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First detector nuggets!


Paleomanjim

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I went back out to Gold Basin Monday to try out my 6.5" coil on the GB 2. Found 2 small nuggets, the largest one just over 0.5 grams and the smaller one 0.1 gram. Anyway, as soon as I arrived I tried ground balancing the smaller coil. No luck. My 10" coil always balances easily and usually ends up with the ground reject dial around 7 (6 to 8). It got better as I dialed it up, but when the ground reject dial reached 10 (max setting) it still was not quiet balanced. In some areas is was nearly balanced, but in the hotter soils the lack of balance made detecting difficult. Not sure what the problem is, maybe that is the nature of the 6.5" coil? Any suggestions?

OK, I decided to first check the area I had worked last week. I had ran the 10" coil over this soil before I left and did not detect anything. This time the 6.5" coil immediately picked up a tiny nugget I had missed with the 10" coil. The little nug had dropped into a small hole in the rock as seen in the pic. I had swept the bedrock with a brush and probably swept the nug into the hole. I headed to the main wash on the north end, the one that has been worked hard for years. Found the 2nd nug there. I was carrying a hoe to scrape gravel off the bedrock, it worked but sure is a lot of work. Anyway, I came across huge pit someone had dry washed recently, at least 5' deep and perfectly cemented in with bedrock. I can only imagine how many nuggets they must have pulled out of that hole. This is the main wash so flash floods have been rolling over this pit for millennia. Just thought I'd share the pic, kinda interesting.....jim

Oh, on a side note I have a question about detectors, are there any other brands besides Minelab that will go deep but that are priced more reasonably? I like the sensitivity of the GB2 with the 6.5" coil but man you gotta get close. thanks.....

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Edited by Paleomanjim
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Something's not right. You should not have to max out on the ground balance. It might be that the coil has some internal issues. Maybe try wrapping your coil wire tightly and firmly around the shaft. If you switch back to the 10" coil and the ground balance is normal, then likely your problem has something to do either with the new 6.5" coil or with the way you connected it. Congrats on some pretty Gold Basin color!

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That kind of Gold would make my day for sure. You done did Good. Chuncks like that are sorta hard to find here in NM. I have two places It can be found but most of that is Crevicing.

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Fine job, a lot of people come here and get skunked so you got it down!

If you want a deeper detector for cheap you'll probably have to look into a PI unit, maybe the TDI or look into the new Garrett detector. Some of the old ML's are starting to sell for about the same price used now if you look around for a while.

But honestly, there aren't a lot of people using the GBII out here and you're gonna be able to clean up what a lot of guys with the Minelabs missed. I like to think I'm pretty thorough and last year a guy came behind me in a wash I've detected multiple times and pulled out a handful of 1-2 grainers with his GBII that I simply couldn't hear with my ML. I want one. :brows:

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Sweet gold and congrats!

Like the pics too. Thats one heck of a dig hole there at the last.

Keep up the good work and GL to you

Tom H.

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Yep, sorry about that coil, its a mess! I haul the detector in a backback on my motorcycle, taking the tubes apart each time so it fits. I get lazy putting it together each time.

Question about caliche: Dont know if anyone has an answer, but here goes. The soil I collected in buckets last week all came from the 2 inches of gravel resting on top of the caliche as seen in first pic up above. So far I have panned out 2 buckets of this gravel and every pan is full of lots of color and quite a few pickers and grain size nuggets as well. Seems like rich paydirt to me. On Monday I busted up quite a bit of the caliche with a pick and shoveled it off to the side. This caliche is sort of soft like poor concrete with some gravel inbeded into it. Below the caliche was softer reddish soil with very little gravel in it, almost clay like stuff. I brought back several buckets of this stuff thinking it might be rich soil. Not the case. I am finding one or 2 specs per pan and no pickers. Clearly the stuff above the caliche layer is the best pay dirt. And I wonder how the heck did the caliche form on top of that softer red soil in the first place? But here is my main question, has anyone ever tried collecting the caliche and busting it up to see if it contains small nuggets or pickers? I just tossed this stuff to the side in a pile but now I am thinking about bringing back a bucket of the stuff. It should be easy to bust it up into small pieces with a sledge hammer and then maybe mash it with morter and pestal and then pan it to see what it contains. It must have taken a long time for the caliche to form and seems like small gold may have gotten inbeded in it. Crazy question I guess but just thought I would throw it out there to see if anyone else has considered it.....jim

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The caliche forms due to leaching all of that soluable stuff down with rain. It is like a bathtub ring of soluable minerals. Sometimes it is there and gold bearing gravel is laying on it. Sometimes it is a layer formed within the gravel. At any rate gold will stop sinking when it lands on caliche.

Caliche is generally where the big uns are around here. Embedded in it completely. So my rule is to look in and on top of caliche. At the contact of any alluvial horizon for that matter.

Gold is generally de concentrated unless it stops moving or slows down. If it is moving along with the rest of the gravel it is always poor. Wherever gold slows in relation to the deletrial material it gets richer. When it stops moving when most other gravel is continuing on its way it builds rich pockets. It stops moving down at the caliche layer cause in the desert that is about as deep as aggregate is disturbed.

Gold moves down to caliche as freeze/thaw cycles, deflation and water sink it. This action also moves those soluable minerals. Often caliche forms with a paystreak as things work down thru the soil.

So if the caliche is a horizon within gold bearing gravel the gold will be rich throughout. If the caliche was formed from deletrious material and gold bearing gravel lies over it it acts as bedrock. Even if the caliche itself is barren the upper half inch gets sticky and limey and traps big gold.

Every single nugget sized piece I have ever found in the Caballos was stuck to the surface of caliche, within the caliche layer or completely encrusted in caliche suggesting it came from there. The richest ground I have ever detected was a foot thick layer of petrified caliche under 30 feet of volcanic rock. So yeah, test to find out exactly where the paying material is so you can dig accurately and not waste time. Also to insure you aren't tossing the best stuff.

Hope that helps and makes sense Jim!

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All of what Bedrock Bob said and in addition once you have scraped all you want off that caliche false bedrock layer be sure to run the detector over the caliche to check that you haven't left something sizable and detectable in the caliche ... That may have been stated above ... I read it real quickly ... so if it is a repeat ... Mea Copa! Me thinks you have caught the incurable fever!

Mike F

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Hey Jim. Be careful with your GB coils. I have broken a bucket full of them. They are fragile. I have had a few that would not balance...all the way to 10 anf you are still a bit negative. I have one right now that does that about half the time and the other half it works great.

Bumps and squashes when you haul them scramble their insides and the wires come lose. They are great detectors but the coils are a bit of a problem. I bet I have broken at least a half dozen. Hunted with a Whites for 20 Years with one coil and never had issues. I seem to buy a coil every couple of years for the GB2.

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If you want to break that caliche down/soften just throw in a bucket with a bit a water and a soil amendment product called Sodbuster and makes it much easier to work with. One heck of a hole,sure don't do that much work, bedrock looked scrubbed down pretty good too,without gettn' some pretty nice gold. Nice pickers also-John

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The caliche forms due to leaching all of that soluable stuff down with rain. It is like a bathtub ring of soluable minerals. Sometimes it is there and gold bearing gravel is laying on it. Sometimes it is a layer formed within the gravel. At any rate gold will stop sinking when it lands on caliche.

Caliche is generally where the big uns are around here. Embedded in it completely. So my rule is to look in and on top of caliche. At the contact of any alluvial horizon for that matter.

Gold is generally de concentrated unless it stops moving or slows down. If it is moving along with the rest of the gravel it is always poor. Wherever gold slows in relation to the deletrial material it gets richer. When it stops moving when most other gravel is continuing on its way it builds rich pockets. It stops moving down at the caliche layer cause in the desert that is about as deep as aggregate is disturbed.

Gold moves down to caliche as freeze/thaw cycles, deflation and water sink it. This action also moves those soluable minerals. Often caliche forms with a paystreak as things work down thru the soil.

So if the caliche is a horizon within gold bearing gravel the gold will be rich throughout. If the caliche was formed from deletrious material and gold bearing gravel lies over it it acts as bedrock. Even if the caliche itself is barren the upper half inch gets sticky and limey and traps big gold.

Every single nugget sized piece I have ever found in the Caballos was stuck to the surface of caliche, within the caliche layer or completely encrusted in caliche suggesting it came from there. The richest ground I have ever detected was a foot thick layer of petrified caliche under 30 feet of volcanic rock. So yeah, test to find out exactly where the paying material is so you can dig accurately and not waste time. Also to insure you aren't tossing the best stuff.

Hope that helps and makes sense Jim!

Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the advice and it will be helpful. Bob, thanks for the caliche explanation, you obviously have a hands on perspective of it and have given it a lot of thought. I'm going to bring back a bucket of the stuff next time and see what is in it and report back. I am also wondering just how far down the soil below the caliche level goes before it hits true bedrock, or another caliche level. Maybe there is an even richer deposit on that. I will check that out....should be interesting.

Yeah, I guess I am getting the bug, or I have it already.....kind of a life long bug as I get this with all my hobbies!

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Hey Jim. Be careful with your GB coils. I have broken a bucket full of them. They are fragile. I have had a few that would not balance...all the way to 10 anf you are still a bit negative. I have one right now that does that about half the time and the other half it works great.

Bumps and squashes when you haul them scramble their insides and the wires come lose. They are great detectors but the coils are a bit of a problem. I bet I have broken at least a half dozen. Hunted with a Whites for 20 Years with one coil and never had issues. I seem to buy a coil every couple of years for the GB2.

I always used to send my broken coils back to Fisher and they always replaced them.

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