hope (fingers crossed) that it's a better than break even situation.

I would hate to use a skidder to just skid them out of the way, then let them rot.

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Awesome! thanks for all the great pictures and sharing this with all of us. Good luck to you! i know we will all be looking forward to updates as you get them.

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150 miles is not far to haul logs any more. We haul lots of logs over 300

miles one way. One of our recent hauls was over 500 miles one way. It is

crazy how far some logs are hauled now. We have shipped some loads

12 or 14 hundred miles,and hauled them over 150 miles just to put them

on a train. I hate to even say how far we have shipped some dry spruce

for house logs on a truck. When you see log trucks sporting sleepers,then

you know things have went to pot. :grr01:

Anymore logs are just like any other commodity shipped down the highway .

The sad thing is that I can't say it is much different than the good old days.

I was hauling logs over 150 miles one way during the 60's.

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One clever way of dealing with low volume logs is fire wood ... Get yourself a hydraulic splitter and a couple of 18 year old mountain boys ... Pay them well and market split firewood to the nearest city ... You'll be amazed at the revenue from that ... Just a thought from experience ... Cheers, Unc

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Frankly the tree’s are a PITA. It’s the gold I am after.

After I have more data, & done more sampling.

I could have the exterior boundaries of the area we will hopefully mine well flagged.

Hire a timber cruised to give me a quick down & dirty stumpage price within the flagged area.

Get a hold of local gypo loggers to clear cut the mining areas.

In this poor ass economy, there must be many looking for work.

Give them a good deal & the timber I would think it would be gone quickly.

Take a look at the chart below.

Based on USA deficit debt alone, POG (price of gold) will continue to climb, as the deficit does.

These are fairly accurate deficit projections. Right now, there is no way to stop it.


When a normal everyday person has a problem, he is willing to compromise & will work hard to resolve it.

When an entrepreneur see’s a problem, he finds a way to resolve it & profit from doing so.

When a politician has a problem, he goes into gridlock and blames other politicians.

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That is an awesome story and I look forward to seeing what comes of it.

If only my back were young enough and my obligations less, I'd apply :)

I have a friend and fellow prospector with a plane and license. Time to figure out the costs to do some recon around here...

Too bad ours are desert placers and don't follow the rules as closely (much slower movement from my understanding)

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Hello All, I sure am glad I am where I am at. I can take my little Dodge (no four wheel drive) and go about four miles from where I live to any one of several pieces of BLM land (withdrawn from mineral entry). I can park in a paved parking lot and get out and start walking any direction and there are residual and eluvial deposits that have not been found. I love my local area, to date I have found over twenty or so very shallow surface pockets of which the gold goes from grains to ounces. Some of these pockets have given up just a few pennyweights and a few have produced over a pound in free nugget gold. If you do not know anything about surface pockets then this ground is is hard to work for most people. A very good knowledge of the local geology really helps.There are indicators all over that lead you to these deposits. To be clear I am not talking about a placer gold pocket in the bedrock. Most of my pockets occur on hillsides and carry no quartz at all. There is generally no quartz in any of the areas I work. This gold is in clay seams and iron lines and is in place pretty close to where it made. I do not mind giving this information out as over the last twenty years I have not come across anyone that will spend the time to look for these pockets. I have had a few geologists tell me I am crazy as there is nothing in the books about anything like this in the area. The funny thing is that many turkey hunters have sat right on top of these surface pockets with no knowledge of what is six to twelve inches below them in the soil.

I replied to this topic because of the similarity of what elder-miner and myself are both after and the stark difference in what both of us are having to do to get results. Good luck in your venture elder-miner as there are pockets out there and they are not that rare. TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

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Geology of pocket gold deposits in the (SW OREGON) Hungry Hill Area & others

This area is on the contact of Meta-volcanic such as greenstone and certain meta-sedimentary rock units with the large serpentine belt that stretches North by Northeast from the Oregon/California border to an area near Canyonville, Oregon. Most of the gold deposits are in the rock units bordering the serpentine . There are a few larger quartz veins exposed on the surface for fractions of a mile and have been worked hundreds of feet deep. However, many of the pocket deposits are broken up tiny veinlets of quartz which may be only followed down a few feet before pinching and losing value. Others may show little quartz but contain gold values in shear zones of localized faulting. Where such gold bearing lodes are on the surface there can be additional concentration of gold values by eroding away of the lighter ingredients of the host rock or from the formation of laterite type soils.

The pocket belt is especially strong from the head waters of Canyon Creek just a couple miles west of Cave Junction . From here the belt heads North by Northeast to Hungry Hill; then the Pocket Knoll and across the Illinois River to the drainages of Briggs Creek. The creeks and gulches that drain this area are famous for rich placer gold deposits. Interestingly only a few of these lode deposits ever developed into large underground mines as the Peck Mine and the Eureka Mine on Soldier Creek a tributary of Briggs Creek Most of these diggings were shallow surface pits quickly worked out and abandoned. On hill sides such as Hungry Hill the slopes still show the out lines of hundreds of shallow pits. The old timers did not find them all!

The fabulous Gold Hill Pocket was discovered in 1857 near the top of a small 2,000 foot-high mountain. This pocket was a fissure-vein four to five feet wide and fifteen feet deep. The outcropping rock was literally tied together with gold. It was almost impossible to tear it apart with a sledge hammer. At least $700,000 was recovered from a very small area. With gold valued at $20.67 per ounce at that time, this works out to over $14 million at today’s gold price. Gold Hill is a landmark along the 1-5 Freeway two miles from the city of Gold Hill.

The Steamboat Pocket was discovered in 1860 near the headwaters of the Applegate River. Over several year’s time, it produced over $350,000. Compared to these two, other Oregon pockets seem minor. However, each was a fabulous find in its own right. At the time of their discovery, many of these pockets were made in extremely isolated areas.

One of Oregon’s most famous pockets, the Briggs Pocket, may have been the re- discovery of a lost mine. During the Indian uprising in 1855, two men on their way to join the fighting found an outcropping of quartz. They each broke off a chunk, which was later sold for $100. They were never able to relocate their find. Almost a half century later, in 1904, an 18-year-old hunter, Roy Briggs, relocated the lost mine. This small pocket produced gold in slabs one inch thick and two to three feet long. A total of at least $50,000 was recovered from the vein 12 to 14 inches wide, 12 feet long and 7 feet deep. Reporters for the Rogue River Courier described the Briggs tent as having “gold in sacks, in cans, in bottles, in the mortar, in the gold pans, in tin cups and cooking utensils, everywhere”. This discovery was actually made in Thompson creek near the Oregon-California border.


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Hello Elder-miner, I have all that information on the Oregon pockets but what I have here is not the same thing. There are no vein systems present and there is no quartz anywhere. Did the quartz shed off millions of years ago? If so why is there none down slope in the gullies or creeks? None at all. I was lucky enough to have found several really nice pockets on a hillside. Same circumstances with no quartz veins at all. That was a few years back and that same area now has been dug down by heavy equipment almost three hundred feet. It is a quarry and is proabably fifty acres in size. Still no quartz anywhere.

On the edges of this quarry you will see iron lines that range from one inch to several inches wide. There are visible chunks of hematite. There is ironstain and there is a white and yellow clay. These lines are very distinctive when you can see them in fresh soil that has just been uncovered. You can pan them all day and not get a single color. You will not see any gold at all until a dike of diorite crosses the line.At that point you will find color but not in the way we would normally expect. You need to be using a detector as most of the pieces will be in the multi pennyweight range. No quartz on any of the gold either. You will think oh hell I am into it now. Well after that third or forth nugget it just shuts down. I have found single nugget pockets and I have found some with hundreds of nuggets before it plays out. I dont know why but you cannot find any fine gold at all. I have used a dry washer in these areas. All nuggets.

There is no particular side of the diorite that the gold sheds from. I was thinking for a long time that the gold was formed in the diorite hence that is when you find it. After many years and painstakingly revealing the detected nuggets I am finding that they are in the iron lines that are close to the diorite. Sometimes they are encased with the ironstone two feet away from the diorite. I know that there are probably many nice pieces that I have missed over the years because of the ironstone and hematite. Most of the pieces I have found have travelled a few inches or feet from the iron line giving me an opportunity to hear them.

And yes, I have detected the dikes of diorite with no success. I have talked to many geologists and they have told me I am nuts. I have invited a few of them to see and they just dont have an answer. Its not in the books.

I have another odd formation that an old timer put me on years ago. It is a similar line but appears to be rust. You follow this rust line and at points it will bulge and swell to a pod and then go right back to a rust line. This line is just that, a line. It is almost as if someone left a trail of flour a quarter of an inch wide, except it is rusty looking. Back to the pods, nodules whatever you want to call them. Depending on the size of the pod the outer skin can be a quarter of an inch thick to sometimes one inch thick. They are shaped similar to a football. They are hollow. Inside the hollow pod is a white clayey type substance with very, very tiny crystals clinging to wall. Thats it, the rest of the pod is empty, however the white clay and crystalized wall making up the inside lining has micro gold in it.

I am not getting rich off of this formation as it is just an occurrence. The line an old timer showed me is only about one hundred feet long. What really intrigued me about this formation was the fact that several old timers in the area were hunting them when I was a kid. Before any of them died that had all showed me what they were after. These pods evidently can swell out to the size of a wheelbarrow and can hold many ounces of micro gold that can be easily panned. I talked to many geologists around the nation and none of them has ever heard of this. Many years ago I called the Colorado school of mining to talk to someone about it. No one knew anything. They finally put me on the phone with an old timer thas was the ask anything guy. This guy was about eighty some years old then.He was like most old timers and said why arent you mining it if its there. After listening to me a bit he said he had heard reference to this in Northern California but never had got to see it firsthand.

I think I will post this for Jim Straight or Chris Ralph to see as maybe one of them may have an answer. Thanks, TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

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We have epithermal deposits here in AZ where gold has been left in pockets/pods without any Quartz as well and Elder-Miner described the other sulfide ores/minerals once present have have long ago decomposed leaving the gold. Often there is no real host rock left on the gold sometimes there is, but seems to always be rusty red, black, brown, or? But seldom nice pretty nuggets....

Jim checks in from time to time and will surly jump in....

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  • 4 months later...

Just a request. Is it possible to take pictures and post them when describing some of the formations you are talking about? I am just starting out here in Shasta country. I am having a heck of a time picturing some of these formations. Im interested in the Iron and Clay and Pods. I am out and about just about every day for the next few months here in the Redding area. I think I am going to take my camera. When I come across some of these digs/formations... do you think it would be ok to post them here for some analysis?

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Also... I have come across several area's along creeks that seem to have been dug up into a v or horseshoe size dig vertical to the creek. I have found several that terminate into a cave or shaft. Is this a place to excavate some dirt and pan or sluice? I take some pictures today and post them.

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