The "Madonna Nugget"—A Weekend Hunt to Remember
July 2017 by Tom Reyes
I worked my way to a flat area along a ridge where I could see a quartz blowout. As I got within 100 feet of it, I started seeing rock that I knew to be associated with gold.
After removing about six inches of dirt and cobbles, the sound was a bit more recognizable. I was now confident that there was a definite target and not just a ground noise.
There are several counties around Shasta County that offer very good gold detecting. Many of these locations are old hydraulic pits. While detecting these old pits over the years I have come up with some ideas on how to go about hunting them.
The big moment finally arrived. With Norm suited up, I pulled the motor to life and felt instantly better. There’s really something relaxing about the sound of a dredge running—they don’t sound like anything else.
Down around 10 or 12 inches I hit a large cobble that appeared to be one type of hot rock for this area. I thought bad things about the new technology until I checked the rock.
What are the tell signs of garnet deposits?
Maybe we could find a few pieces of ore from that tunnel? It was worth a try. The old timers didn’t have that stamp mill for looks, so we set off to get some samples.
Most of the commercial mineral deposits are on the south and southwest part of the range between Minersville and Milford, though small amounts of gold and silver have also been found in iron-rich outcrops in the basalt to the south of Milford.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts: What is a Spanish needle? • Ask The Experts: Sulfides and fluxes • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Simple Rules of Gold Geology: Comparing Epithermal and Mesothermal Deposits • The Goldfield Mining District, Nevada—Part II • Sunset Sunbaker • A Prospecting Adventure in Mexico • Critical Minerals: Tungsten • Police Urge Author to End Treasure Hunt • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices