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Quartz and Gold


Andyy

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Ok, I decided to start this thread to answer a question that has been bothering me.  The question is, is placer gold still found in areas inundated with quartz?

Typically, I find vuggy quartz and quartz blowouts and reefs, in areas with the other gold indicators and I have found much gold this way.  But this last weekend (about a mile from where I found a couple nuggets) the metamorphic rock was overlaid with all kinds of quartz.  This was to the point that the mountain was white.  I had already found nuggets for the day so I thought I would do something different and detect a wash in this area.  Ironstone was everywhere.  (which I like)  The quartz had some reds in it but was not vuggy.  And when I detected the wash, I found lots of wire and even a boot tack.  No gold.  But it had me thinking.  Had I been passing up areas (just because they had SO MUCH quartz), when there could actually be gold there?

Just looking to find out if you guys have actually found gold in areas like this?

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:idunno: When you figure it out....let me know.....Just when I think I have it figured out, I find a nugget in the "wrong" place :)
Tom H.

 

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2 hours ago, boulder dash said:

Just detector everything

BD - if I detected all the areas I go to, I would never cover any area.  But I get your point, you have to check, which is why in this case I thought I would give the detector a short walk.  I like to experiment sometimes.  But in general … I stay away from the "snow fields" because when I have checked, there has never been gold.   But I figured someone of your experience might lend some insight to this.  Personally, the gold has always been dry on the snowy mtn sides and mtn side washes. 

10 minutes ago, Mike Furness said:

I have found gold in 'snow' fields ..M. but not every snow field has gold. The only way to find out is boots on the ground and time! Wish I had a better answer for you.:old:

Mike - yeah, I hear every now and then that some might have gold.  I can't tell you how many times that I have looked at a wash or a mtn side thinking that I know it is not a high probability gold place and walked past it, only to later come back and find something or learn someone else that found gold in that area.  It keeps me guessing.   Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

"So you're saying I have a chance" :laught16:

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23 minutes ago, TomH said:

:idunno: When you figure it out....let me know.....Just when I think I have it figured out, I find a nugget in the "wrong" place :)
Tom H.

 

So true, my friend.  So true.

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5 minutes ago, Andyy said:

"So you're saying I have a chance" :laught16:

YUP! Slim to none ... but a chance! Just remember Most times slim is out to lunch and you may just be left working with none! :old:

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Boulder Dash is right is what he said. I know its hard advise to actually put to use on the ground but I have learned in the last couple years that detecting everything can be critical. As for the "Quartz" , well I wouldnt put a whole lot of faith in that, I would say Hematite is more of an indicator ( for me at least)  than quartz has ever been. Ultimately though, I have given up on Key ground conditions because many many nuggets I have found have been in somewhat benign, and bland looking areas.  Hunting everything is good advise.

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I found an area with a huge quarts outcropping within a couple miles of the LSD that was cut by a creek and was 20' tall and about 40' wide.  I did not know it at the time, but it was an old mica mine.  I spent a couple days detecting it and found nothing but scrap metal.  The quarts had lots of 1" chunks of mica, but it was bleached white, totally opaque and not at all transparent, no vugs, heavily cracked and showed little to know mineralization.  It is also out of the few square miles where most of the gold mines are in the area.  There's a few mines in this particular area according to minedat that I found the big quarts, but they are either mica, copper, or feldspar.  Second time I went back, I was actually seeing if it could be cut into things like countertops or lamps, but it was just too cracked.

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9 hours ago, adam said:

Boulder Dash is right is what he said. I know its hard advise to actually put to use on the ground but I have learned in the last couple years that detecting everything can be critical. As for the "Quartz" , well I wouldnt put a whole lot of faith in that, I would say Hematite is more of an indicator ( for me at least)  than quartz has ever been. Ultimately though, I have given up on Key ground conditions because many many nuggets I have found have been in somewhat benign, and bland looking areas.  Hunting everything is good advise.

Thanks, Adam.  Yes, quartz is rarely much of an indicator for me (by itself) and I always require multiple indicators.  I think a key part of detecting is definitely confidence and in the past I have successfully built confidence in many areas by putting together multiple indicators.  But when you and BD say something I do take it seriously.   :thumbsupanim

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Good Topic Andy,

   Im like everyone else, when you think you might have it narrowed down, such as an area full of quartz, mother nature throws a curveball. Ive hunted places with hillsides full of quartz, and not a nugget found, and vice verse.   Lately Ive been hunting an area with a buddy full of purple shale, quartzite, which was a virgin patch when we first started hunting it, because I think everyone else thought there are no indicators of gold in this area, but this area has done pretty good for us. 

Dave

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The truth is it varies from place to place and there is no "Universal" rule that is always correct. I've been in places with almost no quartz whatsoever and found gold, and places were nearly every rock on the surface is quartz and found no gold. Yet some other places with lots of quartz I have done well and gotten good gold.  I've found gold in places with lots of hematite, and I've found no gold in other places with lots of hematite. I've found gold in places with pretty much zero hematite.

I've been asked this sort of question many times. A lot of guys, especially new prospectors, want some set of simple, golden rules that always tell you where the gold will be. Sorry, I've prospected and found gold all over the western USA, including Alaska, as well as Australia and Western Africa and there are no simple, hard and fast rules that always work. You cant even take knowledge of what works in most of Arizona and take that into the Sierra Nevada goldfields of the mother lode. Some stuff will work, but other stuff wont apply. 

Its true that normally the gold in the big quartz veins (like more than 4 ft thick) is often fine as dust. The coarser gold that can be seen by a detector often comes from smaller veins and stringers nearby. This is why a lot of gold quartz mines that produced thousands of ounces of gold have no detectable gold in the dumps - the gold is tiny particles like dust that cannot be seen by a detector.

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