The Summer of ‘81
November 2019 by Jeff Thomas
When it was all setup and running, you had everything coming off the dredge riffles into the boil box. At the hole section, some of the water got sucked down and pulled a lot of black sand and over heavies…
Our research indicated this whole area had been claimed by Newmont mining company for several years, but when the price of gold dropped they let the claims expire, and we confirmed this with the local BLM office.
The only thing that saved me was talking to a local miner who gave me a “heads up” that private individuals owned all the mineral rights in that section.
I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.
My last update on this adventure was in the April 2012 issue and involved our search for the northern extension of the Cedarberg Mine. At that time we had found it and we were in the process of returning for some detecting when Mother Nature struck with a late rain and snow storm.
Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.
On my weekends off I spent many hours dredging the Second Broad River from Cane Creek Road up to the headwaters. I used a three-inch dredge with air and graduated to a five-inch with air.
...your sampling procedures should not be designed to catch gold your mining technique will never recover.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Seeking advice on setting up an operation and the agreement with the landowner • Montana Gold and Sapphires Revisited • A Third Generation Small-Scale Hardrock Revival • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Respect the Angle of Repose • The “Chuck It Out” Nugget • High Sulfidation Epithermal Deposits • Gold and Silver Deposits of Bodie, California • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices