Jump to content

SDC2300 Shines in Superhot Ironstone

Recommended Posts

After leaving the skunkfest at Sawtooth I decided to detour on my way home and hit some old ground where I knew some small gold existed. Don't get me wrong, Sawtooth was a great outing with a great bunch of people, but except for one really nice nugget, the gold was pretty scarce.

So, I drove to Riverside, CA where an old friend always has a spare room and a jaccuzi. I soaked my aching bones and tried to wash off the skunk, downed a few glasses of Cab. and got a decent nights sleep in a bed, not a camp cot.

Yesterday I drove out to a zone near Palm Springs where Kaiser steel once mined iron ore. I got an early start knowing I had over an hour hike to the spot I wanted to try. The spot consists of a small ridge where the old timers had drywashed 2 small gullies. Bedrock on the ridge face is less than 8 inches. I had found a few nuggets in the past with the GPX, nothing over 1 gram, but the ironstone just plays hell with the GPX, especially when looking for small gold. Whisper targets are out of the question. Some of the golf ball sized ironstones are super dense and make a swinging a coil a hearing buster. The softball sized pieces are like swinging over a horse shoe and the GPX will find them real deep. I hiked in the long way much to my dismay later in the day. The temps were in the mid to high 80's and I miscalculated on my water supply. I had 3 1 ltr bottles, and drank the first one on the way in.

I got to the tailings and within minutes had 3 small flakes of gold, right out of the tailings. I worked the entire hillside trying to find bigger pieces and clusters, but it wasn't to be. The SDC was a dream in that ironstone. It growled and groaned on probably 60 percent of the ironstones, but gold signals came through loud and clear with obvious dig me tones. The biggest piece of gold was just shy of 2 grams and blasted through with the low/high tone. I dug a fair amount of really dense ironstone, but the SDC purred along for the most part. I hunted that spot for about 2 hours and came away with 16 pieces for about 5 grams. I spent too much time searching the barren parts of the hillside instead of concentrating on a 30 meter zone that produced 90 percent of the gold. I ignored most of the faint threshold warbles because of the ironstone and only dug solid signals. I was short of time because of the my water situation and had to call it day after about 2 hours of detecting.

My hike back was brutal. Hottest part of the day and my water reached the critical. I had abut 4 inches of water left in the last bottle and had to take a small sip and hold the water in my mouth to overcome the dry tongue and mouth sensation. I tried to take a shortcut and naturally missed the mark because of a sheer rock face. Thankfully, I had a cooler full of cold water and beer and that's all I could think of as I trudged around the rock face obstacle. Man, was I glad to see that truck in the distance and polished off the last of my water. I should have stayed another day, but my heart just wasn't in it after that hot, dry hike.


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Finding the SDC2300 is great in Australia on ironstone littered ground. Dismissing any ironstone/ironstone mix rocks that signal isn't an option here as everything I've found that has signalled to date has contained gold when broken open. Haven't had any ironstone "hotrocks" to date. The only rocks I have had trouble with are some larger bits of basalt in one area but have heard of others having issues elsewhere also with basalt.

Some ironstone & quartz speccis a mate got last trip. Photo is after being broken open.


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By rob baum
      I bought a house in meadview about 4 years ago.  Every couple months when I go there I try to get over to gold basin to do some detecting or drywashing.  It took me a couple years to find my first nugget out there and its been a couple of years since then and I havent found another.  I swing an SDC and I've read people have done pretty good out there with that model.  I find plenty of lead and boot tacks a inch or two down but not much deeper than that.   What settings are people using out there?  How deep down are people finding the gold?  Would I be better off with a  different model that can go deeper?  I'm not very confident in my abilities since I learned this machine on my own and have only found 2 pieces in the 4 years and dozens of times I've used it.  Any advice would be appreciated. 
    • By Gerry in Idaho
      Here's the 1st video Minelab USA did for TV.  You might know the English sounding dude from FL.
      What's interesting is we were able to see Minelab Mine Detector as it turned into a gold detector.
      The comments towards the end about seeing what's in the ground before you dig it, I'm still waiting.
      Do you feel, we'll see a detector that can actually see the item or at least the shape of it with any accuracy and if so how long out?
    • By PPP
      Another classic question,but i have a ctx3030 with 17inch coil and do mostly detecting in the saltwater.It goes deep and thats what i'm looking for,depth,,I know that SDC2300 is a PI machine and very sensitive to gold.But when it comes to depth comparison in saltwater and knowing the SDC2300 has 8 inch coil,then the question is which detector goes deeper?is it worth buying that expensive unit just for saltwater beahhunting? 
    • By Bear
      Glad to see Simon is back.
      I know there are previous posts about SDC battery compartment seal, I had problems with mine this summer.  
      Here is the background that I have posted about before.
      I dredge in an old cut that wasn’t cleaned that good into the bedrock.  The bedrock is a quartz muscovite schist that through frost shattering and dissolution is deeply weathered making it easy to dredge into for a couple of feet.  Because it is a cut the water is always murky and work is done by feel.  A couple of years ago I dug a big section that I thought was cleaned up.  Previously I seen a guy use an Excalibur to check where he had dredged so I took the SDC in.  There was targets so dredged deeper and recovered a couple more nuggets.  Now this has become standard practice.  
      This summer while changing the batteries there was water in the battery compartment.  I cleaned and dried the compartment.  Also cleaned the seal and the machine worked fine but I would like to change it.  Through a search nobody sells replacements?
    • By Lunk
      With the fantastic weather in the Rye Patch region during the month of October, I was chomping at the bit to get down there, but my summer job didn't end until the 30th. It still took me a few days afterward to get everything wrapped up, so I finally hit the road and met up with Gerry and friends at Rye Patch the following Tuesday. The detector training class we were scheduled to give that weekend ended up being cancelled, thanks to a winter storm that was forecast to move into the area on Friday. Needless to say, having only two days of optimal detecting conditions before being snowed out and forced to move on to Arizona was a total bummer.😞 Intent on finding a few bits of gold in-spite of the looming storm system and armed with our trusty Minelab GPZ 7000 gold detectors (and one SDC 2300 - also quite trusty, btw), we hit an old patch in hopes of digging up some previously overlooked yellow metal. Only two small nuggets were found after a couple of hours searching with four coils on the ground - not a very good start. It was then that I remembered another old patch nearby that I had completely forgotten about, it had been so long since I had been there. It wasn't a very good producer back in the day, but perhaps we would be able to find a few nuggets that the VLF and early PI machines may have left behind. Within minutes of hitting the ground, my good friend Chef Rusty and I both popped a shallow sub-gram nugget; not a bad start. Soon, everyone was digging good gold! My second target gave an obvious yet deep sounding signal response from the GPZ's stock 14” coil. I imagined it to be a three or four gram piece at a depth of 12” to 18”. Gerry noticed me digging quite an excavation and came over to capture the action on video. At a measured depth of 20”, the target was finally out of the hole, and as I held it aloft there was an audible gasp from the audience that had gathered to watch, followed by cheers and fist-bumps:

      After a thorough cleaning, the specimen weighed in at a whopping 40 grams - a totally unexpected and pleasant surprise! The nuggets kept biting sporadically for everyone the rest of the day, and the same was repeated the following day. Just goes to show that sometimes the ZVT tech can really ignite an old burned-out nugget patch. Much fun was had by all, and it really made up for such a short two-day detecting trip. Pictured below are my finds, including the 40 gram chunk, a couple nuggets at over 8 grams, and all the small bits, with a total combined weight of over 66 grams.

    • By Steve Herschbach
      Four used ones advertised on The Classifieds in the last couple days, one sold already. Seems like Gerry’s circle of people... you know something the rest of us do not know Gerry?

  • Create New...