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Oregonguy
23:45:50 Sat
Mar 2 2013

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I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Hello everyone.

I'm going to be dredging all summer there, till the cut off on July 15th. Hopefully by then I'll have lined up a claim for lease.

Was hoping to gather any helpful tips and info anyone might have about the area.

I have a 4'' keene triple sluice and a 2 1/2'' D& K Highbanker combo dredge. Been mining down here in the lower 48 for about a decade and am finally making my way up there.

Any info or tips you guys might have would be appreciated! thanks!

  
geowizard
00:12:31 Sun
Mar 3 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

:welcome:

I guess you've read the AMDS info sheet.

http://www.akmining.com/mine/peters.htm

- Geowizard
[1 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 00:19:31 Sun Mar 3 2013]

  
Oregonguy
00:44:23 Sun
Mar 3 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Hey Geo. yeah I've read a lot of stuff on that forum. I tried to join up to that site, but its not taking new members at this time :gonetoofar:
haha

  
geowizard
03:39:23 Sun
Mar 3 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer


The AMDS forum is being retired. There's plenty of read-only information there as well as on this forum.

- Geowizard

  
Oregonguy
07:51:00 Sun
Mar 3 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Ah..well glad they keep it up..indeed, useful resource.
So any one dredged here before? any tips? I keep hearing that everything you know from the lower 48 ..forget about it. AK's a different beast..haha

given that...was wondering what might the differences be in dredging up there as opposed to down here. besides the obvious water remps etc.



  
geowizard
14:35:29 Sun
Mar 3 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

So far, I'm the only member that has taken time to reply. I wish I could be more encouraging but...

There's only one active member I know of that's mining in the Petersville area. He's mining his own claims. The public mining area is just that. Everyone that goes there may find something and many more probably don't find much at all. Eventually after a hundred years or more, things are pretty well picked over.

The new frontier in Alaska is making discoveries on virgin ground in remote areas. All of the operating pay-to-mine areas have been dredged, panned, sluiced and detected. Mining gold in Alaska isn't a new concept. :confused:

Reality:

So, with that in mind anyone that has the spirit of adventure must be fully prepared to go beyond the well worn roads. They have to be prepared to go beyond the existing trails.

You have to be prepared to cut a new trail. :smile:

When you arrive at the Petersville public mining area, and please note I HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE, you will see a myraid of holes, "diggins", where all of those that preceded you sought their fortune. Then with more effort you will work your way upstream. There you will find less diggins and with luck some remaining color.

That's it!

Folks have been mining these areas for years. The easy, high grade gold went first. Then the deeper pay went next. The mining continued as far as possible to the point where the diminished return has made it too much of a loss to be worth while.

Still, possibly hundreds of other adventurers will head up to the public mining area to seek their personal fortune in 2013.

Good luck!

- Geowizard
[1 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 14:38:24 Sun Mar 3 2013]

  
Steve_Herschbach
17:33:48 Sun
Mar 3 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

About all I can say is the location has seen a lot of dredging. The easy shallow stuff you can hit with a 4" is likely picked over. So I am guessing you are going to wish you had a larger dredge. I suppose it really just depends on your expectations.

Dredging is dredging. Water temp and levels really is the only difference. Water levels can fluctuate drastically depending on weather and snow patch conditions. One problem in these May 15 - July 15 areas (you will not be dredging there all summer) is that time frame coincides with high water conditions. Getting in by May 15 can also be a problem if there is a lot of snow. I am not up on current conditions. Water might not be too bad around May 15 but will rise as temps warm and snow melts upstream. And of course the water is always cold.

Also from http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/gen_allow_use.pdf

Generally allowed: Setting up and using a camp for personal, noncommercial recreational purposes, or for any non-recreational purpose (such as a support camp during mineral exploration), for no more than 14 days at one site, using a tent platform or other temporary structure that can readily be dismantled and removed, or a floathouse that can readily be moved. Moving the entire camp at least two miles starts a new 14-day period. Cabins or other permanent improvements are not allowed, even if they are on skids or another non-permanent foundation. The camp must be removed immediately if the department determines that it interferes with public access or other public uses or interests.
[1 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 17:38:51 Sun Mar 3 2013]



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Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
outnaboutnak
17:40:10 Sun
Mar 3 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Ive played around there quite a few times in the last few years. There is color all over the place. Ive never dredged, only sluiced and highbanked. Stay away from the area by the Peters Creek Bridge. Its always the first place people dig, every weekend there is people there and I cant imagine there is anything left. I dont have any secret spots or great tips to share, but I do know there is gold there and have talked to people who were happy with there results from dredging. Thats always subjective though. Good luck.



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Oregonguy
19:49:26 Sun
Mar 3 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Thanks for all the responses.

It's amazing all the conflicting reports I've received on the area. A internet friend I have from down here in Oregon went to Petersville last summer and did really well there.

He was able to get several penny weights a day. With a 3''. He has some great videos of his experiences up on YouTube. Iíll find the link and post it later.

I know there's been a huge influx of "get rich quickers" coming up there because of the
"Gold rush" show. Me I'm just looking to prospect in a new state, network around and maybe get on better ground and hopefully sample a claim for purchase to work the following year.

Down here in Oregon there are 3 bills right now trying to ban all mining. This will kill all small scale mining as we know it. They did it to CA and now they're trying to do it here.

Alaska seems to have a different take on mining and miners in general. Down here we're perceived as "river rapers" and earth killers. I see the writing on the wall, and figure its time to expand my horizons.

Whatís the point in having claims that you can't even mine?! Oregon's liberal movement seemingly won't stop until panning is made illegal!

I go to A little area outside of Salem Oregon. Not great color, good for maybe a gram a day.. but its close to my house...I've had more people start arguments with me over ruining "their river" then I'd like to recall...and its just getting worse.

Iím looking forward to coming up there regardless. If thereís gold in Alaska. Iím sure I can probably find some of it. People always roll their eyes at me and scoff when I tell them Iím a minerÖĒall the good golds goneĒ etc.
If I listened to them, imagine all that gold thatíd still be sitting in the rivers for others to find! hahaa
[1 edits; Last edit by Oregonguy at 20:08:33 Sun Mar 3 2013]

  
MadJack
09:33:05 Mon
Mar 4 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

OG, you won't be speeding on that road as there are some 'pudding-patch' areas where you can sink to your frame! Mount a front-back winch on the truck and take plenty of 100' lengths of 5/16" cable with swaged loops on each end.

As far as gold... I have dredged there and there is gold. In 2003 I waited for others to move out from under the rec area bridge so I could give it a shot. I watched three others over several weeks work that place, one with air - two without. What I noticed was how many places they ignored or couldn't reach.
July 14 I dredged nearly four hours before I moved a 4" thick slab of loose bedrock out of the way & promptly sucked up 50 9mm brass empties. Almost swallowed my regulator!
10 minutes later I SAW the biggest nugget [to that date] I ever saw... 8.6dwt embedded in the hard blue clay. My 4" dredge never budged it so I dug it out and stuffed it into the wrist of my dive-mit, and dredged till the fuel was gone. That was the ONLY piece I found under the bridge, but we found plenty of match-head to pea-sized nuggets downstream. The farther from the bridge and trails the better the gold. If you can get downstream to where bedrock is at the waters edge, dredge EVERYTHING from shore to shore since you'll be there long enough to get some work done!



[ Attached File: halfoznugget.jpg - downloaded 9 times]


---
MadJack_ME

 
 
geowizard
15:37:50 Mon
Mar 4 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

When I reply to discussions of this type, I look back at my own experience and ask what contribution I might make.

In 1973, I lived in Anchorage and had a full time job courtesy of the USAF at Elmendorf AFB. I also attended Anchorage Community College full time and worked full time as a bus boy at the Royal Inn (now the Westward Inn?). I spent weekends prospecting and working on a Commercial Pilot License. I remember one gentleman that asked me (while I was pouring his coffee, what would it COST to do some sight-seeing i.e. rent a small plane and fly around looking at Alaska. I told him it would run around a $1000 by the time you charter a plane and a pilot. He began coughing and choking while complaining about the fact that he spent a 1000 dollars to get to Anchorage and now it was going to COST another 1000 bucks to see Alaska.

So, the COST of mining anywhere in Alaska begins where-ever you start from.

1. You need to get to a central hub in Alaska. It COSTS money to get to Anchorage if you don't already live there.

2. It COSTS money to launch a mining expedition to Petersville and any other place in Alaska. The cost includes MORE than the gas.

3. It COSTS time and money to get a dredge in the water.

The roads are not always paved! :smile:

In 1974 while on the road up to Crow Creek, I avoided colliding with an open top jeep full of teens that were speeding down the hill. I went off the road and rolled my truck multiple times, totaling the truck. The teens didn't even look back. Ever been alone on a hillside with your gear scattered all over and ruined with a totalled out vehicle? :welcome:

I already had 20 years of mining experience in 1973. I was intimately aware of the COST. The COST includes all of the other associated "RISKS" of mining.

The half ounce nugget is a nice find. It is very rare to find nuggets that size and it was obviously the result of good thinking and experience in knowing where to look and turning over that rock - that no-one else had bothered to lift. It was the result of being prepared and planning for a road trip on a road that represents an obstacle all in its self.

- Geowizard
[1 edits; Last edit by geowizard at 15:41:11 Mon Mar 4 2013]

  
Oregonguy
07:28:52 Wed
Mar 6 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Indeed. Itís an expensive endeavor.

Not my first gold trip however. Kind of have a "rough" idea of what is involved :smile:

I'm going to have a wonderful time. Whether I sink in the mud like was said..or my dredge sinks..or a bear eats my sluice box or something...Im still going to have fun.

Getting the gold would merely be some icing added to an already well decorated cake! :smile:

Wouldnít be the first time if I were "skunked".
Point is I can deal with a bad result
[1 edits; Last edit by Oregonguy at 07:29:49 Wed Mar 6 2013]

  
Steve_Herschbach
16:05:27 Wed
Mar 6 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Excellent. Then have a great trip, have fun, and best of luck to you. Be interesting to hear this fall how you did so please let us know.



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Find me at DetectorProspector.com

Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
Oregonguy
22:10:30 Thu
Mar 7 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

thanks! and I certainly will come back on when i get back and post about my adventure! im sure ill have a lot to say!

  
Steve_Herschbach
22:41:31 Thu
Mar 7 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

I started posting my prospecting stories back in 1999 at Steve's Mining Journal I did it to give people a real life idea of what one guy does.

So I would be very interested to hear your perspective later. What you are thinking now, what people are telling you, and then later, the realitity of it and how it matched up with what you thought and what people told you. Would be lots of lessons there for others, and an interesting read for me!

So I really do hope you keep a few notes and let us know.



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Find me at DetectorProspector.com

Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
jwoot
13:33:35 Fri
Mar 8 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Hey Oregonguy I'm planning to do the same thing this year. I have a rough idea and am looking to the same area but keeping an open mind.

I'm much more interested in buying or leasing a claim but since I have no connections and cant go sample I will have to start off in a public area. Maybe we can give each other a hand. I think we both have been mining information from the same people btw. I'm starting to wonder if there is going to be a massive flood of people coming to the petersville rec area

  
dickb
16:01:44 Fri
Mar 8 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

I would suggest that you consider your first trip to AK as an exploration, learning experience. Without going to AK, it's not possible to understand what it's really like there.
There are two types of folks that go there, the one's that want to move there full time and become residents and the tourists that are going there for an adventure.
Sure it's a good idea to make plans before you leave, but expect that they will change once you arrive. Second, what it will cost you is not even close to what you imagine.
IF THIS IS, a go there and bring back suitcase's full of gold, then your going to be very disappointed.
Finally, how you travel to get there will also have bearing on what you can accomplish. Think of traveling to a deserted island, if you don't bring it with you, you most likely will have to do without it.

Good luck with your adventure!

Dickb

  
Steve_Herschbach
19:01:34 Fri
Mar 8 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

"Think of traveling to a deserted island, if you don't bring it with you, you most likely will have to do without it."

Well, not quite that bad. Petersville is a few hours from Anchorage. Just run to town and get it. Prices are not really much more than down south for anything except food and we have no sales tax in Anchorage.

"I would suggest that you consider your first trip to AK as an exploration, learning experience."

100% agree!!
[1 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 19:02:09 Fri Mar 8 2013]



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Find me at DetectorProspector.com

Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
Oregonguy
21:40:07 Tue
Mar 12 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

indeed. those that think they are going to get rich are sorely mistaken.

To me, mining is a lifestyle, not a hobby. I think I'll fair well. dont like bugs though..and I'm not into bug sprays.

got nets and I eat vitamin b like candy. they dont seem to like that in your blood.

now I just need something that repells bears and leaverite

  
Laynec
23:58:59 Tue
Mar 12 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Steve, I've followed your stories and am looking at the same Keene 6" dredge or the comparable Proline. My question is if it's possible to turn these into highbankers when the water levels become to much to dredge? I'm thinking all I would need is a stand and a hopper to make the conversion.
Thanks, Layne

  
Steve_Herschbach
02:57:46 Wed
Mar 13 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Anything is possible. But you do not see this done on that large a dredge normally. You would end up with a pretty big high banker box. Besides some kind of hopper box the riffles would need to be modified for lower water flow.



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Find me at DetectorProspector.com

Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
Oregonguy
07:03:14 Wed
Mar 13 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Well if any of you guys are passing by this summer..stop by and say hi! I'll be in a Light brown chevy with Oregon Plates
Here's me..cant miss me! haha

[1 edits; Last edit by Oregonguy at 07:12:07 Wed Mar 13 2013]

  
shaftsinkerawc
17:26:50 Wed
Mar 13 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Not liking bugs is a bonus! It should help you stay in the water longer processing more material. Have a great trip.

  
dickb
18:27:26 Wed
Mar 13 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Nice dredge!
I hope you have a warm wet suit and a full face mask to help in the cold water.
Good luck with your adventure and lots of yella in your pan.
Dickb

  
Laynec
03:44:11 Thu
Mar 14 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

I'll look for you this summer Oregonguy, I'll have my red & white f250 with Colorado plates. Have you figured out if there are places to camp along or near Petersville. I read some regulations that you must move your campsite a minimum of 2 miles every 14 days. Since the public area is only 2 miles long, maybe just move from one end to the other every 2 weeks. I'm a little envious of your new equipment, haven't purchased my dredge yet. Been thinking of a 4" instead of a 6", less expensive, lighter easier to pack in and out of the mining area, not to mention it will save room in the truck and be easier to permit here in Colorado. Is there a fairy from Seattle to Alaska? Or are you driving up? Just curious, it's 3500 miles from here and about $700 in diesel, I have a daughter in Seattle that I would like to visit then hop the fairy to Alaska.

  
azkid
04:43:33 Thu
Mar 14 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

there are several feeires from seattle to AK some goto haines and others goto seward.

  
Oregonguy
08:03:00 Thu
Mar 14 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

sounds good man! And yeah I looked into the ferry thing. there are ferry boats from bellingham and seattle I believe. pretty spendy though..they dont run every day from what i remember so look into that as well

wish I could have gotten a 6'' as well. hopefully find a good deal used or something,. Oh there's a guy on GPAA.org that has a proline for sale. 6'' for 3200 and its in Washington too. might look into that.

  
Laynec
02:17:57 Fri
Mar 15 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

Did I Say Fairy?:confused:

  
dredger
04:21:03 Fri
Mar 15 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer

:confused:
Sounds to me 2 miles long is not much, so I would suggest the good spots have been hit pretty hard, and recently,
If I was a newbie to the area, I would find out now what the source of the gold is, hoping there are allot of old workings a few miles upriver, that replenish good spots,
Then I would check the weather pattern big flood history last 20 years, ? And flow charts if available,
I would be hoping the river flow charts show (no big floods,) steady small to med flow patterns last 5-10 years,
Low to med flow / erosion periods move allot of lighter gold "over " shallow layers of hard packed layers called " hard pan ",
So what I am suggesting is if the good spots are gone, try any long wide flat stretches, and find the run maybe 10í wide of flood gold riding over the hard pan, , and skim the top off the hard pan, could be just 4-6" deep, fairly light materials, easy dredging, but you need to find the run, and stay on it,
Another suggestion is have no restriction in your crevice flusher, and a few spare crevice flusher taps, even a couple or different types,
Pack your stuff in good plastic lock down lid drum with a good strong handle, at least 6 drums,, make sure your sieves fit those buckets,

Good luck, :smile:

  
geowizard
02:53:49 Sat
Mar 16 2013

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Re: I'll be mining the Petersville Public Area this summer


Forget the gold for a moment...

Ever go to a "public" campground? :confused:

In rough figures, hundreds of wannabe gold miners have flocked to Peters Creek every year for the past 100 years..

Ever look for wood at a public campgound?

No wood? :gonetoofar:

So... How will you stay warm? The dry wood was picked over for the last 100 years. The only thing left is WET wood or NO wood. How will you cook food?

Plan on hauling in a couple cords of fire wood.

- Geowizard

  

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