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Gold in them there hills!

 
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This is a serious topic though it may seem far fetched at first. Almost ironically, my Great Uncles went off to California back in 1850 for the Gold Rush not knowing that the old swimming hole they used to swim in had Gold found in it not many years later. Because my direct lineage comes from the first born, I own vast amounts of land here, and followed the stream up a map. The stream goes up a ways, then splits into a fork, with the fork circling up around on me and going to the top of a really big hill, the height of land here between two watersheds. When the town rebuilt the road, they blasted through part of this hill, and there was seams of pure quartz, and as we all know, quartz is where gold is found.

So I talked this all over with the State Geologist and he did not bat an eye, stating that Gold has not even begun to be discovered in Maine. Every stream in New Hampshire has had gold found in it, but Maine has been kind of left behind.

Now I have a substantial gravel pit, and gravel is always located on the Northeast Side of a hill (in Maine). This gravel pit is no different, but happens to be located on the Northeast side of the hill that also has the sams of quartz. Besides a gravel pit (8 acres) I also have a slate quarry.

Now I have got into the habit of watching Exploring Abandoned Mines on Youtube, loving the guys low key, but amazing sense of adventure. I know from watching that series that I should be looking for quartz and Galena, but he is located in British Columbia, and I am in Maine. What should I be looking for? And where? Directly in the quartz seams like Exploring Abandoned Mines does in their old hard rock tunnels, or should I be looking in the gravel pit like the show Alaskan Gold does? I know gold is around, but where to look? I am a sheep farmer not a prospector.

(I would just like to discover some and have no illusions about getting rich. But everyone I talk to says it is lurking close by)

Alaskan Gold




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I have hunted for gold in Colorado and Indiana.  It is hard work in my opinion.  Fun adventure for kids.

Google says

By far the most popular spot is in Byron at Coos Canyon along the Swift River and the East Branch of the Swift River.



All you need are some metal pie pans.  Look for black sand.
 
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Very interesting, Travis, there is a lot of quartz on my property as well, and a bold creek and several tributaries.  Plus a history of gold mines not far away.  "Panning for gold" on a hot Summer's day is just a good excuse for me to sit in the creek all afternoon pretending I am being productive!  I figure I am probably a billionaire, if only I could find it.  But then I wouldn't get to sit in the creek all afternoon.  
 
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Artie Scott wrote:Very interesting, Travis, there is a lot of quartz on my property as well, and a bold creek and several tributaries.  Plus a history of gold mines not far away.  "Panning for gold" on a hot Summer's day is just a good excuse for me to sit in the creek all afternoon pretending I am being productive!  I figure I am probably a billionaire, if only I could find it.  But then I wouldn't get to sit in the creek all afternoon.  



Another interesting feature I have here is Quick Sand. It is not what they show on Television, especially the slap-stick quick sand video of the 1960's, but my Great-Grandfather did lose a team of horses back in there in the 1930's when he was logging. he cut a sapling and tried to find the bottom to it, but he never did. We always liked it because when we were riding ATV's, if we wanted mud even in the deepest drought, that was where we headed. Again, it is NOT what it looks like on television.

I am not sure how they form, but I know not very far away we have our gravel pit which does have pockets of sand. It is conceivable that it is no more then dead sand with a spring making for the quick-sand. I know my gravel pit is 32 feet deep before it hits bedrock, but the water table is only 10 feet down.
 
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Travis, Sometimes the gold can be seen in the quartz veins, but not always.  I have absolutely no experience with hard rock mining so can't be of much help there, but do have a good deal with placer mining on a hobby scale. To be honest just for sniffing around and having fun I'd say buy a good plastic gold pan with the ripples in it, I'm sure you have a good shovel, fashion a sifting screen out of 1/4 in hardware cloth and go to the creek.  Gold typically moves very slowly in a stream and takes the straightest path it can.  The inside curve of stream bends, at the bottom outflow of plunge pools, in bedrock cracks, around boulders are all good places to try prospecting.  If you do not know how to pan there are videos on youtube.  It's not hard.  I grew up in the area of the very first gold discovery in the USA and panned gold out of the river and local creeks there since I was a kid.  At one time had a small 3 inch gold dredge that was also fun.  Never made any money at it, or found any big nuggets, but it was great fun and a good way to stay cool on those hot summer days in GA.

ETA:  Gold always tries its best to find the lowest level in the strata it is in due to it's specific gravity.  It is about 19 times heavier than lead by volume.  A hard clay layer or bedrock it typically where it will be most concentrated.  
 
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Anne Miller wrote:I have hunted for gold in Colorado and Indiana.  It is hard work in my opinion.  Fun adventure for kids.

Google says

By far the most popular spot is in Byron at Coos Canyon along the Swift River and the East Branch of the Swift River.



All you need are some metal pie pans.  Look for black sand.




From what little bit I dug around today on the internet, it seems mine gravel pit would be called an Alluvial Placer type of gold deposit. My gravel pit is located almost like the picture shows, but is located several hundred feet from the current location of the stream. The gravel here is very sharp, and very small, meaning I seldom have to screen it to use around the farm.

It will be a bit before I can go down and look at the gravel as the frost is a foot deep now. I will have to look at the amount of quartz present, as well as the black sand. I do know there is significant slate here as well, but it lacks the graphite the slate has in Monson. I would think if there is any gold there, it would be located very close to the bedrock, and there is some of that.

I have no intention of mining gold, I would just like to see if it is actually here. The road to discovery being the fun.


Alluvial Placer Gold Deposit



 
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You are very unlikely to find any in the gravel, you'll need to look under the gravel on any hard surfaces clay would be ideal but any crevices in the bedrock would also be possible. Fine clean gravel is going to be water deposited and by the sound of it is well sorted, any heavier (or lighter) particles such as gold flakes will be in a different area, I did hardrock geology as part of my Degree though my masters is softrock. I do remember 50 people panning in a Scottish stream for about 3 hours, and between us we found 2 flakes, so don't expect to find much fast!
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:You are very unlikely to find any in the gravel, you'll need to look under the gravel on any hard surfaces clay would be ideal but any crevices in the bedrock would also be possible. Fine clean gravel is going to be water deposited and by the sound of it is well sorted, any heavier (or lighter) particles such as gold flakes will be in a different area, I did hardrock geology as part of my Degree though my masters is softrock. I do remember 50 people panning in a Scottish stream for about 3 hours, and between us we found 2 flakes, so don't expect to find much fast!




Thanks for the information!

Any other ideas on where to look? I know the area is conducive to gold because a few things align here. The first is that this is the height of land, so the State of Maine geologist told me this area is an anomaly when he was doing bedrock research. Here, high pressure formed a ridge, and that is why we have schist. My land contains a slate quarry granted, but not far away (but not on my land) there are old Copper and Molybdenum Mines. Here in Maine, that is rare. Between my slate quarry, and those mines, is where the Gold was discovered. My land is on the Northeast side of the hill, and here glaciers always slid Southwest on their way to the sea.
 
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I do not venture out much anymore, but today I thought I would go look at an outcropping of rock.

I used Google Maps, and followed the stream where gold was assuredly found, and traced it backwards, me wanting to find the Lode Gold and not the placer Gold, that will be for this summer after the stream thaw. I am scrolling back and back and get to a big beaver dam and think, Holy Crap, when did that form...then I realized, that is the beaver dam on my land. By being a sheer idiot, I realized there is no question, if gold was found at Point B, my land is point A.

Being a nice day, I headed out, with a backpack to hold any rocks I found, but nothing else (well no tools or camera, it was 10 degrees out so I was not naked!)

I had no hope for this outcropping of rock. I knew it was there, but never really explored its face. It might be 15 feet high if that, and 100 feet long...

At first it did not look like much. Just shaly bedrock, quite a bit of iron, but little else. Then I started to see it, and more, and more of it. Embedded in the schist was pockets of quartz. Not a lot, and pushed deep into the layers, but it was there. Of course now I have no hammer, no chisel, and no camera...I mean I had ZERO expectations of finding anything. But then I see a lot of streaking of sulfides, and in a few place...copper pockets.

Now I am getting interested.

I grabbed what few rocks I could pry away off the frozen face and cleaned them up. I got a few specks that look promising off the edge of one piece of quartz. I will crush it up in the ballmill and then send it to my father-in-law for him to assay.

This has promise, but mostly because of the way the bedrock was formed and what it contained, pockets of quartz, maybe golf-ball sized throughout.
 
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Travis - I have been looking into gold prospecting as a little adventure for me and my older boy (6 year old). I have a few thoughts.

1) If you want to do some serious prospecting, you might want to invest in a small sluice. Looks like from your photos you have plenty of water to work with.
[youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZbtxSLz1lg[/youtube]

You can process MUCH more material much more quickly, which will make your prospecting efforts faster and more reliable. You can wash a bucket of sediment in a matter of minutes and then use your pan at the very end.

2) Hard rock mining is a much more challenging proposition than processing alluvial deposits, requiring a very different set of tools. You may have stuff on site already to handle that, but if not then prospecting for alluvial deposits will be a cheaper and easier way to start.

3) Have you looked at videos of people working crevices in the bedrock? Gold settles to the very bottom of the sediment, being the most dense. It is highly unlikely to be found in course river washed gravels.

Good luc, and keep us updated
 
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Michael Cox wrote:Travis - I have been looking into gold prospecting as a little adventure for me and my older boy (6 year old). I have a few thoughts.

1) If you want to do some serious prospecting, you might want to invest in a small sluice. Looks like from your photos you have plenty of water to work with.
[youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZbtxSLz1lg[/youtube]

You can process MUCH more material much more quickly, which will make your prospecting efforts faster and more reliable. You can wash a bucket of sediment in a matter of minutes and then use your pan at the very end.

2) Hard rock mining is a much more challenging proposition than processing alluvial deposits, requiring a very different set of tools. You may have stuff on site already to handle that, but if not then prospecting for alluvial deposits will be a cheaper and easier way to start.

3) Have you looked at videos of people working crevices in the bedrock? Gold settles to the very bottom of the sediment, being the most dense. It is highly unlikely to be found in course river washed gravels.

Good luc, and keep us updated




I cannot really explain it. I have known for a long time where they discovered placer gold, but I have always wondered where the Lode Gold was. Basically...was some on my land? From what I found yesterday, it looks like there might be. My goal had always been to find the Placer Gold, but only as a way to track it upstream to where it lay in the quartz bedrock; the lode gold.

My post was kind of misleading because it sounded like I stumbled upon it, but there is just too many acres out there to stumble around upon (about 7000 acres). My prospecting has been years of talking with geologists, studying bedrock mapping, and researching area mines.  I did not expect that particular rock formation to have much in it, but I did suspect the area too. I just never stepped foot out there before with the intentions of really looking for gold.

I have no illusions of quarrying it, the amount of quartz embedded in the bedrock was pretty small, but looked REALLY promising as far as being gold-bearing. My Father-in-law is much better at this than I am, but lives in New Hampshire, one of the top gold bearing states in the nation. I was thinking of crushing up the ore and sending it to him to see what it has for free gold. If that shows anything at all, I will collect more samples when the snow is gone, I might have some assayed.
 
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I guess I'm not sure what you are trying to get out of this. Are you looking for the lode gold just out of curiosity, or with a view to doing some mining? Are you after a hobby?

If a hobby, then I personally would be looking at panning. Finding hard rock gold would be a bonus.

 
Travis Johnson
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Michael Cox wrote:I guess I'm not sure what you are trying to get out of this. Are you looking for the lode gold just out of curiosity, or with a view to doing some mining? Are you after a hobby?

If a hobby, then I personally would be looking at panning. Finding hard rock gold would be a bonus.



I can see where people would be confused by someone not trying to get anything, so I fully understand the confusion.

In my case I already have the land, and in Maine mineral rights automatically come with the land, so there is nothing to "stake a claim on". So my interest in finding gold is just curiosity.

Much of the United States was checked for gold back during the depression, but I live in a very rural part of Maine, and as a family we own almost all of the region. No one would have checked here because its it private land to start with, and during the depression we did well farming and logging so there was no need to take up gold mining. Other areas of Maine might have been checked, but here the geology consists of a very narrow band where volcanic activity occurred; by that I mean only a few miles wide. Gold was indeed discovered here, back in the 1800's, but it was placer gold and still on our land. (Well in Maine, streams are not owned, but we owned the land on both sides so there was no access to it by other people).

A few other things came into play however. These are not really discoveries, but rather things that have exited that I just put together like a giant puzzle. Like where the gold was discovered. About a mile away as the crow flies, is a copper mine. Even the Maine Geological Survey did not know it was there. It was listed on a 1871 mining map, and so when I called the State Geologist, I was telling him things I found on his site. He had no idea. But copper, molydemn and other metal sulfides are often present with gold.

Another discovery was when the town reworked a section of road on top of the mountain and blasted a cut through it. I could tell driviing by that it had veins of quartz. It just stands to reason, if gold was found in placer deposits at the bottom of the mountain where a annual stream is located, the lode gold was in the mountain. But where, its a big area?

I am not so disillusioned that I think I would ever make any money at mining gold. The amount of quartz in the bedrock is so little, that it would take a lot of money to blast, crush and sluice all that waste rock for very little return. Finding gold is not all that unusual, but finding a new deposit well worth mining is. IF it assayed at some crazy amount, then perhaps I would try a permie mindset to extract it. That is go with a low-cost method to get the gold, and sell it...perhaps in some value-added way to get the most return.

But I is not like I do not have experience at this stuff. I do own a slate quarry (surface) and a gravel pit.
 
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The bible of my childhood was Handbook for the Alaska Prospector by Earnest Wolff.  Although a very old book now, many inexpensive copies are available from the usual sources such as Abe Books, EBay, and so forth.  It is a very complete book (think "The Boy Scout's Handbook") and as such contains a lot of matter not so useful to modern eyes, like how to plan and pack for dogsled transport the supplies one would need to survive in a winter prospecting cabin.  But it also contains a complete and accessible basic geology education -- well, minerology anyway -- and especially it offers several chapters worth of instruction on the A to Z of arriving in a valley and doing a complete mineral survey, starting with quick panning and other basic assessments for other valuable minerals, moving on to regularized survey pits and trenches, and and laying out a host of practical tips and statistical tricks for zeroing in on the mineral source.  The problem of finding rough gold in the placers and knowing there's a "mother lode" in nearby native rock is an ancient one, but it usually falls to surprisingly-simple elbow grease brute force statistical sampling.  Allowing for some issues of transport (by water, wind, and gravity) of talus and scree where the native rock breaks away from the slope, and then downstream once it reaches the stream and becomes placer deposits, it's generally the case that there's more of whatever you want the closer you get to wherever it came out of its original seam or stratum.  Wolff is very good at explaining in the language of working men how to exploit that simple fact.  

Of course, l remember reading his book at the age of twelve and thinking "OMG I never want to work that hard!"  In some of our prospecting we would dig maybe half a dozen pits to bedrock to take sample pans, and he was talking about throwing a grid of thirty or a hundred pits up the valley in order to find a lode mine.  Luckily we were working in ancient geology with broken conglomerate bedrocks; placer deposits were all we had to look for, we didn't have any mother lodes to hunt.

prospector.jpg
[Thumbnail for prospector.jpg]
Everything you always wanted to know about finding valuable minerals with hand tools and a dogsled, but were afraid to ask
 
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Dan Boone wrote:The bible of my childhood was Handbook for the Alaska Prospector by Earnest Wolff.  Although a very old book now, many inexpensive copies are available from the usual sources such as Abe Books, EBay, and so forth.  It is a very complete book (think "The Boy Scout's Handbook") and as such contains a lot of matter not so useful to modern eyes, like how to plan and pack for dogsled transport the supplies one would need to survive in a winter prospecting cabin.  But it also contains a complete and accessible basic geology education -- well, minerology anyway -- and especially it offers several chapters worth of instruction on the A to Z of arriving in a valley and doing a complete mineral survey, starting with quick panning and other basic assessments for other valuable minerals, moving on to regularized survey pits and trenches, and and laying out a host of practical tips and statistical tricks for zeroing in on the mineral source.  The problem of finding rough gold in the placers and knowing there's a "mother lode" in nearby native rock is an ancient one, but it usually falls to surprisingly-simple elbow grease brute force statistical sampling.  Allowing for some issues of transport (by water, wind, and gravity) of talus and scree where the native rock breaks away from the slope, and then downstream once it reaches the stream and becomes placer deposits, it's generally the case that there's more of whatever you want the closer you get to wherever it came out of its original seam or stratum.  Wolff is very good at explaining in the language of working men how to exploit that simple fact.  

Of course, l remember reading his book at the age of twelve and thinking "OMG I never want to work that hard!"  In some of our prospecting we would dig maybe half a dozen pits to bedrock to take sample pans, and he was talking about throwing a grid of thirty or a hundred pits up the valley in order to find a lode mine.  Luckily we were working in ancient geology with broken conglomerate bedrocks; placer deposits were all we had to look for, we didn't have any mother lodes to hunt.



That does look like a very interesting book to get. In this day and time, I still enjoy reading and writing...the old fashioned way, and Katie and I still enjoy looking at rocks.

I went back to the site and took more samples. Smarter this time, I brought my hammer and chisel with me, and camera and tripod, but like the idiot that I am, did not remember the memory card at home, so pictures did not happen. That was kind of a shame because in a couple of places I found raised seams of black Gleana, that flowed through the rock, then around some of the quartz. Of course when I went to chisel off a sample, that was where it parted off the rock face, instead of below it.

This outcropping looks pretty promising as far a other mineralization goes: Gleana, graphite (though it may be molybdenum), lots of copper sulfides, garnet and quartz. I was able to talk to talk to a State of Maine Geologist yesterday and learned quite a bit. He confirmed a few things, taught me a few more, and overall I piqued his curiosity in this as well. It is just hard for me because I have nothing else to go by; I have lived here all my life so it is all I know. As the Geologist said yesterday, "your area has unique bedrock geology".

But after humping out enough rock samples that I thought I was going to rip my backpack in half, and all the strain it put on my sick, aged body; I think I am going to need a Pack Mule. So the most important assay of the day is in conjuring up a name for said animal. I thought I would call it Shrek at first, but then discarded that for "Pick axe", as in, "Come on Pick Axe, there is Gold in them there Hills".

Yes I can see this playing out already, the stuff of legends, the towns people wondering about old man Travis and his trusty stead "Pick Axe", who traversed the backwoods of Maine, some thinking his brain cancer got the best of him, and he was forever chasing fool's gold, where others thought he was just crazy enough he was on to something. Regardless, the legend only is sparked by the spooky East winds on that day "Pick Axe" waddled back home, rider less and starving, Travis never to be heard from again. Never one to drink, and carry a bible no matter the extra weight, perhaps he was taken up like Enoch, or perhaps he met a more sinister fate, and marauders of his claim gave him a much more sinister fate? Either way, him and Pick Axe had a legendary life.

Yes the latter was written all in fun, but I am sure I could make a lot more money writing a book about my adventures then I ever could in selling what hard rock gold is drawn from the ore.

 
Travis Johnson
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Michael Cox wrote:Travis - I have been looking into gold prospecting as a little adventure for me and my older boy (6 year old). I have a few thoughts.

1) If you want to do some serious prospecting, you might want to invest in a small sluice. Looks like from your photos you have plenty of water to work with.
[youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZbtxSLz1lg[/youtube]

You can process MUCH more material much more quickly, which will make your prospecting efforts faster and more reliable. You can wash a bucket of sediment in a matter of minutes and then use your pan at the very end.

2) Hard rock mining is a much more challenging proposition than processing alluvial deposits, requiring a very different set of tools. You may have stuff on site already to handle that, but if not then prospecting for alluvial deposits will be a cheaper and easier way to start.

3) Have you looked at videos of people working crevices in the bedrock? Gold settles to the very bottom of the sediment, being the most dense. It is highly unlikely to be found in course river washed gravels.

Good luc, and keep us updated



I was thinking about making something like this. I am sure you have seen it though.

My father-in-law can pan, but I know nothing about it. My experience has always been with gravel so it means crushing and screening, but not down to this size. I guess there is a real challenge in that??? I like making home made stuff though too,.


 
Michael Cox
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I think those small vortexes are usually used for processing concentrates - that is, the material that is left behind after you have run buckets and buckets of stuff through a sluice.

I haven't used them, but I like the look of the sluices because they are portable to your location, let you process a lot of material on site and don't need any power. You might run the sluice for an hour in the stream, working your alluvial deposits. Then dump the concentrates in a bucket and either pan them by hand or take them home and use a your vortex pot.

From what I have seen of your previous posts you certainly have the skill to knock together a simple sluice.
 
Travis Johnson
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Michael Cox wrote:I think those small vortexes are usually used for processing concentrates - that is, the material that is left behind after you have run buckets and buckets of stuff through a sluice.

I haven't used them, but I like the look of the sluices because they are portable to your location, let you process a lot of material on site and don't need any power. You might run the sluice for an hour in the stream, working your alluvial deposits. Then dump the concentrates in a bucket and either pan them by hand or take them home and use a your vortex pot.

From what I have seen of your previous posts you certainly have the skill to knock together a simple sluice.



First of all Michael, I want to say thank you for realizing I was in no way being controversial with you. I reread a few of my posts and kind of thought, "jeesh I hope he does not think I am openly arguing with him?" I almost sent you a private message to assure you I was in no way being argumentative.

My life is in a weird vortex, an odd state of nothingness...a holding pattern on all fronts; medically, farm wise, and emotionally. Gathering a few promising rocks is about all I have done for months, so it is exciting for me. I would really hate to lose someone who wants to discuss, and knows more about this stuff, then I do! So, you will just have to get a flight, and fly out to Maine, and do some prospecting with me; maybe by then I can get a donkey, and we can look the part anyway! No telling anyone where my claim is though!

You are probably right about the sluice box and vortex. One issue is, and I never explained this I guess...I am nowhere near water, not for the lode gold. That kind of posses a problem.

From what I read about gold though, how fine I crush it will determine what I get for gold. BUT the gold I am looking at is very small. It seems most lode gold is not even visible. I THINK I saw some, but I am being 100% truthful here, it was only a SPECK. If it is a speck, then it is actually pretty good because I can see it. I would like to just send it off to be assayed, but I do not know anything about that either. I would be elated if it came back with gold in it, but downright despondent if it did not. But that is prospecting I suppose. I just really, really want to be sure there is a high likelihood of gold being in the sample before I send it off.
 
Michael Cox
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No worries - I hadn't read your messages that way at all.  

I'd love to have decent rocks to go and explore. I studied some geology at Uni and was fascinated by it. Unfortunately I now live on chalk. Barely even worthy of being called a rock

keep us posted with your explorations either way. I'm genuinely interested to hear how it works out.
 
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Location: On the plateau in TN
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Good for you!
 
Travis Johnson
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Michael Moreken wrote:Good for you!



Thanks but I have not found it quite yet!

I had a chance yesterday to look over my ore samples with a loupe, and was really encouraged by what I saw. I saw a lot of iron and copper pyrite, garnet of course, and quartz, but no gold. The latter is not surprising as it is seldom seen in lode gold. However, those minerals are in gold-bearing areas so there is reason to be encouraged.

If I was to find it though, that is only the first step, the next step would be to determine how many ounces of gold to a ton of ore. I would have to mine 8 troy ounces just to pay my taxes every year! They claim it takes at least 1 ounce of gold per ton of ore to be worth mining, so that would be 8 tons of rock removed per year. That is not a lot, about 6 cubic yards, but I seriously doubt I have that much gold per ton of ore.

If it was only 1/3 of that, it would mean mining 18 cubic yards of solid rock per year just to pay my property taxes (a dump truck load of ore).





 
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Is there a good enough market for the Garnet? seems to be a fairly popular gemstone - you wouldn't even have to polish or cut them before selling, necessarily.
 
Travis Johnson
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:Is there a good enough market for the Garnet? seems to be a fairly popular gemstone - you wouldn't even have to polish or cut them before selling, necessarily.



I am not sure?

Maybe?

You very well might be onto something in terms of value-added products though. You can decide. I took some photos, and sent them off to the State Geologist today to see what he thinks. You can see all the garnet in a few of these photos.


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Travis Johnson
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Well it is officially ore.

I had to go to New Hampshire yesterday for a Dr's appointment, so I brought my rock samples with me, and after a quite a while, my father-in-law detected an inclusion of gold. We followed it up with several tests to see if it was gold and not iron pyrite, and it passed all the tests.

He is panning out some crushed ore that I also brought out to see if any gold is in that.

The snow is still knee deep in the woods, but I could not just sit around today, it was 50 degrees outside, so I wanted to see if there was ore on the west side of the hummock. I knew there was an outcropping of rock there, but would the ore hold up from one side to the other.

It did!

Knowing the area well, and going by bedrock and topography, it looks like the orebody is comprised of about 9 acres in triangle shape.
 
Travis Johnson
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I have not updated this for awhile, but I am still doing a lot of research in my area.

There is a mine nearby, a 115 foot drift driven in 1879 that I was able to get the assay report from. I am in in awe that the Maine Geological Survey has scanned so much of their information, and allow it to be found online now.

A couple of interesting notes are, I was not sure if some of the mineralization was graphite or galena, since in Maine our slate is comprised of graphite. Slate was in the mine, but they list Galena as an occurrence. They also listed:

Major:
Copper
Lead
Zinc
Minor:
Pyrite
Chalcopyrite
Sphalerite
Galena
Gold
Silver

All this is good information to know, because while I have no interest in that mine because it is not located on my land, it indicates that I am definitely on to some major mineralization.

 
Travis Johnson
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My goal now is to build a mechanized means in which to crush up the ore, as I have identified (10) locations I want to sample, to zero in on the richest ore to be had. Crushing rock in a mortal and pestle has proven slow, and boring to say the least.

So I conjured up some rock crusher designs to go on back of my three point hitch on my tractor, and got deeply into C>A>D. Please do not be impressed, I am a farmer/logger so that means CARDBOARD Aided Design and not COMPUTER Aided Design! (LOL)

The first was a PTO powered stamping mill.

The second was a jaw crusher.

And the third was a rod mill.

I like the third design the best as it uses the least amount of purchased parts, and would be cheap to fabricate, but my wife is unsure if a rod mill would adaquately crush my test ore. I need to pulverize the rock samples into the consistency of flour. I am not sure. 40 pounds of rod tumbling over rock for half an hour is going to do a number on rock I would think?

I am not sure how the stamper would work, but the jaw crusher would just plain be expensive to make as I would need to buy a PTO Clutch to protect the driveline of my farm tractor. The stamp mill and rod mill would not require one since there is no shock loads on the drivetrain.
 
Dustin Rhodes
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Congratulations Travis, you've got gold; the Lord provides yet again!

After my last post here, I did some more research on garnet - even if your garnet is not gem-grade, it still has value: with a hardness level of 8-9, garnet particulate is used as an industrial abrasive in many different applications; if you can devise a cost-effective means of collecting it as a by-product when you crush the ore for gold, you might just have another minor income stream!
 
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People (from MN) have been out here for three years now staking claims (including on our land, including trespassing on our land and pounding stakes on our land). I do not like them, to put it politely. I will refrain from saying here what, precisely, I think of them. We were forced to spend over $500 with a lawyer (which basically amounts to half a phone call--I’m not fond of lawyers either, but you need one now and then, usually to protect you from some other lawyer) establishing that yes, we do own mineral rights to our property. The Homestake closed down because it was no longer profitable to mine the gold that is still there. These bozos think they’re going to get rich destroying the USFS land, and any private land whose owners aren’t fortunate enough to own mineral rights. There is no readily available gold here in quantities sufficient for more than hobbyists’ enterprises. Gold is a curse not a blessing. I wish it had never been created.
 
Dustin Rhodes
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I feel you Cindy; people's(and Government's) willingness to desecrate Property Rights is truly despicable; I'm so sorry you had to go through that

Fortunately Travis is talking about processing on his own, legally and properly obtained land, not others'.  Furthermore, by his own nature, he will undoubtedly ensure that his collection methods are environmentally protective, and not eternally destructive
 
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