The Prospector's Shack

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Sun, Sep 9, 2012 - 10:06am
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Hiding in the lava tubes northwest of Flagstaff
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Peckerwood

Careful engaging Pining and DPH in court...those two argue pretty well. And both have been known to offer beer to people. They might buy you out with a keg of dark ale.

Sun, Sep 9, 2012 - 12:01pm (Reply to #41)
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Mon, Sep 10, 2012 - 6:16pm
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Fri, Sep 14, 2012 - 3:12pm
Two Gun Tobin
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The Chronicles of Two Gun

Greetings everyone. I am going to start posting all of my gold mining trips in pictures. Today I'm starting with my trip to Mineral Bar Campground, just outside of Colfax Ca on 9-9-12. You can go to Google Map and pull up the campground to ck it out. The spot where I was digging was about 200 yards downstream from the bridges. I posted the 1st 2 pics on the main page already but here they are for the prospectors shack. The pack weights about 26lbs and contains all of the items you see in the 2nd pic.

The 1st green pan has the concentrate from the sluice, which I ran about 6 buckets of dirt thru. I then panned it down to the blue pan. This spot has some nice size flakes. The flakes are graded from "flour" to "pickers". I took some movies of the panning but I havnt figured out how to post them yet... so as I go out, I'll take pictures of the spot and give out some tips that I have learned along the way. Go Gold and Silver!

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 - 10:43pm
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Mon, Sep 17, 2012 - 1:49pm
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Just checking in

I was planning on walking around and searching for quartz on the ground and veins in the rocks this weekend, but alas I got caught up in the "we need to cut more wood for the winter" thing. So i cut, split, and stacked about 2 more chords, but was too damn tired to venture out and go rock hunting. I will certainly do this as time allows, and if I find anything interesting I will certainly post pics. And P-wood, you better come see me first if you plan on claim-jumping and mining on my property- we can either reach an equitable arrangement for all parties concerned, OR I can take pot-shots at you from my house while you dig. Just FYI, I am not a good long-range shot, so you are probably pretty safe, but it's your call.

Quick geology question- is it common for gold bearing ores to be found in conjunction with silver bearing ores, or are these elements generally formed separately or from different geologic processes? I ask because if silver ore is pretty much impossible to refine at home into silver, maybe I can do some panning if there is gold as well... just wanting to gage the probability of this.

And Two gun! You are the man, yo! Please keep posting these pics of your outings and your finds, that is really very cool!

Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - 3:22pm (Reply to #47)
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Wed, Sep 19, 2012 - 6:14pm
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great info

Peckerwood,

Great info on metals formation. I have always been ignorant of how the metals were formed. Very interesting stuff. I'll surely take the quartz veins more seriously now. Here is a pic of the top of a peak near Phoenix AZ, appropriately named "Quartz Peak." I have been snooping around on Google Earth in the mountains near my soon home to be near Flagstaff looking for quartz outcroppings in remote locations, hoping that nobody has looked there before. This place was rather striking as well as popular. Some areas of AZ are quite remote and probably not accessible before motorized vehicles were invented.

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 - 8:36am
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Apparently you can smelt silver ore on your own!

But, to quote Pulp Fiction, you have to go all medieval on it's ass. Here is an interesting paper I found describing what we call "middle-range theory" where a researcher tries to replicate a historical item using modern approximations of period manufacturing processes in order to better understand the skills, factors, etc involved in the activity. Most commonly, this is used in pre-historic archaeology to replicate stone tools, clothing and hide production, etc. But in this case it was the production of silver:

The silver produced for this project was made by following the medieval

smelting instructions, albeit using smaller quantities than a full-scale period

smelting facility. A few modern substitutions were necessary in order to

accommodate the furnaces available for this project, namely flour as a substitute

for charcoal as a source of carbon, and natural gas or electricity as substitutes for

charcoal as a fuel. All the furnaces used in this project were modern, since

landlords take a dim view of building smelting furnaces in the middle of the

apartment living room. Approximately a half pound of rock was smelted for a

total yield of 4 milligrams of silver.

https://www.rocks4brains.com/SmeltingAg.pdf

Sun, Sep 23, 2012 - 9:22pm
Sonofagun
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Dawson City prospector

Some of you here may be interested in this story. You may already know of him. This self taught geologist is largely (if not fully) responsible for igniting the current gold rush underway in the Yukon. Smart guy, incredible story.

https://www.rblcommunications.com/blog/2010/08/17/globe-mail-article-on-...–-taku-gold-partner-in-the-yukon/

Thu, Oct 11, 2012 - 10:41am
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Some silver just lying around my place

My friend P-wood talked me into posting some of these pics in the Prospector's shack, so I hope you "gold nugget" folks will not mind a few pics of my search for the silver stuff.

I finally got around to going back to a remnant of old silver mine workings from the 19th century that I have on my place, to look around and take pictures. My explorations were really fun so I thought I'd share them here. I'll caption the pics as best I can. Below is the interior of the "mine" cave I talked about in an earlier post- you can absolutely see where the overlaying rock abuts and sits on top of the more vertical quartz deposits on the right side of the cave. They tunneled this out to around 30 ft or so, then the deposit ran out so they just stopped- not a "mine" really, just a short exploratory shaft.

Below is a close-up showing a vein of Argentiferous Galena - the silver bearing ore deposits - on one wall of the cave (on the right in the picture above), in a fresh break. Very cool "spidery" filling of cracks in the quartz, just as P-wood described: The silver was originally suspended in superheated water below the surface, then was pushed up and cooled in cracks in the overlying layers, depositing the Argentiferous Galena in the cracks. Geologic uplift later brought these layers to the surface.

Here is the other kind of deposit I saw in the walls- rather than the linear "filling the cracks" types of lines as shown above, these deposits appear to rest inside and within the quartz itself:

Now on the the cooler parts- there really wasn't much to see in the cave, but the picture below shows the "cut" into deposits directly above the cave, now filled with trees... and the rocks in this cut (remains of a 19th-century surface mining effort to dig out this deposit from above) had GREAT stuff in it. All the rest of the pics are from within this V-shaped cut above the 'mine' cave.

Tons of round, drilled "pry-holes" in the rock, and you can really see how they followed the ore- drilled and pried it out by hand, along where the veins went. P-wood says they may also have used black powder / dynamite in the holes to blast it open. Pencil-thin deposit of silver Argentiferous Galena in the upper-right quadrant of this pic.

This is even better- they broke a pry-bar in the 1860's trying to get this vein of ore out, and it's still stuck there. GREAT deposits in this rock, you can see the vien they were trying to get at.

Finally, my best picture of the silver stuff:

Where the break is new, this stiff is very silvery / shiny (and is even a bit powdery to the touch, leaving a gray streak on your finger when you rub it). But the very same vein, when it runs past the break to a section of long-exposed rock... well, it turns almost black. This is a great sign because it means a rather high silver content, with the silver literally tarnishing to black with surface exposure to oxygen. I think this is very cool! I also believe they got all the easy-pickings during the 19th century, however- I never saw anything more than a pencil thin (or thinner) line or deposit in anything there. Perhaps there is a fat 'mother lode' vein beneath the surface here!

Anyway, that is what I found- AND I hope others will post pics of their expeditions and finds!

Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - 3:32pm (Reply to #52)
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Wed, Oct 24, 2012 - 5:29pm
Koddo
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Been doing prospecting...

In AZ for about 20 years now. I'm 27...was raised young doing it with my father. Mainly go around the Bradshaw Mountains- around the towns of Prescott and Walker, Mayer, Cleator, etc where the history of gold prospecting has been the most prolific. I belong to the Roadrunner Prospector Club - a great organization that has a lot of good claims across the state. Panning, dredging, and drywashing are my usual methods...I never had the patience of metal detecting when I was younger but am looking into giving it a try again. Found quite a few nuggets sniping bedrock cracks with panning and a larger quantity of gold dredging after I find a decent spot when panning. After doing it a number of years you really develop a sense where gold accumulates on a creek. Anyone else do prospecting in AZ who wants to talk about their honey spots? :P

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 - 11:24am
murphy
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good

stuff from all you guys. I can't believe I didn't know about this thread. Many thanks to PWood for letting me know. P4, that cave could become a rental property for GL and I. You did promise we could fall back to your property and become vassals.

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 - 4:03pm
TJeffson
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I shouldn't be reading this...

because then I'll want to go out and do it. Especially when people mention Minnesota... I've often read that there are some nice places to find gold in MN. It does sound rather exciting. I know they found a huge copper deposit in NE MN recently. I may have to do some investigating over the winter.

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 - 5:04pm
Two Gun Tobin
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Gold panning videos

North Fork American River
Two Gun Gold panning

Ok, this year one of my resolutions was to post more gold panning vids and pictures. Here are two short videos that I made last summer. Hope this works.

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 - 7:40pm
RockerBoxer
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City of Gold

Enjoy!

City of Gold

Just waiting for spring and appreciate this incredible gang of Turdites; feel like I found a new home not far away from a claim or two.

RockerBoxer

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 - 11:48pm
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R.W. Boyle

"The geochemistry of gold and its deposits (together with a chapter on geochemical prospecting for the element)" by R.W. Boyle

The green hardcopy book by R.W. Boyle has been THE BOOK for me, here's a download link available free from Natural Resources Canada.

Over 500 pages of knowledge that will guide any prospector in the right direction. If new at this, a geological dictionary is highly recommended.

https://geoscan.ess.nrcan.gc.ca/starweb/geoscan/servlet.starweb

When in doubt, check it out!

RockerBoxer

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 - 2:18pm
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Silvery Sandon B.C.

While most headed to the Klondike, some stayed south in High Grade Silver mining districts and turned their silver into gold.

Sandon British Columbia a real Ghost Town, Silver Rush,

Have a great weekend Turdites,

RockerBoxer

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 - 1:14am
MUDbone
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Nice video's RockerBoxer

Watched the Pierre Berton narrated "City of Gold" last night. Keep them coming!