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Author Topic: The harder the digging - the better the gold  (Read 417 times)

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Offline Xplore

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The harder the digging - the better the gold
« on: August 27, 2019, 07:20:13 PM »
In most cases I've found that the harder the digging, the better the gold.

There have been exceptions to this rule, but in general I've pulled my best gold out of thick, mucky, heavy gravels - sometimes with clay in it (though not always).

That said - there are also stories of people processing surface gravels and finding good gold. In theory, this shouldn't happen as gold should sink down to bedrock or false bedrock given enough time.

Curious to hear what others have found to be true.

Is tough digging always required to get good gold?

-Xplore
North Vancouver, BC

Offline mcbain

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Re: The harder the digging - the better the gold
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 09:32:38 PM »
Hey Dan.That is a loaded question as nothing holds true when chasing gold.Generally if you are getting good surface gold chances are if it has not been worked you may get better deeper.And yes the harder and dirtier the better .weatch the size of cobble you are digging.If you hit a layer of nice clean pepples do not waste your time.You can go deeper and find a amazing layer but it has got to be dirtyGold settling think about how hard you work your pan and what it takes to get the gold to the bottom.Yes gold is heavy but takes a lot to get it to bedrock.Remember a lot of the California nuggets were found at the surface.Just saying,Luck Mcbain.
I started out with nothing Istill have most of it.

Offline sunshine

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Re: The harder the digging - the better the gold
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2019, 07:23:10 AM »
I get excited when I find compacted gravel on a gold creek.   The gravel is stuck together by the sediments and difficult to move and sometimes needs to be broken up.  That takes time to form, so you know you are not digging someone else's recent hole. 
See my YouTube channel for fun amateur video:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnz8kX6AZOeZbRt0F9XqVJA

Offline Lanny

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Re: The harder the digging - the better the gold
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2019, 01:43:20 PM »
In most cases I've found that the harder the digging, the better the gold.

There have been exceptions to this rule, but in general I've pulled my best gold out of thick, mucky, heavy gravels - sometimes with clay in it (though not always).

That said - there are also stories of people processing surface gravels and finding good gold. In theory, this shouldn't happen as gold should sink down to bedrock or false bedrock given enough time.

Curious to hear what others have found to be true.

Is tough digging always required to get good gold?

-Xplore

Interesting thread, and I'll have to agree with Mark that sometimes gold is found in strange places, and in some of the places I hunt, the glaciers sure did a job of redepositing gold by blowing it out (glacial channels or ice-dam bursts), by gouging it out like giant bulldozers on steroids, or the glaciers weren't able to get at it due to bedrock rims, or the glaciers generated overlapping,  intersecting gold channels with multiple pay layers, etc., etc.

I remember being in Manson Creek in the Omineca, and we could see where the old-timers had done a lot of hand workings in a gulch, but there were no huge cobble piles which was a bit of a mystery as they sure were common almost everywhere else the old-timer's had hand-mined.

Regardless, due to the clues of their workings, we started digging and about a foot down, we hit a nice pay layer with good chunky gold, plenty of nuggets too. Well, at that time, I was rather new to the game of chasing the gold, and I'd remembered reading lots of stories of how gold works its way to bedrock, so I added up two and two to get four and headed for bedrock, which was four feet down.

It was tough work, lots of boulders, all increasing in size as we worked down to that bedrock, so everything was looking better and better as far as specific gravity goes, but there was no gold on the bedrock, none at all. What there was (and I saw this several times at other locations in the general area on other digs) was lots of pyrite, big nuggets of water-worn pyrite, but no gold.

So, by sampling and panning,  I retraced the gold back up the hole and started looking closer and noticed a layer of rock about six inches deep (baseball-sized and smaller) that had a different colour. We'd punched right through that pay layer on the way down! Talk about dumb with ambition to reach the bedrock! We kept sampling that layer and it was rich. That was what the old-timer's had been working in that gulch, thus the lack of the normal cobble piles, and the lack of the much larger rocks you usually see in hand-mining stacks that come from the bedrock. (As we were prospecting for some placer miners, we notified them of our find, and the next week they relocated to that side of their claim and worked the entire gulch rim to rim, and they kept sampling the bedrock, but they never got any gold down deep either.

Lesson learned that gold is where you find it, not where you want it to be.

This is only one story of where I found gold where conventional gold theory says it should not be (it should be tight on bedrock), and I have come across some other bizarre locations that made no sense. (One in particular where the entire deposit was like it had been deposited upside down! That's right, something may have flipped the whole thing over and the gold was on top with the bigger rocks and lots of sand and lighter material was deposited below the gold all the way down to bedrock. [I know what surface runs are, and I've found lots of those, but this one was unique with the big rocks up top and the gold deposited in a purply layer of dark sand, sand that was laced with chunky gold, the material right below it  was clean just like beach sand! Go figure .] Sometimes Nature doesn't make any sense where she caches the gold.)

As for glaciers and gold, talk about a wild-card!!

All the best,

Lanny

Offline Xplore

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Re: The harder the digging - the better the gold
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2019, 06:14:49 PM »
Great points about glaciers and glacial run off, Lanny.

Seems as though the best way to go is to sample all layers on the way down in one's particular area and get to know the pay layer(s) - whether regular or upside down as in your case!

No matter how 'weird' the gold deposit / paystreak is a systematic sampling program is a must.

-Xplore

North Vancouver, BC

Offline mcbain

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Re: The harder the digging - the better the gold
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2019, 09:33:27 PM »
Watch how easy a piece of gold moves in your pan.Watch the river and ask yourself why would it deposit here .Take a good mighty flood and look again.Why would it deposit here.Most times there is no reason.Problem is we can not see what is happening under the water and see the gold moving in the water what moves it and what deposits it.All the science to date has been proven wrong.Just my thoughts.Luck,Mcbain.
I started out with nothing Istill have most of it.

Offline Lanny

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Re: The harder the digging - the better the gold
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 09:52:53 AM »
Watch how easy a piece of gold moves in your pan.Watch the river and ask yourself why would it deposit here .Take a good mighty flood and look again.Why would it deposit here.Most times there is no reason.Problem is we can not see what is happening under the water and see the gold moving in the water what moves it and what deposits it.All the science to date has been proven wrong.Just my thoughts.Luck,Mcbain.

Good comments based on your experience in the field. Thanks for posting as I know you've been chasing the gold for a while.

Gold does follow some general rules a lot of the time, but at other times, there's just no explaining why a piece of gold is found where it is, so, well said.

All the best,

Lanny

Offline the gold guy

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Re: The harder the digging - the better the gold
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 07:26:20 PM »
I have found nugget's on the top to bottom but have found three thousand colors at the top more often.

Offline mcbain

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Re: The harder the digging - the better the gold
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 07:54:38 PM »
So right.Gold on bedrock that you have to dig too was deposited eons ago.Flood gold(yearly deposits) will be found close to the surface.I know great exposed bedrock on certain creeks that retained huge amounts of gold for years.But after years of crack breaking and sniping the rocks become smooth and no longer retain gold.Some thing to think about when cleaning crevices.Just a obversation,Luck Mcbain.
I started out with nothing Istill have most of it.

 


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