Gold Prospecting Trip 3

My buddy Josh and I have registered a 40 acre claim at a secret place near Wickenburg, AZ.

Just recently, we went out to the property and walked around the entire place. It was a lot of ground to cover. We saw lots of quartz and mineralized rocks were spread out everywhere and black sand in certain spots. The soil is a brown-reddish color. This is supposed to be a good indicator in a gold bearing area. Not only that, but gold was previously found in this area. We walked around looking at all the geological features until we decided to setup camp and do some sampling.

Since we are new at gold prospecting, we don’t know where to start sampling on the property, so a stream bed looked like a good spot to start. There is an inside corner where we started to dig a hole.

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I’m using a new small recirculating sluice for the first time to see how well it does. I’ve never used one before, so this was very exciting for me.

We shoveled about five 5-gallon buckets of dirt through the sluice one small shovel at a time. My arm got a good workout that day.

I added a small amount of clay-be-gone and a drop of dish soap to the water to reduce the surface tension.I had to make sure there was an even steady flow of water in the sluice. All in all, it was pretty simple to operate after I got some suggestions from some folks that came by to see us.

Two hours later we ended up with some concentrate and panned it out. It produced a little bit of fine gold. We got about 1/10 gram from the cons.

I think if we got that much gold from only five 5-gallon buckets, then how much would we get if we dredged the area?

When we get more experience and a dredge, we will definitely make a trip to answer that question.

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Gold Prospecting Trip 2

Its a week later and we are going to the Vulture City Gold Mine. This time it’s nice and warm weather with clear sunny skies. Woot!

Once we arrived, the gate was open and the Vulture Mine adventure began. There is a self-guided tour that costs $7 per adult. The store sells all kinds of rocks and gemstones. After we gazed at all the cool rocks and stuff in the store we headed out on the tour.

The tour circles around various parts of the old mining operation. We started out and headed into a decrepit two-story house that looks like it about to fall apart, but its was still standing strong.

Lots of old stuff to see.

Looks like they had a laboratory in this house.

We also found a vault in the floor where they used to store gold bullion for safe keeping.

There is also the machine shop and power plant. You can get an idea of what life was like long ago when people struggled to get that yellow gold from the ground. There is still lots of gold left, but nowadays its said to be too expensive to justify the costs of digging it out.

There are a total of 12 patented claims that consists of about 240 acres of land. Its all for sale at 6.5 million dollars cash. (no joke). They also have several thousand acres of adjacent unpatented claims for sale.

Later, we walked next to a mine shaft in the ground where its told that some miners lost their life when it collapsed in on them. There is also a tree where some folks were hanged for theft or high-grading.

It was a good trip. We had fun and got to see a part of awesome history.

Later on we went out to Stanton for a tour of some land and got to see a mine shaft.

We ended the trip by doing some 4x4ing the Hassayampa River before heading back home.

Gold Prospecting Trip 1

This is our first time going out to to explore one of the richest gold mines ever.
Josh, Jenna (my sister) and I took a trip to the Vulture Mine in Wickenburg, Arizona. We read about the history of this place and decided to go take a look for ourselves.

Today is a drizzly day with large pockets of rain in some areas west and north of Phoenix. We hit some really bad rain driving halfway to Wickenburg and hoped that when we got to our destination the weather condition would improve. Wrong. It was wet and very cold. I bet that it could have snowed if it were just a few degrees cooler.

By the time we got halfway in the foothills it started to rain. We drove slowly till we arrived at the front gate with a Closed sign. I suppose we had expected it to be closed, so its not really that disappointing because we were too busy looking out the window in awe at the pure beauty of nature we just drove through. We got out and walked around for a bit looking at all the rocks on the ground and the hillsides. At this point, we knew we had discovered a hidden desire or common bond with nature that completely took our minds off the busy work week. This is it!

The trip was not a waste of time and we did not care if it was cold and rainy. We drove away cautiously aware of possible flash flooding. Once we made it to downtown Wickenburg, we ate lunch at a local restaurant. It was a really neat looking place inside, but probably won’t go back and eat there. That’s another story though.