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Found 17 results

  1. Hi Ya'll and Happy Saturday! In anticipation of my Garrett Infinium being ordered (maybe), I decided to have a look at Google maps and see where I could go water hunt nearby. As some of you may know, there are areas where it is illegal to detect in the water just south of my area, from about Sebastian inlet south to Ft Pierce. I thought it might not be a bad idea to know exactly where these areas are, so that I could avoid getting into trouble. So I googled this search to death and found that information about these lease areas is pretty scarce. In my Google search I did find the Facebook page for Queen's Jewels Salvage Co, which leases the salvage rights from the state. These salvage areas presumably include the wreck sites and a 3000 ft radius around each one, excluding the beach area from the low tide line up to the dunes. So, law abiding citizen that I am, I pm'd whoever is in charge of the FB page and politely asked them what areas the leases cover and if Melbourne beach is ok to metal detect in the water. Here is the answer I got: "It is illegal to detect anywhere in the water. A permit from the FLA Department of Historical Resources is required to search for any historical artifact. The only detecting permitted I. The State is on the beach." That didn't sound quite right to me. I've seen lots of people in the water with detectors on the beaches all over the state and nobody was hauling them off in handcuffs. So I asked nicely if it is ok to just search for modern jewelry and does this mean that the whole state is off limits to water detecting. Well, apparently, it technically is. "Obviously that's not what you're looking for or you wouldn't have asked us. Do as you wish, I'm just telling you what the law says" Whoa there, Smeagol! I wasn't trying to steal your One Ring from you! So does this mean that all the guys detecting ankle-deep in the water at South Beach and Ft. Lauderdale are desperate fugitive criminals just waiting to be caught by the long arm of the law? Apparently so. From MDHTalk website: "As for metal detecting in the water, all lands that are below the mean high water line are considered state sovereignty submerged lands and, while it is not against the law to possess a metal detector in the water, it IS against the law to disturb the bottom sediments. So, if something is detected, it would be illegal to dig for it. " Yeah, if it's fun, somebody, somewhere has probably passed a law making it illegal. I'm beginning to wonder if detecting in the water here is a good idea. Do any of you Florida guys do it and have you ever been harassed for it? Thanks! Ammie
  2. Thought i would post what i came across today, not sure how common stuff like this is still set up in the US but over here in Australia it isnt that common anymore with many being broken down and sold off or bits and pieces stolen over the years. Its a Stirling 3 head Battery, used to pulverise ore releasing the gold , looks to have been reused in the 80s maybe even 90s as there is some fairly modern hoses etc connected but overall its a great piece of antique prospecting equipment....if it wasnt so bloody heavy i would have thrown it in the back of the truck and set it up at home :) hahhahaha
  3. From Placer Gold Deposits of Nevada, USGS Bulletin 1356, By Maureen G. Johnson 1973 HISTORY OF PLACER MINING IN NEVADA The first authenticated discovery of placer gold in Nevada was made in 1849 by Abner Blackburn, a member of an emigrant train to California, at the junction of Gold Canyon and the Carson River at the present site of Dayton, Lyon County (De Quille, 1891; Vanderburg, 1936a). Parties of men worked the gravels in Gold Canyon and nearby Six Mile Canyon, Storey County, for 8 years before the source of the placers, the Ophir silver lode, was discovered by Peter O'Reiley and Patrick McLaughlin in 1857 while digging a small water hole for placer mining in Six Mile Canyon (De Quille, 1891). Other lode discoveries in the immediate area followed, and soon the whole world knew of the Comstock lode in Nevada. Although placer mining continued on a small scale in Gold Canyon and Six Mile Canyon, and other placers were discovered elsewhere in the State, the richness and fame of the Comstock lode far overshadowed the importance of placer production and new placer discoveries. Following the discovery of placers at Gold Canyon, placer discoveries in Nevada were broadly in three periods: the 1860's to 1880's, when many small deposits throughout the State were discovered and sporadically worked and several large placers were discovered and extensively worked; the short period between 1906 and 1910, when very rich placers were discovered at Lynn, Battle Mountain, Manhattan, and Round Mountain; the early 1930's, when economic conditions created by the depression caused a renewed interest in placer mining, and many individuals sought, and a few discovered, new placer areas throughout the State. The location of the placers described in this report is shown on plate 1. Very little factual information can be found about the early periods of placer mining in Nevada. For many placers, the only reports available are hearsay estimates of production and speculations about the extent of the placer ground based on remnants of placer pits, shafts, and other workings. Many of the placers said to have had a high production between 1860 and 1890 were worked by Chinese miners who came to Nevada during the building of the railroads and stayed on to work at mining and other activities. The Chinese were reputed to be secretive with their earnings from the placers and did not ship the gold to the mint by Wells Fargo or other shippers. They worked the gravels very thoroughly in areas where American miners did not wish to expend great labor to win the gold. The placers in the Sierra and Spring Valley districts, Pershing County, were worked by Chinese miners; they have a very high estimated production before 1900 and a comparatively low known production since that time. One reason for the lack of information about early placer-mining activity in Nevada was the great attention given to the rich silver-lode districts such as the Comstock, Eureka, and Reese River districts. Whereas in many other States, the discovery of gold placers stimulated the search for lode-gold deposits and other gold placers, in Nevada early attention was devoted to searching for rich silver lodes not necessarily associated with derived placers. The comparatively late discovery of some of the richest placers in the State has afforded a very clear picture of the development of placer mining during the 1900's. The discovery of rich silver ores at Tonopah in 1900 and rich gold ores at Goldfield in 1902 stimulated great activity in mining exploration throughout Nevada. Many placers discovered during the 1906–10 period were found by men looking for ores similar to ores at Tonopah and Goldfield. Placer mining at Manhattan and Round Mountain districts, Nye County, and Battle Mountain district, Lander County, began with numerous small drywash operations in the gravels, then expanded as water supplies were developed for sluicing and hydraulic methods of mining. Late in the history of these districts, but long after many other placer districts were inactive, large-scale dredging operations began. The success of the dredge operations in these semiarid districts is unique in the history of placer mining in the Southwestern States. Placer mining history in the other districts is typical of desert placer mining throughout the southwest. Most production resulted from the relatively intense period of prospecting immediately following discovery; a decline in placer-mining activity followed, then a small revival during the early 1930's. The economic depression of the early 1930's stimulated investigations of many Nevada placer districts for the purpose of developing large-scale placer-mining operations. By the late 1930's, many mining companies had investigated many placer areas and had formulated plans to develop certain areas. The placer activity of the 1930's was abruptly halted by the beginning of World War II and the passage of War Board Order L–208, which restricted gold mining throughout the country. The dredge operation at Manhattan was given special permission to continue operations, although on a reduced scale, and, as a result, placer gold production after 1942 did not decline as markedly in Nevada as in other States. Most of the placer mining was done by the basic methods of drywashing, sluicing, and rarely, small-scale hydraulic mining. In addition to the large dredge operations at Manhattan, Round Mountain, and Battle Mountain, other dredges operated in different districts, notably Silver City, Lyon County; Spring Valley, Pershing County; Van Duzer, Elko County; and Bullion, Lander County. Since the completion of the Round Mountain dredge operation in 1959, placer mining in Nevada has progressively diminished in importance. GOLD PRODUCTION FROM PLACER DEPOSITS The U.S. Bureau of Mines (1967, p.15) cites 1,900,000 troy ounces of placer gold produced in Nevada from 1792 to 1964. I estimate a total production of 1, 700,000 ounces of placer gold for the State from the first placer discovery to 1968. The U.S. Bureau of Mines estimate includes some unauthenticated reports of very high placer gold production from some districts worked before 1900. The most productive placer districts in Nevada are the Battle Mountain district, Lander County; Silver City district, Lyon County; Manhattan and Round Mountain districts, Nye County; Spring Valley and Sierra districts, Pershing County; and Osceola district, White Pine County. Most of the gold recovered before 1900, an estimated 905,850 ounces, was recovered by many individuals using drywashers or small sluices to work gravels brought to the surface from shafts or pits. In the major districts (Silver City, Spring Valley, Sierra, and Osceola) worked intensely between 1849 and 1890, the miners dug numerous shafts, tunnels, and adits in the gravels. At Osceola, large banks of gravel were hydraulicked, leaving sheer cliffs of unworked gravels exposed today. After 1900, drywashers, small sluices, and small concentrating machines continued tp be used in placers throughout the State, but, except for the very productive first few years of drywashing at Manhattan, Round Mountain, and Battle Mountain (1906-15), the greatest part of the placer gold was recovered by large dredging operations. Figure 1 is a graphic representation of the total amount of placer gold recovered yearly in Nevada (1900-68) and the contributors to the major production peaks. Dredge mining in Nevada started in 1911, when the Federal Mining Co. used a small wooden dredge to work gravels in Spring Valley Canyon (Pershing County). The operation was only moderately successful, but it encouraged other companies to consider desert dredge mining. During the periods 1920-23, 1940-42, and 1946-47, dredges worked in the relatively well-watered Carson River at Gold Canyon (Dayton, Lyon County). Small dredges worked gravels in a number of districts throughout the State (such as the Bullion district, Lander County; the Willow Creek district, Pershing County; and the Olinghouse district, Washoe County), but in many of these operations, the water was not sufficient for the use of floating dredges, and other conveyances were used to transport the gravels to the dredge, which acted as a central washing plant. The era of major large-scale desert dredge operations began in 1939, when a floating bucketline dredge was brought to Manhattan Gulch (Nye County). When operations ceased in 1946, this same dredge was transported to Battle Mountain (Lander County) to work the placers in the Copper Canyon fan from 1947 to 1955. In the 1950's, a non-floating dredge was used at Round Mountain (Nye County) to recover large amounts of placer gold from a deep pit. Since cessation of dredge operations at Round Mountain in 1959, placer gold production in Nevada has returned to small-scale sporadic or part time operations by individuals. SUMMARY Placer gold has been found in 115 mining districts in Nevada. Many of these districts have produced, or are said to have produced, only a few ounces of placer gold. Thirteen districts have produced more than 10,000 ounces. Although placer gold has been recovered from each of the 17 counties in Nevada, most of the placers are in the western part of the State (see pl. 1) in the area termed the "Western Metallogenic Province," which is characterized by the dominance of precious metal ores (Roberts, 1946a). A few placers (all of minor importance except the Osceola district) are found in the eastern part of the State in the area termed the "Eastern Metallogenic Province," which is characterized by the dominance of base-metal ores. Most of the placer gold found in Nevada has been derived from veins and replacement deposits that have been successfully worked for the gold and silver content of the ores. In the few districts where source of the gold is unknown, it is presumed to be small scattered veins in the adjacent bedrock. In most of the very productive lode mining districts, only small amounts of placer gold have been recovered, whereas in the very productive placer districts, lode-gold production is close to, and sometimes less than, placer gold production. An exception is the Silver City district (Lyon County) , which has yielded a high production of placer gold derived from ores of the Comstock lode (Lyon and Storey Counties), the largest silver producing district in the State.
  4. From Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona, USGS Bulletin 1355, By Maureen G. Johnson 1972 HISTORY OF PLACER MINING IN ARIZONA Arizona's placer-mining industry began in 1774, when Padre Manuel Lopez reportedly directed Papago Indians in mining the gold bearing gravels along the flanks of the Quijotoa Mountains, Pima County. Placer mining was active in that region from 1774 to 1849, when the discovery of gold in California apparently attracted many of the Mexican miners who worked the gravels (Stephens, 1884). Arizona was then part of Mexico, and little is known of the placer mining that probably was carried on in various parts of southern Arizona. Placers were probably worked in the Oro Blanco district, Santa Cruz County, and the Arivaca district, Pima County. The part of Arizona north of the Gila River was ceded to the United States in 1848, and the part of Arizona south of the Gila River, where most of the early placer mining occurred, was purchased in 1853. Placers were discovered in the 1850's in the Bagdad area, Yavapai County, and Chemuehuevis Mountains, Mohave County; but it was not until 1858, when placers were discovered by Colonel Jacob Snively at the north end of the Gila Mountains, Yuma County, that the first placer-mining rush in Arizona was precipitated. The early years of the 1860's saw the discovery of the famous placers at La Paz, Yuma County, and Rich Hill and Lynx Creek, Yavapai County; many smaller and less famous placer fields were discovered at that time. Photo: Early placer mining on Lynx Creek, near Prescott, AZ In the 1860's, Arizona was a relatively isolated and underpopulated territory, fraught with communication and travel difficulties, and beset by Indian problems. Placer mining was actively pursued throughout the territory, and some rich lode-gold mines were discovered and worked; but real news of Arizona mining was slow to filter out from the territory to the more populated areas in California and the East. The period from 1860 to 1880 is reported as the most active and productive period in placer mining, but because of poor communications, there is very little reliable information or production record. By 1900 most placer areas had been discovered, and many were nearly worked out. Placer mining continued intermittently during the early years of the 1900's. Many attempts were made in various parts of the State to mine placer gravels by drywashing machines, but it was not until the economic impetus of the depression that placer mining became active again in Arizona. During the years 1930-38, 95 different districts were credited with placer gold production, but many of these districts produced only a few ounces. After the boom of the 1930's, the war years of the 1940's were a setback to gold mining activity. War Production Board Order L-208 greatly restricted the development of gold mines; prospecting for and mining metals essential to the war effort was deemed more important than mining gold. Even more important, however, the economy of the 1940's encouraged work in offices, factories, and war industries for those not in military service, and as a result, many miners and prospectors left the gold fields and never returned. After 1942, placer production never again reached the heights of the 1930's or the peak production of the 1860's to 1880's. GOLD PRODUCTION FROM PLACER DEPOSITS The U.S. Bureau of Mines (1967, p.15) cites 500,000 troy ounces of placer gold produced in Arizona from 1792 to 1964. I estimate that placer gold production was at least 564,052 ounces. Districts of largest placer production were the Lynx Creek, Big Bug, and Weaver (Rich Hill) districts (Yavapai County), the Gila City (Dome), and La Paz district (Yuma County), and the Greaterville district (Pima County), all with estimated placer production of more than 25,000 ounces. Arizona has many small placer-mining districts (Plate 1) from which only a few ounces of gold has been recovered, mostly during the depression years of the 1930's. For most of these districts, little information other than production has been found. Major lode-gold districts in the State, except for the Bradshaw Mountains in Yavapai County, have had very little placer gold production. Most of the placer gold produced in the State of Arizona was recovered by tedious work on a small scale by individuals who used rockers, pans, sluices, and dry concentrators. In only a few districts have large-scale placer-mining operations been successful, although many attempts were made to use large dry-concentrating machines. The most successful large-scale operations have been in the Lynx Creek and the Big Bug districts, Yavapai County, where the presence of adequate supplies of water enabled large dredges to mine the gold bearing gravels. Among the largest and most profitable large-scale dry concentrating operations were those in the San Domingo Wash district, Maricopa County, in the Plomosa district, and at La Cholla placers, Yuma County; at Copper Basin, Yavapai County, the gravel was hauled to a central washing plant where wet methods of recovery were used. The total amount of placer gold recovered yearly in Arizona from 1900 to 1968 is graphed in figure 1, which also shows major contributors to the peak production. SUMMARY The ultimate source of detrital gold in placer deposits is, for the most part, gold-bearing lode deposits, which in Arizona are represented by veins in faults, fissures, and shear zones of various sizes. Most of the placer gold found in Arizona was derived from systems of small gold-quartz veinlets and stringers scattered throughout the bedrock of the adjacent mountain ranges; in only a few localities was the gold in large placer deposits derived from vein systems of sufficient size to encourage lode mining on a large scale. Small placers commonly occur near large gold lodes, but are generally not economic. The most productive gold veins are those formed during Laramide time, which occur in rocks of Precambrian to Laramide (Late Cretaceous and early Tertiary) age. Much gold has been recovered as a byproduct from copper and other base-metal ores. Since 1941 the large copper mines have been predominant in the production of lode gold (Wilson, 1962).
  5. Originally a silent film by the U.S. Smelting and Mining Co. from 1949, station KUAC of Fairbanks, Alaska added a sound track and narration to explain the process and history of mining gold in Alaska's rugged conditions.
  6. Golding Relic Pics

    What we have come across out in the bush on our golding travels ( well some of it anyway ) Enjoy & post up your relic pics Cheers Ashley
  7. Quoted from EZMoney Bob's post on Talk On "Engineering Marvels Of The Comstock": "Something I just learned about engineering on the Comstock is that in 1890 or so a hydroelectric plant was installed at the 1650 foot level of the Chollar Mine. It was powered by high pressure water piped from the surface to Pelton wheels at the 1650 foot level. The electricity was delivered back to the surface where it powered a mill. At the time of installation it was the world's longest electric power line with a length of over one mile. There was some discussion today about whether the generation equipment is still down there at 1650 feet. The conclusion was that it's a moot point because the water level in the mine is at about the 1300 foot level." Here is an interesting article & video footage of the remains of the Hydro plant & stamper battery set up that was built in 1886 in the most rugged & inhospitable place imaginable way up in the mountains in Bullendale, Skippers, New Zealand. Footage will also give you a glimpse of the type of country I get in to in my quest of detecting for gold. Enjoy. http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/otago/places/skippers-area/bullendale-hydro-mine/ And this shows a bit of interesting local gold history & the Bullendale power site. JW
  8. Apparently this is the oldest Iron Age gold jewelry ever found and is worth squillions http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/metal-detector-hobbyists-discover-oldest-iron-age-jewelry-ever-found-n726646
  9. I heard this rumor once white had chance at buying out minelab, any truth to this? It was years ago.
  10. A Modern Day Treasure Story

    This is a post I made on another forum that got a lot of attention. I condensed it for this posting. This is something everyone should be thinking about while out swinging a detector. Back in the 80's I had a close friend and working associate come to me and ask if I still had a metal detector. I told him yes and this story started to unfold. My friend was in a business where he made LOTS of money under the table. So in order to hide it, he was buying gold and silver coins and hiding it under his house. He told no one about, it not even his wife. He had buried the coins in containers and ran a wire with a flag to the surface so he could find them. Then one day he had a massive heart attack. When he recovered, he got scared and went under the house to dig up his hoard. He almost had another heart attack when he found that his wires had rusted away and he had no idea where the coins were. He told me he had dug many of them up but several ozs of both gold and silver were lost. This is where I came into the picture. I was working some very long hours and didn't get a chance to get over there right away. Some time passed and he sold the house. A few years later he passed. This house is not to far from me in a nice neighborhood. I drive by there every once in a while and wonder just how much gold and silver is still there. But then I just have to wonder how many other banks are in the neighborhood. I have an Aunt, that to this day, refuses to use a bank, and her money is hidden in her basement. My second wife's grand parents owned motels in Oregon. When they died, many thousands of dollars was found hidden all over their house. It was stuffed everywhere you could think of. They never did know if they found it all. Back in the 80's I used to research train robberies. One turned out to be practically in my back yard. We narrowed it to a 5 acre piece of ground. I tried to buy the property but the guy wouldn't sell. It has now been sold and as far as I know the 20 pound sack of $20 gold pieces is still buried there. Most "post hole banks", private party banks, are not buried deep and generally in plain sight of the person who buried it. For the simple reason that they may want to add or take away some amount without a lot of effort, and would be able to keep an eye on the spot. The area I grew up in was once owned by a large family that moved here in the late 1920's. I grew up with some of the great grand kids. The property, originally a section, got divided over the years and given to siblings. Some was sold off like the parcel my folks bought. I have been told that several of the old timers had buried money in the neighborhood. A lot of it has since been found. Maybe all of it. But then again who knows. I had an Uncle who has passed on, he buried several oz's. of gold and silver slugs in round containers in his back yard in the 1980's. No one knows what happened to them. He may have dug them up and sold them, OR, they may still be there. His property is no longer in possession of family members so the access is now gone. There are a lot of these stories told around a camp fires and I think most the stories you will hear are based in fact, but the pertinent details have been lost over the years or added to thru the telling of the story. Plus all the trash that has been discarded on rural properties make's it almost impossible to perform any kind of functional hunt with a detector. Short of a chance hit with a dozer cutting a new road, most the unfound money will stay that way. Long dead now I had a cousin that had moved to Foresthill Ca. in the mid 1930's. He and my grandfather were gold miners and worked many rivers in the area and at one time had a hard rock mine they were working in the Alta area. The property he moved to was a 52 Acer piece and was once an old Wells Fargo stage stop. There were 3 mines on the property, a boarding house that he lived in, and the old barn WF used. At the back of the property was an old rock foundation in front of the only mine shaft that was still open. This was the original cabin site of Dr. Todd of Todd Valley. I used to spend a lot of time there in the 60' and 70's, but before I got into metal detecting. When we were small kids in the 50"s My cousin would love to show us his gold coins. He would not let us go into the basement with him, but would come out with several coins to show us. Now when he had closed the mine in Alta, he brought the ore crusher and a few carts to the ranch. One night he caught some neighbor druggies trying to steel the carts and ran them out at gun point. Some time later they returned and set the house on fire and burned him out. Luckily he got out of the house. Many nice antiques were lost in that fire. A few years later he Passed away leaving the property to his son, my God Father. The boarding house was a two story place with a stone basement underneath it with a big iron door. When the fire burned itself out all the rubble was in the basement. Over time, little by little my God father cleaned out the basement. One day he found 2 mason jars that were shattered and all broken up, but the glass was all held together by the melted gold that was inside them! During the 80"s I was up there playing with a detector and detected one of the walls of the basement. I found 2 different spots behind the rocks that had metal. The rocks were loose, like they could be removed. I didn't check behind them, but told my God father about them and where they were. He said he would check them. It was a year or so before I was back up there and asked about the basement. I was told that it had not been checked yet. I headed out that way and detected around the foundation where the loose rocks were, but whatever was hidden there was now gone. I never asked about it again. All the old timers are dead now and that property has been sold. But I would give my eye teeth, with the knowledge I have now, to be able to hunt that property again. I too have several thousand dollars stashed for a number of reasons. That's kind of ironic that I may become the center of a treasure story some day.
  11. Here's a video one of my dirt biking buddies shot a few years back. It's pretty solid proof that Ma Nature has a way of taking care of herself...
  12. And this was 70 years ago.....
  13. Pedro Dredge

    Steve, enjoyed your article about this dredge in the October issue of the IMCJ Prospecting and Mining Journal. I hope to get to the Chicken area someday. When I was a young boy in the late 1940's I had the opportunity to see a similar dredge operating in Prickly Pear creek south of Helena, Mt near Clancy. The dredged area is now pretty much covered by I-15 and the dredge is gone after sitting by the highway for many years. The picture is from a website showing a number of historical pictures from the area south of Helena. http://www.helenahistory.org/south_of_helena.htm Also, at this site just past the dredge image is a newspaper article about the dredge.
  14. The March 2014 issue of the ICMJ Prospecting and Mining Journal just arrived in the mail. I have an article in it Gold Of The Iditarod Mining District, Alaska. I enjoyed this one because I have been to the Iditarod area in the past and may visit in the future, so the research I did may have some real world practical use for me. If you have an online subscription you can read the article at http://www.icmj.com/article.php?id=2349 Iditarod is the third largest gold producing district in Alaska with over 1.45 million ounces of gold and nearly 200,000 ounces of silver mined through 1990. Much of that production came from three bucket line dredges that operated on Flat and Otter Creeks. There are miles of tailing piles so you would think this might be a great metal detecting location but most of the gold found was small. There were a few large nuggets found on tributary streams but the chances of finding a large gold nugget in the bucket line tailing piles is very small. Which explains way although I spent years only 30 miles away at Moore Creek I never made time to go detect in the Flat/Iditarod area. My father and I did fly over at one point to visit and return a jack we had borrowed. I got a few photos and a couple are used in the article. Here are a couple that were not. This is a view of Flat, Alaska. Iditarod was actually a supply port town on the Iditarod River about eight miles away. Flat was where the miners lived. Otter Creek is in the foreground with one end of the runway visible on the left. Flat is about 300 miles from Anchorage. You have to fly to McGrath then charter a plane to Flat or charter direct from Anchorage or Fairbanks. Needless to say getting there is not a cheap date. And be aware the ground is still active and under claim. Flat Creek is visible as the valley behind Flat and you can see miles of tailing piles in this photo. Chicken Mountain, the source of the gold in Flat Creek, is visible in the upper left corner. Aerial View of Flat, Alaska by Steve Herschbach June 2005 Here is an enlargement detail of the bucket line dredge parked just below the townsite. This was the Beaton-Donnelly dredge, later operated by the North American Gold Dredging Company. The dredge operated from 1916 - 1963. Closeup of Beaton-Donnelly Dredge at Flat, Alaska by Steve Herschbach June 2005 One great diagram was left out of the article so here it is. It shows the paths the three dredges took while mining the two valleys. The location of the one shown as parked in 1963 is the dredge in the photo above. The Riley Investment Company dredge operated from 1914 - 1966 and is parked on upper Otter Creek. Here is an aerial photo of it. Closeup of Riley Investment Dredge at Flat, Alaska by Steve Herschbach June 2005 Anyway, fascinating place with a ton of history. My partner John and I planned on visiting last summer but health issues forced him to put it off. We are meeting soon to discuss whether to give it another go this summer or fall. The prospects for finding gold are not that great. Old coins are a possibility but the old town of Flat was mined at least twice so even that is questionable. Still, it is a place I have always wanted to spend some time at and this may be the year I need to seize the opportunity and just do it.
  15. G'day, Here in New Zealand over the last 20 years archaeologists have extensively studied tailing piles while recording historic gold mining sites. And in the province of Otago in the South Island, there were over 500 mining sites, with tailing's, recorded in the upper reaches of a single river (Clutha river). In one report archaeologists stated that "... neatly stacked tailing's are commonly assumed to be the work of Chinese miners. This is an unreasonable assumption; many mining sites which have been worked only by European miners are equally tidy. Conversely, the tailing's in some sites known to have been worked by Chinese miners are not neatly stacked". My take on the issue referred to in the above statement by archaeologists is that both European and Chinese miners hand stacked rocks ... which they had to do out of necessity! But, there was often some difference, and more often than not the Chinese miners stacked the rocks much more neatly and precisely than the European miners. One reason for this was the fact that the Chinese tended to work cooperatively in large groups and would always work systematical. Also, the Chinese were more likely to be reworking previously worked ground than to be working virgin ground. The European miners were usually the first on the scene of a new gold discovery and in their rush to get the very best of the gold, they only did what work they had to do to get the best and would soon move on to the next rush. The Chinese would often come onto a goldfield a little while after the first rush had concluded, and after most of the Europeans had moved on to the next rush. Then, because the excitement of the initial rush had faded, they could work in a less hectic atmosphere. Chinese miners were thorougher by nature, and also ‘had’ to be thorougher to get whatever gold the European miners missed. And in a less hectic post-rush atmosphere, the Chinese had the time and inclination to precisely hand stack rocks in walls. Although it can never be ruled out that there may be some unworked highly auriferous virgin ground under tailing's, its highly unlikely ... especially where the Chinese had worked. Any gold found these days under tailing's is likely to be gold missed by the earlier miners who might have mistakenly thrown a nugget or two aside, such as when forking in a tail-race. Here in New Zealand there are an impressive number of old sluicing mines with stacked stones, that remain intact. Nevertheless, there have been many destroyed by gravel removal, land development, dam construction, modern mining, and in recent years by the bulldozing flat of tailing's to plant vines for wine. What has saved most of the remaining mine sites is their remoteness, and those that remain are mostly in an excellent state of preservation. New Zealand archaeologists have classified tailing's into the following categories, parallel tailing's, curved tailing's, box tailing's, fan tailing's, blow down tailing's, amorphous tailing's, pot-hole tailing's and herringbone tailing's. Herringbone tailing's are the most interesting and are characterised by a herringbone pattern with the stones stacked in parallel lines at angles to a central tail-race with the working face encroaching from the lower end of the claim. These tailing's are easily the most visually interesting of all tailing styles because of their symmetry. And the best example of herringbone tailing's in New Zealand, and most likely anywhere in the world, can be found at Quartz Reef Point in Central Otago. These tailing's have survived untouched and in a pristine condition since the very last miner abandoned the diggings. And the survival of these particular tailing's, even though they are within fives minutes walk of a main road, has been because they were on privately owned farmland where the landowner had always strictly restricted access. Until recently the only people the landowner would allow to visit the tailing's were organised groups, such as the local historical society, who would be allowed in about once a year while under supervision. Some years ago the landowner gifted the land to the Dept of Conservation (DoC) who now manage the ground encompassing the tailing's as one of New Zealand’s most important historic reserves. About four or five years ago there was a track constructed so visitors could easily walk in from a car park, and at the tailing's there is a viewing platform that overlooks the entire tailing's. They are now one of the premier tourist attractions of Central Otago with a great number of people visiting each day for what is a unique experience not to be found anywhere else. Herringbone tailing's Quartz Reef Point Tail race Herringbone tailing's Quartz Reef Point Regards, Rob (RKC)
  16. Churn Drill in Action in Alaska

    The churn drill was one of the most innovative and important tools for placer prospecting in Alaska. Prospectors used to sink shafts by hand many tens of feet to bedrock, often in frozen ground. Now they could test far more ground far faster and with less effort. From the attached article: "In 2009, miners who were cleaning up an old mining claim near Coldfoot, Alaska, donated a 1920s-era churn drill to the Bureau of Land Management. The drill, rusted and overgrown with willows, might not have looked impressive to many, but BLM Central Yukon Field Office Archaeologist Bill Hedman found that it was surprisingly intact. In the early 20th century, gas-powered churn drills like this one had offered Alaska placer miners a major technological advance, allowing them to dig a test hole through frozen gravel much more quickly and efficiently than with picks and shovels. Hedman decided this piece of Alaska mining history warranted some fixing up…" FULL ARTICLE http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/November-2013/A-Relic-of-Alaskas-Mining-Past-Roars-to-Life/