Little Georgia Claim on the Animas River
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August 11, 2017
This claim is at river level.
9,208' above sea level.
It is very flat.
Easy access, great maintained gravel roadway.
Gravel/cobble beds and benches throughout the river bank frontage.
The parking area is visible from most points of the claim.
Rain does tend to dampen the adventure, but only if unprepared for it.
Typical salt cedar marshes, but pathways keep you dry.
Walk from the parking area directly perpendicular to the narrow gauge railroad track.
Then walk the rail bed to the trestle where you can venture toward the gravel bars.
Silver ore is prevalent in Quartz Granite.
I did find flour gold probably washed down from the Gold King mine spillage exactly two years ago.
Thanks to the EPA. Our National protector of the environment. Right.
Before going, call Helen Mary Johnson at the Durango/Silverton BLM office, 970-385-1359.
Let her know your arrival and departure dates and times.
Usually you get her voicemail.
She's been doing this for years and she is very familiar with any questions you may have.
The wonderful town of Silverton is a must see.
And close enough to break for lunch.
See my photo album for photos of the claim and access and parking.
Little Georgia Claim - Dig It!
Please note: the only way to sink in the mud to chest depth is if you stand no more than 14 inches tall.
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There is a BLM office at the visitor center in Silverton co. the parking lot on the claim is under water it rains a lot plus it sits at 12,000 ft above sea level if you have asthma like me don't go to this claim if you drive past parking lot to the west you need a 4 wheel drive with a high center its a mud hole from the parking lot there is a swamp between it and RR tracks I sunk all the way up to my chest in it I couldn't get to the claim I saw plenty of vehicles that were going to the west don't know if they did any good or not
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9/19/21-Ran 4 buckets in one afternoon, found decent fine flour gold. Ran from a gravel bar that was exposed from the low water. Walk from parking area not bad to claim, good gravel bars and had some fun.
1/2 ounce of lead shot for a full days work.
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I had high hopes for this claim due to the scouting and research.
The mineral and Geology breakdown of the claim and the area had me excited since the USGS reports were pretty confident for the district and maps showed it had some great potential. There are a couple of spots with exposed "bedrock" on the claim but the formations are actually Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary aged bedrock in the form of dykes from fault movements meaning the rock is easily able to be fractured and is starting to decompose so the crevices can be split with at least a 12lb pinch bar.
There are also some recorded veins and flows in the area according to the reports that actually converge on the corner of the claim.
The water levels of the river are the main crux of the access and ease of prospecting. according to the gauging station that is actually on the claim downstream from the rail bridge that can be pulled and monitored at any time from the website. Basically, the water level is only workable during late summer to fall before the temps drop making this a pretty selective time and place to prospect.
We ran a full day of crevice material from the exposed bedrock dyke and came up with about a 1/2 ounce of birdshot and some very very fine flour gold.
Georgia always on my mind
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Gold here is very fine. First pans showed some 100 mesh gold and some 50 mesh gold. Very small and not in abundance. If you are able to get to the other side of the river (not telling you how because that would be illegal if you did) then there are some better spots to check. the North side of the train bridge and south of it in the first area on the bank hold some promise. This is a beautiful high mountain area, close to town with all amenities. Park in the area before the Champion mine. It is now gated and posted as private property. When walking in turn left and follow the train tracks to the claim or go straight and follow the "road". Makes for a great weekender trip. Be mindful of the claim boundaries as there is private property on both sides of the claim and the claim is only 10+ acres. Bring water for hydration and a camera as there are beautiful mountains and moose in the area and I found fresh moose poop on the claim.