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.....
Hi guys, After mowing the lawns & doing a bit of section tiding up & checking out the forum I went out for a late afternoon detect to a local spot. Being a bit cooler in the late afternoon/early evening. I took the E-bike to get in a bit quicker than it would have taken to walk. I wasn't really to sure where I was going to go as the grass growth is still crazy. There is crap growing in the exposed schist bedrock where I have never seen it before. Making detecting very hard to impossible. Hence the E-Bike so I could just keep riding, scoping out places where I could wave a coil. Ended up in just one spot, rigged up the Zed, & then realised I had left the bungy cord on the 4500. Bugger. Had to carry the full weight of the Zed.
I targeted exposed bedrock & was getting my share of pellets when one signal lived on down a bit deeper into a crevice. I had to smash a bit of the schist out to get the target to move. This was looking promising.
Bingo .26 of a gram
Then a graveyard of pellets....one after the other after the other....I dropped the coil down the face of a bit of a drop off. Got a very faint signal. Probably another pellet. But the signal lived on deeper again than the pellets.
I had to hack out a few bushes to get right in there.
Ended up having to carefully hack out more schist in the face, careful so I didn't lose the target.
I didn't lose it. .08 of a gram But no catch & release.
That was it. Nothing more but rubbish so I packed it in & rode back to my wagon. That was a bit of fun for a couple of hours in the cool of the evening.
Two for a total of .34 of a gram.
Have I ever said how the Zed just Blows me away? 👍 Cheers.
Good luck out there
Hi guys, Well after my skunk yesterday & doing a bit of work around the house this morning I decided I had to get a gold fix. So late in the afternoon when things had cooled down a bit I threw the E-Bike on to the back of my wagon, packed up the nox & other paraphernalia into the backpack & headed to a favourite little local spot that has been kind to me with my high frequency VLF's & tiny gold. Would today be any different?
Got to my spot & got stuck into it.
I was surprised at how much the grass growth had come back. It shouldn't even be there this time of the year. This spot is rotten schist bed rock & as you scrape away & break up the bed rock you usually get down to more tiny bits of gold that have worked there way right into the folds of the schist & the clays. So after a bit of hacking & scraping & raking I waved the Nox over the loosened up bedrock, clay & gravels. I was in full max sensitivity of 25, Multi IQ of 20 & 40 Khz simultaneously & running with no discrimination. My magnet soon sorted out any hot rocks & tiny bits of iron stone & sands. I then got a signal that was coming up in the negatives all over the place but wasnt sticking to the magnet when I passed the magnet thru the dirt. I pushed the horseshoe button to knock out iron & there was barely a crackle in the audio threshold & no VDI numbers coming up at all. I have been here before & know it to be a sign that this could well be a tiny bit of gold....or lead. I was putting my bet on it being gold as I have scraped this bed rock before & there should be no lead here at all.
I was correct. Can you see it by the E
If not, I will help you out.
Into the bottle it went. Flattening out the scrape pile a bit more I got another faint little hit. Same thing as before. Back into all metal & VDI numbers all over the place in the negatives but definite signal & hardly a murmur in the audio when I pushed the horseshoe button & no VDI's.
Another tiny bit of gold.
This went on for a total of 8 little bits after a bit more scraping & raking before I was chased out by darkness coming on at 9.45pm & I still had to ride out of there. Got home just after 10pm
So 8 bits for the Nox 800 for a total of .11 of a gram.
Was a bit of fun for a few hours in the cool of the evening. Quite pleasant actually after the hot days we have been having. Cheers.
Good luck out there