By Gerry in Idaho
So many people call me and ask about getting into Nugget Detecting and then comment, “Hasn’t it all been found by now?”. I’m here to tell you what I found out last week on a short trip to Yuma to get some sun. The last minute, I decided to take a GPZ-7000, as it actually packs in airplane luggage easier than my 5000.
Anyway, we did the usual stuff for the first 3 days and then got the call to meet up with Lunk and another of my customers the next morning at around 9AM.
I was worried my rental car 2WD Ford Escape was of no use? But when we met up at the site, I realized my riding lawn mover would have done just fine. After all, we turned off real genuine pavement and drove less than a mile on gravel, seen some dry wash piles on the side of the road and decided it was good to hunt.
OK… lets cut to the chase… How did we do in the 5 hours of detecting? All 3 of us found gold with our detectors. Are we all swinging the high end GPZ-7000 that most folks can’t afford.. you ask? Nope. Only me, as I did not realize smaller coils would have served me better for that site. My one buddy was using a more moderately priced detector, SDC-2300 and he recovered more than I. Lunk was swinging the best VLF gold machine under $1000 and he too found more than me. After all, coil size to match the terrain is pretty important as I found out.
So whats the verdict on AZ and Yuma specifically? Plenty of gold out there folks and I was able to drive my riding lawn mower less than a mile off a paved road when we seen old Prospects so decided to try. Each of us using 3 different detector price ranges and even technologies (VLF, PI & ZVT) scored some Au. We all went home with gold…and a few great memories.
I’m still awe struck that gold can be so easily found a half mile from a paved road, 15 minutes outside of Yuma? I guess those folks enjoy dry washing more than nugget hunting?
I'm thinking next winter I know of an area to put on a Gold Detector Field Training class for my customers? At least I know it is really close to town and most anyone can get there.
BTW… There is plenty of lead targets in that area too, so you’ll get your share of pinpointing practice.
And on the way back to the hotel, you can pull off the side of the road and get another kind of nuggets, fresh AZ oranges.
By Chris Ben
I had a couple of productive days in a new area me and my buddy Dave have been checking out. First was last Sunday, I found a wash that gave up 8 nuggets, 6 for me and 2 for Dave, then I found a few small pieces in a couple of nearby tributaries. Ended up with about 8.8 grams.
Then today we tried an area nearby, and I guess I got the lucky wash. I was able to dig up 11grams, biggest was 4.9. Two nuggets came out of the same hole.
Dave and I hiked a lot and dug a bunch of bullets. Deep ones on bedrock, a bunch of heartbreak digs. Worn out we called it a day. It was a beautiful day to be out prospecting.
By Steve Herschbach
Geology and Gold Mineralization of the Gold Basin-Lost Basin Mining Districts, Mohave County, Arizona
By TED G. THEODORE, WILL N. BLAIR, and J. THOMAS NASH
With a section on K-AR CHRONOLOGY OF MINERALIZATION AND IGNEOUS ACTIVITY
By EDWIN H. McKEE
and a section on IMPLICATIONS OF THE COMPOSITIONS OF LODE AND PLACER GOLD
ByJ.C. ANTWEILER and W.L. CAMPBELL
1987 U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY PROFESSIONAL PAPER 1361
The Lost Basin district contains a wide-ranging group of placer and lode mines in a belt lying between Hualapai Wash on the west and the Grand Wash Cliffs on the east (fig. 3). It extends from the Colorado River at the mouth of the Grand Canyon southward through the Grand Wash Cliffs for a total length of about 32 km. This district, although much larger in areal extent, has not been as active nor as productive as the adjacent Gold Basin district.
The principal gold veins were discovered in 1886, and the production of the district was reported by Schrader (1909) to be "many thousand dollars," chiefly in gold. Placers apparently were first worked in 1931 and resulted in a minor local boom. However, recorded pro- duction in copper, gold, and silver during 1904-32 was valued at less than $45,000 (Hewett and others, 1936).
The King Tut placers, discovered in 1931, were the most important placers in the Lost Basin district. Systematic sampling of the King Tut placers by G.E. Pitts in 1932. delineated approximately 90,000 tons of indicated reserves and 250,000 tons of probable reserves before mining operations on a relatively large scale began (Mining Journal, 1933, p. 10). All of this was confined to approximately one section of land. In the last four months of 1933 the King Tut yielded 117 oz of gold (Gerry and Miller, 1935). By 1936 the gold output from the King Tut was 450 oz, which represented the bulk of the entire pro- duction from the Lost Basin district.
In 1939 Mr. Charles Duncan placered 13 oz of gold in 16 days, using only a sluice box and wash tub, near the King Tut placers (Engineering and Mining Journal, 1939), whereas the King Tut placers themselves were only worked intermittently until 1942. Eventually, placer mining of unconsolidated gravel from the upper reaches of present-day arroyos extended across approximately 25 km2 in the general area of the King Tut placers (Blacet, 1969). Nonetheless, by 1942 no additional production was recorded from the Lost Basin district. However, in the middle and late 1960's several small operators using dry washers were active intermittently in the general area of the King Tut placers. These washers were powered by small portable gasoline motors. Because of the surge in the price of gold during 1978-80, small-scale placer operations and extensive exploration efforts, centered on an area just to the north of the King Tut placers, began again. These efforts were continuing intermittently through 1986.
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