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Finding the Source


Andyy

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So you have found a gulch, gully or wash with one or more nuggets in it. Maybe the nuggets are rounded, or maybe they are coarse. You've pounded the wash with every instrument and coil the devil can place in your hand, maybe dry washed it, and you're pretty confident you have put good effort into this part of your search for gold. Now you want to find THE SOURCE. Let's make the assumption that the gold has come from quartz stringers. This seems like a fairly common assumption and occurance in deserts of arizona. I have found a few specimens with quartz crystals visibly showing. So how do YOU go about finding the source?

My thoughts are the following: If my nuggets are coarse, I would work sweeping up and down the hill first in an area at or above the sides of the wash in which the gold was found. I would do this based on the assumption/hope that the gold has not travelled far. I would then repeat on the other side of the wash. For a rounded nugget I would start just above the wash and do a sweep along the banks parallel to it. Rinse and repeat for the other side of the wash.

This is my technique but for those willing to share, I would like to hear other ideas that have worked for you in the past.

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I use my beeper as an extension of me I kinda let it pull me along like a dousing rod :head: -From past experience just when you think you had it figured out you didnt because GOLD IS WHERE YOU FIND IT :idunno: Good luck :thumbsupanim Mike C... :200:

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If it's rounded, the source may be MILES away. Go figure that.....

If it is really rough, it may be close by. Or, it could be a piece of quartz that busted up in the gully, releasing "fresh" gold.

Check good and make sure all the gold is rough...then get excited!

Problem is, you may have more than one source....

I'd pan along both sides of the gully and check the gold. If only one source, it will run out sooner or later.

If no water, do as you were going to do until you find the source.

Good luck on finding that gully....

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I guess by The Source, I am more talking about the patches left by erosion. I am also not talking of the ancient river beds where the gold could have traveled extreme distances. As LipCa mentioned, Loaming is a good method used by the old timers if you have water. I guess it can be brought if the road is nearby. Chris Gholson has a very good article on this method as well. Although not solely a metal detecting method, it appears to be method worth mentioning. It mentions that once gold is found, you take panning samples up the wash (as the old timers did) and then when the gold stops you go up and take more samples. It was in Gold Prospector Magazine and was titled "Loaming for Gold with a Metal Detector". A very interesting article.

http://www.arizonaoutback.com/azoroot/shop/custom.aspx?recid=70

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Chris Ralph has written that most gold in quartz occurrences are tiny specks. I've seen some nice specimens guys have found with detectors that had good sized pieces of gold in it but most of the time gold is just tiny flecks when it's in quartz.

Might be better off looking in schists and shales for the source of coarse gold nuggets.

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Andyy,


Based on the scenario you've laid out I don't think there is any 'source' of the kind you describe to be found (possible exception being an eroded pocket further back within the stringer locale, but that isn't a patch, merely a misnomer..) If it's a nugget patch you're after you're almost assuredly looking in the wrong place..

[ Everything y'all post found in your regional washes is coarse.. All those washes appear to be self-replenishing as well.. Ergo all the Au being found within the washes is traveling short distances (to include natural weathering and gully-washers), being eroded out of or off the surface of stringers, or large rock near and within the wash beds.. This has already been established.. ]


I divide dry washes into two basic types: 1) Steeped-walled running through sloped but otherwise flat-for-the-most-part surroundings, and 2) Those at the base of a " V " intersect, with or without much if any walling..

Since it's additional Au you're after from at-the-moment 'worked-out' washes, allow me to offer an additional search technique you know but haven't tried so far.. We'll use a steep-walled wash for ease of example..


You've located the stringers and detected them to no threshold chirps.. Time to put down the detector n break out your pick and loupe, or even pick only.. Success may be laying just out of detector range.. If you know where the stringers are, may as well dig them and immediate surrounding material out for a ways anyhow, right..? My thoughts..


Swamp

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Andyy,
Based on the scenario you've laid out I don't think there is any 'source' of the kind you describe to be found (possible exception being an eroded pocket further back within the stringer locale, but that isn't a patch, merely a misnomer..) If it's a nugget patch you're after you're almost assuredly looking in the wrong place..
[ Everything y'all post found in your regional washes is coarse.. All those washes appear to be self-replenishing as well.. Ergo all the Au being found within the washes is traveling short distances (to include natural weathering and gully-washers), being eroded out of or off the surface of stringers, or large rock near and within the wash beds.. This has already been established.. ]
.
.
Swamp

It is the nugget patch which might feed the wash, that I am referring to finding once the wash is found and cleaned out. And the location of quartz stringers would be unknown as well. All we/I know is where nuggets have been found in the wash/gullie/gulch. Patches are found in deserts all of the time and I personally have seen more rounded nuggets coming from washes than coarse. But I was just curious of what technique people go about using once they "believe" the wash is empty. And the technique is likely different for both rounded and coarse. Sometimes I believe a patch supplying the wash might be found. Some cases of this have been discussed in the forum previously.

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Andyy,



I see you are from North Phoenix. I believe the majority of the gold that you find in that area is eroded from veins that were located in mountains that have actually eroded away. This is not my theory, but one that I got from another forum member who is loads smarter than me when I talked to him . After it eroded away, it ended up settling in nugget patches or was located in windblown (?Eollian?) placers. As time passed, some of this gold ended up having creek beds go over it, washing the gold into the center of the creek beds, inside bends, etc. Sometimes I think the pieces we find have only moved a few feet from where the source was horizontally, but has moved vertically by several hundred feet. I do think that runoff I’m talking about is the sands in the Phoenix valley that are supposed to be thousands of feet deep to the bedrock, with a few patches of mountains popping out like Camelback Mountain, The White tanks, and South Mountain.



I do not think there many large amounts of lode gold around here, especially accessible to the small miner. Of course there is some, but not to a large extent.



A few things kind of reinforce this belief for me.



I do most of my mining in the Wickenburg Area, and with the exception of the vulture mine, I don’t think there are any other large scale lode gold areas. A lot of the lode mines I see when I look them up an minedat, turn out to be magnese, copper, or even titanium, but very rarely gold. The San Domingo, Rich hill and other gold in them there hill areas are all placer gold. I have been out looking at quite a few of the mines, and the biggest ones in the San Domingo that I found look not like large scale operations, but like one or two person operations, and the biggest I’ve seen looked like it may have produced for a year or two. The dry wash land dredge that was run by the San Domingo was after placer gold. Wish I could see a picture of the land dredge.



Another thing is that when I look up what the Arizona Geological Survey Publishes for gold production in AZ, there is nothing except as a byproduct of copper. That doesn’t mean it’s not being found, but I do think it means that people are not making a living as small scale mining as a soul source of living.



Also some of the stone I suspect this gold coming out of is probably a sedimentary type rock that was deposited there earlier by some type of erosion and then became rock again, and eroded out. This is similar to the ancient riverbed you mentioned, but AZ has been mostly desert for the millions of years we’re interested in.


I know I may seem like I’m saying there’s no lode gold we can get to, but I’m really saying local to the Phoenix area, I think chasing placer gold will pay off much better than lode gold.


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Chisski - yes I am only talking placer gold and patches leftover that may be feeding the drainages. I am not even talking specific areas, either. Just techniques. I guess I left the door too wide open. I didn't want to get into AZNuggetBob's discussion on "Where does gold come from". :4chsmu1:

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Andyy,

I started typing out what was beginning to turn into two book chapters, so I just chucked it for a nutshell:

Given the info provided about what you want to find where, I believe the breakdown is with terminology..

The way I see it should you find something it won't be a patch, it'll be a pocket..

Swamp

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Andy,

I think the article you posted ultimately contains the answer you are looking for...

Try not to over think it. Often times, simplicity is the key, coupled with hard work.

Which I guess is why there is still gold to be found and like they say: "No one gets it all".

Good Luck out there !!

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Andyy,

I see you are from North Phoenix. I believe the majority of the gold that you find in that area is eroded from veins that were located in mountains that have actually eroded away. This is not my theory, but one that I got from another forum member who is loads smarter than me when I talked to him . After it eroded away, it ended up settling in nugget patches or was located in windblown (?Eollian?) placers. As time passed, some of this gold ended up having creek beds go over it, washing the gold into the center of the creek beds, inside bends, etc. Sometimes I think the pieces we find have only moved a few feet from where the source was horizontally, but has moved vertically by several hundred feet. I do think that runoff I’m talking about is the sands in the Phoenix valley that are supposed to be thousands of feet deep to the bedrock, with a few patches of mountains popping out like Camelback Mountain, The White tanks, and South Mountain.

I do not think there many large amounts of lode gold around here, especially accessible to the small miner. Of course there is some, but not to a large extent.

A few things kind of reinforce this belief for me.

I do most of my mining in the Wickenburg Area, and with the exception of the vulture mine, I don’t think there are any other large scale lode gold areas. A lot of the lode mines I see when I look them up an minedat, turn out to be magnese, copper, or even titanium, but very rarely gold. The San Domingo, Rich hill and other gold in them there hill areas are all placer gold. I have been out looking at quite a few of the mines, and the biggest ones in the San Domingo that I found look not like large scale operations, but like one or two person operations, and the biggest I’ve seen looked like it may have produced for a year or two. The dry wash land dredge that was run by the San Domingo was after placer gold. Wish I could see a picture of the land dredge.

Another thing is that when I look up what the Arizona Geological Survey Publishes for gold production in AZ, there is nothing except as a byproduct of copper. That doesn’t mean it’s not being found, but I do think it means that people are not making a living as small scale mining as a soul source of living.

Also some of the stone I suspect this gold coming out of is probably a sedimentary type rock that was deposited there earlier by some type of erosion and then became rock again, and eroded out. This is similar to the ancient riverbed you mentioned, but AZ has been mostly desert for the millions of years we’re interested in.

I know I may seem like I’m saying there’s no lode gold we can get to, but I’m really saying local to the Phoenix area, I think chasing placer gold will pay off much better than lode gold.

The Octave Mine at Rich Hill was also a pretty big gold lode mine and the vein network they were digging there was supposed to have been a source of some of the placer gold in the area.

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ok. Sounds like sampling/loaming is the most common method. I guess that makes more sense than combing the mountain sides with the detector.

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ok. Sounds like sampling/loaming is the most common method. I guess that makes more sense than combing the mountain sides with the detector.

Wrong.. Or only partially correct.. Or only correct under certain circumstances, which isn't one you describe..

Basically, pan testing is only good for two things: 1) To see if any Au is there, which you already know is/was,

and/or 2) If the Au you seek is too small to be picked up by a detector, which isn't your objective..

if it's nugs you're after, and you believe them / more of them to be located above / up hill from where you've

already found some, you don't want to be test panning -- you want to be walking the area with your VLF..

Swamp

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Quite a few actually as raising and education 4 kids mining is a HUGE undertaking.. Ask James Straight--better yet buy his books-for a unbelieveable compilation of stories and information. Educating in the least by our brightest elderly statesmen to the industry-John

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Out of all the replies, I wonder how many of you have actually found the source yourselves?

I'm sorry: Your question-statement has been rejected on grounds of being totally out of character for Capt.Obvious..

Please return to quill and parchment for reconfiguration in proper syntax..

Swamp

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