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GeoJack

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Here's the background, 1850s pocket mine, just a small depression and a pile of rocks. I found good color in the tailings and proceeded to clean out the original diggins.

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You can see the quartz vein and how it tapers down. My question, do I continue to open up the vein and follow it on the surface or do I continue down the vein where it was originally worked? Tailing piles have high grade quartz gold.post-25522-0-51097900-1418143899_thumb.j

Not detecting any gold in the fat section of the quartz vein. Gosan with stringer quartz veins above and below the main quartz vein.

All work by hand, pick and shovel.

Edited by GeoJack
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Follow the lead,in other words..wherever the gold is going.up.down,in,back.Keep sampling all the time.Can't post a link here for some reason but you can find my sampling paper on goldplacer.com under lode mining.Great looking specie you have there.Don't reveal the location.

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Thanks Dave, been using my GB 2 and Falcon MD 20 to scan the tailings. That and visual inspections. Haven't quite figured out if I am going to bust that vein or go under it and use it as my headwall as I go down. This is one of two diggins within 100 feet of each other. Both have high grade quartz gold. Strike seems to indicat they are seperate veins.

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GeoJack,as you likely know a detector won't pick up very fine gold in a lump of quartz.So hopefully your crushing and panning out some of the vein quartz that doesn't sound off on your electronics.Perhaps your too far from your vehicle or home to take a load of samples home,but a small sack full isn't heavy.Think of the thousands of ounces of gold electronic prospecters have left behind in quartz rocks because of no discernible signal.From the vague description of the tailings it seems like the ore was handpicked and the lower grade stuff left for later or a fortunate hunter like yourself.Above all,safety first in hardrock..good luck.

Edited by David Wiseman
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Thanks Dave, I've been tapping the one big rock on the uphill side since I exposed it. Still solid but watching it and taking it very slow. Had a quartz rock roll down on top of my right foot a year ago and it is still giving me grief.

I've done sampling along the way to watch for more gold. I'm at a position with this that I'm not interested in the very small stuff, too hard to process and deal with, looking for the medium to high grade pockets. Again, hand picking and shovel to move this material. Oh yeah, I'm 62.

My question is should I follow the original diggings down the dip or continue to expose the vein and see what's on the surface?

Steve, I've got a great impact crusher, Gold Cube, Garrett ATX, Blue Bowl and all the classifier screens.

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GeoJack.obviously where you dig is up to you.First go one way and then the other.I've always used my intuition in these type of situations and even with over 30 years of doing that stuff I was often wrong and disappointed.I've left good diggings only to never find them again,due to cave ins and once forgot my sample bags only to have a metal detector fellow higrade me before I could get back.If your very well versed on the geology of that area and know that pockets make in certain situations..well only then you have a clue as to what may occur on a vein.Even with that kind of history of an area or mine,one never knows.An example of that was when a local rancher told me that only small pockets were ever found at my diggings and I had to smile to myself at that remark as a partner and I found a 20 ounce or so pocket over a two day period a few years before.Most people would be happy to just have the ore and the species would be a bonus if it ever showed up.But to each their own.I must admit that seeing the flash in the quartz when it's in place or after digging it out can be a breath taking moment,ha,ha.After all my years on the various gold forums it's great to see someone finally doing what I did with great pleasure and anticipation every day.You will find your own way of doing things as there's nothing better than learning hands on out in the field.In my way of doing things it was the salt on the table that led to the salt shaker if you get my drift....and then again just because there are always fines and small species in a vein or stringer it doesn't mean there is a pocket/or pockets.

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I got a question GJ. How deep is the water in the bottom of the hole? Do you think the old miners might have thought another vein was running just below the top vein? A backhoe sure would be nice.

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GeoJack Id say looking at photo #2 its high grade secondary surface precip based the smoothing shape of the quartz. Id hygrade and concentrate on the surface deposits along the strike.

but if Im wrong you can always go deep later. :)

AzNuggetBob

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I'd be thinking about lining up those 2 holes in a straight line and follow in both directions for at least 100' on both ends for a start. Undulating like a snake, pockets can be followed sometimes to nice dikes or contact zone and viola your one happy miner. SILENCE IS GOLDEN is rule #1-----hope ya hit it big-John

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The shaft's water is about 36" deep in the image.

No hoe, I'm doing this by hand as I can't process the material any faster than that so a hoe would just build up piles to be worked. There is a orange slate material, almost like a sandstone but not, that is the footwall along the strike.

This is the Mother Lode system, so oregenic in origin.

Bob, I like your idea, I was looking at the specimens I pulled from the tailings trying to figure out if they came from the footwall side or the headwall side of the vein. There is a lot of twisting action in the vein system going south in the digging and the quartz pinches down to about 3 - 4" there. Mulitple veinlets on both sides of the main quartz. You can see that the original digging went below the seam.

I've pulled one vug from the parellel vein but then it was gone and back into the orange slate material. Not Mariposa slate as is typical in the Mother Lode in this area.

Dave, to process the tailings I would have to load and transport to a facility. Not going to happen, very small scale operation and it needs to be kept that way. I have about 170 ft. of vein to work, this being on one end of that distance. As mentioned, I have two locations that show good high grade specimens coming out and the strike shows these to be seperate vein shoots.

I'll post a short story on this dig. The current process is to dig, scan with GB 2 and Falcon MD20, if I don't get any signal, then move to fill area.

At the second location. I took the opportunity to disect this tailing pile. Working to the right first to get providence that AU was pulled from the digging, then made the cut through the pile to see what they were pulling out material wise so I knew what to expect before I reclaimed the original shaft. Again, all by hand.

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Edited by GeoJack
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Here is the story.

We live on a ridge that is the Western most segment of the Motherlode belt. The next ridge west is void of gold and has a serpentine belt.

My detecting led me to some tailing piles nearby. I had my GB2 detector for almost one year before I put my coil to them, not thinking too much about why they were there. BINGO, big rock covered with gold came out of the bottom of the pile.

post-25522-0-09167900-1418225039_thumb.j Providence!

More followed. I took the tailings down 4” at a time, raking and scanning as I went. This all with a 9.5” coil.

I didn’t get a 6” coil originally with my GB2, I purchased one and knew I needed to go right back through that pile. I did and recovered even more gold using a thin sheet of LDPE to "board" the tailings this time, raking them flat on the LDPE so I had only 1" of material for the Gold Bug to beep through. The LDPE worked great as it slid easily over the terrain to dump onto the piles. This allowed me to find the smallest of the gold.

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The second of the four piles was assessed differently than my first attempt to harvest the gold. I just received my August ICJM and saw to my surprise an article about exactly what I have been doing. Making a cut straight through the tailing pile and viewing the debris as it was flung out upon the hill.

Well I needed some expert opinions on what I was looking at and invited Don Robinson of Foresthill over for a look. He was excited to see my take so far and was impressed with the quality and quantity of what was recovered. Asking how to proceed he simply said to go straight to the bottom of the original dig. I also consulted with Bill Gray at the El Dorado County Mining Museum; his advice was unless I have a high paying job….

Following Don and Bills advice we found the Northwest trending quartz vein along with the white clay (talc)/ red crumbly schist / quartz center of what I call the intrusion zone material. Dropping down the footwall of the vein I got a strong signal.

Up until this point all my detecting had not revealed much trash. Some shells, bullets, pellets, a button, etc.

Digging down the signal got so strong I was holding my coil 12” from the ground and it was still loud. Another few inches uncovered an old horseshoe. I was about 4’ down from the bottom of the original ground level overburden and about 2’ down the face of the vein. After getting over the small disappointment of it not being gold we realized how cool it was to find a shoe at this location as we hadn't found very much of anything before.

It got better.

Going back into the hole I got another strong signal, same place, very strong. Again, digging down the signal became even stronger where I was holding the coil 10” away from the surface and the signal was still loud.

Another shoe?

Clearing the way I hit the face of the vein. Could it be?

Scanning confirmed the signal was in the rock face. Out came the chisel and drilling hammer. I worked an area about 12” around as that is where the signal faded and we pulled out a vug of gold in quartz that weights 2.5 lbs.

post-25522-0-11821300-1418224591_thumb.jpost-25522-0-38591600-1418224604_thumb.j Top right in image.

Haven’t gotten a total weight yet as much is still locked in the rock. We will be using acid to reveal its real size and beauty.

What was really weird, this vug was lined up exactly where I made my cut. Exactly.

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Edited by GeoJack
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Thanks Dave. I've been crushing and sampling as I go. Hardest part is cleaning out my crusher and equipment to the point I don't have contaminates that throw off the results. Very small gold gets everywhere.

I have been plotting the strike of the country rock in regards to the strike of the quartz vein, looking for contact zones before I dig.

Edited by GeoJack
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