By Gerry in Idaho
On my FB a few weeks ago I posted a photo of a thin metal tin rectangular in shape that had Chinese writing on it. Yes I know it is an opium tin, but what does the symbols say? Found these 3 at an old mining site with Equinox. Thanks for your help.
I put all my gear in the car the night before ready to roll as I was intending to go for a solo mission to try find a nugget, or a flake, which ever comes my way, I am happy either way 🙂 I sent Kiwijw a text message that morning as he hadn't been on the forum asking if he'd like to come along as I knew he wasn't working that day and he was all for it. It was unusual he hadn't been on the forums but it's because his computer had broken down so I told him I'd take it home with me and fix it up.
The day was off to a cool start, I left home and at the time I think it was -5 degrees celsius and very icey on the road, black ice everywhere. I was in a thick fog when I left home to head to John's to pick him up but that cleared up about halfway to his house, it was about -2 when I got there I think and nowhere near as icey up his way. We jumped in the car and off we went, the roads were much better up his way as it was nice and sunny.
We went to a spot we have been to quite few times before and had success, I call it the shotgun pellet place as there are zillions of them there. I think I've even done a solo mission there, I don't have any record of that as I obviously was skunked if I did but John mentioned I have been there before myself and I vaguely remember it now I think about it. I've done a few solo missions to various places but rarely have any success on them for some reason and I only tend to remember times when I do well.
Cool looking rock at the area I was first detecting, looks like a broken easter egg, it looks like its a big hollow rock that some has broken off over the years. Maybe old timers used it as a hut, I know I would.
We started off detecting, John on his Zed and me with my 4500 and my new Nugget Finder 14x9 Evo coil which I'd been dying to try out but just hadn't had a chance.
I'd found nothing by lunch time except junk and If I recall correctly John was up to number 3
My days junk collection, I had quite a few more shotgun pellets but they fell out of a tiny hole in my pocket. That little bit of wire on the far right side screamed out as loud as a 22 shell, puzzled by that. In the process of recovering some junk I used my GM 1000 as a pinpointer, the spot was really muddy so I tried to take my coil cover off to give it a clean as I was right at a creek as I was going to put my Monster in my backpack so it's not left sitting there out in the open in case some passer by stole it, unlikely but I'm cautious of thieves after living in Oz for years and having house and car break ins and so on over there. John leaves his Zed lying around like that, it scares me 🙂 So I tried to pull my coil cover off and my coil cracked, a big crack too just by me using my fingers to push it in a bit to get the cover off. I wish they were tougher epoxy filled coils. I've since spoken to Minelab service who said they will replace it for me, see this link for photos of the crack More excellent service from Minelab, thanks 🙂
John come walking over and showed me his finds and we had some lunch. John suggested I go try detect some throw out piles from the old timers as it may increase my luck and showed me where they were and off we went detecting again.
It was only about 20 minutes and I had my first hit, right next to a big hole someone else had dug to recover a nugget, probably John as it was a big hole like his pick makes
My little hole at the top, someone elses big hole below it, my little nugget was down about 10cm to 15cm I would guess.
About 30 minutes of swinging later on top of another pile which was covered in soil and grass and not rocky like the last one I had another good target, It sounded promising and it seems junk in this area is uncommon as I'd had no junk digs since moving to it.
I had to smash up the ground here to retrieve this one, it was in the shade and the ground was frozen solid, it actually made the recovery quite easy as the clumps of dirt were coming up as frozen blocks so I could sweep each chunk over the coil until it sounded off, then melted the target clump in my hand to get the gold out.
I started swinging around further along this pile and there was a giant bit of schist and it was giving me a good signal, I spent about 20 minutes scraping the moss off and checking it all for the target and also breaking away the top layers of the schist trying to find where this signal was coming from, it had me stumped. I wasn't sure what to do, I was going to go ask John thinking possibly it's some sort of hot rock situation but I could see him off in the distance, too far away and I was unsure I'd find the spot again if I left it so I decided I'd try move the rock, maybe the target is under it. It was in frozen ground and had suctioned itself down, it was also FAR to heavy to lift, I used my pick to dig around it a bit and lever it up, this took a good half an hour and I was exhausted, I managed to move it a tiny bit which relieved the suction, it also had me rolling down the side the of pile as I took a tumble when the rock finally gave way.
You can see the top part of the rock here where I was chipping away at it trying to find the target inside it.
Now that the suction was gone I was able to lever it enough that I eventually slid it down the side of the pile. I eagerly checked the area where it was and bingo, the target sound was still there.
You can see the size of the rock here with the indent in the ground where it came from. The rock would of been about 20 cm thick too and then the nugget was down another 5 cm or so in the soil under the rock.
and it was my biggest nugget of the day 🙂
I went to go show John my find and tell him the story and he said I should go scan that area a bit more as there could be more, we only had about an hour of light left so I wandered back to try find the spot, and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't find it, lucky I didn't leave earlier to try get John to help move the rock.
So all in all a good day out, fixed up John's computer today so he'll appear back on the forum tomorrow no doubt as we are heading out for part two of this mission so he'll get it back tomorrow, it needed a new motherboard. He had someone nearby to his house look at it as it was running very slow and they did the usual things like spyware checks and cleaning the dust out and so on and had broken a fan mounting clip for the CPU in the process of the dust cleanup I guess, John said it got really noisy after they looked at it which is normal as the fan would be going top speed trying to cool the CPU with the poor contact of the heatsink and shortly after it died and wouldn't post (display a signal on the screen), I guess the cpu heatsink being so loose caused the CPU to overheat by not being clipped down properly and caused the motherboard to die, or else it was a huge coincidence the motherboard dies the day after they clean out the fan and break its mounting clip. In saying that I've not seen a motherboard die from heat in this manor before, although I've never seen someone run one with the heatsink not clipped down properly.
As for my first proper detect using my new Nugget Finder Evo 14x9, I love it, It seems just as sensitive to tiny gold as the little Joey coil if not even more sensitive but punches deeper, It's ability on small targets feels like using a high frequency VLF. It's going to be my stay on coil from now on, the little Joey will be perfect for tight places and creek detecting and situations where a smaller coil is required. I can highly recommend the Evo coil. Thanks to all the people who recommended to me to buy the Evo coil. I am very happy with it.
Stay tuned for John's portion of the mission when he gets his computer back tomorrow 🙂
Hi guys, I have put together a little photo clip from a trip that Mrs JW & I did a couple of years ago on New Year's Day up to the Tops of the Old Man Range in Central Otago here in NZ. New Years Day is getting well into our summer months but it can & does snow on any day of the year up here. As it happened it had snowed the night before. The medium average temperature up here is zero degrees celsius. That is freezing point. I did a bit of exploring & detecting & managed two small bits of gold right up in the headwaters of the Fraser River. The huts you will see are all gold mining related from the early gold rush days. Many a prospector perished up here by leaving it too late to come down before winters icey tentacles took hold. Enjoy.
After yesterday's success & the little hot spot still producing when I had to leave due to dark & the cold chasing me out, I just had to get back there. Again it was pretty cold & bleak with a bit of a hoar frost going on & the bushes clothed in ice crystals. Again, this was 2pm. Note the same in the background.
Fired up the Gold monster, full max sensitivity on 10, deep all metal mode & we were off. I had hardly put the coil to the ground & had my first signal.
And first tiny bit of gold
It was just a continuation of yesterday. When the signals stopped coming it was just a matter of scraping out a bit more of the rotten schist bedrock.
And the gold kept on coming.
When it stopped, just scrape some more bedrock
Again the dark & cold drove me out. The scrape hole was getting bigger but still producing when I had to leave.
25 pieces for just .55 of a gram.
I am going to have to put the dirt through my sieve buckets & then put the concentrates through a sluice box. I can see that happening. Cheers.
Good luck out there