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iron stained ground?


bsumbdy

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Sorry about the bad pic I was driving. I read on this forum about iron stained dirt. On the left of this picture in the low hills, is that the rust color? This area is about 5 miles from a known gold district. Does that area look promising? And how would one go about prospecting that area?

Thanks Chris

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Well , gold is where you find it ...I guess

I have come to realise that what are considered " indicators" are great for optimism and may hold true, but sometimes they just don't apply at all. Go beep it and find out for yourself, that is the best way......

Edited by adam
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Just to let you know up front, I don’t have a whole lot of luck actually finding gold. I do feel quite comfortable researching land status in AZ. I also feel confident that if gold is in an area, my sampling will find it.



First, check the land status and make sure the area is open to claim. The fence tells me its private property. As a rule of thumb, in an area that has BLM land, there won’t be fences on the BLM land, but there will be fences on private property. This rule might not apply if you’re next to the highway.



If the land status is open, when I prospect, I have a back-packable drywasher I’ll walk to different areas. I’ll take random samples from several acres, run a five gallon bucket, label the concentrates, and then bring them back to the truck to pan them. The sample that has the most gold is where I would go to do more sampling.




Places to sample would of course be creeks, decayed quarts outcroppings and seems of where two different types of dirt meet. I consider creeks the best area because nature will have done all the work for you. It looks like the hill on the left side could be the rich red soil, but it’s hard to tell from the photo. This is something that won’t be done in a single day, but will take several days. Bad thing about it taking several days is if it’s in an area along a highway, you may draw attention and someone could place a claim with the county or BLM before you finish your work.



As far as five miles away from a known gold bearing area, I would say that doesn’t bode well. I’ve sampled in a couple of areas lately. The first is at the edge of the six mile area of the Little San Domingo wash talked about in Footprints that is gold bearing. We get enough gold there to keep us coming back for more, but not enough to pay for gas. This particular area has been hit hard. A second area we’ve done sampling is about three miles outside of the gold bearing circle. Despite some old time claim markers of rock pilings, this area looks like virgin ground without any signs of workings. It is creeks without the piles of dry wash tailings, deep red soil, exposed quartz outcroppings, and visible black sand in the soil. As exciting as that sounds, several days worth of sampling has gotten nothing but a few specks of gold. So, appears as if that area was open to claim, because it was not worth being worked.



Even though that second area may not worth being worked, the claim owner adjoining me sells claims for thousands of dollars. That’s more of a topic for another post.



Although you read about who discovered the Carlin type gold ore deposit is an amateur, those are few and far between. Another lesson I read on another board is don’t waste your time discovering a new gold bearing area. Since I only have one day a week to give to prospecting, I’m going to start concentrating on known gold bearing areas and not to get stuck in areas that are miles outside a known gold bearing area. This means me joining Roadrunners, Why Not, or another club.


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  • You can research the gold mining districts of Nevada from your local public,.university and/or state libraries or dept. of geology..mineral resources etc.Read the old reports and that will clue you in to the local geology.Historical organizations have great info also on former gold mining areas.
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Gold sometimes is associated with iron rich ground, but many times it is not. The red color often is much deeper than what appears in your photo -- sometimes almost running to a deep brownish tone. Examples of great gold producing rich, red (almost brown) dirt would include the Rose Mine near Holcomb Valley in California and the Red Chispa claim near Randsburg, CA. Larry Sallee in his Zip Zip book points out that nuggets often are found in the same vein that carries ironstone. This iron, over time, can leech out of the vein and discolor the surrounding ground.

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