By Steve Herschbach
As many of you know I owned the placer operations at Moore Creek Mine in Alaska for many years. We ran a very successful "pay-to-mine" operation there. I am still an owner of the lode portion of the property but sold the placer and pay-to-mine operation in the winter of 2009.
As part of the deal with the new owners I was to run the first week of the pay-to-mine with them on hand to show them the ropes and ease the transition. Gerry McMullen of Gerry's Detectors booked a group in the first week of 2010, my last week of running the show. Real nice group, and some very proficient operators, a guy named Spencer among them.
It was a great week with a pile of gold found, but like all good things had to draw to a close. On the last day everyone was out looking one last time, and Spencer got a signal directly across the pond from the camp in an area where quite a bit of gold had been found in the past. The little pile there was pretty well mowed flat, but Spencer got a nice faint low tone target. He dug. And dug. And dug.
Now to his credit he knew there was also some deep trash in the immediate area, and the tone was more likely to be junk than a big nugget. And he was tired. But he came over to the camp and borrowed a long handle shovel and went back to it. It was his last target and he was going to finish it.
I am in camp and I hear some whooping and hollering. Spencer hit the big time! He had dug a lot of gold in his nugget detecting career, but the nearly one pound nugget he had just found blew away his previous finds for size!
It is always fun being around something like that. The excitement is infectious. I went over to see the hole and frankly it was amazing. We all sat around taking pictures and here is one I got of Spencer standing in the hole the nugget came out of. The nugget weighed in at 11.88 ounces.
Spencer with 11.88 Ounce Nugget at Moore Creek, Alaska (click on photo for larger version)
The nugget was found with a Minelab GPX 4500. There was over 30 ounces of gold found that week and Spencer's was one of the larger ones ever found in my years at the mine - it was nice to go out with a bang. Spencer really earned that nugget though, many people would have decided it was a can and walked away. More about Spencer
Sadly the new owners were not able to keep the pay-to-mine going. Hosting people in the middle of nowhere Alaska is not for everyone and 2010 was the last summer people could pay to visit the mine. The owners shifted to a pure mining operations and were successfully operating through the end of last season. I may stop out and visit them this summer. Has to be another big nugget lurking at Moore Creek!
OK...I'm bored as the snow keeps piling up!!! I remember reading a thread on one of these forums, which I can't remember which one, but somebody posted some very small bits he'd gotten with I believe a Gold Monster(?). Anyways....one of the replies posted was from a person who couldn't and wouldn't believe a detector could find gold that tiny. Soooo.... just for fun lets see some pics of your smallest bits and what detector you got them with??? Mine below were got with the Monster.....
A couple of days ago I pulled the trigger on a solo trip to Australia, Melbourne and Victoria to be exact. I have the Visa. I have a Miner's Right. I'll be there from Thursday morning 8:30AM the 9th of May thru Thursday morning the 30th of May which will make for 20 days of detecting. It says the highs will be in the high 60s and lows in the 50s. The sun will rise about 7:30 and set about 5. There seems to be a fair amount of rain for the month.
I've been reading Fred's books. He has one of Doug Stone's which is the Gold Atlas of Victoria. There are also many online resources and several of you here have some great suggestions for me. My itinerary is open for some nugget prospecting days and a couple of beach days.
My tentative plan would be to get off the plane, rent a vehicle and head to Bendigo area for a motel and then be ready for a hunt the next day. I might even be up for a hunt the day I arrive ... possibly at a beach.
I'm sure I'll be meeting up with some of the forum members when I'm there so let's just see what happens.
By Gerry in Idaho
My customer on MX trip with me 2 weeks ago. 1st day 1st ring & it's this mans 14K gold with a gold Krugerrand coin. I told him to quit & just hang out at the bar as I felt he would not find a better. Should have listened as it actually did become his best find of the trip. It is his 1st gold coin find ever.
So if entering it at the local club, does it go into the Jewelry Category or the Coin? Or he could pop the coin out and enter both individually?
His Equinox 600 is almost paid for.