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Author Topic: Gold n’ Clay  (Read 26156 times)
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« on: January 13, 2009, 10:14:26 AM »

Whichever terminology used, “Golden Clay” or “Gold In Clay,” I hold my own reserve that both words are closely associated to one another.

We hear so much of the more geologically influential inferring that the clay itself is barren of precious metals and that gold will be found above the layer, not within it. Well, I for one, am not a firm believer in that. Yes, it does serve as a blanket upon which gold can be found, but there’s too much irrefutable evidence from the miner element, that gold can also be found within the matrix.  Most all of us know enough to break up that clay so as to gain the rewards.  And quite possibly, in many circumstances, there’ll be more gold within the clay than sitting aloft.  For many years I’ve always excited when I see clay in a gold bearing region, and it is there that I place first focus.  For the skeptical, simply look at any road-cut where you see massive clay buildup and you will see everything from small pebbles to humungous boulders contained there within.  Logically, when these clay beds were forming during glacial transport, everything conceivable was scooped up and put in the mixing bowl… and how many times have they found intact fossils in clay deposits?

By example, the massive clay beds evidenced from Summerland (BC) down through the Okanagan, and all the way deep into Washington State…. more specifically the Lower Similkameen River area between Nighthawk and Oroville (both WA).  All one has to do is stop at some vantage point and you can easily see how the massive beds have been eroded over the thousands of years since the last glaciation. Then to know of all the gold found at Rich Rock and Shanker’s Bend, in early mining years, and even today, dredgers ply those waters annually….. and with fairly good returns.  A magnificent area which I often used to frequent.  I’ve even found high-grade silver boulders in the clay, down there, when I used to live across the border in Osoyoos.  Once when down there, I spoke to a couple of (older) very astute miners heading up over the slopes above Rich Rock, unquestionably to work their clay prospect.  Though sporting all the equipment in their truck, they didn’t say, so I didn’t press it.

For me, clay, in gold bearing areas, spells of high potential for gold.

Any other opinions?
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 10:33:03 AM »

All the gold bearing area's I go to have more clay then you can shake a stick at...and the thick mucky clay is the worst
but worst... best gold seems to come from it...acts like a false bedrock.
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 05:32:11 PM »

clay is usually King in retaining gold --mother nature never makes it easy  Good lol!
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009, 11:19:06 AM »

Precisely, guys.  However, I am sure most of the clay we realize in the northern hemisphere has been from ancient sea/lake beds and transported by glacier/s from far up north. A quick peek into Google Earth at the right elevation will show this clearly.  And like I say, contrary to popular belief by many geologists, a good percentage of the rough gold we find is not from local origin, but rather from some distant location and had been swallowed up by the migrant clay beds.  In most cases, when I come across clay, it excites me ever as much as seeing the gold lying there itself.  It would be interesting, however, if we could trace back to discover which mountain top had gotten sheered, that remains to hold the varied Mother Lodes.

Going on this hypothesis, it make me wonder what the far north once looked like during early geological periods - - possibly very mountainous and all that’s now left is tundra. Huh

I wonder folks, if we should pool our recovery data and come up with some sort of grandeur map to show, shall we say, “Gold Trails of North America.”  This would also apply to all other continents around the globe.....  "Global Gold Trails."  A mapping such as that of Google Earth would be excellent, with gold recovery location entries, specifying if its fine, clunkers, well worn, rough and jagged, or whatever.  And to also enter whether or not clay is involved.  Something we can work on and unite with.  We would have to of course, lock down our mapping to only those miners who are registered, to prevent just anyone from going in and messing up our project.  I think that could be easily done..... an item to ask Dave when I see him next.  Any opinions. Huh
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2009, 08:35:29 PM »

Well... I have been finding gold in the lower fraser. It seems up from the sand bars, there is usually rock, pebbles / cobbles, gravel and then of course... clay.

The only reason I found this topic is because I wondered; in my reckless digging of random locations, was I finding this gold ON, above in the gravel, or "in" the clay.

I tested this theory today and decided to pan only clay.

To my surprise I actually found gold "in" the clay, no where on top of it in this case. It wasn't much, because I wasn't there very long and I didn't really concentrate much time into it... but it was for sure gold. I'm not talking a small layer of clay either... I mean I really dug into the stuff and broke it up.

Furthermore, isn't gold supposed to have an insane gravity to it? Think of all the rocks, whether they be light or heavy that you actually find contained within the clay. This has to tell you there is gold in it.

What would be ones best bet for a quick recovery with clay?

This interests me a lot... anyone else have any info on this?
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2009, 09:18:27 PM »

I will say one thing.........CLAY IS KING -  Yes
All my best gold comes from the top an through the diffrent layers of clay.
One must learn to recognize the diffrent types of clay in his or her area.
Glacial/river/lake/slides/an chemical erosion as well.
My area there is not to much going on in the glacial clays but the old channels that
run across an remix these clays have great gold as well as A second type of clay that
is from pre-glaicer times an from A diffrent mountain range then those in the area an
A guy can find gold on top to several feet through the clay an is white which gives away the
origin of the source........I have many types of clays.....grey boulder clays to white to salmon
pink to red............well I guess I said more then one thing but clay is such A good thing in my
area........clay slides covering old channels.....clay false bedrock.........but this comes with it's
own head aces.........this is why I made the high banker I did to help me bust down clays an
GET THEM HIDDEN NUGGETS... Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2009, 01:32:19 AM »

Larry and All;

Clay is formed in many ways, but ultimately it is the finest particles settling out of a liquid environment and subjected to varying degrees of pressure which determines its consistancy.  Certainly gold can be found in clay, but I wouldn't be looking for any nuggets in the clay that is glacially formed.

I remember, when I was a kid in Northwestern Washington State, my friends father was using a big auger to drill a family well.  About ten feet down he hit glacial clay, it was very interesting stuff, little gold coloured flakes.  Most likely mica but....?  After a couple of decades of hobby panning I have learned a bit about clay, and the most important thing I have learned is that it is not barren,

My experience with clay is this:  I saw the results of a day of sluicing done by a friend of mine on the Fraser just above Lytton of one particular clayey layer he identified on the river bank, good wages.  I found a little nugget the size of a baby aspirin in clay behind a rock on Boundary creek.  I found a nugget the size of an aspirin in blue clay on the Tulameen just downstream from the Forestry Campsite.  I found a rough edged nugget the size of a grain of rice in clay at the mouth of Lawless Creek and the Tulameen.  Friends and I found about two ounces of gold nuggets in a bedrock crack filled with red clay on the Thompson above Lytton.  Finally, I found a galaxy of fine colour in a pan taken out of a newly laid culvert which was draining a little stream which ran through a newly cut bank in glacial till up the Nahatlatch River.  The till was mostly clay and the quantity of blacksand was truly amazing as the culvert had only been in place for a few weeks.

I know that the old-timers told us to ignore the stuff, as they did themselves, just maybe they did us a favour and they left some of the really good stuff behind Good
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 10:37:49 AM »

I love reading this sits.
The last weekend at Keefer lake was just this type thing.
The owner took the time to show me why to look at the clay first if there was any.
He had a few clay hardend parts, but you could see the gold in the clay easy
he promised to share with me how to get the gold out of it once he decided the safe way to do so.
his clay was dryed and very very light, like feather light.
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2009, 12:53:33 PM »

Aw the wonders of clay. Just thought some one should mention its double edge nature. Sure in one hand it is a awesome gold trap. But in the other. Clay if not totally broke down into a slurry. Will take as much as it gives out of your box.
Also mentioned recently about layers of clay being from old workings up stream. just imagine how much would come from a hydraulic operation. And then plug the creek up with it down stream. Most would eventually wash away. But some would have worked its way into the gravel. I worked a creek in Alaska. That had many layers. But that was due to a booming operation they had going to. Every time they boomed they berried the clay silts. There  was some good gold on the bead rock, on the bottom. In what had decomposed into clay. This is were I found my 4 '' by 4'' nugget. To bad it was only a few hundreds of a inch thick. Found it raped around my finger. I had been braking the clay up with my hand. By grabbing hand full’s and then squeezing it thru my fingers.   
If anyone has some idea of how it was formed. Let me know. Was it a peace of vein, or a nugget that got squashed in a crack.?       
Has anyone tried a washing machine for braking clay up? Seems that mite work.
Chuxgold
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2009, 03:11:26 PM »

There is good clay and then there is bad clay. Much of the clay we run into down here in the Gold Country is actually man-made runoff layers from the old hydraulic mining operations so it is very sandy and easily broken up but always loaded with fine gold so I enjoy working it but some of my associates don't appreciate it as much. I will never bypass working clays of any type as in my experience they are very productive in almost any locale.
I think the old myth of clay layers being impervious is just an old wives tale but there are different aspects of clays that are very site specific but I wouldn't pass them by.
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