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** Lost Gold At The Dead Man's Mine ** A Miners Journal **


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Drilling has to achieve two things, be technically capable of sampling of what you are interested in and give you a big enough sample to give you a reasonable estimate of the grade of what you are interested in. Alluvial gold just has to be the second hardest kind of deposit to evaluate with drilling on both counts. The hardest being alluvial diamonds. High value, low concentration, particulate deposits need large samples and core won’t give you that on both counts. Unstable ground and small samples. On top of that the values aren’t spread evenly, they are in small, relative to realistic drill spacing, bedrock trap sites. That’s a nightmare to get a grade for.

From my reading of this thread the deposit seems to be thick, consolidated but uncemented gravel. Coring that won’t work technically or statistically but certain types of piling augers might. The simplest might be to rent a large diameter auger attachment if you have a backhoe and it’s not running gravel. Large meter-diameter Caldwell bucket-augers worked very well on diamond gravels during my misspent youth but you need flat ground and even then, more than 50% of holes in a rich (on average) deposit would be barren. Gold would be more forgiving statistically if it’s fine gold but any boulder will stop you dead technically. Personally, I would give any kind of drilling a miss.

Somewhere around page 50 of this thread there was a discussion on using geophysics to narrow the search. With dry gravels and a big hardness contrast with bedrock both reflection seismics and ground-penetrating-radar (GPR) would give useful information and are cheap and fast (well, compared to drilling that is!). Site investigation or “hammer seismics” isn’t much more than a steel plate, a sledgehammer and a guy with muscles as a seismic source plus a string of geophones on the ground. It’ll give you an averaged picture of what the bedrock is doing. Maybe a kilometre a day depending on terrain. OK for a general work program but I doubt it would have the resolution to find a kettle. GPR would find a kettle and looks like a no-brainer viewed from the other side of the Atlantic! A site investigation contractor should be able to do both. Thumb suck cost? $5k for a couple of days and interpretation? Then you start digging. Good luck 😊

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30 minutes ago, Off Grid said:

Drilling has to achieve two things, be technically capable of sampling of what you are interested in and give you a big enough sample to give you a reasonable estimate of the grade of what you are interested in. Alluvial gold just has to be the second hardest kind of deposit to evaluate with drilling on both counts. The hardest being alluvial diamonds. High value, low concentration, particulate deposits need large samples and core won’t give you that on both counts. Unstable ground and small samples. On top of that the values aren’t spread evenly, they are in small, relative to realistic drill spacing, bedrock trap sites. That’s a nightmare to get a grade for.

From my reading of this thread the deposit seems to be thick, consolidated but uncemented gravel. Coring that won’t work technically or statistically but certain types of piling augers might. The simplest might be to rent a large diameter auger attachment if you have a backhoe and it’s not running gravel. Large meter-diameter Caldwell bucket-augers worked very well on diamond gravels during my misspent youth but you need flat ground and even then, more than 50% of holes in a rich (on average) deposit would be barren. Gold would be more forgiving statistically if it’s fine gold but any boulder will stop you dead technically. Personally, I would give any kind of drilling a miss.

Somewhere around page 50 of this thread there was a discussion on using geophysics to narrow the search. With dry gravels and a big hardness contrast with bedrock both reflection seismics and ground-penetrating-radar (GPR) would give useful information and are cheap and fast (well, compared to drilling that is!). Site investigation or “hammer seismics” isn’t much more than a steel plate, a sledgehammer and a guy with muscles as a seismic source plus a string of geophones on the ground. It’ll give you an averaged picture of what the bedrock is doing. Maybe a kilometre a day depending on terrain. OK for a general work program but I doubt it would have the resolution to find a kettle. GPR would find a kettle and looks like a no-brainer viewed from the other side of the Atlantic! A site investigation contractor should be able to do both. Thumb suck cost? $5k for a couple of days and interpretation? Then you start digging. Good luck 😊

Many thanks for your input here.

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7 hours ago, Bedrocker said:

I admit that I don't know much about core drilling. But isn't the drilling through gravel and not solid rock? And you are talking about drilling down 20' to possibly 50' or so? I guess it takes a big enough truck that can climb those hills and set up a tower with the drilling rig on it. Sounds like an expensive truck but the drilling part of it would be kinda easy compared to solid rock?

The area was partially hydraulicked but not finished. It is in a more remote area than most of the work done in the 1800's and they must have been stopped by the Sawyer Decision and the big companies left the area. They hydraulicked about 50 ft to form a ravine or gulley. Then the 1936 crew dug a shaft 36 ft deeper and from there did a decending drift in a horshoe ending 50 ft east of the shaft but at the 56 ft level where they encountered the area of raised bedrock. It was glory holed for over 1000 ounces. The miner was later murdered when he showed his gold while in poor company. That's just part of the report. So the 1936 crew was 56 ft below the 50 ft already hydraulicked out for a depth of 106 ft roughly. Bedrock in that area is around 120. I would need to dig near the strike and go down another 10 - 15 ft to find bedrock. I'd say 65 - 75 ft deep. That's just a guess because bedrock depths vary along the west side of the faultline. I could get lucky and find bedrock closer to the surface like the 1936 crew did. Getting permits for more than 1000 yards of disturbance would be hard to do & costly. Still thinking on all this.

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   April 13   1937

 

  The sun was rising this morning and the rain had stopped. The temperature had warmed a bit and it was time to get serious about mining. The crew is depending on me for leadership and if Jed were here he would tell me to get going and find more gold. That is exactly what I intend to do. We have the southern kettle to finish. 

   We went up there and shoveled with a vengeance. There was good humor amongst the crew once again and the tom was kept busy with our constant shovel fulls of fresh gravel. By the end of the day we were all tired but had made some gold with an ounce in our jar. We talked over supper about finishing the kettle and moving out to the eastern drift mine and surrounding area. That would require a new plan and I was already mulling one over.

   TO BE CONTINUED ....................

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On 6/7/2022 at 12:09 PM, GhostMiner said:

The area was partially hydraulicked but not finished. It is in a more remote area than most of the work done in the 1800's and they must have been stopped by the Sawyer Decision and the big companies left the area. They hydraulicked about 50 ft to form a ravine or gulley. Then the 1936 crew dug a shaft 36 ft deeper and from there did a decending drift in a horshoe ending 50 ft east of the shaft but at the 56 ft level where they encountered the area of raised bedrock. It was glory holed for over 1000 ounces. The miner was later murdered when he showed his gold while in poor company. That's just part of the report. So the 1936 crew was 56 ft below the 50 ft already hydraulicked out for a depth of 106 ft roughly. Bedrock in that area is around 120. I would need to dig near the strike and go down another 10 - 15 ft to find bedrock. I'd say 65 - 75 ft deep. That's just a guess because bedrock depths vary along the west side of the faultline. I could get lucky and find bedrock closer to the surface like the 1936 crew did. Getting permits for more than 1000 yards of disturbance would be hard to do & costly. Still thinking on all this.

If you have those kinds of depths to bedrock from surface then I guess you really need to permit the right area 😠 This is a useful intro to mapping bedrock  https://www.guidelinegeo.com/bedrock-mapping/   What is the bedrock? If there is a density contrast between that and the gravels a gravity survey might work. You'd be amazed what a gravity meter can do but it's specialist operation.

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1 hour ago, Off Grid said:

If you have those kinds of depths to bedrock from surface then I guess you really need to permit the right area 😠 This is a useful intro to mapping bedrock  https://www.guidelinegeo.com/bedrock-mapping/   What is the bedrock? If there is a density contrast between that and the gravels a gravity survey might work. You'd be amazed what a gravity meter can do but it's specialist operation.

We have lidar coming this Summer & I will look at the info you sent as well. Many thanks.

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April 14   1937

 

   Last night was a rough one. We were woke up by the constant screeching of bobcats in the middle of the night as well as gunfire by Ben and Sarge to scare them off. I was up well before dawn and cooked up breakfast for the crew who got up a little later than me. We were all a little tired and the morning was clear and cold. John and I worked the kettle and Will and Hudson were doing good work keeping water heading up the mountain. 

   I found an area of sunken bedrock full of cracks big enough to work and John and I took out some rich gravels. When we ended the day and did the weigh and  got three ounces. That put us all in a good mood. Sarge and Ben are also in for a small percentage of the weighs. I think Jed would approve as he always wanted to be fair with everyone and was quite generous with people he trusted.  

 

   TO BE CONTINUED .................

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   April 15   1937

 

   Last night we had a visit by four hooligans. It seems they had liquored themselves up with false courage at the tavern and came out to the mine for a visit just before dark. Sarge and Ben had stopped them before they made it all the way into camp and the crew went down to see what was going on. They were running their mouths and talking about how they were ruff and ready guys and thought they would be a good fit as a part of our crew. They said they could handle themselves in a fight and were hard workers to boot. John was getting a laugh out of all this and asked them who the toughest one in the bunch was. They immediately pointed to the biggest one who was probably in his late twenties. He said he would take on any one of us in a brawl and prove he could handle himself. John surprised me and took him up on it. I knew that John didn’t mind a good fight if he had the reason to do so so maybe he just felt like he had been challenged.

   John asked the hooligan if he was up for a game. He said they would stand toe to toe. They would flip a coin. The winner would get the first punch and then the other man would return it. This would continue until someone gave up or was knocked out. The hooligan was all for it. I flipped the coin and the hooligan won the toss. The entire crew and the other three hooligans formed a circle around the combatants. They squared up and I saw John brace himself. The hooligan delivered the best punch he could throw from the close quarters. It caught John square on the jaw and his head snapped to the side. He looked at the guy and smiled. Now it was his turn. John is about as ruff and tuff as they come and he let his right fist sail into the hooligan's jaw. The guy’s knees started to buckle but to his credit he stayed on his feet. He was a little unsteady as he threw another haymaker that found its mark. John just shook it off again with the same smile. Now John let his hip turn as he threw a cross from his shoulder. I saw the hooligan's lip split open and he spit out a tooth. He was still on his feet but more shaky now. He let a good right hand fly once again and John’s head snapped back and he started spitting blood. He was still smiling. John kind of gave a grunt as he let his right hand fly once more. It was a crushing blow to the nose of the hooligan. There was blood everywhere and the guy sank down on one knee. He got up and gathered himself. John braced himself for the next punch which connected but it was a weaker punch and only grazed John's face. John asked him if he wanted to quit. The guy shook his head no. John let one fly and there was a sickening crunch and more teeth were spit out but the guy stayed on his feet. He was tough. He let John have another punch but this one was weaker still. John delivered his next punch into the gut and the guy doubled over and went down on his face. All the fight was gone out of him now. 

   His friends picked him up and they left camp telling John they couldn’t believe what he had done to their friend. They said he’d never been beaten in a fight. They said they were going to tell everyone in town that the rumors about us were true, that we were not to be messed with.  

   The next day we worked the kettle. John’s face was badly bruised and he couldn’t eat solid food because his teeth were sore and one was loose. We did a good day’s work and ended up with one ounce of gold. John was eating oatmeal for supper.

   TO BE CONTINUED ..................

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 April 16   1937

 

   I was up early this morning. It was way before the first of the crew got up and it gave me a chance to do some thinking. It seems we are getting off to a slow start. It is very early in the season so I am not too worried but the crew doesn’t seem focused on mining like we were last year. Also, we have a new crew member in Hudson. I am feeling a bit of doubt on my leadership skills. I try to think of Jed and what he would do and say. We all need to start concentrating on our jobs at hand and not so much as being mining legends and ruff characters to the town folk. I think John enjoys the fame but I could do without it.

   When breakfast was finished I called a quick meeting before we headed up the mountain. I laid it all out there on the line and asked them if they were ok with me leading the crew and wanted to know if I had their confidence. They all to the man assured me that they were 100 percent behind me. Even Sarge and Ben expressed much confidence in me. I was relieved to say the least. I have big shoes to fill here and I can never be Jed. He was one of a kind and I miss him  every day. I keep expecting to see him coming down the mountain and into camp and uncorking a bottle of whiskey. It has been hard for me and it’s not getting any easier.

   We all worked our jobs today without drama and collected one more ounce of gold. The southern kettle was not paying well.

   TO BE CONTINUED ....................

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2 hours ago, GhostMiner said:

 April 16   1937

 

   I was up early this morning. It was way before the first of the crew got up and it gave me a chance to do some thinking. It seems we are getting off to a slow start. It is very early in the season so I am not too worried but the crew doesn’t seem focused on mining like we were last year. Also, we have a new crew member in Hudson. I am feeling a bit of doubt on my leadership skills. I try to think of Jed and what he would do and say. We all need to start concentrating on our jobs at hand and not so much as being mining legends and ruff characters to the town folk. I think John enjoys the fame but I could do without it.

   When breakfast was finished I called a quick meeting before we headed up the mountain. I laid it all out there on the line and asked them if they were ok with me leading the crew and wanted to know if I had their confidence. They all to the man assured me that they were 100 percent behind me. Even Sarge and Ben expressed much confidence in me. I was relieved to say the least. I have big shoes to fill here and I can never be Jed. He was one of a kind and I miss him  every day. I keep expecting to see him coming down the mountain and into camp and uncorking a bottle of whiskey. It has been hard for me and it’s not getting any easier.

   We all worked our jobs today without drama and collected one more ounce of gold. The southern kettle was not paying well.

   TO BE CONTINUED ....................

I miss Jed as well. Wish we had a photo of him.

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