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Tracing Eluvial Gold - My Response On Another Forum...


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Hello Cy, it is very difficult to try and narrow things down for you. The problem in trying to discuss pockets or lines is that they show up differently at different locales. I can tell you what to look for here at my location but it may be completely different where you are at. We both may have opposing geology while we may also have some similar features. When I take a person out training I try and show them what is happening on the ground. The geology of your local area may be different but the set-up in my mind is probably pretty similar anywhere. 
 
    Let me try a different approach. Lots of people are on the lookout for a contact zone. This is good but too many people read too much into it. Some will see a quartz stringer running across the surface and call it a contact zone. While this may be true to an extent there is bit more to it. The area that I am located at has a general push from the NW to the SE. This push is the general direction in which the most prevalent base material is heading. In my neck of the woods this is shale, any color shale. So, as I am walking along I am watching the ground near and afar and seeing that common trend from NW to SE. While walking I notice that there is a dike or a seam, whatever you want to call it, of a different material crossing or cutting the general trend of shale that I have been looking at. This different material can be three feet wide or thee inches wide or it can be tiny seams that are matchbook wide, does not really matter. Here in my area it is usually Granite, Diorite, or Quartz and I have even seen shale crosscutting shale. As I stated earlier what you are watching for is the odd body of material that is cutting your general trending material. 
 
    Once I have come across a location like this I slow down and try to find its limits. At times an area can be very small and precise while at other times the area could be very large, literally square acres. Let me break down (limits). When you have one material crossing another, let's say shale being crossed by diorite, most times you will have a change in the color of the immediate and surrounding area. I try to line this area out so I can determine the likely erosion path. Remember, what is the down side of a hill now might have been just opposite millions of years ago. Finding these limits can be very frustrating when you are in an area that has lots of grass and foilage. Sometimes you will have outcroppings of the crossing material and this can really help to identify a direction. This may sound way out there, but there are many types of vegetation that grow only in certain ground conditions. This too can be a possible lead to a location. Once determined what direction that erosion has taken place I start to detect. If I am on a slope I go down the hillside several hundred feet and then start back up detecting as I go. I like to zig zag across the slope until I come across that first piece. At that point I start to concentrate on that area and up the hill. Yes, there are times that I do not get a piece and I may have to change my hunt tactics and become a little more intense with my search efforts. Of course there are times that all the pieces of the puzzle come together and there still just is no gold to be found. This happened to me a lot when I first started detecting for pockets. After a few years things became clearer and began to go my way. Once on a line/pocket you can almost run it out with a compass. I am talking about a sometimes straight line that will throw detectable gold on the surface accompanied by a clay or ironstone seam. These lines or pockets occur around the contacts that I have mentioned and can be traced for miles. An interesting scenario that I encounter in my area is that a lot of the most productive areas that I have located seem to always show up on the southeast facing slopes. So much so that I tend to seek out just those slopes. 
 
    Many people are too engrossed in looking for the quartz on the surface. In my local area there is virtually no quartz at many of the locations where pockets or lines have been found. This brings me to another point. When I say pockets most people are thinking of a single location where gold has been trapped and found, such as a crevice in bedrock. Others are thinking of an enriched zone of a vein that has pocketed out and left goodies behind. What I am after when I say pockets are these lines or very small areas that run immediately below the mentioned contacts. Are they worth it ? I think they are and many of my friends have learned over the years to become "one with the dirt", and the gold starts to show up.
 
    I will say that this may just be an anomaly to the Redding,Ca area but I know that is not true. I have done the same thing in other parts of California, Nevada and Oregon. It is not easy and it can be really frustrating but it has been very rewarding for me over the years. This is a different type of hunting. I do hunt the old diggings, ground sluice operations, gullies and creeks, hardrock deposits and any other locations that the old timers worked but I like the thrill of finding gold in places where no one is looking. I hope this helps some, these are my thoughts from thousands of hours on the ground that I have hunted for pockets and lines. TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

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Thanks ray,

that is some very good information, you guys that are willing to share all that you have learned over the years make it alot easier for someone to go for themselves and gain this knowledge.

I dont have the time that I would like to spend at this hobby, seems like you plan a trip you've been anticipating for a long time then its time to load up again,

hard part of getting all this knowledge is getting it to stay in my pea brain long enough anymore,

I do keep a lot of notes of info. That I have learned, alot of it from this forum alone. Rick

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