As featured in the January/February 2020 Gold Prospectors Magazine
By Kevin Hoagland
This month leads us back to the desert of Arizona. This particular location has been an extremely good location with a rich placer recover history, but not on this side of the hill. It had gone virtually untouched until 2017.
Research was the key to finding this location and getting out of the box and using the old placer operation and a drift mine as nothing more than a reference and jumping-off spot was the most important part of the discovery.
Look closely, again getting out of the box. The most obvious may not be the best.
- The most likely candidate. Mineralization is perfect and the wash is rugged with bedrock.
- Drastic change in the geology. Basalt mixed with large quartz and feldspars make up almost the entire slope of this opposing side to A.
- The collection spot, everything that made it down the hill would have to get through this convergence spot of two washes.
- Highest location. Lots of contact zones of bedrock and schist formations breaking the surface and heading out in a number of directions.
- A very small amount of fines was all that that the claim owner could recover from this spot. His remark to me was, “Maybe someday if it grows up.”
- The most productive and best paying to date. The coarse bedrock, basalt, feldspars and quartz has acted as a holding spot for the gold that came up in this line. Following the trend up the hill and ignoring the wash to work the mineral line, caused this location to go from a prospect to a fully supported bonded and secured operational mine.
- This was the first prospect. Of course it was; the junction of two water ways has to be holding gold. Which is why we believe that this spot was looked over for so long. The confluence showed some very old workings up and down the bedrock wash bottom. The gold was not plentiful and extremely small. Had the past prospectors not held to the thought of the gold on the bedrock, they would have surely found the richer spot and worked that over anything else in the view.
- This is where it all came together. Looking over the contact zones and following them out from their respective directions, mainly those that were granite and schist layers laying together, gave direction. Looking over the old placer operation you could see the direction they were following. Take what you have learned from other areas and test to see it holds true over the next hill.
The takeaway here is that if you put on the blinders and hold only to what is the common thought, you will walk over gold going to where you think the gold should be.
Gold is always where you find it, but not always where it is supposed to be.
Kevin Hoagland is the GPAA Executive Director of Development and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org