By Jonathan Porter
Just returned from my annual trip away (that's another story for another day), I've been out 3 times detecting since getting home and two of those were training sessions. Yesterday morning it was my turn to do my own thing for a few hours before the heat beat me to a pulp. A few minutes later and I had a plucky 1 gram nugget on a continuation of a spot I detected with my son Timothy back in July (got AU$800 worth off there for the session, much to the delight of his pocket book).
There is a fair amount of trash and the obligatory shot gun and 22 bullets along with the added hassle of a high voltage power line, so I had to concentrate on the wide broad deeper sounding targets mixed in with the Sferic and 50 Hz noise, 3 hours of this and you find yourself needing a little lay down. This location is also problematic because it is on a slope above a straight flowing gully so the coil is opened up to even more interference dependent on where you are working on the slope.
Long story short I plucked some nice gold for the effort which made the little lay down later on justifiable. Interestingly I pinged a solid 5 gram chunk in my old scrape from the 5000 days, a boomer signal for the GPZ and not that deep so can only assume the quieter running GPZ 7000 was clearly an advantage in a high EMI area. Just below it I got a nice deep warble that made my skin goose bump and sure enough 16 inches down a 13 gram slugster came to light pushing the mornings total to 23 grams of 97%-98% Clermont golden goodness. Considering I spent 2 weeks in WA this year without a piece of gold this was pure heaven especially since I have more signals to investigate over the next few days.
The GPZ still continues to amaze me, if only it was lighter and more manageable so that other people could tap into its potential more fully. The weight really does detract from good detecting practices with this technology. The Super D coils really do need to be kept above saturation effect for maximum depth on the deeper pieces, the coil sweep also needs to be evenly controlled, all vital methods that are are adversely impacted upon due to too much outright weight for the average user.
It seems they are still finding a few little nuggets out there Paul. I doubt they will let you detect there but maybe you can go near?
What say the Prospectors already over there?
In my idle time I often read posts that I may have passed on when they were fresh. I don't recall seeing this mentioned on this forum.
It is quite a long trip to shop but hey....just to visit with Jonathan and family would be worth the cost.
Congratulations JP and Frieda; may your cash-drawer always be full!
Reg Wilson is a bit of a legend in Australian detecting circles and has kept a comprehensive photo collection of his finds over 4 or 5 decades. Now everyone likes gold images and stories - and there are plenty here! I've been offered existing topics to post on, but I believe the topic deserves its own thread to do it full justice. All images are those of Reg Wilson unless otherwise attributed.
The album consists of hundreds of photographs of not only gold, but many gold detecting industry characters, some of whom are no longer with us, but who all contributed in their own unique ways to the great gold chase we still enjoy today. Firstly, a bit of background.
Reg first shot to international fame with the finding of this 98 ounce piece which he named the "Orange Roughie" in 1987, decades later to be fraudulently rebirthed as the "Washington Nugget"
By no means his first find, Reg was already a successful detector operator and at the time was testing a prototype GT 16000 for Minelab's wizz kid engineer Bruce Candy:
Photo: Australian Sun Herald
L to R: Bruce Candy, the late Doug Robertson, Ian Jacques, Reg, John Hider Smith.
Reg recalled: "The man standing next to Bruce Candy is the late Doug Robertson, who with his brother Bruce worked the aluvials below the famous and fabulously rich Matrix reef at McIntyres. They had an old Matilda tank with a blade attached to clear Mallee scrub. Between them they had a wealth of knowledge of the northern Victorian gold fields.
(Doug's name may have been Robinson. Memory is a bit foggy)" Ian, Reg and John were prototype SD 2000 testers in Victoria, AU and were collectively known as the "Beagle Boys" a name bestowed upon them by Dave Chappel, the publican of the Railway Hotel Dunolly. On any Friday night huge nuggets, some weighing well over a hundred ounces could be seen displayed on the bar.
120oz from Longbush. Found all on its own, finder anonymous:
The playing cards and US currency indicate that the nugget has just been purchased by the late "Rattlesnake" John Fickett, a US gold buyer who bought many of the big pieces back then:
Ian Jacques and Reg with 44 oz 1989:
Ian Jacques with his SD 2000 prototype late 80's.
Real prospectors don't use bungees
All for now, but at least we've made a start - - -
I could not locate the booklet about the finding of the Hand of Faith by Kevin Hillier. Anyway I think its now been reasonably established what detector model The Hand was found with. After thinking about it while looking for the booklet, I am fairly sure that at the time the Hand of Faith was found in 1980, the Groundhog was not yet being sold in Australia. In 1980 the Garrett Deepseeker must have been the most commonly used detector by the serious electronic prospectors in Victoria. It was certainly the most expensive detector and thus the top of the range ... like the latest Minelab PIs are today. It was however a detector I never managed to master as it was extremely noisy in Australian soil. I used mine in the Nth Queensland goldfields of Georgetown and Ebagoola where there was quite a few other electronic prospectors at the same time using this model of Garrett detector. A couple of the other prospectors tried to school me in getting the best out of it, but I could not persist long enough. I was too young and impatient in those days to learn how to pick the noise of a good target out from all the ground noise. I sold it to another prospector in Ebagoola who had more patience than me and who had successfully used one before. He told me it was by far the best detector available ... but I was just happy to get rid of the noisy beast of a machine, and he got a bargain.
I got to thinking about Garrett detectors yesterday while looking for the booklet, and I was reminded about the famous story of how the Garrett Groundhog became popular on the Australian goldfields in the 1980s. There were a lot of guys detecting back then who had their wives with them in the bush, and many of the wives wanted a detector for themselves. Because the Deepseeker was so expensive, the husbands were reluctant to spend so much money on a detector that they thought would probably get little use. So a number bought their wives a Garret model which was the cheapest of the then Garrett range ... and that was the Groundhog. What they then found was that the wives were getting more gold than they were! Then the Deepseekers were put aside and the Groundhog became the detector of choice for a time. I was told at the time it was something to do with different frequencies of the two detectors, with the frequencies of the Groundhog better suited to the ground in Australia. But - maybe - it could have been because the Groundhog ran quieter. Then when Garrett started selling so many Groundhogs in Australia they rebadged the Groundhog and sold it as a detector specifically made for Australian conditions. I think it was called something like the A2B.
I had even less success with the detector I had prior to the Deepseeker, which was my first ever detector. In the late 1970s there was a guy based in Newcastle who imported Compass detectors and he was all over the media promoting them as the detector driving the then gold rush. So, as I knew nothing about detectors, I believed the hype and bought a Compass detector from a mining supply shop in Sydney (where I was then living). But, rather than starting off cautiously in a new field of endeavour and trying detecting in a gold field close to home, I decided to go all in. I bought a Toyota Land Cruiser and headed to the Queensland goldfields with my brand new shiny Compass detector. I drove straight through for two days from Sydney to the Nth Queensland goldfield of Georgetown. And on getting to Georgetown I headed to the caravan park. Then, the very first person I spoke to when I got out of my Landcruiser said straight away ... "That detector is useless here!" And I soon found out he was right. I was the only one there with a Compass detector, which I was ridiculed for. Everyone else was using Garrett's and it was galling to see them leave the caravan park each morning and come back in the evening with smiles on their faces. It must have been a bit later when I bought the Deepseeker. And when I bought the Deepseeker I thought I could not go wrong this time as it was the top of the line detector that everyone else was using, and I must have made a good buy.
Luckily I found that there were other means of gold getting to do in Nth Queensland other than using a detector. And a bit later I got into tin mining with a dredge, which I was successful at until the tin price crashed virtually overnight.
Detecting in Georgetown, North Queensland, in the mid 1980's.
My Garrett Deepseeker MD in Nth Queensland ( I also had a much bigger coil!).
My mining camp at Ebagoola goldfield.
Another of my mining camps at Ebagoola.
A woman friend detecting with a Garrett MD on the Georgetown goldfield in the mid 1980's.
Abandoned miners hut, Ebagoola, North Queensland.
Ebagoola, North Queensland
Some photo's and a couple of Video's
Just thought I'd show a few 2014 - 2015, finds a mate, Gully Hunter and I have detected in the Golden Triangle Victoria, Australia. We both run GPX 4500's.
The terrain is fairly rugged scrub.The first 2 photo's were from the last quarter of 2014 basically from near impossible scrub, one step forwards 2 steps backwards, more time spent fighting the scrub than detecting.
This one was 19.5 inches deep and was 14 grams found by Gully Hunter.
15 grammer before and after a clean
A nice 6 grammer
Guardian of the gold and a 4.8 grammer
Took an old mate Bill out a he shows us how it's done. 24 grammer GPX 4000
Earlier 4 grammer video