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  1. I saw this video posted by Chicago Ron about his visit this summer to the AKAU operation in Nome. From YouTube: “1 week trip to Nome Alaska with 7 other hunters. We tried everything they had. 2 days working the slick plate, groups of 2 for half a day. High banking and panning, and lots of detecting tailing piles that had been pushed with a dozer. Mike got the find of the trip with a 7.93 ounce specimen worth well over 20K. I had the most nuggets with 7 and we all got gold and had a blast! Already planning the return trip End of July 2022” Nome Alaska Gold Hunt August 2021 Warning Adult Language!
  2. I also am back from Alaska, although its from a different part of the state than Steve was in. I am back from Gold King Creek, about 50 miles south of Fairbanks. It was quite an adventure. They run an operation for tourists as well as running a regular commercial scale operation at the same time. I did metal detecting and shoveled gravel into a highbanker. Shoveling gravel is taxing and with my back still only at about 90% from my car accident, after a couple weeks of shoveling all day my back was in sore shape. I balanced off shoveling by metal detecting. I found 179 pieces of gold while I was there, but the total weight for all my detected gold was only 5.2 grams. The gold from Gold King is small (as is common for many Alaska placers). Now don't get me wrong, I had a ball detecting all of those 179 pieces, and there are a few rare larger bits in the area. One lady found a nugget of about 3.5 grams before we arrived with an SDC 2300 - very unusual. I think the biggest the commercial operator got while I was there was about a gram, and that is from 65 ounces he produced in the two weeks I was there. My biggest was about 0.2 grams, and average for the 179 pieces was about 0.03 grams. That's a testimony to the sensitivity of the GM 1000. I did get some good gold by shoveling into the highbanker also. The gold does not occur on a real bedrock but on a hardpan of deep clay, real bed rock is 180 feet down and likely has no significant gold ( based on where the gold is coming from). Overall, I think it was a big success, I really enjoyed myself, the folks who went in with me had a great time, and I got to meet a lot of new folks, including some of the staff who were avid detector prospectors from Arizona. On trying to depart, I got stuck there for a day by low fog - which prevents planes from flying in. Very normal for an Alaskan prospecting adventure. I've now taken care of the things I need to do for the ICMJ magazine and am getting back on track to take care of all the other things that go with life here in the lower 48. There will be an article in the ICMJ on it with a lot more detail for those who subscribe, and I have a video about working on hardpan or false bedrock on my Youtube channel.
  3. Last weekend I made the drive from Anchorage up to the Taylor Highway and past Chicken to the Jack Wade public gold panning area. Look up Steve’s excellent posts on the area for more descriptions and pictures of nuggets, no gold on my trip. It’s still pretty early so Chicken wasn’t even open yet and some ice shelfs were still along sections of the creek. Got great weather, just some passing downpours but in a T-shirt with no mosquitos most of the time. I did take waders to cross the creek,as it was running a little high with snowmelt. This was the first trip I dedicated a lot of time as a serious search for gold and was just as much about learning the detector. Mostly I have worked beaches, campsites, a few roadsides, so I know it can find the tiniest bits of melted aluminum can, bullets and coins. As expected I dug a lot of trash, but I did find some interesting nuggets that are definitely not gold. Most are iron based, magnetic, but a couple look very noduly, and one is not magnetic. The others are probably just rusted bits of iron. There were some sparkles I thought might be pyrite but I think is just dust from the surrounding shist as even the nails and bits of wire sparkle under the right light. Take a look at the pics and see what you think, maybe just welding or torch cutting remnants. They were all in the same area. The area has been heavily worked by detectorists with lots of dig holes around. Equally lots of unexplored tailings but many so overgrown that swinging a detector is impossible. I put in about 16 hours of exploring and detecting on the tailings. Covered a wide variety of terrain and tailings, new, old, tall, short, and along some bedrock sections. On to the Equinox: I tried both Park 2 and the Gold 1 settings. Obviously, my ear is not tuned to the Gold 1 program, it was providing way more chatter than I could process, even with sensitivity turned down to 15 or so. I would have turned it down more but I could run in Park 2 at 20-22 sensitivity and thought I may miss more in Gold 1. I was using the 11” stock coil. Is it normal to have to run at a much lower sensitivity in the gold modes? Most of the time I ended up running in Park 2 with -7,-8,-9 turned off, which may have been a mistake. With how worked the area is, the best chance is probably digging all the iron and hoping for a nugget that might be masked by the trash. In one area I did have some trouble with hot rocks, they would sound as a fairly small but round 12 with iron nearby but after digging out would end up as a -6 hot rock. Was curious why it read so high. All in all a great trip. No gold, and not much wildlife but got a nice shot of a Short-eared Owl on the drive out the Taylor Hwy. Photos of finds, handful of magnetic nuggets, close up of the non magnetic nugget (maybe lead or silver?)
  4. Year #2 of Covid is shaping up to be worse than #1 so I have decided to go mining/prospecting which should use up the rest of my cash reserve. The question is where do I go? I can't really afford to do the typical tourist areas and can't afford anything like a Gaines Creek trip. So this leaves me tied to the road system. What is the best choice, look for unclaimed spots? Try to find someone who will let you work their claims? Hit the public areas? There are millions of yards of tailings, does everyone expect you to get permission to detect something dredged in the 20s? Once you get out there and see something you want to hit you would have to go back to where you have internet and try to find if it still has a valid claim and try to call the owners, I would never get anything done. I have VLF detectors if nugget hunting is possible but need a PI to cover hotter spots. I have a Proline 2.5 in combo highbanker and plenty of pans, sluices, tools etc. Want to try Chicken Area and Petersville, Should we look North of Fairbanks as well or someplace else? Stay home and detect tot lots? ww
  5. I made a few videos about our trip to Chicken Alaska this year. Here is episode 1: Journey to Chicken: Two swiss hobby gold prospectors travel to Chicken, Alaska to find some gold on Myers Fork. This first episode contains some impressions of the journey and our sweet arrival in Chicken, Alaska. Episode 2 (coming soon) is about us, trying to find some gold on Myers Fork and having a good time in Chicken Gold Camp.
  6. The Secretary of the Interior is releasing 9.7 million acres of previously closed federally administered Alaskan land to prospecting and claiming. The land rush begins February 18th. Read all about it. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/19/2021-01111/public-land-order-no-7899-partial-revocation-of-public-land-orders-no-5169-5170-5171-5173-5179-5180 Is it cold in Seward in February? 😶
  7. Hello all! First of all, I just wanted to publicly say thank you to Steve and the rest of the members on this site. Although this is my first post, I have been using the wealth of information gathered from everyone here for a while now. It's that time of year up here in Alaska where the days are dark and the memory of summer seems like a distant past. To cure my deep seated winter time blues and my sense for adventure, I decided to check out a spot I have been wanting to try for a while now, but let the myriad of summertime activities get in the way. But perhaps the real underlying driving force for this trip was my new highbanker waiting patiently in the garage to process dirt. Whatever the REAL reason, I looked at the forecast and saw a balmy 26 degrees forecasted and knew it was time to shine. So I drove North of Anchorage with my back country cross country skis (say that ten times fast) in tow, looking forward to a day out in the back country. I have found that if my main objective is to get out and enjoy the outdoors with a side chance of pay dirt, I am rarely if ever disappointed. And this day was no different. I arrived and strapped on the skis and my touring sled and set off into the snow. I quickly found out that hauling equipment by skis should be an Olympic event. The powder was easily three feet deep and probably pushing on four, making me earn every "stride". In reality, the snow was so deep and the sled so heavy that my skis weren't gliding at all, but being used more like elongated snowshoes, trudging through the snow. But the temperature was warm and snacks aplenty, so I trotted along the creek ahead encountering open water in places and crossing precarious snow bridges at times in order to make my way along. Just around the moment where I realized that I may be in for more of a workout than I intended, I had arrived. Located a few miles downstream was a section of the creek forced into a ninety degree bend by an outcrop of ancient gold bearing glacial till. During the summer months this "creek" (creek only in name) produces too swift of a current to properly explore this bend. But thanks to mother nature, winter freeze up reduces this section to a little more than a shin deep trickle. (The section of glacial till forcing the creek into a perfect ninety degree bend. The creek erodes alongside this till and prevents any debris from accumulating at the base.) (The creek encountering the glacial till and being turned at a sharp ninety degree angle, causing a major drop in water velocity.) As I considered this to be more of an exploratory trip on skis I had left my waders at home, preventing me from properly getting out in the channel. What I settled for instead was balancing myself on the edge of the ice as close as possible (not recommended) and shoveling a few scoops of dirt from the pool formed at the base of the till and into my bucket from the area that I could reach. Realizing that I had all that skiing back left to do, with darkness quickly advancing, I hurriedly filled half a bucket from mostly surface gravels and raced the darkness back to my car. Now for the fun! With dirt in hand and back home in the comforts of a heated garage, I was ready to test out my new 6 inch highbanker. Now let me preface this with some information. This highbanker is not meant to be loaded into a vehicle and dropped off at your spot of choosing. This highbanker is made to tear down and fit inside your pack and hiked into your spot of choosing. Weighing in at only six pounds, this highbanker fits a niche group for those wanting to pack out their operation on foot. And let me tell you what, I am extremely excited to do just that this summer with this bad boy. Made by Gold Rat Engineering out of Australia, this highbanker tears down to nuts and bolts and runs off of a 2,000 GPH electric bilge pump. Coupled with a lithium ion battery (less weight), you can have this set up packed out in the backcountry at 10lbs. While I realize that using an ultra lightweight 6 inch backpack highbanker out of your garage is like using a Ferarri to drive to the corner store, that's exactly what occurred. Running the half bucket that I brought back, the highbanker took it in stride and I soon found myself wishing that I had brought more back (the soreness in my quads reminded me otherwise). I panned out the concentrates from the lower mat (which can be detached and not brought into the field, making it even smaller and lighter) and found it LOADED with black sand. But not a single speck of gold. (The highbanker uses a matting called the Dream Mat) Feeling a little disheartened I ran the top mat, not expecting much after the lower mat didn't produce. Again, LOADED with black sand. And as I panned it back, gold! Now I realize it's not much (it was only half a bucket and ten minutes of digging in all fairness) but what I was really impressed with was the capture rate of the highbanker and the fines of the gold it was able to capture. Some of this stuff was the definition of fly poop. And for it to capture all of that in the top mat without any getting to the lower, I'll take it. So overall, I am extremely happy with this new highbanker and look forward to using it this summer out in the backcountry of Alaska. I am happy with the quick results of the spot I tested out. With a little more effort I believe it will produce some decent results. Once it hits 33 degrees I am taking the highbanker out there to really run some dirt. (Although a suction dredge would be the best tool for this location). But the biggest takeaway was being able to shake the wintertime blues, enjoy the outdoors, and remind myself that springtime prospecting isn't as far off as it sometime feels. Once again I want to thank this community for the knowledge and expertise you all have shared and hope that my short trip report reminds everyone that better panning days are ahead (looking at you 2021). Happy New Years, -Brandon
  8. The California Gold Rush certainly was in a far-off land for the Americans of the time, who had to trek long distances to get to their final destination. But the 49’ers had nothing on those brave adventurers who went to Nome, Alaska to seek their fortunes in 1899. Which brings us to the Nome Gold Rush. While Nome, Alaska was owned by the United States at the time of the Nome Gold Rush, it might as well have been Mars, both in terms of getting there and in terms of surviving in the harsh and unforgiving climate. Despite the apocryphal quip often attributed to Mark Twain, that the worst winter he ever saw was June in San Francisco, there is simply no comparison between a miserable Northern California summer and any day of the week in Nome, Alaska. Nome is not simply in Alaska, it is in a more northern part of the state. It is more than 60 degrees north of the equator (64°30′14″N to be exact), which puts it about 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It wasn’t the only gold rush in Alaska — there was also the Fairbanks Gold Rush — but it might hold the title for the biggest gold rush at the northernmost latitude. It was the Nome Gold Rush that made Nome the largest city in Alaska for a period. How the Nome Gold Rush Started Alaska is known for many things, one being a popular vacation choice. However, Nome started off as a small outpost at the outlet of the Snake River on the Seward Peninsula, which is part of the Norton Sound on the Bering Sea. Prior to the settlement at Nome, Inupiaq Eskimo used the area as a camp dating centuries prior to the arrival of Russians in the area. The Port of St. Michael, about 125 miles southeast of Nome, was founded by the Russians for the purposes of sailing down the Yukon River. This area quickly became a popular destination for whalers and fur traders. Russian Orthodox Church missions began in the 1880s. Council, Alaska was the place where gold was first found a year before it was found in the Nome area. The first men to strike gold in the region are known to us by the sobriquet “the Three Lucky Swedes.” These were Jafet Lindeberg (who was actually Norwegian-American) and Swedish-Americans Erik Lindblom and John Brynteson. We will talk more about these men and their fascinating life stories later in this article. The short version is that three men struck gold on Anvil Creek and founded what is now the Nome mining district. Their discovery quickly spread throughout the surrounding camps during the winter, leading to an influx of 10,000 fresh from the Klondike Gold Rush which began three years prior. In 1899 there were significant amounts of gold found in the beach sands around the Bering Sea coast. By 1900 there was a tent city along the beach that stretched 30 miles from Cape Rodney to Cape Nome. This only accelerated the influx of treasure-seekers into the region. The spring of 1900 saw arrivals from San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland into the area aboard a newly vibrant steamship line running to the Nome region. People came from much further than the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, coming all the way from Adelaide, Australia aboard Inca, a schooner, in 1902, the maiden voyage of this ship. The Nome Gold Rush was also more contentious than other gold rushes in the United States. “Claim jumpers” came onto the land, upset that all the best land had already been taken by earlier arrivals. They attempted to file claims for land that had already been claimed by other gold prospectors. The federal judge for the region decided to recognize the original claims at the expense of the claim jumpers, but the claim jumpers began offering a segment of their land to influential politicians. How Mining Worked at Nome There were two main locations for mining during the Nome Gold Rush: the beach and the creeks. The beach presented a unique problem for prospectors in the region: The beach could not properly be claimed like the rest of the land around Nome. This created tons of problems because there were literally tons of gold on the beach. Much more, in fact, than what was available in the nearby creeks. As is often the case, the first gold found on the beaches of Nome was simply panned out of the water. There was that much of it around. By the summer of 1899 people were using human-powered machinery to get it out, such as sluice boxes and rock crushers were present. The next year things got a bit more industrialized. Small machines utilizing hoses and pumps began to show up. By 1902, the big companies had taken over and small claimants and prospectors had virtually all disappeared, bought out by bigger interests who were much more capable of getting the harder to reach gold out of the ground than they were. There was a very short window of time every year when the beaches could be worked — June to October. This is because Nome is so far north that even seawater will freeze during part of the year, making gold mining impossible. What’s more, the local police would chase off anyone who wasn’t adequately prepared for the harsh and unforgiving winters of Nome. The creeks were less lucrative because not only are they cold, but they run slowly, making panning a much more labor-intensive form of gold mining than it is anywhere else in the world. At the creeks there needed to be special equipment to thaw the ground and suck up all of the gravel. Mining the creeks in Nome was more a question of quantity than quality. The more gravel you were able to suck up the more gold you were going to find. It was a numbers game. Sluices, gravity, and suction were the main ways of doing this. Gold dredges and mine shafts were also used, but in far less abundance then they were in other places that didn’t have frozen ground most of the year. Steam was used both to soften the ground before the actual mining as well as to collect the gravel during the winter months. Nome: Alaska’s Gold Rush Boom Town Gold rushes always have a massive economic impact on the surrounding areas and the Nome Gold Rush was no exception. What once had been a tiny, insignificant settlement in a backwater of America often referred to as “Seward’s Folly” to reference what was thought to be an imprudent purchase of the land by Secretary of State William Seward, was now a bustling metropolis fueled by the gold rush. Before the gold rush, there was virtually nothing to be found in the area. After the gold rush, in 1905 there was just about anything one could want out of their community: schools, churches, saloons, a post office, and multiple newspapers. Even some of the nation’s earliest automobiles started showing up in Nome in short order and would drive down the planks on Front Street. America’s first wireless telegraph that transmitted more than 100 miles was in Nome. Telegraphs were relayed to St. Michael on their way to Seattle. Strangely, there was no harbor for large ships during this period, only one for small boats. This isn’t to say that there were no ships coming within striking distance of Nome. Indeed, we have already mentioned one by name – the Inca from Australia. What would happen, however, is that the larger ships would stay out at sea and the people would be ferried to the mainland via smaller boats. This is because of the ice around the area that rarely ever melted, making a direct approach a dangerous endeavor indeed. Sometimes passengers were delivered to the ice itself, then brought ashore by teams of dogs. In 1901, the town got a loading crane which certainly made life easier for those who were still mining gold. By 1905 there was a wharf. In 1907 the town got a tramway. The Nome Gold Rush Winds Down Gold is, of course, a nonrenewable resource and like all other gold rushes, the Nome Gold Rush eventually played out, meaning that individual prospectors could no longer profit from the gold deposits and had to either look for gold somewhere else or sell the claims they had to larger commercial interests capable of large-scale industrial mining projects. In 1904 and 1905, gold was discovered on other parts of the beach which made for a sort of mini gold rush that boosted the main one and extended its life. However, none of these new strikes had nearly the same amount of promise as the original. Between 1900 and 1909, Nome was 20,000 strong but by 1909 the population had dropped to a meager 250. Gold mining still takes place in Nome and, indeed prospectors continue to show up looking to strike it rich in Alaska. We’re not sure how many people have struck gold in Nome, but we do know of at least three men who made an absolute killing: The Three Lucky Swedes. Who Were The Three Lucky Swedes? The Three Lucky Swedes were indeed lucky. What else would you call three men who basically tripped over a king’s ransom in gold? First, there was Norwegian Jafet Isaksen Lindeberg. His experience in Nome was not the first time he found himself prospecting. Indeed, he was a gold hunter from a very young age, looking for gold in northern Norway during his childhood. He first found himself in Alaska after the United States Congress stepped in to provide some direction during the Klondike Gold Rush. Congress feared a famine or other humanitarian disaster and sought reindeer handlers to ensure the smooth delivery of goods into the region. Lindeberg was one of these reindeer handlers. He was recruited in Norway and set sail for the states aboard the SS Manitoba on February 4, 1898. Erik Lindblom wasn’t a prospector, but he was from the iron and copper mining region of Sweden, which gave him a working knowledge of mining. He left Sweden at 17 and was involved in mining in Montana, Colorado, and Idaho before he found himself in Nome, Alaska. He became a naturalized citizen in 1894. Finally, there was John Brynteson. He came to the United States from Sweden at the age of 16 and worked in copper and iron mining in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He gained his American citizenship in 1896. He came to Alaska under the auspices of the Swedish Mission Covenant. These three men began hunting for gold together in mid-September 1898. They quickly happened upon what they knew was a major discovery. Together, they formed the Pioneer Mining and Ditch Company, which quickly became Nome’s biggest mining company. Brynteson left Alaska first and was the only one of the three to return to Sweden. Lindblom took his gold profits and invested it in several sectors, including banking, real estate, and transportation. He eventually became the president of the Swedish-American Bank of San Francisco. He personally financed the construction of the ice parks in Stockholm for the 1912 Olympiad. Lindeberg’s life was mostly uneventful after Nome, but while there he was part of a group of masked vigilantes who attacked claim jumpers in an attempt to retain his property. You can still visit the Camp Nome mining district, which is a historical tourist attraction in otherwise sleepy Nome. There aren’t even 4,000 people living in the Nome area these days, less than a quarter of what was there at the peak of the Nome Gold Rush. But for one shining instant, this little fishing village on the coast of Alaska became the hottest destination in the world for the most adventurous men alive. The Nome Gold Rush and Three Lucky Swedes originally appeared on Kellycodetectors.com.
  9. I received the following email: "My name is *********** , a logger from ***********. I'm wanting to move to Alaska and start a new life with my family. I don't have much of anything. I'm probably one of the hardest workers you will ever meet and I'm honest. I'm looking for a chance at working a claim and learning what there is to learn. I have experience in running a rock crusher - now that was a fun, six years never a dull moment! Welding, mechanic diesel and gas, can build you a house start to finish, my chain saw sleeps in my bed room next to my splitting mall. How do I get a chance in working a mine and owning one?" I have received lots of requests similar to this over the years. Back in the 1980's we literally had people show up at my mining shop with the family in a vehicle, possessions strapped on top, come to Alaska to strike it rich. Here is a bunch of information. I hope it helps - good luck! According to the October 2014 Economic Impacts of Placer Mining in Alaska: There were 646 placer mines permitted by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2013. DNR estimated 47 percent of permits (295) placer operations were mined in 2013. In 2013, there were approximately 1,200 direct, mostly seasonal, jobs in Alaska’s placer mine industry. On average, each placer mine had four workers. However, approximately 27 percent of placer mines were run by one person and there are a few significant larger operations (50+ workers). Of the 1,200 workers, approximately 73 percent (880 workers) live in Alaska. Of those Alaska residents, approximately half live in Anchorage/Mat-Su Borough (26 percent) or Fairbanks (26 percent). The remaining half (48 percent) live in communities elsewhere in Alaska. Total direct income, including wages, shares of production, and owner’s profits, are estimated at $40 million for 2013. For miners receiving compensation, 56 percent were paid a wage, while the remaining 44 percent were compensated with a share of gold production. That was 2013 but it gives you some basic figures. Maybe just over 1,000 seasonal jobs, and not all of them from people living in the state. Being located there would help though. Many of these jobs go to family members or long time, trusted employees, so there are few openings on a yearly basis. Still, a person has a shot at it. So how to go about it? All I can offer is what I would do if I did not know anybody. The easiest place to start would be to contact the Alaska Miners Association at http://alaskaminers.org/contact-us/ and purchase their latest Service Directory. I am not sure what it costs now but it used to be $20 (or included with membership). It includes a listing of all the businesses that supply and service miners in Alaska; information on land status, permitting, agency lists, State mining law, and the membership list of the AMA, Alaska's most influential mining organization. Over 1000 miners and mining related organizations are listed with contact information. The key is the membership list with names and contact information. That gives you a place to start with either phone calls or letters. Most actual mining operations in Alaska are members of the AMA. If you are interested in employment at a lode mine, the major mines information is also in the Service Directory. More information can be gleaned from the latest state report - Alaska's Mineral industry 2015. Keep an eye out for a 2016 report soon. According to the report "Total mineral industry employment in 2015 is estimated at 2,901 full-time-equivalent jobs" Here is the chart from the report: Note this chart shows less than half the number of placer employment as the figures quoted in the 2013 report and only 120 in 2015. This probably reflects a difference in actual wage and salary type workers versus one person operations or family members and people working for a share of the take. Still, it can be seen overall numbers dropped quite a bit the last few years. Also from the report, here is a map of major mining and exploration projects in Alaska. You can read about these in detail in the report, and a little use of Google can give you employment contact information for each company, job openings, etc. Start at the AMA Links Page Check out the Mining and Petroleum Training Service For opportunities in mining all over see Mining Career Opportunities at InfoMine http://www.infomine.com/careers/ HELPFUL LINKS FOR THE MINERAL INDUSTRY IN ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES • Recording Fees | http://dnr.alaska.gov/ssd/recoff/fees_RO.cfm • Public Information Center | http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/ • State Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Documents Search | http://dnr.alaska.gov/ssd/recoff/ Division of Mining, Land & Water • Mining Applications and Forms | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/ • Fact Sheets | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/ • Annual Placer Mining Application (APMA) 2015 | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/14apma/ • Annual Rental | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/annualre.pdf • Leasing State Land | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/land_fs/lease_land.pdf • Land Lease & Contract Payment Information | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/land_fs/lease_contract_payment_info.pdf • Production Royalty | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/producti.pdf • DNR Production Royalty Form | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/mining/royalty_fm.pdf • Exploration Incentive Credit Program | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/explore.pdf Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys • Publications On-Line | http://dggs.alaska.gov/publications/ • Interactive Maps | http://maps.dggs.alaska.gov/ • Geologic Maps of Alaska: Online Map Search Tool | http://maps.dggs.alaska.gov/mapindex/ • Unpublished Geology-Related Data (Alaska Geologic Data Index) | http://maps.dggs.alaska.gov/agdi/ • Geologic Materials Center | http://dggs.alaska.gov/gmc/ • Geochemical Sample Analysis Search (WebGeochem) | http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/webgeochem/ • Minerals Report Questionnaire | http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/minerals_questionnaire Alaska’s Minerals Data & Information Rescue in Alaska (MDIRA) Project Websites • MDIRA Portal Home Page | http://akgeology.info/ • Alaska Mining Claims Mapper | http://akmining.info/ • Land Records Web Application | http://dnr.alaska.gov/Landrecords/ • State Recorder’s Office Search | http://dnr.alaska.gov/ssd/recoff/searchRO.cfm • Alaska Resource Data Files | http://ardf.wr.usgs.gov/ • USGS Alaska Geochemical Database (NURE, RASS, PLUTO…) | http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/637/ • Guide to Alaska Geologic and Mineral Information | http://doi.org/10.14509/3318 • Alaska State Geo-Spatial Data Clearinghouse | http://www.asgdc.state.ak.us/ DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, COMMUNITY, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT • Minerals Information | https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/ded/dev/mineralsdevelopment • Community and Regional Information | https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/dcra/ResearchAnalysis • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) | http://www.aidea.org • AIDEA Supports Mining | www.aidea.org/Programs/ProjectDevelopment/30YearsofMiningSupport.aspx DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE • Mining License Tax | http://www.tax.alaska.gov/programs/programs/index.aspx?60610 • Motor Fuel Tax Claim for Refund | http://www.tax.alaska.gov//programs/programs/forms/index.aspx?60210 • Alaska Motor Fuel Tax Instructions | http://www.tax.alaska.gov/programs/documentviewer/viewer.aspx?5086f
  10. Looking for tips on detecting tailing piles... I have the Equinox 800 and the Minelab 5000. and a lot of trashy tailing piles to detect !!! 🤠 _________________________________- BTW----- Looks like we are running low on masks 😷 and gowns here in LA--- but we will survive-- Vets have been exposed to tougher stuff than this!!! ______________________________________________________ Social distancing does not have to be social--------- but it should be physical-!!!---- I cant see why most of you would have to learn how to do that-??? -- you been practicing it with me for years🤣🤣 Carry on and thanks for any tips on the tailing piles.. paul
  11. I am headed to Alaska next month with both of my equinox detectors. I am flying into Fairbanks and want to do some detecting and panning. The last time there we did some panning and believe it or not we panned . 26 ounces of gold. Not in one day of course but in several creeks North of Denali. This time we plan on panning, detecting and fishing. I am also driving the Dalton Highway to the end of the road if possible. A bucket list Item. I have driven coast to coast to the farthest point in NE Maine to the coast of CA and I been to the end of the road in Key West. Now I want to drive to the farthest point north in Alaska. Are there any good gold panning spots along the Dalton highway or any suggestions where to pan or metal detect in the Fairbanks area
  12. There is photos of two stampeder sites, very hard to spot now but the little outhouse pits are important to finding them. They cut trees to make their huts and thats one of the things i look for 100 yr old stumps....Everything has reverted back to pretty much of a natural state
  13. Last sunday took a great ATV trip to a lake about 26 miles from our town, the 98 stampeders took this route from Valdez to the Klondike. There are many campsites along this trail so before the leaves come out and hide the sites i tagged along with this group to check on some new locations. Rough trail, nice lunch and had a fun time...Should have had an IPhone many years ago.
  14. Here is a report from Pogo, Alaska. Maybe Steve can tell us about it. I don't think we'll be headed there with our metal detectors but I find some of the numbers in the report interesting. There is a poured bar there where it is stated that it is the 4 millionth ounce of gold from that mine. These things just begin to boggle my brain and I go back to thinking about those 'olympic swimming pools' of gold that say how rare gold is. There just has to be more gold and now that the price is up it will be pouring out of the ground even more because some costs are way down (fuel) and the price is up so get that stuff to market miners! https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/story/2020/05/01/news-nuggets/covid-19-protocols-limit-pogo-gold-output/6267.html The writer of this story and the publication are worth a read while some of us are still locked down. Mitchel
  15. I've been looking at the spec.'s on this dredge and it shows the trommel classifier to have holes of a maximum of 5/8 inches. This dredge was built and put into service around 1939-1940. I would believe that the late date of manufacture and historic operating experiences would have dictated the design spec.'s to recover the vast majority of the gold available. That said the larger gold would have been ejected out of the fan tail in the pilings mix. I have detected tailing piles north of Fairbanks with my Tesoro LST and due to the low mineralization and favorable conditions I was hitting 22 lead at around 10 inches but no gold. A target greater than 3/4" is sizeable so I would presume maximum depth and large area coverage would be the best plan for recovery. That along with a coordinated dozer push to keep the overburden to depths of less than 2' I think would be ideal. My question might be which detector would be best? Low mineralization and targets greater than 3/4" and large area coverage.
  16. Will all the snow help in getting more nuggets in Alaska this summer? It seems a good thing that Dig It was in Arizona this winter. 2020 Iditarod: Most Alaska Snowfall in 21 Years Could Make for Sloshy Sled Dog Race https://www.onlinegambling.com/news/2020-iditarod-alaska-sled-dog-race-aliy-zirkle/
  17. Take My Land Matters with you and/or study it before you go. My Land Matters has managed to implement both the new Alaska BLM & State mining claims systems on the Alaska Mining Claims Map. They even went further by including the State Mineral Withdrawal areas and the State Mining Leases in the mapping.Each BLM mining claim information window now has a link directly to the BLM ACRES case file for that claim.Each Alaska State Mining Claim or Lease information window has a link directly to the Alaska State ADL Case file.Each Alaska State Mineral Withdrawal information window has a link directly to the Alaska State ADL Case file for the Closure Order. http://www.mylandmatters.org/Maps/ClaimsAk/GetMap
  18. Steve This is for Steve Herschbach.. Hopefully this email will get to you Steve. I have a couple of questions about Ganes Creek.. I actually worked there for one season in 1968. IF this is the correct Steve H, please reply if you have time. Thanks Jim
  19. Alaska raised the annual state mining claim rental rates substantially in August, as people who got the billing know. The state website fact sheet still shows the old rates however and people who did not get the billing may be in for a unpleasant surprise. http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/hottopics/pdf/new-rental-rates-for-mining-claims.pdf NEW RENTAL RATES FOR MINING CLAIMS, LEASEHOLD LOCATIONS, PROSPECTING SITES, AND LEASES On August 1st, the Office of the Lt. Governor approved a change to 11 AAC 86, setting forth new rental rates for mining claims, prospecting sites, and mining leases for the 2020 mining year that begins on September 1, 2019. These increases to mining rental rates were conducted in accordance with State of Alaska Law AS 38.05.211, which requires an adjustment to the rental rates based on the change on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Alaska every 10 years to account for the change in the cost of living over the 10 year period between adjustments. The last adjustment was completed in 2009. Table 1 list the new rental rates for different types, sizes, and ages of mining claims and leasehold locations. The rental requirement for prospecting sites is a one-time payment of $305.00 to be paid at the time the prospecting site is recorded. Prospecting sites are good for 2 years and may not be renewed. Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Question? - How are the new rental rates calculated? Answer. - In 1989, the State of Alaska Legislature set the rental rates for mining claims, leasehold locations, and mining leases. In addition, the legislature directed the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to adjust the rental rates every 10 years based on a change in the CPI for Alaska using the following simple formula in which the denominator is the CPI for the first half of 1989 as determined by the Federal Government Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the nominator is the CPI for the first half of the year in which the adjustment was made. The formula resulted a correction factor. The correction factor is multiplied by the rental rates set in 1989 to produce the new rental rates. Question? - Why is the rental rate for Quarter Section mining claims not exactly 4 times the rate for the Quarter-Quarter Section mining claim? Answer. – The Legislature required DNR to round off the rental rate to the nearest $5.00. For example; the calculated rental rate for a 40 acre claim of less than 5 years is $41.27 and when rounded to the nearest $5.00 is $40.00. Multiplying $41.27 by 4 results in the actual rental rate for a 160 acre claim to be $165.08 and rounding off to the nearest $5.00 is $165.00. Question? – I have already paid my claim rental for the coming year at the previous year rate. Will I automatically lose my claim because I didn’t pay the total amount due for this year? Answer – No. By regulation, if it is determined that a miner fails to make a full payment for rent on a mining claim, DNR is required to notify the miner of the deficient payment by certified mail. The miner is then required to make full payment on or before December 2nd or 30 days after the receipt of the letter, whichever is later. Any additional questions not addressed above will be answered by contacting DNR representative Lora Eddy at (907) 269-8628 or Kristen Shake at (907) 269-8652, or by email at kristen.shake@alaska.gov.
  20. Is their gold to be found in the area of Clear Alaska and if so, what type of gold is their to be found. I have a friend who has a homestead in this area and want to visit them next year summer. Would appreciate any information of forum members who know the area and did gold prospecting over there.
  21. This gold prospecting and metal detecting story takes us all the way back to the beginning - my beginning that is. I was fortunate enough to be born in the Territory of Alaska in 1957. Alaska was still very much on the frontier back in those days. My father was a farm boy from the midwest who headed for Alaska in the early 50's with not much more than an old pickup truck. He worked as a longshoreman offloading ships in Seward, Alaska for a time. He decided to get some education, and earned his way through college in Fairbanks, Alaska, by driving steampipe for the fleet of gold dredges that were still working there. He spent some time in Seldovia, Alaska, working the "slime line" in a fish cannery. He met my mom in Seldovia, the two got married, and finally settled in Anchorage, Alaska. I came along in 1957. My father had taken a job as a surveyor but money was tight in the early years. I was raised on wild game and garden grown vegetables, and as soon as I was old enough to handle it, I was walking a trapline every winter with my father. Dad was a hard worker, and Alaska was having one of its many booms at the time - the construction of the oil and gas fields in Lower Cook Inlet. This was the Swanson River oilfield, discovered the year I was born. The state was prospering, and my father along with it as a surveyor on the new Swanson Field. He got the bug for flying early on, and by the time I became a teenager he finally got his dream plane at the time - a Piper Super Cub, the classic Alaska Bush airplane. Super Cubs equipped with oversize "tundra tires" can land just about anywhere you can find about 300 - 400 feet of open ground. A great little airplane and the one I ended up flying to get my own pilot's license. Super Cub N1769P parked on knoll in Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska It was in this same timeframe that dad got me hooked on gold prospecting. In 1972 I saw an ad in a magazine "Find Lost Treasure" and had acquired my first metal detector, a White's Coinmaster 4. This must have got discussions going about gold, and my father did have some knowledge on the subject having worked around the gold mines in Fairbanks. He took me to a little creek south of Anchorage, Bertha Creek, and I found my very first flakes of gold! By the ripe old age of 14 gold fever was in the air, I had my first metal detector, and already wanted a gold dredge. My first dredge, a 3" Keene with no floatation, was on the way to me in 1973. Keep in mind that the price of gold had only recently been deregulated from the old fixed price of $35 per ounce. In 1972 it was around $60 per ounce, and in 1973 made it to just over $100 per ounce. The money was not my motivation at all. I already just loved finding gold, and the connection to the prospectors of old and the historical quest for gold were more compelling than any dream of striking it rich. I just wanted to find gold! My first metal detector and first gold dredge (my 3502 had the older aluminum header box & a power jet) A young man with a new detector, new gold dredge, gold fever, and a father willing to fly him anywhere in Alaska on adventure. How great is that? Now there was only one problem - where to go? There was no internet then, so it boiled down to libraries and research. In short order I discovered the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) bulletin series and the number one Alaska title of the series, Placer Deposits of Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 1374 by Edward H. Cobb. This one book and the references contained in it became my prospecting guide to Alaska. My desired target? Remote locations with large gold nuggets! I read the book and certain places just jumped out at me. One was the Iditarod area and places like Ganes Creek and Moore Creek - tales told elsewhere. This paragraph of page 114 caught my eye: "Placer mining in the Chisana district, first of creek gravels and later of bench and old channel deposits of Bonanza and Little Eldorado Creeks, has always been on a small scale with simple equipment. The remoteness of the area, shortages of water on some streams, and the small extent of the deposits all prevented the development of large operations. There has been little activity since World War II; the last reported mining was a two-man nonfloat operation in 1965." Wow, that alone sounds pretty good. Nothing really about the gold however. The secret to the Placer Deposits series is not so much the books themselves, though they are great for getting ideas, like I did. The key is to use the references listed and in this case the main one is The Chisana-White River District, Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 630 (1916) by Stephen Reid Capps. It turns out I had stumbled over the location of the last actual gold rush in Alaska in 1913. It was a small rush and did not last long, but it did mark the end of an era. The world was on the brink of war and the age of gold rushes was soon to be history. The history of the area is covered in the report starting on page 89. It is fascinating reading, but it was this note on page 105 that really sealed the deal: "The gold is bright, coarse, and smoothly worn. The largest nugget found has a value of over $130, and pieces weighing a quarter of an ounce or over make up about 5 per cent of the total gold recovered. The gold is said to assay $16.67 an ounce." Gold nuggets a quarter ounce or larger make up five percent of the gold? And that $130 nugget at $16.67 an ounce? Somewhere over seven ounces. That's all I needed to know. Very remote, worked by simple means, and large gold - I wanted to go to Chisana in general and Bonanza Creek in particular. Even the creek names scream gold - Bonanza Creek, Big Eldorado Creek, Little Eldorado Creek, Coarse Money Creek, and Gold Run. Now all we had to do was get there. But when I said remote, I meant remote. Chisana is practically in Canada 250 air miles from Anchorage. To be continued..... Chisana, Alaska location map
  22. I finally did something with this ugly specimen that I found during a 2004 trip to Ganes Creek. Thought I would put a bail on it and sell cheap. Then I thought about my ultrasonic cleaner. WOW price just went up!! Been wearing it myself at times. Weight 18 dwt, can't find a before photo
  23. Not exactly gold, but needless to say the Gold Monster went crazy! No problem picking it up at 18" deep. 28 lbs. Neal
  24. For me this was a real opportunity to help my friends get their enterprise off of the ground. There was much work to be done and everyone pitched in and fixed everything..I have a few great stories from this adventure and one terrible happening for me... My mate of 44 yrs passed away and I was almost totally devastated by this. Fortunately I had Moore Creek to come too and this work helped me pass this rough time...One afternoon during this startup time I decided to give my Minelab PI a try..I wandered away from the main camp area and walked on a road above what would be the High banking area, I was testing the berm that a dozer had kicked up years ago... Holy Smokes. Weeeee Ooooop. I dug around a little and out popped a beautiful Slug.. Needless to say after putting the gold in my pouch I hunted around to see if there was Moore lol.... I walked back to the camp, everyone was still there chatting, so I put the nugget on the table for everyone to see... He he the conversations stopped......
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