My first attempt at prospecting!

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My first attempt at prospecting! Empty My first attempt at prospecting!

Post  Diggerdave on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:24 pm

Interesting (and slightly embarrassing) story of my first attempt at prospecting...

Got off work at about 4:30pm and raced to the store and bought a nice big stainless mixing bowl (don't laugh yet, it gets better). Raced home in the pouring rain, grabbed a bucket, a shovel, a yabbie pump and a torch in a zip lock bag, (just in case). It took a bit of convincing to get the ok from my better half to head out in such bad weather so close to dark but with gold fever inspired confidence I assured her that everything would be fine and to only call the emergency services if I'm not back by lunch time tomorrow Laughing (wouldn't want to waste their time).

Took off with my 13 year old brother in law to the closest place by road to the spot. Got out and zipped up the rain jacket and slipped on the reef walkers and we headed out into the scrub. I'd estimated about a 2km walk including a creek crossing.

Made our way to the creek and it didn't look to bad, just a bit worse than I'd expected thanks to the rain that is lashing most of the coast at the moment. I decided to go first and almost immediately realised that there was a lot of wash at the bottom of this creek and I was soon waist deep in slushy mud. Not to be outdone by Mother Nature, I threw the gear to the bank and struggled through. The young bloke didn't have as much of a problem and showed no sign of concern. We made it out and continued onwards to our destination, slightly wetter and muddier than before.

We got close to our target, but without a GPS, I couldn't be quite sure. Then there it was, giant piles of bedrock in several straight lines, obviously dug out by human activity, not just natural erosion. It seemed a little different to what I had pictured based on the satellite image but we were running out of light and we were both pretty excited so we started examining the runoff and decided on a few spots to test. The bedrock was shallow so it was easy to decide on how deep to dig because there was very little choice. After about 40 mins of fairly embarrassing panning I had not lost hope and the young bloke was using the pump to shoot out tubes of quarts filled mud that he was quite excited about. We were now very low on light and the rain was getting heavier so we decided to fill the bucket with some black sand that we had just found next to the old rock piles and head off.

The rain now pelting down and about another 15kg to carry back we finally dragged ourselves back to the creek crossing. We found a slightly better spot to cross and this time I only went in knee deep. You'd think that by now we'd be fairly beat but we were still in fairly high spirits, especially the young bloke. I still had to remind him several times that we were looking for specs, not gold bars, I'm sure he was expecting a treasure chest!

We got back to the car right on dark and made our way home. Back at home we packed up and cleaned off and set the bucket aside for the morning. Coming up stairs and jumping back onto my maps I had a very disappointing realisation... We had stopped about 500m before the spot! All of our toil had been wasted by our excitement and impatience. There has not been any recorded gold found in our dig but it had obviously been prospected before so the bucket of dirt that we have waiting downstairs is just that!

Still we had an exciting trek through the bush and we now know with certainty were we need to go to get to the old timers spot. Tomorrow morning, rain hail or shine I'll be back out there shaking that pan with a ridiculous (slightly crazed) smile on my face. Hopefully the old timers have left something for me!


Last edited by Diggerdave on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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Post  Guest on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:35 pm

Laughing Laughing funny stuff

cheers
p.s..don't worry if the maps don't show gold at the excact spot you tried....gold is where you find it.

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Post  Guest on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:11 am

G'day Dave I hope you checked that bucket of river wash before discarding it affraid . As you just may have thrown away some nice color. Rolling Eyes . Anyway that was a great story can't wait to hear part 2 ... Q32

Cheers.

Mike. Q11

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Post  Diggerdave on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:02 pm

Ok, sorry to leave you all hanging Laughing I've been away at work all week.

Day two went a little like this...

Woke up early and headed off by my self this time as the young bloke had to go to school. It was still raining but the clouds were on the move and it was soon nice and steamy.

I made my way through the mud and mozzies to the old prospect and it was beautiful. Giant trenches had been dug in several straight lines across the reef and there were a few signs of the old claim borders. The trenches had filled with thick muddy wash from the hill above and were level with the ground around them. There was no real way to tell how deep they originally were but I'd guess they were deeper than I could get to with my shovel. The mud was soft enough to sink the shovel strait down until my shoulder was in the mud so I dare say I was a little off target. Undeterred, I set about digging and spent the next few hours panning (or mixing if you like) with my make shift bowl. After trying a lot of different spots (mud from as deep as I could get, mud from the surface, samples from the spoil piles and holes in fresh dirt from above the trenches) I was still yet to see colour. The heat was not as big an issue as the mozzies but they were dreadful so I decided to pack it in. I filled half a bucket with some roughly washed dirt from each spot and headed back home.

I had to leave the bucket for a week for work but as soon as I got back today I set up under the house and began a meticulous (and largely amateurish) effort to find some colour. Although I have almost no skill and no guidance, I do feel that if there was something there I would have at least seen a spec. I had my trusty 10x duplex and a very bright led torch but could see nothing that really stuck out. There is still a bit to go through but I have lost confidence in the spot and have already started planning the next "dig". There are a few more old spots nearby that I'll have to do a bit of research on and possibly get permission from current land owners.

I think a new pan is in order too, the mixing bowl was definitely wishful thinking.

I'd like to post some pics of the stuff I've been sifting through but currently have no means to take any. I'll endeavour to get some up though if I can.

Love to hear some comments and possibly some stories of your own first "gold fever" inspired outings.

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Post  Jerryx4 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:40 am

Head to Aussie Disposals they have pans for about $5-10
Mixing bowl is not gunna cut it lol
Least your having mudloads of fun Smile
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Post  Diggerdave on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:24 pm

Thanks Jerry,

Mixing bowls is not ideal but better than I'd thought.

I just cut up some tiny cubes of solder (tin/lead) and dumped them into the bowl with a handful of dirt. I didn't think I was doing too well until I started to see them through the dirt. Got all 36 back so at least I know I'm being thorough, it just takes me a bit (ok, a lot) longer than the guys in the how to vids.

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Post  Guest on Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:13 pm

G'day Diggerdave another great story. I bought one a couple of months ago for $20.00 and it has the deep riffles in it like the Garret ones. Like all things we do, it takes a lot of practice. Good luck with your new found hobby.

Cheers.

Mike. cheers

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Post  Diggerdave on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:23 pm

Cheers Mike,

I'll get my hands on one sooner or later, no rush yet though because I have to do some more research on my next outing. It turns out the spot I was going to try is currently being surveyed and drilled by a big mining contractor so unless I can get a job with them it's a little off limits (even when the geologists and drillers are off there is still security). The word around town is a little hard to get due to the hush hush nature of these things but the buzz is that things are going well, I'd guess that is a bit of an understatement considering the 24hr surveillance at a site that had been abandoned for 15 years.

This dead end brings to light several positives though. There is obviously still gold (in commercial quantities) out there. And there is probably a company with rather average shares that are (hopefully) going to spike nicely in the next few years. Now just need to find out who is in control and see if they are publicly listed Razz

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Post  LuckyNug on Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:19 pm

Love ya story Dave, reminds me of when I first started out and keep at it. Look forward to hearing more stories in the future. Roy

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