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Old timer shafts through shale

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Post  goldfool on 1/9/2013, 8:53 am

Hi guys, newbie here. Been twice to an area that has had gold found in a series of old mines over 100 years ago. The property hasn't seen metal detectors for about 20years according to 4th generation property owner. The areas are covered in red quartz and a bit of ironstone. The terrain is all hills and gullies and from what I have discovered is mostly deep clay. Sad . Most of the deep mines have been dug right through near vertically dipping shale outcrops shooting up through clay.. The stack heaps of shale rocks on the surface are quite big so they have gone through a lot of shale. My question is why would they have gone through this shale? Would they have seen a vein of quartz through it which isn't there anymore sinced they mined it? You can still see the shale foliation on the face of the shaft, but it is just bare shale, with no other rock through it. Also this area I see has a lot of quartz on surface with rich red soil but from what I've seen, the clay layer is quite deep. Where has this quartz come from as I cannot find reefs on the ridges of this deep clay strata. There are workings all over place, but I'm yet to find any yellow. Just a lot of screaming hard lumps of reddy blacky clay Evil or Very Mad 

Forgive me for the noob questions. I have a lot to learn.
Thanks

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Post  rc62burke on 1/9/2013, 3:08 pm

Hey Goldfool
Welcome to the conundrum called prospecting.
It may help people trying to help you if you give us a little more info like what district you are in ie: Towers, Georgetown etc
For the old timers to have dug those shafts they must have had some indication at the surface that there was gold there.
Have you tried panning the wash in some gullies? you say it is hilly country & you think there is a bit of depth? look for outcropping rocks most hilly country has shallower ground on the slopes.
I would do some panning to see if you have free gold in the area.
Have you done any research on the mines in your area, this can tell you a lot about what to look for.
Keep asking ????????????????????????? & good luck
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Post  Digginerup on 1/9/2013, 4:54 pm

Hi GF, a picture paints a thousand words if you have any, questions are what gets answers;)  we all have a lot to learn, those that know everything have left long ago Wink  ,keep asking and good luck.

Wayne.cheers 
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Post  goldfool on 1/9/2013, 10:10 pm

Hi guys, thanks for your reply. The area is in the towers md. unfortunately no photos at the moment. Next time. I did pan some wash in the gullies beneath the diggings. Found a bit in some places, not in others. But I bagged some and brought home with me to pan, or use to fine tune my home job sluice scratch 
Will hopefully get out there again soon before it heats up too much. This weekend was a lot hotter than three weeks ago out there. and DRY!!! I have only been doing weekend trips, but really need to spend a few weeks out there to cut my teeth into and learn this detector and the landscape.

The only research I have done on the mines is what is on qdex. Is there other methods?


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Post  rc62burke on 2/9/2013, 8:48 am

Goldfool
Mate you are off to a good start with getting some colour in your pan, take note of the characteristics of the flakes!!! is it fine or a little chunky?
Work your way upstream testing where it came from.
Have a look at the sides of the gully wall you should be able to see a wash level where it sits on top of the clay but under the topsoil this shows the depth of ground.
Do you live in the "Towers"? if so have a chat to Peter at "Gold city detectors" in regards to reading the ground out there.
Qdex is a great spot to do your research & if you pull up the reports for the mines in your area they will give you a lot of info, Gold & Ghost books are another source of info, geological maps too.
Hope this helps it takes a bit to put it all together.
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Post  goldfool on 2/9/2013, 9:47 am

Thanks Lee. i live in the ville. Dont worry, Peter has sure taken a bit of hard earned off me in the last 12 months. But thats alright, cos he is a good bloke. When I am in the gullies, i can definitely see a layer of wash about 12inches thick, sometimes deeper. Above this is sometimes 5-6 feet of clay, below it sometimes more clay, so its still not rock bottom?? The wash consists of red quartz, ironstone and friends. Should I be concentrating on digging out the side of this wash layer?? At the moment i have been trying to dig out the cracks in the loose shale bedrock in the gully bottom to find the colour. A lot of hard work for the measly amount i am finding. I am way to slow at panning at the moment so it takes me a while to get through it. Not giving up though.

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Post  rc62burke on 2/9/2013, 4:55 pm

Hi Goldfool
The wash layer you see in the side wall is the most likely level where the gold will be on the slope, you need to look for areas where this wash level is not so deep, the further you go up a slope the shallower it should be, it is normal for there to be clay under this level, the gold will sit on this clay the bigger bits will settle into it, this is the bottom it is not always a rock bottom.
Your doing the right thing digging in the cracks, you can sample the wash layer, but as far as digging it out this is a no no as it will undermine the bank,
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