Just found a clip on my old hard drive taken in October 2015. I took my step daughter out for a swing in a paddock I had access to over near Maryborough, Victoria, Australia.
First time that she had ever been out. To say she was excited is an understatement !
Minelab GPZ 7000 in difficult / general.
So I managed to squeeze in another half day outing to my spot up in the mountains. More digging and moving boulders uncovered another 3 pieces of gold for 1.5g. The larger piece is 1g and is quite coarse / rough for this area. The black material is slowly being dissolved by hydrochloric acid. The first photo shows the creek. A little bit of water with a lot of boulders. Historically this creek has produced nuggets up to 12oz, I'm sure under one of the boulders there will be one for me. Will probably be a month before I get time for another look. I'm trying to finish building my house extension in my spare time and my two young daughters keep my busy....
Around this time of year I normally have some time away and go somewhere, lately I've tried to focus that on a bit of prospecting. It's not that often I get a chance to take my Caravan out and get away as my daughter is always in School which ties us down but seeing it's school holidays at Christmas we took advantage of that and took off. I went to a spot I knew I'd at least find some gold and is close enough to home that it's not a giant mission. The weather started off pretty bad, it wasn't long after we arrived we had some snow, in the middle of summer!!!
Before I'd even arrived I was contacted by the NZ Minelab dealer asking if I wanted to go on a mission with him, I jumped at that opportunity. He was going to take me to a couple of his creek claims to do some detecting. Unfortunately Queenstown has been getting slammed with weather, I think the Aussie heatwave has pushed all the wild stuff across to us as our weather has been well.... weird. Seeing the river was flooded too high for his 4x4 to get across he had a plan B and took me to some other claims he has on some creeks and we detected around there. Unfortunately we had no luck with the detectors. Possibly the gold was just too small in the area for them, he normally just dredges. He put a pan down into the gravels and panned it out and it had a fair few flakes in it.
The drive was pretty crazy, I'd never been into this area before.... You have to follow one of the worlds most dangerous roads, rental car companies ban their customers from using the road and I believe car insurance companies won't cover you if you have an incident on the road.
This is us driving it here, you'll see the little flat bit where the plant life is along that cliff side, there is a skinny little road there cut out of the rock, there were even areas with signs saying if it has rained recently don't pass this point as the cliff may come down, so of course we passed the point even though it rained bad the night before 🙂
It had a pretty crazy bridge, this bridge had a massive gully below it, a LONG way down. All very old infrastructure, put there by the old gold miners I would guess seeing that's what the area was all about.
As we got nearer to where we were heading the gold mining history became apparent
Then we arrived and I saw the cliff we had to climb down to get to the creek!!!!
Yup, that's it, we had to climb down there..........
Fortunately we made it, plenty of good bedrock to detect but no detectable gold to be found, the creek was in flood too. Either way, it was a great adventure to a place I'd never been before. By the way, climbing out was five times as hard as getting down, and we had to turn back at one point and take another route as we were stopped by a steep cliff face. 😮
The weather had improved now but my Caravan's annex became as casualty of some strong wind and got a tear in it, my wife claims she can fix it so we ripped it down. First time we'd used it, I don't like the effort it takes to put up so now with the better weather and no annex life was good.
Next up I decided I'd hit a creek I'd had VERY good luck in early on in my detecting, JW took me there and I got a few grams on my first time detecting properly. I had high hopes after all the flooding some new gold had washed down, it's a pretty crazy fast flowing steep creek. It's a public fossicking area so it's been hit pretty hard I'd imagine. I'm not game to take my GPX or QED up this creek, I'd be too worried about falling over and dropping it in 😞
Some bits you just can't deal with and have to climb up the edges to get around them.
I stumbled across an anaconda, looks like someones been up to no good, no dredging allowed in public fossicking areas!
It's a nice creek to hang around in on a hot day.
The last time I came to this creek I got pretty lost, I went up a cliff to get around a waterfall and couldn't find my way back down 🙂 This didn't happen this time, I was heading up the creek well, further than I'd ever been before.
I found this spot on the way, looks like someone had been attacking it digging behind the big rock, I couldn't find anything there.
I then kept walking up the creek and got a iffy signal on the GM, mostly in the ferrous area but occasionally flicking to non-ferrous, it was annoying as it was under a fast flowing little waterfall, I had my hopes up, this one seemed real. I dug down and down through the gravels and the target was still there but screaming out a solid non-ferrous signal, after some messing around I remembered I had my Garrett Carrot in my bag, got it out and pinpointed it in no time, down on a bedrock it was, I scooped it's area out and tipped it up on some ground beside the creek.
You can see in the photos how fast the water is flowing.
Amazingly something I've always wanted to find, an old Chinese Gold miners coin. Even JW has never found one of these suckers. The Chinese heavily worked this creek, they have nice neat stacked rocks regularly in spots along it. They took a lot of time to stack their rocks neat and tidy.
It is broken but most of it's still there, a great find in my opinion. If anyone can identify it I'd love to know more about it. I don't even know which way is up 🙂
I spent another day at the creek and found nothing more. Time to go sluicing! I always take my pooch sluicing, he likes hanging about at the creek and enjoys the drive to the spot.
My wife helped find spots to sluice, shes quite good with a pan and if she had 5 or more flakes to a pan I'd try the spot out.
It wasn't long and she got these flakes.... all in one pan so I was excited, time to make a dam and drop in my A52S Sluice.
Dam built! a real masterpiece, it'd make a beaver proud. 🙂
and in she goes. A good flow but not enough to take advantage of the A52S not needing classifying, bigger rocks kept getting stuck, bugger, extra work.
I dug my big hole where she got the test flakes and watched the gold appear in my indicator matting
Only the tiny bits stay in there but it's handy to know you're getting gold.
I started the process late in the day and the dam building took most of the time so we ripped it out.
there's gold hiding in there.....
Four decent little nuggets too, just picked these out by hand.
Not bad for about 2 hours with the sluice in operation.
We arrived back at the same spot the next morning to hit it again.
My hole got pretty big, I used the indicator matting to work out where to dig and followed the gold, it was in a line. I couldn't get very deep, the rocks just made it too hard with my shovel, about knee depth was it. I already had to move some massive rocks. After about 5 or so hours my wife and daughter were more than ready to leave and I was tired so we called it quits.
This was the total. My best ever sluice result, not bad for a public fossicking area.
The black sand gets annoying doing the cleanup, gold gets sucked up on the magnet with the sand too. I had to be careful.
I spent about an hour or two on the trip coin detecting, mainly just when I had a small chance, I put minimal effort into it as I didn't have the time but checked out little spots as I had a chance. I managed to find a silver ring, a gold ear ring and some coins. A few dollars in modern coins my daughter got too but they're not in the photos, long spent 🙂
This was an unusual coin find, never found a coin from Chile before.
And now I'm home again, for a few days at least. My next mission needs to be to go detecting with my QED/GPX as I'm desperate to use my 10" X-coil, I'm super excited about it after seeing how well it performs on my last mission with it.