Idaho Al

Rye Patch Gold

18 posts in this topic

Question for Chris,  I have detected the Rye Patch area and found gold, some smooth and worn and some coarse. Can you explain the geography of the Rye Patch area and its  gold?? I hope this question makes some sort of sense.

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Right. Sorry for the slow reply - I missed this post during the holidays.

 

I have also seen a few nuggets of smooth gold from around rye patch. Most RP gold has traveled only very short distances.  That's why most RP gold is very angular. But it is true that some nuggets are formed with a rounded shape. Some RP and other residual / Eolian nuggets just come out of the ground rounded even though they have traveled only short distances. Often if you look at a nugget that is rounded with high magnification, you can see the difference between stuff that is rounded by abrasion in a creek and one that is formed rounded, but the difference is subtle and you need to know what to look for to see the difference.

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What's confusting to me, not being a geologist or even close, is where did the RyePatch nuggets come from.  Many of them seem to be very sharp and hardly worn at all by time and travel.   As far as I know there aren't any nearby lode deposits that could be the source of the nuggets?

 

Bob

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Geowizard,

 

Not being a geologist I don't think I worded my question correctly.  I was asking about the source of the placer gold from the area that us amateurs call Rye Patch, near Majuba Hill to the West of I80 and the reservoir.  It seems your answer correctly addressed the source of the gold at the area mined by Rye Patch Gold Corp on the East side of I 80.  But that isn't the area I  was asking about.

 

Bob

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This is a very unusual topic with over 2,500 views and five posts. Both Chris and Bob

sum it up geat. Back in the late 1959s- EarIy1960's I lived in Lovelock and worked for

Eagle-Picher and did some prospecting with Garry Eden and Drywashed with

A,H, "Scotty the Assayer" Scott. So with this in mind I thought I would add a little history.

 

The Majuba Hill/Mountain placers are extensive and cover many square miles westerly of Rye

Patch reservoir and easterly of Majuba Mountain. Both the placers and their sources are

expansive. Majuba Mountain has been mined for cinnabar, tinstone, electrum as well as gold and

traces of many other metals and their elements. Thus to add to the mix the physical and chemical

weathering over centuries of normal and diverse weathering patterns have created

various basic types of gold placers: Both Eluvial (dry) and Alluvial (wet/stream) placers. They

blended into each other adding to the mix: Bajada (alluvial fans); plus Pediments and Eolian placers

and other diverse soil types.   

 

The placers were said to be discovered as early as the 1930s Great Depression years and the

sagebrush roots were panned. Other drywash recovery methods were used. It was said that

nuggets were specked during a foggy or rainy period by their sheen when wet. Beginning in the early

1970s, the TR and VLF metal detectors; and in the middle 1990s, the PI's, all have really "pounded"

the area,

 

However both Chris Ralph and Bob Thomasson sum up Rye Patch Gold. And Idaho

Al mentions he is finding gold there. So it could be that Rye Patch is one of the best

known placer gold fields in Nevada?

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The "main" Rye Patch nugget area located south to southeast of Majuba Mountain and east of Rye Patch Reservoir is certainly among the best known, most popular and most heavily worked in Nevada - yet it continues to produce gold. I've found nuggets there the last 2 years and so has Steve Herschbach and a number of other guys I know. I almost always see other prospectors there, while some other locations I go its rare to see anyone. Rye Patch has been pounded and the gold is not easy to find, but there is still some there. I do think the gold is generally locally produced, though some may be reworked in old Lake Lahontan shore gravels. Even though there are not any hard rock mines found there in the placer area, there are many small quartz veins in the slate rocks of the placer area.

According to Maureen Johnson, the Rye Patch / Majuba Placers were discovered by C. E. Dice in July of 1938. They are not mentioned in Vanderburg's books on Nevada placers as his books were both published prior to 1938.

Jim - I got 3 true electrum nuggets this summer - two from Nevada and one from California. All three are that odd silver-green color seen in very high silver alloys with gold. I will shortly put a picture of the 3 up here on the forum in a separate thread. None of the three I found are from Rye Patch, though the two Nevada pieces are from Northern Nevada.

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A great place to beep for electrum float nuggets was in the National

Mining District in northern Humboldt county... 50% gold/50% silver by

volume. However it may now be being heap-leached?

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Jim,

 I found an old 1915 USGS Bulletin 601 on the National District by none other than Waldemar Lindgren himself.  I don't think the National District has or is being heap leached, but I could be wrong.

 

http://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/0601/report.pdf

 

I have a friend who found a tennis ball sized rock  in a Northern Nevada tailings pile that really set his detector off.  It looked like a dull gray rock with no indication of mineralization.  He took it home and cut it open to find that it was nearly solid electrum inside.  It was a couple of weeks before he could get back out to the tailings pile and when he arrived there, the pile was completely gone.

 

About Ryepatch, for some reason I'm just fascinated by the Eugene Mountains to the North.  Spent quite a bit of time there, haven't found much but I keep going back.  At least one tertiary paleochannel flowed through the Eugene Mountains. There are old workings in part of a channel there but I haven't found any reports of how much gold, if any, was recovered.   And, of course there is Lunker Hill!

 

Bob

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Thinking of heading over to RP this weekend. Haven't done my research since going there with the WPA so will need to location a section to go work. Any suggestions? I know it has been hit hard but I'm still looking for that first nugget with my APX. GB 2 will be swinging as well.

 

Nice nuggets Terry.

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Rick,

 
Wish I could help you but haven't been there since 06.  The area I was in then was getting hit hard so not sure how good it would be at that particular location anyway. Not sure I could even find my directions.  

 

How is that ATX working out for finding Nuggets?  I had considered getting one but ended up with something else.  

 

post-18537-0-06260700-1458594050.jpg  post-18537-0-81419100-1458594146.jpg

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Roughwater, still getting the ATX figured out. Finding small shot with it but so far no gold. Always wanting to grab the GB 2 because of weight and frustration. Still in the mid 30's overnight there so may wait for warmer overnights. We just had a front move through so it may still be a little wet to the east of us.

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Roughwater, still getting the ATX figured out. Finding small shot with it but so far no gold. Always wanting to grab the GB 2 because of weight and frustration. Still in the mid 30's overnight there so may wait for warmer overnights. We just had a front move through so it may still be a little wet to the east of us.

 

As you know if you are finding small shot you can find gold, just a matter of getting the coil over a piece but as you know, easier said than done.  Kinda like the realtors say, Location, Location, Location.  

 

A friend of a friend told me he thought the Reservoir had dried up.  Do you know if that's true or not?  If it did or ever does I would think the old lake bed would be good place to try?  Are you a member of any prospecting club in the area or are there any in that area that you know of?

 

Terry 

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Was a member of the Western States Prospectors but found we like to be off by ourselves. They have some claims but not sure where. While with them at an outing we got the word that the big lode claim holders didn't mind placer hunters on their claims.

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I know Newmont has been leasing some of their claims at ryepatch. Is it still true that the odd sections are still open to play around on? I haven't been there for about a year and a half now.

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