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Golden Triangle floods and gold

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Golden Triangle floods and gold Empty Golden Triangle floods and gold

Post  ausdebt on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:33 am

Victoria's golden triangle is known for the two extremes of huge nugget and gold vein deposits, coupled with stories of hardship and failure to find any gold at all, so I was really interested myself to try to get to the bottom of the issue and try to define just what the real situation is in 2010 with gold prospecting in Victoria. Over the next couple of days-weeks as I compile the results and the story (in my spare time lol) I hope you'll find it interesting!
Golden Triangle floods and gold 60811_1292190724823_1831937239_576999_48093_nGolden Triangle floods and gold 58632_1292191364839_1831937239_577006_7230241_n

THE RESULT

After much searching and much pick swinging and even more swinging morale, I managed to find 2 small nuggets. I'm not so sure I'd call them nuggets strictly speaking - more like larger 'specimens' maybe, but whatever the assigned description: It's gold.

The weight: I havent weighed them but I'd estimate the weight of the smaller yellow bit at around 1.5 - 2 grams, while the larger stained peice is probably around 2.5 grams. With gold at around $43 per gram, that then is still not an insignificant find.

THE FLOODS

It has turned out that the continuous rain I noted on my trip - which materialised into isolated flooding in the Golden Triangle, was actually, seen from today, the beginning of some serious flood formation around the West and North East Victorian countryside. So strong has this rainfall been, that the horrid water rationing and water restrictions and the series of ads on TV asking neighbours to dob their neibours in if they see them watering the garden at non prescribed times or in the wrong manner, ALL of this has now come to an end since as of these floods, the dams are full across Southern Australia. There is enough water for once. To put this in context, Australia is - was going through a deadly drought, many farmers were topping themselves over the combination of endless drought (lasting decades) low international commodity prices and rising debt to the banks as loan after loan issued to keep the farm afloat during non-productive drought conditions. Even the best farms and farmers have done it tough. Every farm has been pushed to the edge and needless to say this has been stressful on the rural community. But hell, I'd always prefer Aussie or NZ fish on the BBQ instead of imported fish. Why should I eat fish from the phillipines, when we have the best fish here? Same goes for all farm produce. Sorry, Ive gone off on a tangent a bit here, but main point is flooding is not the norm every winter and when it did happen it hindered my gold prospecting.


I went to Smythsdale, and spent a few fruitless days trudging around the valleys and ridges there. In the process I encountered endless lead and brass bullets and cartdridges from military exercises with blanks from the 1970's Id say and many a hunters 22 rimfire cartridges and lead. Next there's the coke cans and ring pulls, tin cans and bottle tops that always give a loud signal. So armed with a map of the diggings, I traversed a few ridges and came upon the first proper gold field I'd ever seen. Basically it's an area of bush which contains many many mine shafts, and quite a bit of collapsed earth/sink holes, where the subterrainian structures have collapsed revealing cavities or often just dropping the ground level a floor or two as the collapsed earth can fill in the tunnels below. This is all child's play if you are Indiana Jones; but if you are more at home in the suburbs, you will be in danger in such an area - as you will be unfamiliar with the precautions one must take when in the gold fields. So not only is gold prospecting boring, it;s also dangerous! You have been warned. Having said that, the law makers will quite possibly make gold prospecting illegal one day, and if you love the bush and prospecting as much as I do, then make haste and get out there while the policy sun stull shines on prospecting in Australia! The pic above is of all the iron I unearthed in a half-tennis court sized patch at the foot of a gigantic 2 story mullock heap. I did this as an experiment to see how the detector worked with iron reject switched off as with switched on. The two noteworthy aspects of this are as follows: Firstly from swinging the pic all day, I scored myself a set of callous blisters bleeding and stinging on my right palm. That was fun. Secondly, - and this is interesting to me, in this patch there was not only no gold, but there was actually no modern rubbish. Usually there is a mix of trash-nuevo couplled with a few older vintage rubbish items. In this cas the new junk coke cans and such was absent and every bit of ruccish I unearthed was olden days iron left over I determined, from the actual old-timer's mine activity. On no other field was this the case. But regardless of the style of trash, its all negative and as you may have guessed, this is extremely annoying and frustrating! Therefor, metal detecting is only for those who think they will be able to tolerate endless frustration.




THE FIRST GOLD FIND WAS HERE 3 INCHES DOWN!!!

Here's the crazy thing: I found this first nugget on a hillside way away from any mines or diggings, further, most all the areas of visible mining diggings were unable to provide me any gold despite my thorough searching. Moral of the story? Go where no one would think gold would be and you may find gold.

2ND FIND!

There was nothing here. Nothing at all except when I scanned the cliff edge behind a tree just about hanging off the damn cliff. Bingo! Moral of the story? Gold thesedays is in hard to reach or unattractive spots - like dangerous cliff edges. All the easy stuff was found before now in my opinion.

Many old ruins in the goldfields. I saw the ruin of the cottage of the guy who found the Welcome Stranger. It was very modest. He was smart though, a full time farmer and part time prospector, he and his friend kept income coming in from farming while continuing to search for gold. Needless to say their strategy paid off and in an era where the average life span ended early, these guys lived full lives into the 70's and 80's, no doubt partly due to the wealth they won through gold. So often rags to riches stories end in destitution, but not for the two prospectors who jointly found the World's largest gold nugget.

2nd Nugget: Approximately 2.5 grams

This one was situated on the edge of a cliff, upon which a gumtree sapling was growing. There was about 5 inches of ground between the trunk of the tree and the edge of the cliff. In that space I got a signal, carefully dug it and hey presto! Note how even though its 'dirty' this nugget was almost pure gold and very heavy and deep yellow under the layer of grime.

I DUG INTO A SMALL MULLOCK HEAP: AND MET A BLACK SCORPION!
Scorpions exist in the bush. You must keep vehicle and tent doors and zips closed - doors left open invite arachnids and snakes etc to make home in vehicle cabins or tents. Keep entrances closed and no problems can occur. Leave your tent open during the day and be prepared to share your sleeping bag with a centipede. It happens. Know the issues *before* you head to the bush. 'SAS survival guide' by John Wiseman is a great book covering these practical issues.


Bad weather

During winter, regular cold fronts move across Victoria. Prospecting for gold with a metal detector is not possible during a rainy day, therefor keep this in mind if you wish to prospect, summer is better than winter.



SUMMARY
Is there gold in Victoria in 2010? Yes. Is there much easy stuff left? Nope. Is gold prospecting in Victoria worth while? Yep, but for a general hobby, not for a way to generate income. Is that a dissapointment? Well, I had a blast, as there's nothing better than getting fit hiking in the great Aussie outdoors and getting to know the historical Victorian goldfields. Fresh air in the country/bush also makes a nice change from city air. And I thought city air to be pretty clean in Melbourne, but it's only when you get out into areas like Dunnolly that you realise the fresh air in the country is seriously better than city air. bounce AustraliaDebt.org

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Post  musso on Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:15 am


Interesting story thanks.
You say you haven't weighed them, but they are sitting on a set of scales?
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Post  GoldstalkerGPX on Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:57 am

Good story, thanks for posting and some good pics in the link you posted.

Cheers
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Post  ausdebt on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:31 pm

Yeh these are pics subsequent to the text, I went to a smokemart type shop and spent $40 on a scale. I'll go to wa next.

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