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New Vein Found - Arizona - What Do You Think About This?

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Hey everyone!  I recently came across a quartz vein that has gold in it.  I’m new to Arizona and it’s geology so I thought I’d post some pictures and see what y’all thought.  I crushed about 14 pounds of quartz but only really got about 5 pounds down to powder and panned out.  The rest of the quartz is crushed down to about 1/8 pebbles and Still needs to be turned into powder.  Does this look like a rich vein?  Also, in the photos of quartz there is no gold showing, what you see is pyrite of some sorts.  
 

Thank you!

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Edited by mariposagoldbag
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Could be worth investigating. If that pan is the entire result of the 5lbs it might be lean pickin's, but the values can come and go in a vein. I hate to say it, but you're going to have to crush a lot more rock to find out.

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What Dave said. If you are panning color at all then it is worth more digging and crushing.

The ore looks pretty unoxidized. It has been my experience that really red oxidized spots with little quartz along a vein have the best yield. And down a few feet there are pinches and swells that cause the gold to concentrate. Sometimes it is supergene enrichment at water table and sometimes it just likes to collect in certain spots. 

Hard rock is kinda like placer in that respect. There is a little everywhere but only a lot in certain places. IMHO the best places are where the vein changes or is interrupted. And where the vein is full of red hematite the gold is always better than where the vein is hard and quartzy. 

That may apply only to my very limited experience in one area. The ore I have experience with is a dead ringer for the ore in the photo though. So maybe my observations apply to your vein as well.

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7 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

That may apply only to my very limited experience in one area. The ore I have experience with is a dead ringer for the ore in the photo though. So maybe my observations apply to your vein as well.

I think that ore type must be pretty common to the SW Bob, as it looks similar to the stuff that gets sent to the crusher piles at work. You can use a loupe and not see a spec of gold...but there is a pretty line of fines coming across the shaker tables when its run! 

I wasn't trying to be a smart azz about the crushing either. You want enough of a sample that you can calculate oz/ton value. Personally, I take several buckets worth when I am assessing a hardrock deposit. You should also take your samples from all over the vein, not just the higher grade section. Doing so will help avoid the inevitable spikes in opt values, that could lead to poor decision making. Don't neglect the wall(or host) rock either!  There can be substantial values in the altered area adjacent to a vein system.

Good luck!

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Interesting.  So little out there on hard rock mining, and searching the internet is as if reaching the end of the internet. Following this just to learn.

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17 hours ago, Sonoran Dave said:

Thanks for all the info!  I will be getting as much as I can without making it obvious that I’m digging there.  Do you guys think I should put a claim on it?

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I would be tempted to do a proper assessment before spending any more money than I had to. Your ore looks like it has potential though. There are lots of marginal deposits out there that will suck the money right out your wallet, your bank account... and anywhere else you have it squirreled away. :2mo5pow:

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9 hours ago, chrisski said:

Interesting.  So little out there on hard rock mining, and searching the internet is as if reaching the end of the internet. Following this just to learn.

Probably because most hard rock mining today is done on a larger scale of lower grade deposits. The start up costs are simply beyond the reach of most small miners. 

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Have you tried sampling the ground around it? 

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This notebook, gives the average assay per ton for veins various places, mountains, districts, around the state of Arizona.

 

 

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AZ_assay-veins2.jpg

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Gold is the very last number on right (maybe cut off in photo?) with silver next to last. Many of the Arizona veins average less than 1 ounce per ton. There are a few good ones which go over the 1 ounce mark. Surprized to see La Cholla Mt is one of them.

Edited by Red_desert
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I`m pretty sure if you weigh the gold , and know how many lbs of rock you crushed to get that gold then do some math to it, and see if its worth it to you .

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Too many of those veins will be in the less than 1/4 ounce up to less than 1/2 ounce category. This is only the average per ton.

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I got out the notebook just now... I found several references, all close together, were Au pet ton ounces 0.001, 0.003, 0.011, 0.017, and a couple others numbers fit between them.

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The problem is that for every ton of sorted ore you must break and move about six tons of rock. If you are lucky.

An assay taken on ore samples won't be anywhere near what the total cross section of shaft will yield. 

A fellow can do pretty well picking up float or testing loose material from the open end of a vein. Once you get deeper than a foot or two things get a bit more complicated.

I was roundly ridiculed for pointing out that OPT assay values are worthless unless a guy knows how the samples were taken. You can get a hunk of ore that runs 20 opt but that does not mean much as far as potential production is concerned. On the other hand 1 OPT for every ton hauled up is excellent digging.

So values on a piece of paper are kinda ambiguous unless you know how the gold is distributed across the face of the workings and how the sample was taken.

Many times you find oxidized ore that will run several OPT at the surface and go to nothing in just a few feet. It may pinch and disappear. Or it may pinch and swell again below. That is where the drilling comes in handy. But it is often difficult to correlate a body of ore blocked out with drilling and assay to actual yield per ton of rock removed.

Hard rock is not a bad way to collect gold. In some areas it is better than hand placering. But it is a mighty risky venture to start exploiting a vein. Most guys find it is better to just piddle with float and easy to dig in situ ore. Trying to start a mine is probably a losing proposition. About the best a guy could do is claim it, work it as a hobby and hope to sell it.

Just my two sheckles. A guy could invest less and profit more from a whole array of ventures than with a gold mine. Even a very rich one.

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Nice hearing the input from guys who've done it before and have not seen a vein pan out as much as they'd like.  Without hearing that, I'd automatically hit any vein I found gold in.  I had thought any vein with visible gold would be worth going after.

If I had found the vein, I would not be able to resist the urge to borrow, rent, or buy a rock crusher, fill several buckets, and then crush and see what I have.  My assumption is a ton of ore is about 30 buckets.  Probably take me a lot of time with a pick and axe to pull this much ore out, so at some point, I'd run the buckets a could make.  I'd first run it through a dry washer, or perhaps a trommel.

 

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Everything Bob said is spot on.

Sometimes the Gold Gods smile upon the humble prospector however, and it becomes worth it. Crushed 9 buckets of this material and got 2+ oz.  :miner: 

The stringer vein then pinched out and poof...it was gone. Like a fart in the wind. :Diggin_a_hole:

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1 hour ago, chrisski said:

Nice hearing the input from guys who've done it before and have not seen a vein pan out as much as they'd like.  Without hearing that, I'd automatically hit any vein I found gold in.  I had thought any vein with visible gold would be worth going after.

If I had found the vein, I would not be able to resist the urge to borrow, rent, or buy a rock crusher, fill several buckets, and then crush and see what I have.  My assumption is a ton of ore is about 30 buckets.  Probably take me a lot of time with a pick and axe to pull this much ore out, so at some point, I'd run the buckets a could make.  I'd first run it through a dry washer, or perhaps a trommel.

 

We did it with an old truck axle and a piece of drill pipe. It made a sweet crushed that was cheap and could run material faster than either of the motorized crushers we had available. They always seemed to break down after a few buckets and we spent more time fiddling with the equipment than we did crushing rock.

I made a small pulverizer out of an old hydraulic jack and a big valve spring. You could smack it with a 3 lb sledge and the rod would pop back up. That made fine crushing faster after the rock was broken down to pea size and smaller. 

We just hit the various sorted piles around the collars of the old shafts and learned right away what to look for. Then we prowled the hills for stuff that looked like it. We found many little veins that produced good gold. 

The old timers knew they would just pinch out quickly and didn't fool with them much. They looked for the wider veins that would sustain an operation for a few months. 

Most of the shafts went down a few feet along a vein. If the values were consistent then a drift was driven at the foot of the hill to get under the formation so the ore could be stoped out from below.

Every one of the veins where a drift was driven below a series of shallow holes yielded good gold. It became pretty easy to locate the vein along the surface once we realized their methods. We just went up the hill between and in the test holes above the drift and worked float and pieces of vein we could find at the surface. 

You would be amazed at how much gold you can find this way. It is just like hunting Easter eggs. All I took was a bucket to carry the float back to the truck.

We never ran out of ore in piles and laying on the surface. At one point we found a rich pocket that yielded several ounces and decided to try digging down. We got excellent gold for a few feet but spent a lot of time and effort. After a few days we decided it was best to just move around rather than try to get down deeper.

Over the years the hole we started on that pocket grew to a 15 foot shaft. You can still pan good gold from the ore but you can do just as well or better picking up float from the hillside with no digging at all.

One particular mine was a deep shaft that has drifts along a vein stoped out nearly to the surface. There was literally tons of hematite gossan float on the hill below it. We worked the vein along the surface for weeks thinking it would be richest. One day we started crushing the hillside float and realized there was crazy gold in it. We spent a year just crushing every piece of hematite we saw with great results.

We got bored with it and decided to go detecting for placer as a change. We never went back. The whole hillside is deep with ore and there is still many ounces just laying there. The mineral rights have been gobbled up by a big company and a guy would need to get permission to work there now, but it would be possible to make a meager living there for a guy with strong arms and tough palms.

We tried the dry washer on the crushed ore. It did not work well. The red hematite dust really interfered. The best way we found was to get the crushed ore wet and rinse the red enchilada sauce off the quartz and black sands. Then just pan it out. The process does not produce a whole lot of concentrates and what we had left over after removing the gold had about 30 opt in silver. So we wound up selling the concentrates to a guy with an electrolytic process after we were done. 

If I had to do it again I think I would do it the same way. On a shoestring with muscle and hand tools. If you rented a crushers the overhead would eat you up and you could never gather enough ore by hand to feed it. If you made or bought a little one it would break in a week and you would go from being a miner to being a mechanic. It seems that the best strategy is to keep it simple and be happy with a modest reward for hard work. The instant you try and make a gold mine out of it the profits disappear and it is no fun anymore.

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Hey everybody, sorry for the late reply.  I really appreciate all the information that everyone has provided!  I will keep everyone updated if something interesting happens.  

 

Also, if I claim this area what are the chances that I might be able to sell the claim?  and for how much?

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9 hours ago, mariposagoldbag said:

Also, if I claim this area what are the chances that I might be able to sell the claim?  and for how much?

There are man made holes for sale all over the Bradshaw mountains. It would have to be something special to attract much attention from a prospective buyer. 

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I've staked a few claims, and IMO if they have any placer gold on it, a fair value is $1000-$1500.  Can't remember exactly, but between county filings and BLM filings a 40 acre claim is $400.  The rest is a fair amount that is expected to get for the 40 hours it takes to find and look at each plot, doing this a few time, until placer gold is found.  The caveat to this is the "market" where there may be 20 claims in a section, but if there were no claims on that section, might not be worth it.

Keep in mind, that is my opinion and that is much cheaper than any EBay claim.  Unlike most EBay claims, ours actually has gold.

To stake a placer claim in Maricopa or Yavapai would probably run $225, and if you've not done it before, would be good to know the process when you really need it when you find the mother lode.  I messed my first claim up good, and if I'd not dropped it and it developed into something, than I would have lost it because not being filed properly.

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The most valuable gold claim is the one a big corporation thinks they have but is in dispute.

It does not have to have any gold at all. If you can find a tiny sliver of land you can make a good argument about it is worth as much as a rich placer.

Lots of guys make their living getting in the way of a big project. It is easier and much more profitable than mining.

There are hundreds of claims filed in areas where large mining interests are proposing a mine. Most of them must be dealt with in some way before plans move forward. A guy is much more likely to sell a claim to a big company to give them a sweep of mineral rights in an area than sell a claim to an individual prospector.

Rare earth deposits have been of interest for years. Big corporations know these are the minerals of the future and are busy securing the richest areas. A guy that can get mineral rights in one of these areas and can wait a decade or two could really have a valuable claim if it is in the right area.

I know of two spots where individual prospectors have done well identifying strips of open ground that were "in the way" of corporate plans. And a couple more that just happened to have "recreational placer claims" in areas around where large mines have been proposed. None of this ground was worth much in mineral value but the location was important for corporate strategy. So they were worth a pile of money after it was all said and done.

 

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7 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

The most valuable gold claim is the one a big corporation thinks they have but is in dispute.

It does not have to have any gold at all. If you can find a tiny sliver of land you can make a good argument about it is worth as much as a rich placer.

Lots of guys make their living getting in the way of a big project. It is easier and much more profitable than mining.

There are hundreds of claims filed in areas where large mining interests are proposing a mine. Most of them must be dealt with in some way before plans move forward. A guy is much more likely to sell a claim to a big company to give them a sweep of mineral rights in an area than sell a claim to an individual prospector.

Rare earth deposits have been of interest for years. Big corporations know these are the minerals of the future and are busy securing the richest areas. A guy that can get mineral rights in one of these areas and can wait a decade or two could really have a valuable claim if it is in the right area.

I know of two spots where individual prospectors have done well identifying strips of open ground that were "in the way" of corporate plans. And a couple more that just happened to have "recreational placer claims" in areas around where large mines have been proposed. None of this ground was worth much in mineral value but the location was important for corporate strategy. So they were worth a pile of money after it was all said and done.

I've got trouble telling the difference between the good companies who can develop a finding and bad companies that collect investors money, but will not develop anything.. 

In the local area, about five years ago, there was a corporation that did drilling for Uranium, and Uranium Claims popped up. Those claims have since been let go.  Lately, an area I went prospecting to has gotten claimed by a lithium corporation.  The local grapevine says that nothing will ever come from it.  There's also been a company that raised money from investors to finance a geologist to dig core samples for gold, not very deep, but nearly all or all those claims have been dropped.  Seems like someone can create an LLC to and get financing to send someone to research minerals, but the next step has not happened with a large corporation actually creating a mine.  Further away, some foreign investors are supposed to have an operation set up rerunning mining tailings. I hear that is not working out that well.  A few years ago, the AZ Corporation Commission busted a guy for taking money to invest in a mine, and basically doing nothing mining related with it.

AFAIK There's things happening in AZ with large mining, just not within a drive of me where I can prospect and come home the same day.

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