After a trip to Arizona to dry wash before the rains, I stopped by the Moab #1 claim (page CL-159) on my way home to check it out. Having worked within 20 miles of the site as an exploration geologist for uranium I was surprised to see a gold claim there, as it is out in the sandy, silty, sedimentary lands, as far as one can see. The guidebook states that "We had this claim tested and it gave off loots of gold flake", which really piqued my interest. I did a LR2000 search and found that there were 8 other claims within section 13 but none other within the township/range block, which seems to give a little support to there being possible gold there. I had (and still have) my doubts about gold being at this location, as it simply doesn't make sense geologically. The two situations that I could guess that may have brought gold to that location would be a stream from the La Sal Mountains (a granitic intrusion) or maybe an ancient gravel bench or stream course of the nearby Colorado River.
Having walked for over 2 hours, crisscrossing the claim and surrounding lands, I only happened upon about 30 small pebbles, most of which look like remnants of eroded sandstone layers. The area is relatively flat, with a few high points, but no drainages washes ravines etc. I dug two 2' test holes and found the same orange dirt all the way down to a hard clay-like layer at the bottom, which seems to be the same dirt just very hard. I did one test pan from one of the more "rocky" areas and 95% of it was dirt, with only about 2 tablespoons of dirt. The dirt was wet, otherwise I'd have done a few buckets of dirt through my dry washer, to see what kind of heavies or even gold might show up. I saw no other signs of prospecting other than an oil well to the north and numerous old roads crisscrossing the area, most likely from oil and uranium drilling operations. I did note gold colored mica on the dry powdery ground near the cattle trough, maybe this was mistaken as real gold?? From what I've seen and tested, I can only think that the gold bearing area (if there is one) must be buried. I may go back out in the summer to try a few buckets in through the dry washer, but I'm getting the feeling it may be a futile effort.
Before totally giving up on this location, I wanted to ask a few questions.
- Has anyone been here and found gold?
- Is there anymore information available about the "test" that showed flake gold? (depth sampled, method used for recovery, possible general location on the claim)
Any information would be helpful and appreciated!