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geowizard
17:14:59 Tue
Nov 6 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

hoppingforpay,

Thanks again for that!

So, we have covered the dimension of human mortality as with respect to placer mining. We have a finite amount of time to do this!

The dimension of "time" was given earlier reference because when we ARE placer mining, the recovered gold is directly related to the grade of gold per cubic yard and the productivity is directly related to cubic yards per hour or per day.

What are the tools that are readily available that make it possible to make a living placer mining on avalable low grade placers? :confused:

- Geowizard
[1 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 15:32:20 Fri Nov 9 2012]

  
baub
19:03:23 Tue
Nov 6 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

There's a couple of techno goodies that pique my interest. The Gold Cube and Gold Exorcist are something to check on further.
There's other tech advances that may end up helping the bottom line. Better sluice media, additional choices of plastic sluices. The p/s sluice that I really like and which can be tailored to almost any size processing. The availability of small scale bowls like the Icon, and, I think someone said the Neff Bowl is back too.
The affordability of small crushers enable one to retire the ol' mortering pistol. Applause, applause !!
All these goodies, and many more, increase thruput AND efficiency. Dat be a win/win situation.

b

  
hoppingforpay
23:27:36 Sat
Nov 10 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

I have Been stuck away from wifi do to snow and laziness. I don't worry about time, beings there is a lot of sun light in an Alaska summer.And I do not worry to much about gold loss either.If I find unacceptable losses in my tailings I will make a cheap fix in a handmade fashion.

I like to keep as small a camp as possible if I don't absolutely need it I delete it.Perhaps if I find a large deposit that will take a few years to finish I might go from 1" foam pad to 3" foam pad for sleeping.
I am pretty well used to it.

A dredger that mines low grade is called recreational. Sure if it is a large deposit that is salable I might claim it but it isn't really my game plan. I am into location,location,location.

In Alaska there are only a few roads and it is most likely that road gold is pretty much done with unless one finds a sleeper creek that was overlooked.

Instead of turning .01 to .012 through tech I just move from .01 to .05 by hopping. When I find it I chase it backwards,forwards and sideways. Of course you don't want to make the grand mistake of declaring .05 as .01 and leaving it for someone else.

Only the experience of actually seeing where gold lays being it fine or coarse, in a creek or river, fast or slow water,inside or outside bend,loose or hardpack gravel,virgin or previously worked ground will help out in making fewer unproductive moves. For most whom attempt to make a little dough placer mining a long period of spending awaits you. The ones who luck out and hit good gold on the get-go will inevitably dump some dough on the wrong horse and learn their lessons in the future.

  
geowizard
15:28:46 Mon
Nov 12 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine


  
geowizard
16:21:24 Mon
Nov 12 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Random chance:

Is placer mining done by random chance? :confused:

If it is, you may be better off to take your money to the nearest Casino.

Yes, experienced placer miners "know" where to find placer gold. Right? One of the rules: "Gold is always on the inside bend of the creek or river." What about meandering rivers? What about rivers that have no gold? There are more cases that don't apply or don't follow the rules!

Confused?

The laws of physics:

Example:

If I step in front of a speeding locomotive, the following laws of physics apply; 1. An object at rest will tend to remain at rest. 2. An object in motion will tend to remain in motion.

Do you believe in the laws of physics?

Metal has certain physical properties that make it special. One physical property is hardness. Ever take your fist and try to form steel plate? Why not?

Most metals are electrically conductive. Ever stick a fork into a toaster? Why not?

Is silica glass electrically conductive? Is rubber conductive? Is plastic conductive?

Is gold and magnetite, ilmenite, hematite, silver, platinum, titanium conductive?

Most of us know that many metals are conductive. Conductive metals have low resistance so they conduct electric current. Can we use certain physical properties of metal to detect metals in the earth?

Eliminating random chance:

Do you know anyone that owns a metal detector?

Why is a metal detector an efficient tool to use to detect metal... including gold?

A metal detector increases the probability of finding a gold nugget. Especially if the area is already known to contain gold nuggets.

Ophir Creek contains gold nuggets.




This is an image of the resistivity of Section 23 (K027S012E). More exactly, it is the surface resistivity given from a geophysical survey system that was flown over the area in late 2010.

Ophir Creek flows from the bottom of the image to the top and flows directly through the middle of the image. The darker colored area is lower resistivity - more conductive.

Where is the greater probability of finding gold?

- Geowizard

Image credit: Alaska DNR DGGS GPR-2011-2 Sheet 009a
[2 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 16:27:02 Mon Nov 12 2012]

  
hoppingforpay
00:32:08 Tue
Nov 13 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

The best place to look is where someone else found it.

7 bucks per foot equals 3 ounces to a bedrock linear yd.

They probably did not lose 50% but there may still be some gold on bedrock. Find that claim! Good luck!

Location: Ophir Creek has been mined for about 2 1/2 miles above its mouth, near the town of Ophir on the Innoko River. Mining also took place near its head. The coordinates are for the approximate midpoint of mine tailings marked on the U.S. Geological Survey Ophir A-2 topographic map (1954, minor revisions 1965). This point is on lower Ophir Creek, in sec. 26, T. 27 S., R. 12 E., Kateel River Meridian. Ophir Creek corresponds to localities 13 and 14 of Cobb (1972 [MF 367]). The location is accurate.
Geology: Bedrock in the vicinity of Ophir Creek consists of shale and siltstone (Chapman and others, 1985). The creek also drains small monzonite intrusive bodies, and igneous rock pebbles and cobbles are reported in the stream gravels (Mertie, 1936). Some vein quartz is also reported in the gravels (Mertie, 1936). Most of the gold on Ophir Creek is in crevices in the top 2 to 5 feet of bedrock (Maddren, 1910). The gold is coarse with many nuggets. It also occurs in bench and stream gravels (Maddren, 1910; Maddren, 1911). In 1933, one claim on Ophir Creek averaged $7 to 8 per square foot of bedrock. Nuggets as large as 14 ounces have been recovered (Mertie, 1936). The gold averages 898 fine (Smith, 1941). Heavy minerals in pan concentrates include magnetite, ilmenite, edenite, zircon, rutile, orthoferrosilite, and pyrite (Bundtzen and others, 1987). The likely source of the gold is nearby rhyolite dikes and monzonite plutons (Bundtzen and others, 1987). Gold was discovered on Ophir Creek in 1908, and mining occurred nearly continuously until 1940 (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-576]). In 1950, at least one person was mining along Ophir Creek (Williams, 1950). Mining is also reported during 1959, but the operator at that time planned to move to the Ruby district in 1960 (Saunders, 1960). More recent exploration or mining is probable but not documented. The estimated production from Ophir Creek from 1908 to1961 is 66,489 ounces of gold and 7,004 ounces of silver. Production figures for more recent mining from 1978 to 1985 are unknown (Bundtzen and others, 1987).
Workings: Gold was discovered on Ophir Creek in 1908, and mining occurred nearly continuously until 1940 (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-576]). By 1914, the creek was one of the chief gold-producing streams in the area, and 8 mines were operating (Eakin, 1914; Brooks, 1915). Drifting, draglines, and hydraulicking were all used to recover the gold. In 1950, at least one person was mining along Ophir Creek (Williams, 1950). Mining is also reported during 1959, but the operator at that time planned to move to the Ruby district in 1960 (Saunders, 1960). More recent exploration or mining is probable but not documented.
Age: Quaternary. The likely source of placer gold at Ophir Creek is nearby Cretaceous or Tertiary rhyolite dikes and monzonite plutons (Bundtzen and others, 1987).
Production: The estimated production from Ophir Creek from 1908 to1961 is 66,489 ounces of gold and 7,004 ounces of silver. Production figures for more recent mining from 1978 to 1985 are unknown (Bundtzen and others, 1987).

  
geowizard
15:36:24 Tue
Nov 13 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine


"The best place to look is where someone else found it."

Someone found a twenty dollar bill out in the street. So, I go look for twenty dollar bills in the street. A geologist looked at a gold mine a hundred years ago and wrote a paper about it. Another geologist 50 years later read the paper, went and looked and wrote another paper. A few miners mined there and got rich. hundreds of other miners mined there and went broke.

What separates these people? :confused:

Today, another person named Geowizard comes along. He brings in geologists that look at the same rocks, read the same papers and come up with the same conclusions.

If we expect to solve the mystery of "Where" the gold is - we have to do something different.

- Geowizard

  
klondike_jake
04:23:23 Wed
Nov 14 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

ive never tried it but can you blast away the overburden with the 3in pressure hose on the 6in.

  
geowizard
16:19:13 Wed
Nov 14 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

kj,

Yes! That's a good idea.

Last year - before I could get the Bobcat loaders to the mine, I took the pump from the 3" Proline Highbanker and using about 300 feet of 2 1/2" hose pumped water uphill to an area that had been previously mined and produced good samples. The operation resembled a small scale hydraulicking operation. Water was pumped from a beaver pond to wash material through a sluice box. The sluice box was from the new Keene Mini Six suction dredge. The sluice box had been removed from the dredge and placed on the ground at a point that provided the required slope. It worked good for this application because it has a top screen that covers the sluice so that oversize blows across the top. The oversize is shoveled when necessary to keep the screen clear.

A helper thought it would be a good idea to use the pressure hose to flush off the oversize! I promptly explaned that we didn't want to flush the sluice box! This method requires care in feeding the sluice.

The process is inherently intermittent in terms of feeding the sluice.

- Geowizard
[1 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 16:23:23 Wed Nov 14 2012]

  
hoppingforpay
20:26:42 Wed
Nov 14 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Geo,

It was you who said draglines lose 50%. It was you who determined your ground was .01 to .025 and then later said it was closer to averaging .025 and that you were just low balling with the .01 to be safe. Now you are saying through abstract analogy (20 dollar bill theory) that the miners are taking 100% of the gold. :confused:

That magnetometer stuff is still going to put you in worked ground where you now allude that all the 20 dollar bills are gone.

I have 30 years and perhaps 10,000 hours looking at gravel, staying in the black for 25 years. Those types of maps are more useful on unknown drainages as a precursor to sampling.They might be useful at choosing a bench. But I still believe history is more useful. It's the reason you chose this creek right? Some of the operators are still alive,no?

Usually when ground is rich the pay is wider.Usually when ground is rich there is a greater chance of more gold left because miners get greedy and leave lower grades they would mine otherwise. But hey do what you want it's your show.

  
hoppingforpay
22:05:58 Wed
Nov 14 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

When I was a kid in California our family would go to the beach on warm weekends. There was a snack shop very close to a pier. Right at the beginning of the pier underneath it was a rich deposit. Quarters by the dozen. All you had to do was run your fingers through the sand and you didn't have to ask mommy for money to buy a popcicle.

It was rich because this is where many persons reached into their pockets to see how there snack funds looked. And oops...

In most cases in placer mining you are competing with the past. The past gives up clues if you pay attention and learn to read them. Things happen. An old timer maybe tearing up bedrock to the extent of several feet then all of a sudden he is gone.Who knows why? Could of been his mom is sick in Pennsyvania.Could be he is off to Nome on a bicycle.Could be Soapy Smith has the deed to his claim somehow and showed up brandishing a gun.Lots and lots of scenarios, not just one that covers the overall history of worked gold deposits.

  
Scrub
16:01:36 Thu
Nov 15 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

I've been reading these threads (up to 4 pages now) and asked a few questions, earlier. Got some good answers too. Here are a couple of questions related to "where to find gold" that I have. First let me "line out" the background ...

In the 70's I worked as a wildland firefighter in the Interior (Fortymile country). I spend two summers in Eagle and got to know several people there. I got interested in their stories. One had mined on his own and with a partner in the 30's on the Seventymile River & it's tributaries. Recently I did a literature research on the area, reading old USGS reports and ran into an interview in which a miner and a pilot buddy of mine were thanked (USGS Bulletin 1315, 1971). The miner was Barney Hansen. The pilot was Ronald Warbellow. Barney died long ago. Ron still lives in the interior & operates a flight service in Fairbanks. Barney told me of some of his exploits and now that I'm retired, decided to try investigating the area.

Last summer, now that I'm retired and have time, me and a friend spent about a week on the Fortymile River, learning a little about operating dredges & highbankers from a miner in Chicken. We didn't expect to get rich and we met out expectations! (ie, we're still not rich.) However, we've another story to tell of the north country.

O.K. Now for our future plans leading to a question. We plan to buy equipment and operate on a shallow creek that produced good gold back in the early 1900's. I'm dealing with Doyon on the permit, and the Doyon representative said that besides Doyon's permit for subsurface minerals, I'll also need a surface permit from a village tribe. The Doyon guy said the area has had problems with trespass, so I may have trouble with the permit (I presume he means exercising my rights if/when I get the permit's.) My questions:
1) What "rights" do I have, if I may expect trespass?
2) And what equipment will work best on this creek?

I'll ask the Doyon rep to address the first question.

To address the second question, you'll need to know a little about the geology/geography of the creek I plan to work. I did some TRULY recreational panning/sluicing on this creek in the 70's in my spare time. I still have the little bit of gold I found back then and compared it was the very little bit of gold I brought back last summer. The 70's gold is larger and was easier to get. Weighing the two samples (the 70's sample v.s. last summer's sample, & comparing my labor & recovery rates) leads me to believe I MAY recover as much as an ounce/day using a highbanker on a "second bench", if it hasn't been discovered and heavily worked since I was there. The bench was composed of small, serpentine-colored shale, mixed with a bit of clay and gold. This second bench is less than 50' from the creek and approximately 3 feet high. The creek is ankle to knee deep and about 20 to 30' wide.

I don't know if this is enough info to answer my second question (above) regarding equipment, but I'm wondering how deep the stream is to bedrock and whether it was ever commerically "dredged" back in the early 1900's. I've found no records that it was, and those who might know are likely dead. It doesn't APPEAR to have been dredged, but it's hard to tell for sure.

My specific question about what equipment to use is whether I'll be satisfied with a highbanker on the second bench above the creek, or whether I'd be better off with a dredge in the creek, itself. Because of it's shallow nature, I'm not sure a dredge would be able to float. I know I could build a small pond, but that'd take at least a day or two by hand, as I have no "cat" or front-end loader and can't legally use it by the terms of the permit anyway. How much water would a smaller (2 to 4") dredge displace? One or two feet? I can get it there fairly easily, but may have to level it on rocks instead of floating it. Then, because of it's small size (and related inefficiency of small dredges) and not even knowing how far it is to bedrock, I may be better off not even going to the expense of a dredge and sticking to the less expensive and possibly less productive highbanker on the second bench. Any thoughts on this?

I know you'll have to guess whether the highbanker or the dredge would be better, but even an educated guess may be better than my guess. If nobody out there has an opinion on what equipment (highbanker or dredge) will work best, how about ideas for a literature search on whether the creek has ever been commercially dredged by the HUGE dredges that plied the area back in the early to mid-1900's. (I don't mean I want to commerically dredge it, but I'd like to determine if the creek was commercially dredged back then.) I've done what I can through computer searches. What about library searches? Is there a fairly extensive section on mining history at the UofA in Fairbanks? Is there another library or an agency I should consult? :confused:

Thanks for any input you guys can provide!
/s/Scrub

  
overtheedge
19:41:59 Thu
Nov 15 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Without knowing what creek, pretty hard to answer on dredging history. However there is a sort of work-around. A natural deposit has the material laid down shingle fashion with the upstream side of the rock lower than the downstream side. Dredged material tends to be just piled in the stream-bed like it was dumped out of a truck.

The long interval since possible dredging may have this jumbled mess buried under a layer of material that has shingled over the decades.

The width of the valley can give an indication of potential to have been dredged by a bucket-line. Bucket-line dredges are fairly larger and need some room as well as depth of material. You need to float the boat and you need lots of material to process. Those old dredges were expensive, so it took lots of gold to pay them off at $15-16/ounce.

Any hills or ridges of gravel in the valley bottoms is a good indicator of past bucket-line dredging activity.

Depth of gravel is determined by digging. You might get some idea from the bedrock along the sides of the valley, might.

Possible sources of info:

http://www.dggs.dnr.state.ak.us/index.php?menu_link=publications&link=publications_search

http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/minerals/mineral_rpts/usbm_reports_unpublished.html

Equipment selection needs to be carefully considered.

You are in your 60's at least. So weight and bulk is an important consideration.

Shale presents its own set of problems especially when dredging. Some sort of restrictor is almost mandatory to prevent hose plugs. Some just use their fingers. Ankle to knee deep almost forces a suction jet rather than a log.

That you might get as much as an ounce a day working the bench means 5 yard gravel. Very rich indeed. This calls for a high-banker.

Were it me, I would use a 2" combo dredge/high-banker on a stand. No floats. I'd include at least 100-150' of lay-flat hose. I am a bit curious as to why you think a high-banker is less productive than a dredge in the same size class? My 2" dredge can average close to 1/2 yard³ per hour. When I shovel in to the high-banker portion, I can average 1 yard³ per hour for at least 2-3 hours. Usually about 4.5 yards³ per 6.5 hour day. Hey, I'm old too and retire in a few months.
-----------------------------
Before you spend any money on this, better make sure you have all the permits in hand: Doyon, village, state (dredging/high-banking), etc. Have you got a way to transport your equipment and all the support stuff to the site?
--------------------------------
I won't gamble much money on the tattered remnants of a 40 year old memory. There is no substitute for boots on the ground. Any literature is 50-70-100 years out of date. It is interesting from the historical context, but it IS HISTORY. Generalissimo Fransisco Franco is still dead.(from SNL)

But, how much would you pay for a grand adventure lasting a month or two? Especially if it is on your bucket list? Maybe combine it with a visit to a pay-to-mine operation.

Hope this helps.
eric

  
Scrub
10:46:29 Fri
Nov 16 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Thanks Eric for your quick response. I'll try to answer some of your comments and questions.

My productivity comment came from my lack of knowledge of depth-to-bedrock. Since I don't know that, I can't make too many presumptions. And I was relating my knowledge of a known load up on the bank to my lack of knowledge about depth-to-bedrock in the stream-bed and whether the creek has been dredged in the early-to-mid 1900's. If not, and if I'm close to bedrock, a little 2"- to 4"-dredge might be more productive if I don't constantly have to fuss with leveling it due to the issue of it not floating. (I'm not sure how stable a stand would be, but it might be worth a try.)

Time was my constraint (isn't it always?) when I was in the area last summer. If we'd had more time, I'd have poked around to see if I could relocate the spot I remember from the 70's. It's not far upstream where I can see what I think is bedrock projecting from the stream-bed, so fairly sure (but can't be certain) it's not more than two or three feet below the creek bottom where I remember being.

Regarding costs, I've got an agreement from a Keene vendor that I trust to buy my two highbankers & pump, hose & gated-Y back when I leave next season for half-price. I may lease a dredge from him if bedrock's not too deep and the deposit is large enough to warrant the investment, but that's uncertain as he won't know whether he needs his own equipment in Chicken until next summer. However, he's got a 6" dredge and the permit only allows up to a 5"-er.

The permits will be in order as much as possible before I leave. I think I mentioned Doyon stated that they've had some problems with trespass in the area. I believe they're telling me that they cannot or will not protect a permit and/or that it's not an exclusive-use permit. I intend to call them soon to determine that. It's been over two months since I mailed a letter to the village President, with no response. Doyon says they can grant the below-surface mineral rights, but that I must deal with the village for surface rights. I don't know whether they're referring to camping, or to shoveling from the bank. I used to know men from the village when I was a firefighter there, but doubt I can recall their names anymore. There will be that uncertainty, unless I can elicit a response from my letter/s to them or unless Doyon can help me further. (I don't think I'll have any problem with the state permit, as I acquired one last year in about a month for the same area from the Fish & Wildlife folks.)

The "second bench" I referred to, may be tailing from an old dredging operation, but I don't think so, due to its semi-rich nature. I don't think I'd have found the concentration of gold I sluiced in the 70's if it was processed tailings.

I'll be 62 next summer and just passed the required interagency arduous-level pack-test, so can continue to fight fire next summer. (I was on a fire in Idaho last summer for a couple weeks.) I'm no spring chicken and know my limits, but can still work hard for several hours at a time, as long as I pace myself. My attitude is that I'm thankful for the experience regardless of whether the return fully covers the expense. But there's some probability that it will, it which case I'd be doubly happy.

Hopefully these responses and my observations help you address my question further. Thanks again for your previous response and estimates. If I can process as much material as you suggest, I believe it would warrant my expenses in time and money.

Take care & best wishes,
Scrub

  
hoppingforpay
00:52:41 Sat
Nov 17 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Scrub,

I think I know the creek you are describing. There has not been any bucket dredges on this creek but there has been suction dredges (mostly recreational). The depth to bedrock is 1 ft to 15 ft. almost all the gold being on bedrock. More often than not holes come up empty do to a thorough job by previous miners.This doesn't mean the gold is all gone but that many holes may be required to find a hole that has some gold. A little dredge is not going to get you to bedrock in most places. In the serpentine area boulders abound and will prevent a dredger from getting to bedrock unless the hole is thoroughly thought out.In fact in many places it cannot be done without a winch.

The benches I think you have described have been dug into since the 70s but they don't look cleaned out. I doubt you will run into any ounce per day but if you're a real hard worker the possibility exists somewhere.

Trespassers are not a problem their are native watchers and a constable to take care of it.

I don't know how you will fare with the local native's
on getting their permission to occupy and mine,they don't seem to be into gold themselves but might be averse to... well you know.

Have you thought of Barney Creek? Some guy just got it but I don't think he's doing anything with it. I believe there is an airstrip there. Good luck.

  
Scrub
12:03:18 Sat
Nov 17 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Thanks hoppingforpay. Yea, I figured someone would figure out which stream, and your statement bucket dredges weren't here, but small recreational dredgers have been, rings true. I don't see the extensive tailings commonly associated with bucket dredges. I saw a rec. dredge in the area last summer, but no one was working there at the time. (The Alaska Mapper currently shows no one has the area claimed, though I'm guessing it may not always be complete; & I some claims may be contested.)

Regarding my estimate of up to an oz/day, this is just based on an extrapolation of the one area I found. It could be just a small pocket, may have been thoroughly worked out since I was there in the 70's, etc, etc. Alternately, however, it may be more extensive and it might not have been thoroughly worked since the 70's. Glad to hear trespassers are not a problem. What's the name of the constable you mention and where's he/she live? If I go there, I may want to talk to the person first for local, current info. I may even know them, but I doubt it. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I know someone who knows them. I'll try that route if you don't know.

I've read about Barney Ck, but never been there. (I wonder if it was named for Barney Hansen.) Flying in to the landing strip with gear is an added expense & complicates logistics in the event of an emergency, so doubt I'll go that route. And I've been told the old trail to the 70-mile from Eagle hasn't been cleared in years, so makes overland travel problematic for a 4-wheeler. You say you don't know if the claim is being worked? Who has/has it and how do I contact that person, in the event I change my mind? Thanks again for the response and info!

Regards,
Scrub

  
geowizard
18:53:43 Sat
Nov 17 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

ote,

I have a placer mine on Doyon domain, it may be in conflict and I need some free advice since I can't afford to spend any money. You will need to guess where it is because it's a secret location. There may be trespassers because they don't have permission to use the surface. I don't have permission either. The trespassers shouldn't be a problem. Can I expect to do as well mining gold there as I did 40 years ago? :confused:

Any help would be appreciated. :smile:

One other question... How deep is bedrock?

- Geowizard

[1 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 18:55:37 Sat Nov 17 2012]

  
overtheedge
21:25:58 Sat
Nov 17 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine


Quote: geowizard

Can I expect to do as well mining gold there as I did 40 years ago? ...

One other question... How deep is bedrock?


Question 1 No, you will do better or worse.

Question 2 Goes all the way down to the mantle.

I'm assuming you meant to be sarcastic in a humorous way.

In most cases, the answer is "boots on the ground." Know what you are dealing with. To know is to have knowledge and knowledge is tested by application. The results are quite predictable. Beliefs and opinions are NOT knowledge so if it doesn't say Chiquita® (sp?) on the outside, you don't know what you are getting.

I suggested a 2" HB/dredge combo w/stand for several reasons:

#1 It has been my observation that most eschew a pan for sampling. From the bazillion postings on the forums, it appears that many, if not most, will do anything to keep from panning even the concentrates from high-banking, dredging or sluicing. I admit that my pan clean-ups still have a little bit of non-magnetic darks in the -100 mesh.

#2 Transportability: quick and easy to move and get operational. Relatively lightweight. 62 years old.

#3 Price: Don't spend gobs without knowing what you are dealing with. It is easier to sell a used 2" combo than a 6-8" dredge on floats. Fairly low operational costs.

#4 Can still process a few yards a day. This covers the phony bulk-sampling thingy. Taking 100 yards from one hole is NOT sampling; it is either pre-production production or testing the recovery device. One hole samples (however many yards) only represents that specific location, not the entire claim.

#5 Easier and quicker permitting process. Like it or not, we have to consider the environmental footprint as interpreted by the ignorant masses.

#6 Shallow water for floating a dredge.
eric

  
Scrub
13:38:07 Sun
Nov 18 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Geowizard, Eric presumes your remarks were aimed at him. When I read them, I at first thought they were aimed at me. I realize I cannot expect anyone to be prescient, but I was in good faith disclosing what I do know except the exact location. The dance through the permitting process combined with a 35-year-old memory have led me to ask several questions. Please don't criticize me for asking or Eric for trying to help. I appreciated your earlier help on this website, but don't see how criticizing either Eric or me furthers the objectives of this website.

Eric, Geowizard's (presumedly humorous?) remarks do have some merit in that he correctly points out I am asking questions that have no answers without further disclosure or knowledge. However, as I explained, I'd done all the library research I knew how to do & have run into apparent conflicts & he points them out. He's also right that there's no substitute for "boots on the ground". I would add that's no reason not to research or ask questions. Thanks again for your attempt to help me out.

Sincerely,
/s/Scrub


  
geowizard
15:42:19 Sun
Nov 18 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine


I'm not going to reply to scrub's inuendo. Frankly, I'm disgusted with (adults) that apparently wish to persue an endeavor that they obviously aren't prepared for and either have not or cannot decide what to do to prepare for it.

The very first consideration when you walk out the front door of your home is WHERE you intend to go.

In this thread there has been little discussion on the subject of DOMAIN.

DOMAIN:

Every square foot of Alaska and the rest of the free world is owned by someone. I see people almost everyday that think for some reason they may enter onto property that they don't own and pick flowers, haul off antiques, cut wood, cut down a Christmas tree, collect rocks, load a truck full of gravel etc. etc.

Plain and simple - it's theft.

Second situation;

A man arrives in McGrath. Gets off the plane with his backpack and walks off into the bush. He sets up camp along the Kuskokwim river with the intent of living there indefinitely. A tribal elder notices the extended stay and asks the "intruder" what his intentions are. The elder asks for and receives payment for an "extended camping permit". Another elder comes by a year later and requests another fee. The "settler" doesn't pay. The situation worsens when the settlers boat disappears and he is stranded on the wrong side of the river. He is on native land without any form of permit. Pretty soon he's airlifted out by the troopers to McGrath. He complains bitterly about his unfair treatment to the local elders. The more he talks about this is America and I have rights, the more PO'd the natives get. The situation escalated to the point of physical confrontation.

When I decided to operate a mine near McGrath, I spent two years learning the culture. I am still involved in an on-going process of learning about the customs and courtesies.

WHO OWNS THE DOMAIN?

Everyone, no matter where you are or where you plan to go, needs to ask that question.

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

No matter who's DOMAIN you are on, there are rules!

YOU DON'T find the RULES on a FORUM!

Alaska is a land of two cultures. You don't have to spend more than 10 minutes in Alaska to realize that fact. Most Anglo-Americans (which includes anglo and other origins for purposes of discussion) are aware of the fact that much of the DOMAIN is divided between PRIVATE, STATE, and FEDERAL ownership.

ALL of these domains have rules and regulations that control everything that happens on them.

NOW, how about NATIVE LANDS?

In Alaska, Native lands are controlled by Native Corporations. The lands are often divided between Surface ownership and subsurface ownership. There are privately held lands within the boundaries that are under private native ownership too. During the process of PATENTING the lands from the FEDERAL DOMAIN, to the NATIVE CORPORATIONS, certain rights of way are reserved for public entry, access and through-fare.

Every Native Corporation is controlled by a select group of native officials. Some are more formal than others. Native Corporations write their own rules and are able to re-write, change, revise the rules at will. Because rule-making is based on native beliefs, customs, and in many cases - native ritual, their system is much different than the anglo system.

- Geowizard

  
geowizard
16:44:19 Sun
Nov 18 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

With reference to Native Corporations:

Three years ago, on an Alaska Airlines flight to Nome, weather was bad at Nome and the flight was diverted to Kotzebue. I engaged the gentleman sitting next to me in polite conversation. He introduced himself as the President of the Shishmaref Corporation. The man pointed out that he was mixed Eskimo and Scandinavian and that having served as an officer in the US Marines, the people of his tribe felt he was the most qualified. After discussing many of the social problems associated with growing up in an area like Nome and the surrounding villages, I asked about his position on mining on Shishmaref lands.

Ed. Note: Mining policy is different in every Native corporation.

The view of his corporation is that every mining project has been the source of more problems than solutions. He completely rejected the notion of recreational mining. He expressed a very reverved position on Commercial mining.

Why should a native corporation allow an inexperienced (or experienced) recreational miner to come onto their land with the purpose of digging holes, polluting the water, destroying vegetation, extracting the gold and leaving?

It is difficult for a professional, bonded, commercial mining company with million dollar backing to get a mining lease on Native Corporation lands.

WHY?

First of all, there is conflict. An agreement has to be drawn up that protects the interest of the native corporation at the expense of the mining company. The native corporation has to go through all of "the channels" to obtain the "buy-in" required of those individuals that are in political control. Usually, educational grants are in the fore-front. Thousands of dollars are spent by mining companies on leaflets, newspaper advertisement, mailings, meetings as part of a PR campaign. There is a lot of "social participation" in the process of permit approval. All of that adds to the cost of time and money invested before a shovel hits the dirt.

The right to renege:

Native Corporations have an expectation. Sometimes the expectation is material in the form of cash bonding and educational or road paving projects. There have unfortunately been recent cases where after the expenses have been made that commercial mining agreements were terminated without cause. Whether through ritual, custom, or other system related to the direction of the wind, it happens. Unilateral renegotiation takes many forms that include immediate shutdown, mine closure and eviction.

One last edit:

Here's a reference to the division of Lands in Alaska:

http://nrm.salrm.uaf.edu/~stodd/AlaskaPlanningDirectory/landOwnership.html

- Geowizard

[3 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 17:11:39 Sun Nov 18 2012]

  
overtheedge
17:43:33 Sun
Nov 18 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Ah, now I understand where you are coming from. You are right.

In the Copper River Basin, ownership looks like a tossed green salad. This is further complicated by selected lands, native and state. The state recognizes federal claims most of the time, but the native corporations usually don't unless there is money and jobs.

It helps to know folks in the village corporation. But you better figure any permits by the village are one shot only. The regional corporations tend to make longer term contracts if you can get the permit.

Some of Doyon's village corporations are easy to work with, some or almost impossible. Try talking about opening ANWR in Venetie or Arctic Village. There are similar situations here with Ahtna Regional village corporations. Chitina is 20 miles away. The village corporate headquarters is in Anchorage last I heard. Chitina is easier to work with on some things than Cantwell.

I won't even begin with federal land management actions such as the "wild and scenic river" nonsense. Then there is Park/preserve management schemes. Toss in garbage such as Area Plans done by inter-agency public/private partnership ... .

You are right geowizard. Boots on the ground including at village/regional corporate headquarters. When dealing with the complex land ownership issues here in Alaska, some research/permitting can be done by mail/internet but often it takes a personal visit with the land manager.

Good rule of thumb; village owns surface rights, regional holds sub-surface. You need both. Sometimes the villages authorize regional to manage surface, sometimes not.

Oh and politics within the native corporations can change things almost overnight. Unfortunately most of my contacts have died of old age and now I would have to deal with after-born that inherited. Talk about wild swings in management.
eric




  
hoppingforpay
22:14:32 Sun
Nov 18 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Scrub,

I was present for the last four leases on that property. One was my ex-girlfriend, the only one who found any gold.She also harassed the last leasee so much he just took off. Yes, there is probably some potential conflict due to a resource close to town that could be removed by outsiders and become locked up if something is found. This was my ex-girlfriends thoughts but she is now in Tok and has lost the fever.

I think Doyon leases this ground thinking an outsider is not going to harm the resource and they get a few bucks for leasing. But I really don't know.

It is not an easy creek to find gold especially for a beginner. A 2 inch dredge could take all summer to just reach bedrock on 1 hole. You would also need a full set up for diving as one would for Nome.

If you only got a few pennyweight on the 40 for a summer you probably won't do much better on this creek.The 40 is much easier to get consistent gold on a few claims.

I do not know who claimed Barney Creek but there has been no noise in town about some guy going out there so he must be real sneaky...

You can find out his name on the internet. I ain't doing it for you, it is something you have to learn to play the game.

Tag teams turn!


  
hoppingforpay
03:11:18 Mon
Nov 19 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Constable is Tim Beaucage he is mostly in charge of town affairs although...

  
geowizard
15:05:19 Mon
Nov 19 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

SELECTED OR T/A'D?

During the process of converting ownership of the FEDERAL DOMAIN to STATE OWNERSHIP, lands are first, "SELECTED".

When lands are selected, the State of Alaska allows mining claims to be located. The caveat is that the mining claims cannot be mined! So, you pay a one-time fee and... wait.

The next step is when the land is conveyed through a formal patent issued by the Secretary of the Interior. The land is then classified as "Tentatively Approved" or T/A'd.

Looking at the claims on Barney Creek, it appears the land is "Selected" but not T/A'd.

The second issue is that during the process of "selection", the lands are open for ANICLA selection. Some of this land has been selected for patent to ANICLA. So, a mining claimant may find that he/she has a group of mining claims that fall under THREE jurisdictions.

1. State of Alaska.
2. Native surface ownership.
3. Native subsurface ownership.

- Geowizard

P.S. The patent will specify rights-of-way. IF... the trail to the claims crosses Native owned surface, and NO right-of-way is specified on the patent, then access along the trail will need permission of the surface owner.
[1 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 15:10:20 Mon Nov 19 2012]

  
hoppingforpay
22:10:46 Mon
Nov 19 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Oops, your right Geo I just assumed that that land was t/ad because some other land out there was just recently t/ad. Very Tough trip out there by anything except a plane,I just know that a hunter lands out there so it is probably a very marginal strip.

No claims can be had on the other creek except for the ones that are grandfathered in.

Many Creeks in Ak cannot be adequitely sampled efficiently with small holes. It is imperative that the sampler get sample from the gut on a coarse gold creek. It is extremely taxing work. If it turns out as it does on this creek an average depth to bedrock is 8 ft. This requires atleast a 15 yd hole to get a sample. If it is no good you then have to throw your cobbles back into your hole take apart your dredge into managable pieces to carry and then put it back together again in a new spot. The new spot may require a dam to float your dredge. This dam needs to have an opening to allow fish through. You may have to repeat this 10 to 20 times. Just one time will physically wipe out your average recreationalist. Carrying a 8 hp motor through the bush with a zillion mosquitos attacking you is not many peoples idea of recreation.

Most likely in choosing your next location you end up writing off a spot rather than finding a good spot.Old timers can and do get almost everywhere moving the creek to one side and then to the other side.And boulders? Beginners seem to gravitate to behind big boulders and pools. Neither one holds much interest to me.If an old timer was following gold he figures out away to deal with the biggest of boulders. In fact I have seen huge boulders propped up with spruce poles, the poles still there 100 yrs. later.

On creeks where old timers have been a prospective dredger is not so much looking at the flow to judge a low pressure area but for signs of no presence of them. Yet you don't want to stray to far from them either. These visuals are earned by experience and not given away to the casual gold explorer. If you took apart your dredge 100s of times and moved it miles on your shoulders are you going to go "hey look there!" to some fellow whos only moved his dredge from his truck to the creek and then back again?

So you wanna be a placer mine?
You really really have to want to.
It's a very very small crowd.
[1 edits; Last edit by hoppingforpay at 22:18:30 Mon Nov 19 2012]

  
Prospect09er
04:11:24 Thu
Nov 22 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Scrub
The searches I've done on UofA-Fairbanks library in the past, were just out of curiosity. I'm not sure if there is a way to view anything online or not. I figured it was all hard copy and never pursued it. At any rate, the results I did get, though few, were quite unique one of a kind items. From what I can see, very few of the results can be found on the internet in either digital or hard copy form. UofA-F could be a great source of info.
When searching for mining info, try google, too. Enter the mining district and maybe the river or creek name, then on the google header, click “More” ...scroll down and click “Books” ...click “Search Tools” ...click “Any Books” then scroll down to “Google eBooks”. There you can preview quite a few of the older bulletins and publications. When I find something I want, I'll search it (publication title) on DGGS and download it from there. The scans on DGGS are a good deal better than google's, and they have the maps (Plates) that go with the publications as well. The one advantage google has on DGGS, is the ability to search keywords within the publication.

From what I see, the land there (at Barney creek) is both state selected and native selected. The case is still pending. Until the allotment is surveyed, and all the conflicts are resolved, it will probably stay that way. I believe the state selection is still active from the ANILCA top filling. The native selection is actually in interim conveyance with Doyon. I'm sure the state claims will disappear from the mapper one of these days.

Here's the general land status in that area.


Purple = Native Patented / Interim Conveyance – Light Purple = Selected
Light Blue = State Patented / Tentatively Approved – Blue = Selected
Yellow = Bureau of Land Management
Green = National Preserve / Park Service
White Line = RS2477 / 17(b) Easement
Green Pin = Barney Creek
[3 edits; Last edit by Prospect09er at 04:23:04 Thu Nov 22 2012]

  
hoppingforpay
01:12:32 Sun
Nov 25 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

I don't think that the Stewart River has ever been talked about on this forum when it is possibly one of the best highbanking rivers in the Northland.

Some really good skim diggins were found on it in the early days.Yet I hear nothing about anyone taking a look see.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/32030570/STEWART-RIVER-PLACER

  
hoppingforpay
22:33:52 Tue
Nov 27 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

Here is a test on some claims on the Stewart River which is south of Dawson in the Yukon. I have held an interest in it for a longtime but since you can't suction dredge in the Yukon I never made the visit. I remember reading of the early miners having better than 1 oz days on the Stewart using a rocker which is a really slow process.

http://emrlibrary.gov.yk.ca/ygs/YMIP_YEIP/1994/94-019.pdf

This report shows 1 color at .21 cents at a $380 gold price. Now this same color is worth almost 1 cent. This would make 100 colors to the dollar. I would not doubt that 100 color pans could be found on this river right on top.

  
hoppingforpay
23:07:03 Tue
Nov 27 2012

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Re: So you wanna placer mine

And you cannot beat this. The Yukon Government will reimburse your expenses for prospecting work up to 15,000 dollars.

http://www.geology.gov.yk.ca/ymip.html#YMIP_Guidebook

  

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