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Nearly all of the rockhounding books about California list a place to pick up agate nodules near Newberry Springs, off old Route 66. It’s a place I always wanted to go, but never felt comfortable without a 4 wheel drive. They make it sound so simple in the books — climb the hill, dig in the ash blowouts, and find some nice agate nodules.
 

It’s gone back and forth between an active mining claim and public land many times over the years, and it appears as though it is an active claim once again. I’ve heard reports that the gate at the bottom of the hill is closed and locked, and there’s a no trespassing sign mentioning an open pit mine. I looked on my map app on my phone, and sure enough, there is mining equipment at the end of the road.
 

I hope no one here was planning a trip out there, but if anyone was, I hope that this will save them a trip. 

4A9CAB20-8553-442F-B99A-E3FA00C4A9D1.png

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3 hours ago, d_day said:

Nearly all of the rockhounding books about California list a place to pick up agate nodules near Newberry Springs, off old Route 66. It’s a place I always wanted to go, but never felt comfortable without a 4 wheel drive. They make it sound so simple in the books — climb the hill, dig in the ash blowouts, and find some nice agate nodules.
 

It’s gone back and forth between an active mining claim and public land many times over the years, and it appears as though it is an active claim once again. I’ve heard reports that the gate at the bottom of the hill is closed and locked, and there’s a no trespassing sign mentioning an open pit mine. I looked on my map app on my phone, and sure enough, there is mining equipment at the end of the road.
 

I hope no one here was planning a trip out there, but if anyone was, I hope that this will save them a trip. 

4A9CAB20-8553-442F-B99A-E3FA00C4A9D1.png

Would they be mining for the agate nodules or something else? Given the expense of mechanical repairs, I just can't picture the nodules would be profitable enough to justify using heavy equipment. Could be wrong though. 

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The ash hills there are private property. It's not a mining claim. All of Section 9 has been private property since it was patented in 1924.

It looks like a sand and gravel operation. Just a guess but the are probably mining cinders and/or boulders for ornamental desert landscaping material.

 

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11 hours ago, clay said:

The ash hills there are private property. It's not a mining claim. All of Section 9 has been private property since it was patented in 1924.

It looks like a sand and gravel operation. Just a guess but the are probably mining cinders and/or boulders for ornamental desert landscaping material.

 

Nothing I’ve ever read mentioned the land was patented. This is excellent info to have. Thanks Clay.

 And I’d guess you’re probably right. it’s probably cinders.

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17 hours ago, Morlock said:

Would they be mining for the agate nodules or something else? Given the expense of mechanical repairs, I just can't picture the nodules would be profitable enough to justify using heavy equipment. Could be wrong though. 

Agate isn’t typically considered a locatable mineral so claims for it are typically denied. Claims for agate can be granted if the agate is unique and highly desirable, but most agate just isn’t.

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