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 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
Hi guys, Well....Mrs JW went up north for a few days to catch up with friends & family leaving me home alone for the weekend. We all know what that means......Johnny click beetle can go detecting for the whole weekend & stay out up there in the hills sleeping rough. So early Saturday morning with batteries all charged up, tucker bag, thermos, cooking primus & all other required paraphernalia, I was off. 2.5 hours drive later & I was rigged up & in to it. The conditions were absolutely perfect for detecting. About 4 degrees Celsius, that's 4 degrees above freezing point. So cool but not cold. Well not to me anyway. Not a breath of wind & going to be a lovely sunny winters day. The ground was nice & moist but not saturated & I was amazed at how deep the moisture had actually penetrated into the ground. Found this out after digging a few crap signals. Usually the ground is bone dry when you have dug down 4-6 inches. I was excited by the depth of the moisture in the ground as I know this enhances depth & sensitivity beyond what is "normal". It did make for a bit more liveliness from the ground but nothing I was uncomfortable with. I stayed in High Yield/Normal & even cranked the sensitivity up to 10 from my usual more conservative settings of around 4-6.
I had decided to hit some well flogged areas, three in fact, where I had done very well on & had found some nice patches. Two of the areas were pretty close to each other all had each given up to me well over an ounce from each patch. They were all discovered back in my GP 3000 days & with the 24 x 12 inch coiltek UFO coil. Giving up numerous multi gram pieces & the usual small gold that I normally get. I had been over them a couple of times all ready with the Zed. Getting some small but deeper gold from two of the spots but nothing off the other. Due to the conditions I had a very confident feeling as I know that no one gets all the gold & despite me having been over these areas so many times over the years with all coils on my PI detectors I knew there still had to gold there. The day had a good feeling about it. The grass was very short, not only due to the winter conditions, but the sheep had been in these areas in the last couple of weeks & chewed it right down. They had even chewed the tussock grasses right down to the little nub or crown that sticks up 2-3 inches above the ground level. In the past I had to just detect around these tussocky grasses as I could not wave my coils over them. Today was different. Although with the Zed I had to be very careful in lifting the coil up & over these crowns as the Zed doesn't like to have its coil raised & lowered from the ground so I had to do it very slowly. In fact I detected very slowly over the entire areas skidding the coil over the ground listening intently for any faint whisper or interruption in the threshold.
So....first spot & after an hour I got a faint but nice sounding signal. I had been getting quite a few of those little double hit signals that usually end up being a very shallow shot gun pellet. I usually dig every thing but as I had been over these areas not long ago with the Zed I took these to be new shot gun pellet type signals to be from recent rabbit shooting. So if they moved after a couple of scrapes I just moved on. I was waiting for the signal to live on down a bit before I would carry on to retrieve the target. So this signal was living on down beyond the usual shot gun pellet signal.
If you click on a pic once it goes through to flicker. If you click again on the pic it will go full screen if you want a closer up or to see more detail.
Bingo....a sassy bit of gold.
Then just heaps more shot gun pellet signals So I stopped for a coffee break before getting back into it.
Half an hour into it I got a signal that lived on down a bit. The dig was into a top soil & not looking promising. So I went & got the GM 1000. It told me it was non ferrous so I carried on with the dig. I was just getting into crunchy schist gravels when the signal was out. So I placed a few handfuls of dirt over the Zed's coil until it nutted off. Whittled the target down to a light in weight item in my hand. Hmmmm I thought.....not gold but not iron either. I rubbed it in my hands to get some of the dirt off it. I then ended up with two bits in my hand. A piece had broken off. I passed the smaller bit over the Zed's coil & nothing. So I dropped it in the dig out dirt pile & waved the bigger bit over the coil & it nutted off. Couldn't see any gold in it & was thinking that maybe it was a piece of aluminum. Which seemed odd for this area. I didnt want to stick it in my mouth so I went back to my wagon, which wasn't far away, & got my bottle of water & gave it a wash.
It was a gold quartz specimen piece. Choice but bugger. As I had dropped the smaller bit that broke off in the dig out dirt. As the Zed didn't register on it I got the Gold Monster on to it in the dig out pile. It sniffed it out & I gave it a wash up & it showed colours of gold. Ye Ha.
Scanned the hole again with the Zed & the Monster & nothing. Scanned the dig out pile again with them both. Nothing with the Zed but got a hit with the Monster. Another small specimen bit. So two for the Monster & one for the Zed.
The Zed getting the signal in the first place & the Monster cleaning up two more. Loving it.
A couple of hours later & nothing more so that called for another time out & a coffee break.
Another few hours & no more gold. It was just getting on to dark when I got a signal that again lived on down a bit.
Into that lovely crunchy schist gravel & then the signal was out. Another little bit of gold.
That was it for Saturday. So made myself comfortable in an old timers rock hut shelter. Cooked up a feed, had a coffee & hit the sack.
Woke up to rain. Bugger. So was in no hurry to get up. Made a coffee at about 9.30am & cooked up some sausages, baked beans & toast. Another coffee, made up the thermos & then the rain stopped. I headed off to spot number 2. Rigged up & got into it with the Zed. Not even 5 minutes & a sweet sounding signal that lived on down. Just to the right of the bottom of the coil you will see a little grassy clumpy nub/crown from a tussock type grass that the sheep have chewed down. More on that in a minute.
I was down onto schist bedrock & the signal was out.
Backed up on the dig out dirt & bingo.....
Sweet. No more signals. Back filled & carried on. One very slow sweep over that little clumpy nub of grass. Oh...what was that?? Oh...nothing. Changed direction & tried again. Oh...that was something...I am sure....Mmmmm....maybe not. bugger it. Tried again. Still not convinced. Got the pick & knocked that nub of grass off to ground level. Scanned again. Oh hell yeah...that is something. but Oh so faint. Scrapped away quite a bit more & yes...that is something & still in the ground. Again I got down to that schist bed rock & it was still in there. The signal was booming. Where the scoop is was where the first bit of gold came out of & back filled.
Down 500 mm, 20 or so inches, & the signal was out. I was just about to get the Gold monster to pin point it & to see if it was ferrous or non ferrous. No need now & I could feel the weight in my hand.
You bloody beauty.
My biggest bit since last year. 3.62 grams. A beaut round ball chunky bit. YE HA....
Then it started to rain again but I battled on. A few hours later & nothing more. The rain got heavier so I went to my wagon & had a coffee. Thinking of heading off. I moved to the third spot which wasnt far away. The rain stopped so I thought I would give this area a go. It was the area where I had got nothing with the Zed on two previous occasions.
About an hour into it I got a very faint whisper on another of those grass nubs. Knocked it off to ground level & it brightened up.
Down on to the crunchy schist gravels & it was still in there.
Suddenly it was out. Backed up on the dirt pile. Got the signal in my hand. Ended up with a dirty looking stone in my hand nutting off. Had a little bit of weight to it. Gave it a rub & saw the glimmer of gold through the dirt.
Bit of spit & polish And....
Another whopper. Well whopper for me aye. 4.39 grams to be exact. YE bloody HA.
Bit of quartz still attached to it.
I wasn't far from my wagon. Hows that ground for detecting? Bits of quartz scattered about. Very low grass. just perfect.
The rain came back in & I decided to head off. Had to pick Mrs JW up from the airport back in Queenstown & a 2.5 hour drive to get back.
So...my best weekend for a longgggg time. 8 bits for 12.20 grams all up.
Best of luck out there