Tuesday, October 29, 2013

September came and went. Looks like October did too! It is two days until HALLOWEEN and 5 days until Daylight Savings time ends, and we are back to the sun leaving our western sky earlier than we want it too. sigh. Time does fly when you are having fun and then there is way too much work to be done. 

Gold prices are not fairing so well this quarter, but are ranging in the $1350 area....at least until the Feds meeting is over later this week.  I am hearing more about a pull back, and then more about a surge forward.  Sounds like we will see gold in the range of $700 to $2000 in the near future.....maybe both!

Closing down the claim at Vista Mining Adventures was a chore and then some.  We had pontoons fill with water on the centrifuge which made it very difficult to get out of the water and up the hill.  Ended up being a 9 hour haul + the drive to and from to get it all where it needed to be.  VERY long day.  Big thanks to 'Earl' who had dropped by to pan and ended up helping us to get everything out of the water. 

 We found a lot of nice, fine gold this summer on those claims.  It was a lot of fun, and work, and we met a lot of nice people, too.  It has always been our favorite place to find gold in Colorado.

In case you aren't aware, the new season of the Prospectors on the Weather Channel started last Sunday 9/8c, 7mtn.  I saw the Hoffman's are back on, too.  You probably know more about that one than I do.  Can't stand to watch the incompetence.

News in the mining world is dismal.  Oregon has now banned motorized small mining in the whole state.  California is sticking to their guns, too, saying that none of the prospetors were really out to do enough to make money, and so they are within their rights to restrict any 'recreational' use of federal (public) lands. In the mean time, they are issuing warnings about a rise in the mercury levels in fish in many areas that suction dredging was going on.  Ironic.

Holidays are around the corner. I hope you are getting that wish list for Santa ready.  If not, you might want to think about what you would like to get instead of waiting for Santa to put something aside for you that wasn't on your list.  Sometimes he does his shopping REAL early.  LOL!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all of you!  As Always,

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau



Friday, August 30, 2013

                       Moving the Dredging Equipment at Vista Mining Adventures

Labor Day weekend is upon us! I cannot believe the summer is nearly at an end, and I need to tell you about the water situation at Cache Creek. The diversion has been shut off and has been most of the summer.  Everyone is having to use Cache Creek for water, so be aware of that if you are planning on spending any time in there.

We are blissfully mining the summer away at Vista Mining Adventures with old friends and mining buddies. A lot of the people we know have been in there this summer, and we hope more will join us next summer. There is still time for some fun on the river prospecting for gold in Colorado til the end of September, though. The river gold is small but plentiful, the company good, and the demeanor peaceful.

We have also found out that the area bulldozed near Win Mar cabins is owned by Dennis O'Neal, but no one seems to know much about what is going on in there.  The big equipment is still behind the gate.  The weekend crowd was already arriving yesterday at the camping area off the highway.  I only know this little bit of information from friends who had stayed at the cabins this past week.

I see gold is still hovering in the $1400.00 area. but silver is in the $23.00 range, up from around $19. Percentage wise, silver is doing much better.

Aspen are starting to change colors in the high country. Nightime temperatures above 9,000 feet have been at or near freezing for more than a week. We have, also, had lots of rain, so come prepared. At least the days have been warm.

Have a great weekend, and get out there and find some gold! As always,

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dredging on the Arkansas River/Prospecting for Gold in Colorado

Dredging season is in full swing here, and we are spending long days in the river finding gold in Colorado. Monsoon rains continue, which is good, and gives us a day here and there for rest and even time for a blog post. We should see some sunnier weather this next week, which will be good as we have been rained on a lot lately.

You can see how much it was making the water hop around. We even had some small hail! Of course, we are still dredging at Phil Martinez's claims at Vista Mining Adventures. Really great to be back in the water with old friends! Give him a call and join us for a day or a week.  Look them up on Facebook for more pictures and information about what we are doing.

I have a piece to write, soon, about the Neffco Centrifuge we are using on the river.  Vista Mining Adventures is the local dealer for this amazing separator for concentrates.

Since we had a day off from the river, we mozied into Fairplay in the afternoon (between rain showers) to catch the end of Burro Days, AKA 'Get Yur Ass Up the Pass'. Stopped to pick out something from my favorite jewelry designer, Shelly Birch, Stone, and saw that GPOC was conspicuously absent from the center of the park.....apparently someone forgot to inform Burro Days organizers that they were NOT coming this  year. Also had to buy the giant bag of kettle corn, and stopped and talked with folks we know. Also had to get a box of chocolates from the Chocolate Bordello.  They make chocolates named and fashioned after some of the famous ladies of the evening from Colorado's past. Always fun to attend this event.

I have a link to an interesting article that also follows the same thoughts I have about finding or buying a claim.

I see today that gold had a bit of an uptick last week, and that mining stocks are up a bit as well. Good news for all those companies and good news for gold in general. 

That about does it for now. We will try to grill dinner before it rains again.  LOL!  As Always

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Water is Finally Down and Now We Must Dredge

                       Dredging on the Arkansas River with Vista Mining Adventures

Mid July and run off is slowing down, so we can put our 2 1/2 inch highbanker/dredge combo in the water to find some gold in Colorado.  Above, you see the firsts for one day....not bad.  It is good to be back in the water!  If you are looking for a place to dredge, sluice, pan or use your highbanker in the water, check out Vista Mining Adventures website and give Phil Sr. a call.  He is in the water almost daily, so leave a message and he will get back to you.

I came across an article on the largest gold specimen ever found.  It was interesting to read about it again, so I am giving you the link to read it for yourself.

Gold has been staying down this summer, so far.  China is still a big buyer, but India has slowed way down due to the new tax that was imposed on imported gold in May.  However, the monsoon is going nicely, and farmers may have more money to spend on gold this Fall, so, between these factors and others, gold may get a bump at the end of the year...or not....as these predictions can only be guessed at with what is known.  

We have been running the wheels off the truck this year, between Salida and our gem hunting friends, and BV and our gold hunting friends.  The summer is racing by, but we will finally begin pulling out this year's gold finds.  We have dredging planned as well as some time at Cache Creek and some exploration east of camp.  Spending the summers in the Colorado High Country has been a blast the last few years!

                              Here is Larry putting a small hole in the river.

Here I am taking a turn at the nozzle in the shallow water.  I fell in the river when I sat on an undercut rock that rolled. (It is directly behind my left leg in this picture) Naturally, I stuck the nozzle into that hole and sucked out all the gold that was under that rock! LOL! I guess I will have to start wearing my neoprenes.

Hope all of you are having fun finding gold this summer.  As Always.... 

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau
hookedongold@gmail.com (copy and paste this into your email server. It isn't linked as I am getting tons of spam from this link)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cache Creek Update Summer 2013

I have been in camp for three days, now, while Larry is in Cripple Creek at the Colorado State Gold Panning Championships. It has been a nice time for some much needed rest and decompression.  The only thing slightly in the way and of annoyance is the fact that the water main broke two days ago and I have been without water since then.

Now, ordinarily, one would hop in the vehicle and go to the nearest town to pick up 5 gallons, but, remember, Larry is in Cripple Creek for the weekend.... with the truck.  That means whatever water I have here is all I have.  As luck would have it, I was planning on catching up with dishes just before the main blew and had filled bowls and pans with water for a soak before I heated up the water to get them washed.  Hence, I was fortunate to have had about three gallons of grey water for toilet uses, etc. 

On top of that, a friend stopped by and left me a gallon of fresh water for coffee this morning, and as it is looking, possibly tomorrow as well.  Under other circumstances, I would be hiking to the stream or the lake to get more grey water tomorrow, but Larry and the truck will be back some time this evening.  Always fun at my house.  

I started this post yesterday before the water issue came up, about what is happening at Cache Creek this summer.  We were in there earlier this last week and I got some pictures of the road and the water flow, along with the big hole that the BLM filled up.  Almost all the trees are now marked with orange and you are supposed to stay 10 feet away from them.  As you would expect, everyone is complying....NOT.  I have pictures to prove it, too.  They were also told, but did not even stop digging to reply much of anything. 

Here is what the road in looks like now with the by-passed bog.  They left the road going down in there so you can still use the camping spots, but the other side has been bulldozed shut and marked.

Stream flow right now is reasonably good, but the new owner above is threatening to shut off the diversion.

Here is one side of the big hole, and the rest of it looks the same. I had to stand too far away to get the whole thing in, and then you could not tell what it was.  The BLM was not pleased with the type of work done in there this winter/early spring. Several 6 foot tunnels had been excavated, that they did away with. 

Here are three more shots of the big hole area.  The guy in the first shot with the yellow buckets is undermining the trees, while the other man had just talked to him about staying away from them.  It's depressing how little some people care about whether this area stays open or not.  We stayed for a bit and did some panning.  Brought out a nice little string for a couple of hours work.  

We have had some rain in the last few days, which is good for the fires still burning in Colorado and for the forests in general.  The West Fork complex in southwestern Colorado is expected to burn for another couple of months.

Gold is up a bit right now at $1235.50, and silver as well at $19.67.  Everyone is pretty much bearish on gold for now, which means we are near a bottom for it.  I expect a rally by October.  The announcement by the Feds last week did exactly what they wanted it to do....make everyone take a deep breath and hold it for a while.  LOL!  Check out www.vistaminingadventures.com and talk with Phil Sr. if you are looking for a place to play in the water on the Arkansas River between BV and Leadville, learning how to pan for gold or do a little dredging, so you can find some of that Colorado Gold.  As always......

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Saturday, June 15, 2013

                      Mid June, and the Arkansas is Running Bedrock to Bedrock

WOW did it take a lot of time and energy to finish the front yard at the main house! Once started, of course, you can't just run off and leave it. Naturally, we had lots of things come up that were unexpected and had to be fixed, but now it will take care of itself til we go back in the Fall and my Mom will not have to worry with it.

So, gold, huh?  It's still a little depressed with a close on Friday of a little over $1391, but silver is still around $22.00.  A long way from $40!  They will both probably jump around this region most of the summer.  There may not be a lot out there to bump it up till Fall.  Then again, there is the unforeseen that can always put all bets off.

Since getting into our summer digs we have been on the run trying to catch up.  We spent a couple of days with Brian and Yolanda Busse discussing plans for this year's jewelry and what will be happening up at the Thank You Lord Mine on Mt. Antero.  We should get to help with some rock mitigation and exploration there this summer.  (Yes, THOSE Brian and Yolanda Busse. We have known them for many years.)

We also visited with friends in BV while grabbing ice cream for the old man and lettuce and broccoli for me.  Thursday and Friday we were on the Arkansas River with Phil Martinez, a very long time friend, at his river claims, also known as Vista Mining Adventures.  His dredge and cleanup Neffco bowl set up is sweet, and he has been prospecting for gold in Colorado most of his life.
If you are interested in the bowl, he is the sole distributor/dealer.  It will handle around 25 tons a day.  Contact him at www.vistaminingadventures.com, also, if you are interested in learning, panning, sluicing, dredging, but NO HIGHBANKING! The River is bank to bank right now, so he will not take new people or children until the shore paths are safer.

In between we visited Leadville to see what was going on and took a day to settle into the summer trailer.  Took the ATV out for a short spin and it is in major trouble which means expensive to fix.

The word on Cache Creek is that the bog has been by-passed and they bulldozed all the material, filling in all holes and overturning much of the area.  Apparently, the BLM was NOT happy with the group/groups who tunneled into the banks this winter.  Besides that, the new owner of the private property the diversion comes off of is threatening to close it off.

Last, I am receiving many requests for a form that was discontinued three years ago.  PLEASE, PLEASE, let me know where you find this.  I cannot, for the life of me, figure out where it is.  Send me the url in an email so I can eliminate it.  I get no information to send it to, so I have no idea who is sending it to me.

That's it for this week.  Be safe out there, and have a wonderfully eventful season. As Always...

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Monday, May 27, 2013

Yes, It's that time of year again! The gate to the Cache Creek parking lot should be open! Summer is finally here.

Happy Memorial Day to you!  We are remembering all those who are serving, have served, and have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, along with their families.  Thank you for your service!

May has gone by lickity split! We had so much snow in April and on into early May, that no yard work could be done before then.  Perennials sat parked inside waiting for weather to clear enough to be planted, and then waited on the patio to harden off a bit.  Now, we are frantically trying to get everything ready at home to begin our summer gold and gemstone hunting season here in Colorado.

River and stream waters are rising quickly, we noticed, as we made a run to camp to bring in the batteries, get filters changed, and basic set up accomplished before we are ready to make the jump to mountain fun sometime next week.  

On our way back to Denver this evening, we will stop in Bailey to attend the finale party at the Rustic Station for Ice Cold Gold, on Animal Planet.  It sounds like the Weather Channel will begin filming another series of shows for the Prospectors series, soon. We are hoping Animal Planet or their parent Discovery Channel wants to film another round for the Ice Cold Gold series, too, this summer.  It has been wonderful to support these two groups, and a lot of fun to join in their celebrations.

Gold closed last Friday at $1387.20, and the NY market is closed today for Memorial Day, however, the London market was up this afternoon at about $1394. Reports are that the 'smart money' is turning bullish on gold, so I think we might be looking at a rise in the price just as our gold season begins, which is good news for this year's gold prospectors who will be looking to sell their gold later in the summer.  Everyone is waiting for gold stocks to find a bottom, but they usually trade far behind gold prices. Prices need to rise before more production can commence.

We will be visiting with friends next week as well as Vista Mining Adventures to see the new dredge addition Phil Martinez sr. has going.  It includes a new bowl separation system and some secret additions we aren't allowed to know about.....yet.  We will probably make a visit to Cache Creek for some fun with the monster sluice box, too.  Can't wait to begin!  It looks to be a very nice summer for us.  Now that buying a home, moving, selling the old home and fixing the new one's yard are over, we can concentrate on what is most important...AND share that with you. 

As Always...

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hooked on Gold Prospecting Blog template change, Mobile Ap and Google+

In case you think you are on the wrong blog, I DID change the template to my favorite color ORANGE! Yes, I know, you thought it would be GOLD, but, alas, ORANGE was my favorite color LONG before GOLD ever entered my life.

Why, you ask? Mainly because the links were hard to see and I have been thinking I should change templates so they are easier to see and follow.  I have also added Google+ to this page and have optimized it for mobile.  I am dealing with putting a mobile ap on the main website, too.  Hopefully, I will get through that today for you.

Hope you like the changes.  Please leave a comment for me on the change and any issues you might have with the ap. If this template is too 60's for you, I can always change to something else, but the mobile looked nice.  If you find it too hard to read or the color is too bold, let me know.  I will change it to whatever is easiest to read.  I would much rather you be pleased with reading the blog than that it be a color I like.

In the meantime, as always....

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cache Creek Updates and Links to BLM Information Pages

                                                         Pouring a Gold Bar

WOW! Are we getting excited about the swings in gold? LOL! $1422 at the close today.

I saw, after my last post, that I still have some links for  you concerning Cache Creek and a link to the new BLM forms for the Arkansas.


Regs for Cache Creek are the same as for 2012.  

This next link is to the BLM's General Usage guide to locatable minerals and placer mining.


They have also launched a new interactive page on minerals that you may find helpful.


Both of the new series about prospecting for gold and gemstones have had good reviews and comments, btw.

It is snowing here again, but it looks like we will be turning the corner towards spring by this weekend.  That means gold prospecting season in Colorado is just around the corner and lower elevations will be more accessible.  Hope you are ready.  I know we are.  

Shirley Weilnau


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

                              April 16th.

I am beginning to wonder if winter is ever going to turn into spring.  I fear, this year, we may go from winter directly to summer.  It is snowing, again, as I write, and we are looking at another 5 to 6 inches of accumulation before this finally heads east and leaves Colorado.  Another round is looking to hit us on Saturday. I DO hope the weather is clear for Sunday!

Gold took a BIG turn downward earlier this week, hitting a low around $1352.  I has managed to rally the last two days, even touching $1395 today before retreating to $1375, now, and sliding. I could go into a long dissertation on the why's, but I will restrain myself to simply say there are many pressures to keep it down for now.  Like I said earlier, I would be content to see it end where it was a few days ago.  I DO hope it makes it back into the stratosphere. 

I have several announcements to make that are way over due.  The first is to announce the premiere of Animal's Planet's new series 'Ice Cold Gold' which has its' first airing on Sunday April 21st at 8 pm MST.  We are attending the pre party here in Denver, as we have two Colorado boys we know who are part of this team.  Chad Watkins, of 'Tin Pan Prospecting', and John Self, of 'Self Aware Minerals'. This series follows a team of prospectors who go looking for gold in Greenland.....and FIND it.  I have a couple of links to short videos about the series you can watch. 

The second is that you need to be watching the Weather Channel's  "Prospectors" series on Tuesday nights a 7 pm MST.  They filmed several local gem prospectors who mine on Mt. Antero and in the Lake George area and the adverse weather conditions in our mountains.  This has, also, been an interesting series.  They run the back episodes before and after the new episode, so check in at 6:30 if you have missed them.

Last, the Denver Spring Gem Mineral and Fossil show is this weekend, April 19th through the 21st.  This is always a very nice show with lots of vendors and excellent items to purchase. I have already started to compile a list of shows for this summer and will post them another time.  Here is a link to information on what is going on this weekend. 
http://www.mzexpos.com/colorado_spring.html  The Dorris family from the Weather Channel's 'Prospectors' series will also be there.  I am sure Steve Brancato and the Busse family will be around, as well.  Amanda is in New Jersey at a gem show there.  The Dorris' are well know for their Amazonite crystals and will have their usual room set up.  Drop by and say 'Hi'.

Well, I don't know about you, but I am ready to get out and do some prospecting for gold here in Colorado!  We have many projects taking shape for the summer and are in high hopes of uncovering some nice finds, both gold and gemstones.  If you are in Nathrup visiting Cindy, stop in at the old ice cream parlor.  The Busses' will be setting up a new shop with all kinds of mountain gems, artifacts, specialty jewelry, and items from local artisans.  They will, also be setting up an area south of Salida that will offer bags and buckets of gemstone dirt, similar to what the Topaz miner did before the fire.  I will get info to you as soon as I know when.  I already know where.  Looks to be a great year for us.  Hope yours is looking as good.  As Always....

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

How has your winter been? Ours has been crazy busy....AND stressful. We sold our home after a 6 month wait, and the things we had to do to get that done were insane, to say the least. As with buying the present house, we were not sure the sale would go through until the papers were all signed.  I know.  I have heard the stories about 10 or so offers on the first day, but our home was a townhouse, and everything is different with them.

Fortunately, not much that was really important happened since my last post. Just gun laws being passed in Colorado, the premiere of the 'Prospectors' series on the Weather Channel, and few odds and ends.  Nothing I can't catch you up on.

First, for those of you who have not heard, The Weather Channel premiered their 'Prospectors' series last Tuesday at 7 MST. They showed the first two episodes and there were rave reviews about it. Larry and I were invited by Brian and Yolanda Busse to a showing at the Steamplant in Salida, and the place was packed!  We didn't see the first showing as we volunteered to sit with the crystals and specimens they had out for show while they hosted the event.  A real privilege.

This series is not about gold, but about the crystal diggers of Mt. Antero and the Lake George region.  For those of you who are not familiar with Colorado minerals and crystal areas, these people mine Aquamarine, Smoky Quartz, Florite, Phenakite, Amazonite, Topaz, and others. The areas can be very high and very dangerous with extreme weather and other adverse conditions.  Take a look at it tonight.  You can watch a short video about it on their website HERE. Those of you on Facebook can find it on the Prospectors page.

Another series on prospecting that is coming up will be on Animal Planet.  A team of prospectors look for gold in Greenland...and find it!  We have two Coloradans who are on that team, Chad Watkins and John Self.  The premiere of Ice Cold Gold will be April 21st at 8 MST.  That's 10/9 for those of you east of Colorado.  You can see a short video of it on their website HERE.  You can also read an article about the series.

The Spring, Denver Mineral and Fossil show will be April 19-21st, this year, so you might want to put that on your calendar if you will be in the area.  The Fall, Denver Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show will be September 13-15th.  That's the BIG one for this area, so plan on attending that one, too.

Gold keeps bouncing around in the $1570 to $1600 range. I am not looking for it to change much right now. I will wait to see how it looks in June...or maybe October.  If it stays where it is for now, I'm OK with that.

Spring is here!  Make sure your gold prospecting equipment is in running order.  You're gonna want to use it soon and it isn't any fun to get out there and find out you forgot your hoses needed replacing, or you used the hand spade for gardening.  Get a spare to put in your pack.  They're cheap!

I have no new word on Cache Creek for this year. As far as I know, regs are the same as last year.  We did notice a new Forest Service building being built in Salida.  BIG building.  Cost a BUNCH of money.  And, yes, I said Forest Service, not BLM.

That's all for now.  I hope your Spring is a good one.  If you have questions, mail me.  As always....

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Mining the Colorado Mountains with the Weather Channel

 Naw, we aren't in the Weather Channel show, but this is a picture of Larry and friends Jan and Tim hunting for gemstones on Mt Antero in 2011. I'm behind the camera, of course.

Gold closed Friday at $1667.20, silver at $31.43, and the DOW was over 14000 this past week, although it didn’t hang around there for long.  Lots of speculation out there about what gold will do in the short term as it is having trouble holding its’ 200 day average.  Not a particularly good thing for right now, but it certainly doesn’t mean we are looking at a crash, but possibly a good pull back.  Platinum has been closing above gold for some time, now.  Has something to do with it being needed in catalytic converters for cars.

A nomination that caught my attention this past week was the appointment of the next Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI.  I have not heard why our own Ken Salazar decided not to continue in that role for the next four years. 

Mark your calendars for March 26th and the premiere of the Weather Channels’ series “Prospectors”, featuring many Colorado gem miners.  While they aren’t after gold, these people are definitely successful at what they do.  I know several, am acquainted with others, and they mine the mountains of Colorado.  You can see the trailer at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=422192217855655

We are almost at the end of our kitchen remake, and it is turning out to be really nice.  So far, the project has not had too many set backs or problems that were a disaster.  I’m sure most of you can relate.  Glad to have it finished this winter and not hanging over our heads as the weather turns to spring. 

There is so much to report on that has to do with legislative and court issues that are of concern to prospectors large and small, I am going to link you out to International California Mining Journal to read about all of it.  If you don’t have a subscription to this magazine, whether online or snail mail, you should consider getting one.  www.icmj.com Besides keeping you up on many of the issues you need to know about, they write excellent articles on metal detecting and prospecting in general. 

That’s it for now.  Do your research for that place you are wanting to find while the weather has you inside.  And, as always……

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Friday, February 01, 2013

Denver Mining Club talk on Fine Gold Recovery

                                           Now, THAT'S a Big Sluice Box, Boys!

Did you know that Denver has a mining club that was founded in 1891? I knew the Denver Mining Club (AKA Colorado Chapter of the International Order of Ragged Assed Miners) had been around a while, but I had no idea they had been here so long.  Their website, www.denverminingclub.org , is a wealth of information about its’ meetings, (they meet every Monday) founding fathers and their activities. Everyone was very friendly and did their best to make all of us feel at home.

At the beginning of their meeting, they had all new comers stand, introduce themselves, and tell their interest in or connection to mining.  There are no right or wrong answers, so all newcomers are voted into the Denver Mining Club or CCIORAM, and presented with a certificate that they are sworn to place in a prominent place in their home or place of business.

Larry and I were there attending a discussion about find gold recovery given by Phil Martinez, www.vistaminingadventures.com .  Phil had asked us to go with him, his wife Elsie and their oldest son Phillip Jr., to help with the computer stuff that his paper and crayons won’t handle.

Phil talked a great deal about the large placer operation he worked for that is located at the base of Mt. Elbert.  I won’t plug them here, so you will have to look up their name if you want to know about them.  According to Martinez, they were running up to 1,000 yards a day and their biggest problem was the sticky clay that ran with all of this material.

Their solution to the problem was to use a series of jigs to break up the clay, and to then, run all of that material into a bowl system.  As in all fine gold recovery, the name of the game is breaking down your material into a useable state where all material is of similar size, and then to run water and sluice boxes at a water speed and sluice box angle that is best suited to your circumstances.

Clay is particularly bothersome to everyone, and recovering the gold trapped in it is never easy.  Emulsification of the material is of great importance, but only if the values that can be found in the clay would make breaking it up worth the time and effort needed to do so. Testing is the only way to decide if your time is better spent running material that you can separate the gold from more easily, or to go after what is in the clay.

To maximize recovery in this large placer, the sluices needed to be adjusted from what Martinez called ‘ski slopes’ to a proper angle to keep from running the gold into the tailings ponds.  After this adjustment was made, the sluices were able to handle the volume of water running down them and capture the finer gold much better.  Recovery of the fine gold went way up.

As with all operations, testing should be constant, whether you are a large operation or a weekend placer warrior.  Then, watch your water speed and the angle of your sluice box for maximum fine gold recovery.  Flatter box, more water; steeper box, less water.  Those are the basics.  Depth of water and size of material also play important parts.  Keep tweeking until your sluice box is recovering 90% of what is in your material.  How do you know when that is?  Do what we did when this large placer first asked all of us for help.  Test your tailing pile with your pan.  

So, how do you break up clay in a small operation? Mix it in a bucket with a small shovel or use a dry wall mixer and a drill in a bucket.  I've done both.  The drill is definitely easier, but if you don't have one or you are not allowed to use anything motorized, a shovel will work.  It can work you to death, too.  LOL!

Gold finished out this week at $1667.60, and we saw DOW 14,009.79, the first time it closed over 14,000 since October 2007.  Hope you are busy getting your equipment ready for this summer.  We will be staying home this year and not attending the Tucson Show in Arizona.  We have this house we bought that needs its’ kitchen fixed.  As Always,

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What to Look For When Filing a Claim, or I Never Saw It, So How Would I Know I Had To Walk A Mile

For those of you who do not follow me on FB, I share a sunrise picture on all days there is one worth photographing. This one was from January15th.  We have had a nice high pressure ridge dominating our weather for the past few days, so there have been few clouds at dawn to catch color.

January.  My month for resting and catching up.  This past year has been one that has left me with little time to react to the next thing to come along, much less keep up with gold news.  I have 6 months of ICMJ's to read, as well as countless articles from numerous sources.  We even bought a different house in September!  

Those of you who ask questions get first priority, even though I get behind sometimes.  It is often your questions that give me an idea for information that can be added to the website for everyone to read. A recent question made me think of a part of filing a claim that rarely gets covered and so, gives me a nice blog posting for you and food for another website entry.

I often get questions about BLM regs on the Arkansas, which can be very confusing.  However, I recently got a question about the worth of having a claim on the Arkansas, which lead me to an explanation of the other aspects of a claim that I would look for, after you have done all the rest of your normal research.

First, as in all real estate, is location, location, location.  For a placer gold mining claim, I would look at how close it is to the gold source(s) in its' area.  How far it is will determine the size of the gold you will be looking for, abundance of gold, as well as the type of equipment you can successfully use to recover the gold.  You might want to be able to find enough gold to make your expenses on the costs of the claim, too, but that isn't always a priority, especially if you are buying a claim that is patented.  (Patented claims are private property, would cost a lot more, and can be a building site.)

Next, I would look at accessibility. How far do you have to drag your equipment to use it, how steep are the banks, and how often do you have to do that.  There can also be issues with crossing private property to access your claim, and the owners of the private property may give you trouble with that.  

Another consideration is stream flow.  Now, you may not think this is important, but if you are planning on prospecting your claim during high water, you might have some trouble with currents and the swiftness of the water, especially if your claim is on a narrow part of a river with a steeper slope.  You are going to want to be able to prospect effectively when you can be thereJust like a sluice box, the angle and speed of a river will make it easier or harder to capture your gold.  Oh, hey! Isn't that sluice box patterned after a running stream?  Funny THAT!  LOL! Same rules apply.

As many of you are aware, there are a lot of placer gold mining claims out there for sale. If you are considering buying a claim, be aware that there are still people out there that are not above salting a gold mining claim to get you to buy it.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS test the area yourself when the claim owner is not around, with their permission, of course.  Also be aware that some gold mining claims are sold to you with an 'interest' in the claim and can be held by as many others with 'interests' as the claim owner wants to include.  They simply wait until you are tired of sharing or putting up with other problems, quit your 'interest' and resell it to some one else.  If you are OK with this, there is nothing wrong with this type of arrangement, just be aware of what you are getting into. (PLEASE do not talk to people, visit a site covered with 2 feet of snow, declare it a wonderful claim and put half a million dollars into it to recover 14 ounces of gold.  PLEASE tell me you are smarter than that.)

Last is the amount of gold you can expect to recover.  If you are a recreationalist, this means finding enough gold to keep you interested, pay for your gas and maybe lunch, but don't expect to make a fortune even if you are out there every day.  If your area is really, really good, it is probably NOT for sale, already claimed up or private property that you will not get access to. People always ask if you can 'make a living', and to be sure, there are people who do.  However, the other question they do not ask is how GOOD a living you can make.  The answer for most people would be 'don't quit your day job' or 'Do you fish? How good a living can you make doing that?'  

OK. I think that is it.  If I think of anything to add, I will do it later. The sun is coming up and I have to go make breakfast.  No pretty sunrise today, either.  No clouds, but it is 32 degrees outside.  Remember, it is January 19, and I live in the Denver area of Colorado.  Typical January thaw week......February is coming and we could soon be well below zero.  Keep those questions coming so I can continue to add to my website with information people want to know.  As always,

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau