Hi guys, I came across this youtube footage that you may find interesting. You may recall the post I did a few weeks ago showing Martha Mine open pit wall collapse.
This footage shows a bit more of the surrounding country & you will notice in some shots looking out to the coast towards Waihi Beach which is where we stayed when we were up there for Mrs JW's 60th birthday. The actual footage is old "news" now. But interesting none the less. Enjoy.
Good luck out there
Hi there all, Last saturday was Mrs JW's 60th birthday. We had organised to go up north to make it a family reunion with our kids, grand kids & close long time friends. We booked a waterfront house at Waihi Beach that slept 10 & where the front yard merged with the ocean beach. Beautiful spot. Waihi Beach was a great central place for people to come to & was an area where I lived for most of my first marriage & where my kids grew up & went to school. Three of my boys still live & now work in the area & are no more than 10 k's from each other. The oldest two have a son each, so two grand sons for me. My fourth & youngest son is over in Brisbane, Australia. He was going to fly over but it turned out to interfere with a two week schooling block course for his electrical engineering apprenticeship that he his doing. Both Mrs JW's daughter, son & his partner & there daughter (Mrs JW's grand daughter) came & stayed with us along with a few close friends who traveled to be there for a long weekend.
On leaving a beautiful hot sunny Queenstown I landed in Auckland to rain. And it rained for three straight days. Mrs JW had flown up earlier than me to go even further north to stay a couple of nights with a close old friend of hers at a new place that she had bought. Mrs JW picked me up from the airport & we headed straight to the beach. Luckily the place we had rented had a games room so the rain didn't bother us too much. So it was socialising, drinking...opps...I mean celebrating, eating, playing pool & table tennis. It was a good time to be with family & close friends. We are making easter time an annual event to do the same thing. one of my sons told me that the Waihi Martha mine open pit had had a major collapse & was likely to end the open pit operations of the mine. They are also under ground mining....so not all is lost. You will recall this over view of the Martha Mine operation that I put up not long a go. The open pit is pretty much right in the center of the town.
On our drive back to Auckland we went through Waihi to check out the collapse.
This is a mock poppet head serving as a monument to what used to be several of these back in the old deep underground mine working days.
Parked underneath it we head on up to the viewing platform, walking past another monument. The old Cornish Pump House that has actually been moved some distance from where it originally was over a deep shaft, that was collapsing, where it pumped out the water from the under ground workings.
So this is what greeted us at the lookout viewing platform. Just below that big tin shed top right of center you will see the haul road going diagonally to the left right through where the slip has taken it out. lt curls on around the open pit to where you cant see it passing directly below in the foreground & winds on around the back again & passes right through where the slip has buried it with a few pebbles. Note directly below & to the left of that tin shed, beneath the haul road, quartz veins in the pit wall. You use to be able to see the old mine drives in the pit wall as well & the old timbering supports & large chambers that they had stoped out.
Bit of video footage.
On getting back to Queenstown I was hanging out for a detect. Oh...the withdrawals. So I headed to the hills for a days detecting. It was damn hot & dry & I didnt last the whole day. Gave up by 3pm. It was a bit of a struggle hitting on some gold but I finally got a sweet little faint signal in my hot settings.
Down into the rotten schist bedrock & the signal was singing. Just knew it was going to be a sassy bit of gold.
And it was. .7 of a gram. YE HA
Ended up with three more little suckers for a total of four for just 1.31 grams. Still...better than the skunk.
Good luck out there
By Trev (NZ)
I have posted a few messages on here. And it is one of my favorite forums to visit.
So allow me to introduce myself. My name is Trevor Alty and I live on the West Coast off the South Island of New Zealand.
My county is called " Buller". And yes it is a gold bearing region. But we are covered with very green lush forest, As we have a very high rainfall.
I am 66 years old. But have kinda done gold since I was five. Did the learning curve, Pans first, then sluices, then got into underwater dredging. And also ran a beach claim, Its called black sanding down here. Really micro fine gold, smaller than a fly poo. But I learn't how to catch it.
Some of you may know of the " Gold Cube" well my old mate Mike Pung and Red didn't invent it.. And neither did I. But when I decided to put a claim on a beach where I lived right by. I needed to find a method of catching that fly poo. So I used what the black-sanders were using over a hundred years ago. Down here we call that the boil box system. Believe it or not it was developed by people from the Shetland Islands, up Britain way. They came down here in the early gold-rush days and somehow worked that system out. Its basically a column of water that rises up, and the sorts out the relative gravity of the different minerals. Now days its got a flasher name.
Anyway it worked for me. I love taking the old guys idea's and using them. After all they were the masters. Siphons, Perfect water races with just the right amount of fall, and many run for miles. Damn they were smart. An engineer those days was indeed an engineer.
Anyway Mike Pung had some trouble catching fine gold up at I think it was Lake Mitchagin. He ended up on a forum I run, that had a lot about how to catch real fine gold.. He followed my instructions, built a wooden one, went back and yep it worked. So then he did a lot a research and development. And at the end of it all, "The Cube was Born" and now they are shipped all over the world.
And very popular they are indeed. Why even Lip CA has one. And believe it or not his son Arlie came down to NZ stayed with me
for most of our summer, a few years back and we did very well dredging on my claim. Eh Harry.
And yes I have been to the great ole US of A. Washington State. But wait there is more. And yep to Alaska. A mate of mine Bruce Strandburg, that was one my forum came down to NZ. I took him out and yep he panned some nice gold.. He got the bug and wanted to get a claim in Alaska. In the Circle/Central district. He flew me up to help him look. Great State, but to much glacial muck and overburden in that area. Hey Steve, yep " Fast Eddies" is a great place, Good tucker my man. And yep its in Tok. Damm we should have turned off there and went inland to the Chicken Place. After scouting out Central and Circle we headed back to Fairbanks. Then went up the oil line road, to the hidden valley. Think it was the Elliot Highway. Ended up staying on the runway at Les Cobbs place, and had our evening meals with him. He was a great man, didn't suffer fools, bit like me there I guess. We got on like a house on fire. Why he had even been down to NZ on a hunting trip. So sad to hear he fell out of a tree when setting a bear bait drum and got paralyzed, then died not long after. He was a man amongst men. I must get his wife's book one day.
Sadly didn't get to Anchorage, bugga. But damm I sure loved Alaska. (In the Summer) fire weed, blue berry's and its remoteness.
Anyway I am rambling a bit here, but it sure is fun. Cause this kinda feels like home.
My latest project is resurrecting the hydraulic elevator. And I am sure it will resurface in the near future. Once again old technology but it works, and it efficiency is 100 per cent. Down here in NZ they had ones lifting 12 inch rocks eighty feet. Straight up. Now beat that. Our suction nozzles and power jets utilize the same principle . But sadly are only at 50 to 60 per cent off effiency . I am developing two at the moment, one for sucking rocks, sand and gravel, and one purely for sand. I will add a pic of a bit of the sand one. Doesn't look much as it needs the throat attached. Now as we all know there are no free lunches when it comes to suction and lift. The higher you lift, the less suction you get. But so far I have had very favorable results. And I continue my research and development, The main denominator is Jet size to throat size. But I do know the ratio's. Thats what R and D is all about.. Maybe you will see the sand one at Nome in a year or two. Hopefully sooner..
Cheers Trev From Down Under
Hi Team, Mrs JW & I have had some good friends of ours come down from our old haunt in the North Island. Waihi Beach.
I have known Shane since early school days & we have remained close friends ever since. Shane shows a lot of interest in gold but he is more of an armchair fossicker. I have taken him out numerous times, both up in the Coromandal area. Where Waihi Beach is at the base of the Coromandal Peninsular, famous for its hard rock gold mines. The Waihi township, which is 9 kms inland, has the famous Martha Mine. Do a google search if interested. I use to live immediately to the left of the Favona Project Area on the yellow line mining license boundary. The red dashes are the gold bearing reefs of the Favona load. Now all mined out by under ground methods. The mine is no longer owned by Newmont but has been taken over by Oceana Gold.
Any way. I took Shane out for a days detecting a couple of weekends ago. He used the GB2 & the gold monster. He got skunked on the gold but got more than his share of shotgun pellets. He didnt pay much attention to where I told him to detect, & I believe that was his down fall. After that weekend staying with us Shane & his partner went off to do there own thing for the week & were due to come back to our place on the friday evening. Mrs JW flew up to the North Island to attend her aunts funeral during the week & visit other family & was due back down late saturday afternoon. Shane & Carol ended up staying the friday night elsewhere on their travels & said they would be back at our place about the time Mrs JW was due back. I made the decision to do an over nighter detecting mission after work on the friday. Doing it rough staying in an old timesr rock hut shelter detecting until dark & then most of saturday before picking Mrs JW up from the Queenstown airport at 4.15pm. I was keen to try my new 19" coil on the Zed & have a play with my new drone.
On getting there Friday after work I stuck with the 14" coil. Hitting old ground that had produced for me in the past. I was running the Zed in High Yield/Normal & sensitivity up to 18. B&Z booster with duel external speakers sitting on my shoulders right under my ears. The ground was not kind to me. We are well & truly into spring now & daylight saving started a few weekends ago. Not sure if you practice this in the USA but our clocks go forward one hour giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evenings outside of normal working hours. So not getting dark until around 8pm & growing longer each night until we reach the longest day. Where it will remain light until around 10pm. But after 3.5 hours of detecting & getting dark, I had no gold. I was wondering back to my wagon to head off to my Hilton abode for the night. Cook up a feed, have a coffee & hit the sack for an early start in the morning. When all of a sudden I got a sweet little hit & it was a small bit of gold. Ye Ha. Beat the skunk.
Woke in the morning to a bit of a chill & pea soup FOG. Bugger. The fog had made the ground pretty damp, which was a good thing, but I was in no hurry to get out there. Cooked up a wicked breakfast, couple of coffees & decided to go back to where I had detected the weekend before. Carrying on from where I had left off. I ended up not taking the 19" coil for a spin. Wanting to complete going over these areas with the 14" coil first before trying the 19" on them. For no reason I went to a spot where I had told my mate to go over with the gold monster. He didnt. It was a small area where the old timers had turned over a bit of a gully. I had found gold here with my GP 3000 & little coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono coil. My mate ended up detecting above the old throw out heaps despite me repeating to him to stick to the piles. He still didnt so I left him to it. My first few signals with the Zed were shotgun pellets. But then I got a signal that wasnt that shallow small target double blip signal. But lived on down to about 4 inches before it was out.
Had that nice mellow gold sound. The few scrapes on that bald patch were the shotgun pellets.
Gold it was.
I went back to the wagon & got the Gold monster. Threw the piece of gold back into the bottom of the hole. I don't read much into doing these type comparisons after a bit of gold has been disturbed & pulled from its resting place in the ground. But I was interested to see at what depth the Monster would hit on this. It gave a no mistake signal with the coil a good one inch above the ground level so about 5 to 6 inches above the gold. Then nothing more but shotgun pellets. So I moved on to my wee patch area of 4 meters x 4 meters where I scored two more bits last weekend with the Zed in the one dig hole. Just out of interest. Last weekend at this spot the auto tune settled on 140. This day it settled on 184. This was about 9 in the morning. After doing the ferrite balance all other settings were as I had left them last weekend & the night before. It hadnt gone back into the default setting of difficult ground.
My next signal was down past the shotgun pellets & with the help of the monster.
I pulled out an old timers button
Then with the Zed I got a very faint signal....well I thought it was a signal. In fact all the signals that turned out to be gold this day were very very faint to almost no signal but almost imagined signals & more just a hunch that it may have been a signal.
After a bit of a scrape the signal livened up, & small gold it was.
The next signal I had to get the Gm 1000 involved to pin point & recover it after initially getting the "imagined" signal with the Zed
But gold it was.
A real faint hit with the Zed that lived past the shotgun pellets.
Look how small that piece is for the Zed.
Then I had to get the Monster involved again. Even though the Zed got the initial hit but then I "lost" it.
Monster to the rescue.
Again. Look how tiny.
I ended up with 7 bits off this small patch area, where I only got 2 last weekend. Did the fog help with making the ground damper or was I just in the zone??
I stopped for a bite of lunch & a coffee before moving to another spot down the gully further. Another old patch area which was a bit larger than the previous one. I did another auto tune as the sun was out now & it settled on 153. Ferrite balanced & it needed balancing to smooth out. other setting remained the same. After a few hours I had bagged another 6 small pieces. Stopped for a coffee & then auto tuned again on firing back up. It settled on 70. That was strange I thought. Ferrite balanced & away I went. Hell. The detector was running real quite. Couldn't believe it. With sensitivity on 18 it was never this quiet. So I checked all my settings. High Yield yes, WHAT, difficult ground. Changed that back to Normal. WHAT sensitivity 9. Wound that up to 18. No wonder it was quiet. But why would it go back into these default settings?? I then auto tuned again & it went back up to 184. Strange.
It was getting time to think about packing it in if I wanted to have a play with the drone & then have to get back to pick up Mrs JW from the airport. When I got another of these almost imagined faint signals. I wasnt convinced it was a signal but just the 18 sensitivity driving me nuts. I gave it a few scrapes & it improved. Ended up down about 450mm, 16-17 inches. It was nutting off now but I was having trouble pin pointing its exact position in the hole without having to make it a lot wider to get that 14" coil in there. So I went back to my wagon to get a small shovel, the Gold monster, & bugger it, my Minelab pinpointer that lives in my glove box but I had never found any gold with it as the gold I find is way small for it to be any use.
Scene of the dig hole
First off I stuck the pinpointer down the hole. Nothing. Yes...I did turn it on. Got the little shovel & dug out a bit more. Pinpointer back in there & a faint response. Dug a bit more & then the pinpointer came to life a bit more. I now knew where the signal was & got stuck into it with the little shovel. Pinpointer was now going mental.
Few more digs & it was out. Pinpointer into the pile & I had a little lump of dirt in my hand. But boy....was there a bit of weight there.
Bit of a rub
Spit & polish.
Ye Bloody Ha.Just over 4.5 grams. Had to end on that note. All up 15 pieces for 7.19 grams.
I am definitely getting a picture of where to go back with the 19" coil. The day will come....but not just yet.
Good luck out there
Hi guys, It has been a few weekends since I was able to get out for a swing due to two weekends of crap weather. One Saturday was a lovely day but I had to catch up on a bit of work. Thinking the sunday would be ok, but it wasn't so missed out. We have a couple of friends down from the north Island visiting & my mate was keen to go for a detect. He has just recently had shoulder surgery & so wasn't too sure how he would go detecting. I took along the 4500 & 11" Coiltek Elite coil plus the GB2 & the GM 1000. The day before we took them for a bit of a local tour.
Saturday we headed off for a detect. My mate chose the GB2 to start off with. I put him on to a turned over gully from the old timers that had quite a bit of wild thyme bush growth & that little coil was ideal for poking & prodding in between & around the thyme bushes & the old dug over piles. Telling him that I couldn't get in there with the Zed's 14" coil so he had every chance of getting some gold. I decided to focus on some spots where I had got gold before in more open areas above the turned over gully. I had in fact got gold here before with the Zed, but I was now getting in to these hot settings & had the sensitivity cranked up to 20 & High Yield/ Normal. I went over a small patch area where at xmas time I had got this on one day.
And this on the next. A lot of the real small stuff was got with the GB2 at depth after the Zed had found a few bigger bits in the same dig hole initially.
So running these hot settings on the Zed I went back over this small 4 meter X 4 meter area but only got the faintest of signals. Apart from a few recent new shot gun pellets thanks to rabbit shooters that gave that double hit signal that usually is a tiny shallow/surface target. One faint signal that only gave the one hit I dug down on & it lived down past the pesky shot gun pellet depth.
Ended up getting two small bits of gold with the Zed. Tried the GM 1000 but there was no more.
That was all this old patch area gave up to me so I moved on to the other side of the gully above the turned over gully floor where I had sent my mate into.
Another spot where over the years I had got quite a bit of gold....& yes....also with the Zed but not with these hot settings. Bring it on.
A couple of very faint signals that ended up being about 4 inches in depth.
Ending up in two bits of small gold for the Zed. Taking my tally to 4
Then another very faint signal initially that went down quite a bit deeper, getting louder all the time. I was then in to that rotten schist bed rock & the signal was out.
Not too long after, & the same scenario. But deeper still.
And then another.
Then things dried up for me. My mate hadn't done too good on the gold, getting none but got his share of shot gun pellets. He didn't do as I said though & instead of sticking to the turned over piles in the gully floor amongst the thyme bushes he wondered up out on the top fringe of them in to much deeper ground. Despite me repeating for him to stick in the gully floor.
So end of day I had 8 bits of gold for 2.55 grams.
I also got an old timers metal button that was down very deep.
I was able to make out the writings on it. 86 Oxford St. HYAM & Co. I did a google search & came up with: Deriving from clothing worn by working men, such as soldiers, sailors, fisherman & farm labourers, trousers replaced knee-length breeches. Made between 1870 & 1880 by British manufacturer Hyam & company, who were based in Oxford Street. Looser fitting & wider in the leg than breeches, trousers were considered to be more suitable for those who led an active life.......
So that was interesting. Cheers guys.
Good luck out there
Sunday dawned a beautiful stunning cloudless sky day. Mrs JW said, "What do you want to do for fathers day?" I'm easy I said. What would you like to do. I wouldn't mind getting out of here & up into the hills some where. Is there somewhere you haven't tried the Zed that isn't too much of a walk? She replied. Oh....yer.... You sure you dont mind me detecting. I said. No, I will just enjoy the sun, scenery & read a magazine. She said. Oh...ok....I will make up a thermos & a bit of a picnic lunch. I know just the spot. I said.
It was where I went with the Zed on my very first time out with it. I had got a few bits of gold & I was keen to try these hot settings there. So all packed up we headed off. Two hours drive later we parked up. I shouldered the pack & carried the Zed & GM 1000. We had about a half hour walk but first we had to cross a creek. Mrs JW didn't bring her gumboots so I crossed first & dropped my gear & went back to piggy back her across the creek. With the snow melt the creek was running rather briskly but we got across with no mishaps. 20 minutes later we were at these old workings.
Mrs JW said, "I am having a cup of tea, would you liike a coffee? Ok I said. So she got that happening while I rigged up.
Coffee done I was into it. I went straight to a few hot spots & also where I had got a few bits with the Zed on my first time here with it. Nothing. Three hours later & still nothing. A bit of rubbish but no gold. Time for a lunch & coffee break & then try further up & out of these old turned over ancient old river channel workings that wouldn't have been a flowing river for tens of thousands of years. Hoping to do better in some deeper ground. Another couple of hours later & still no gold. I combed over a small patch area where I got numerous nice size pieces in the past. My tell tale back filled holes were still apparent. But NOTHING.
Not liking the feeling that I was going to be skunked on Fathers day I headed higher up to some ground sluiced slopes that the old timers had washed the surface off down to the schist bed rock. The schist was very flat & smooth but did have many fractures & cracks through it. Not like the schist I usually detect in that is up on edge & a great trap for gold. The old timers had barred up a lot of this flat platy schist slabs so obviously they wouldn't have done that for nothing. I stopped to check my settings & discovered that the Zed had gone back into the default setting of Difficult & that I wasnt in normal. Oh no......So into normal I went & 5 minutes later I got a signal up against a step up in the slab of schist bedrock. It was very faint but unmistakable. I ended up raking the pointy end of the pick under that wee overhang to the left of the coil. Target out & oh so small. It is on the coil there.
.06 of a gram
But at least it was gold & the skunk had been avoided. I will have to go back over the ground I hit earlier in normal...but that will be another day. I carried on combing around these edges of the schist & got another sweet hit. This one sounded a bit better than that first one, again it was in the edge of this platy schist.
Another small piece at .13 of a gram. But no catch & release.
Half an hour later another mellow signal. This one had a bit more depth to it. I did in fact use the GM 1000 to pinpoint it in a tight crevice & to see if it was ferrous or non ferrous. Non ferrous was the reading so I smashed it out.
.22 of a gram. No record breakers. That is for sure.
The sun was getting low & Mrs JW was making noises about heading home as it was starting to cool down. I was happy to have bet the skunk & was happy to call it quits. I was just peeved at not picking up a lot sooner on the Default setting of difficult getting activated.
So three tiddlers for Fathers Day. Better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.
Best of luck out there