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Reading USGS Reports

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Doing some research to find areas to go and I was wondering, How do you tell on the USGS Reports if the mine was free mill gold or if it was locked up and a chemical was need to remove the gold.  I want too stay away from the areas where chemical were needed to remove the gold.

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freegoldmaps.com is so out of date it's ridiculous! ... Latest dates are like 1964 and most are not even valid!  Cheers, Unc


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I have noticed most of the USGS reports are based off interviews and not surveys.  An example of what I'm used to finding is Mr XXXX on Claim XXXX reports working a 200 LBS sample and getting XXXX of gold. So the most recent interview I found was from the early 80's, so I take these interviews with a grain of salt.  Just like a lot of people today don't own up to the amount of gold they've found in an area if successful, why should the old timers be more open?

Another thing I found was to visit an old mill and see the equipment.  I actually ended up at it accidently and was surprised to see it was a free mill.  From what history I could get of the area, the mill was open so nearby miners could hall their ore there and have it crushed and ran through a sluice.  I had expected to find old cyanide bleaching pits.

Minedat can be good, but for a lot of the small mines, especially the unlabeled ones, I have not been able to find what comes out of these small mines, never mind if it was free milled or chemically extracted.  Through minedat, I find a lot of the shafts in my local area that do have data were worked for minerals that you could not possibly make a profit for today as a small miner such as copper and manganese.  One new area I was looking at had a few shafts on the map, but when I looked at the minedat info the area I was looking at was not in there, but areas within 1 mile came back exclusively manganese.

There is some information about milling at the biggest mines in my area like the vulture mine, but nothing about the unlabeled shafts on the old USGS maps or the unmapped mines.  I think a lot of these shafts were dug by people like us on the forum.  There might of been enough ore to pay to keep the shaft going, but not enough to hit the mother lode, and eventually the vein dried up.  Most of us probably will not release the documents of what we found where to the general public.  So, I expect these smaller mines will remain forever a mystery, except for the fact that if they were truly good, they would have turned into "Vulture Mine" type operations.

Edited by chrisski
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