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Gold Detecting On Bouldery Gravel Bars?


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I am new to this forum and fairly new to prospecting in general, but I have jumped in with both feet though and I staked a claim nearby where I plan to do a lot of practicing. There are a lot of inside bend gravel bars in the area, and I am wondering if you can successfully detect for gold on bars mostly covered with large round boulders? Is this something that a Goldbug 2 would be capable of? Or would you want to go with an ATX Deepseeker 20" mono in a place like this? I am hoping to decide on what type of detector to buy and any input would be much appreciated. There is not a lot of bedrock in the area. The river was raging this winter and I'm hoping to scour the bars and river banks. I just don't know if this is the type of ground that is conducive to detecting. Thanks!!!

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Troutsnouter , I can't resist. With a moniker like that you should be able to detect all kinds of lures and fishing weights. I'm not the expert here but you are starting an adventure. Get ready to dig. There is a learning curve even with advice. I have three detectors, one of which is a goldbug 2. I like it. But I would go with a dues 2 or equinox 800 first. Both fairly sensitive and can be used for other things. Wish I had got my nox sooner. 

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Depth on smaller nuggets is inches, multi ounce nuggets up to a couple feet. Detecting large gravel bars would generally be a waste of time. Go find bedrock. And check the history. No known gold production equals massive waste of time. You want history of larger gold for metal detecting. There is no such thing as an unprospected stream or river these days.

VLFs do not do well on mixed composition materials, especially the Gold Bug 2. They do best where all the rocks and gravels are similar. The Gold Bug 2 in particular has a very narrow ground balance window, and anything outside the window is a hot rock. 

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3 hours ago, troutsnouter said:

inside bend gravel bars

I don't think I have ever found any gold on the surface of gravel bars. The low pressure deposits are usually all the way on the bottom, so dredging there would be better. Look for dry bedrock crevices, those that are sideways to the stream, not parallel. If there is hard compacted gravel-good, start cleaning them out and look all the way on the bottom. Also, sampling with the gold pan is helpful to orient yourself where gold has traveled. As Steve said, the area should be known for coarse larger gold nuggets. Sometimes, all there is is fine flood gold. Also, check higher up benches, if there are any. The GB2 is not easy to operate on bedrock which usually has a fair amount of mineralization, I use it more for very mild soil and shallow small gold. Just my 2 c. Good luck!

GC 

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It looks like your mining method is Metal Detecting. From my experience a claim is only good for Metal Detecting, if there is a large spread "or rich vein" of gold in it together with access to earthmoving equipment. Test out your claim ( not work it) with a pan and detector, if not promising put it back on the market and get some detecting under your belt. Best of "Μίδας" luck. Every thing he touched turned to "Au" Atomic N° 79          🤑

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17 hours ago, troutsnouter said:

I am new to this forum and fairly new to prospecting in general,...

If you don't have Chris Ralph's book (click on the underlined text to left), that should be the first thing you invest in.  Chris also has excellent YouTube videos.  Joining the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) -- a national organization -- should be another consideration, and/or local and regional clubs if you live in a gold producing areas (e.g., in USA Rocky Mountain states, desert Southwest states, Pacific Coast states,...).

Before you invest in a metal detector, call Gerry McMullen -- he won't bite (unless you're a large chunk of gold 😄).

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Thanks for all the advice...and I will get that book you mentioned GB_Amateur...

I almost ordered a GB2 but after reading some of this and doing a bit of snouting, it seems that I may need to go with a PI. I don't have a ton of bedrock around here, but they say my river has been known for gold. This winter, she really went nuts raging over her banks, and there may be small gold lying around. The most that I can spend is about $2500 US. If you had to pick one detector within that budget... WHAT WOULD IT BE?  

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Buy a nice production and finishing gold pan set like the one from Garrett and save $2450 for the moment. Learn how to pan and test those gravel bars. If there is any flood gold you won’t have to dig very deep to find it. Small flood gold flakes in the right places might indicate deeper larger gold. I said might however. A $2500 budget might get you a used SDC 2300. However, any good VLF with high enough frequency operation and waterproof coils will do just about as well if it can ground balance effectively on those gravel bars, but that is another substantial IF as pointed out earlier by Steve even if the VLF has simultaneous multi frequency tech.

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On 5/4/2022 at 4:52 AM, GB_Amateur said:

If you don't have Chris Ralph's book (click on the underlined text to left), that should be the first thing you invest in.  Chris also has excellent YouTube videos.  Joining the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) -- a national organization -- should be another consideration, and/or local and regional clubs if you live in a gold producing areas (e.g., in USA Rocky Mountain states, desert Southwest states, Pacific Coast states,...).

Before you invest in a metal detector, call Gerry McMullen -- he won't bite (unless you're a large chunk of gold 😄).

I will second everything in this reply!!!

The book is incredibly valuable & Gerry was extremely helpful when I spoke with him.

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