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jameskarl

Got A New Place Gold Mine Claim... What's The Best Way To Start?

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I'm new to the forum this week... found the Mining Journal through my GPAA membership.   Hi everyone!

 

I have acquired a placer gold mine claim in Northern Idaho near the Clearwater River.   It is a 10 acre claim on a fast running creek that is about 30 - 50 feet wide up in the mountains.  

 

What is the best way for me to get started on a new claim?   I'm a beginner and gold prospecting is a new hobby for my wife and I.   It's great getting out of town were we can spend some quality time together outside and away from the office.

 

We have a Fisher Gold Bug-2 metal detector, a 3' sluice, a bunch of classifiers, 5 gallon buckets, shovels, a big Apex pick and of course a bunch of gold mining pans.  I also recently picked up a Pro-Gold Prospecting Fine Gold Mini Sluice from my local gold prospecting supply store.

 

Should we be digging sampling holes along the shoreline and running concentrate through the sluice to scan over the whole claim first or just start in digging in the stream bed like we have seen on lots of you-tube videos?    Also, I've read that placer gold can be found up the ancient hillsides on either side of the creek up to 500' above the current stream level and that we should look there, too.   The hillsides are very steep along side the stream on our claim - does it make sense to spend time digging sampling holes up there too?

 

I've learned the value of trying to dig down to bedrock as the gold will setting there and concentrate.   How do you know when you have hit bedrock when digging down along the stream-bed?   I've been told that bedrock is down about 2 feet and that it is not hard rock... that you can punch a shovel through it pretty easily.

 

Also... I've found that there is a ton of pyrite in the stream... thought it was gold at first - yikes!   Is there an easy way other than just panning to try to separate any existing gold from pyrite flakes?

 

Thanks for any tips from you guys with experience - much appreciated and I hope to be able to post lots of our lucky findings here on the forum soon, too!

 

Jim

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I would start with a gold pan, shovel,  and my copy of this book:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Fists-Full-Gold-Chris-Ralph/dp/0984269207/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371152283&sr=8-1&keywords=chris+ralph

 

I have read quite a few and this is the best. Have fun!

Ron

 

Hi Ron, thanks for the tip on the Book... I just ordered it and can't wait to read it before my next outing... much appreciated!

 

Jim

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Run don't walk to a local yokel club,be it mining,detecting or rockhounding as gold nutz abound everywhere. You can learn more from a single outing than you'd believe. Get a half dozen units working and a couple a goldfarbs and off you go. Small local clubs fulla retired folks with time,equipment,club outings and claims to ease them noobie pains. Question-why 10 acres when 20 costs the same???John

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Being that you are a GPAA member,look in the back of your magazine and find the nearest club chapter.Call the number,go to the next meeting and offer to have their next outing at your claim.The whole club chapter spread out looking for gold will cover a lot more ground than you can by yourself.Keep up with who found what where and what method they used or type of equipment they used.Not only will you probably know in one day's time where the gold is,you will as John says,gain a lot of valuable knowledge in a short amount of time.Plus you may aquire lifelong friendships that will out weigh any amount of gold you will ever find.May gold find your pans and God's peace find your hearts.GOOD LUCK

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Is dredging allowed there? I was on the Payette last year before I took everything up to Alaska. I wouldn't mind checking it out with you if its dredgeable.

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