I’ve managed a quick trip looking for gold. The entire week has been wet, with rain and cold conditions. The roads in Queensland have been awesome, as usual…. rain, roadworks, big trucks = one cracked windscreen, that’s how it goes…
Thursday afternoon, I pitched camp in wet rainy conditions. The cloud cover kept the night warm and pleasant. Friday morning was the complete opposite of the day before, sunny blue sky, gentle breeze, warm… let’s go digging !!!
Finding a good looking site for gold, is definitely trial and error. You must do some research, and not just go and try somewhere, without some knowledge of what to do or look for…use the internet, check out your government mining sites.
I’ve researched this area, I know gold recoveries in the area from both the internet and books. This makes it easier to find a spot to work ( or is it play), depends which way you look at it. I’ve been working my way up the creek, following these exposed rocks. Over a distance of three metres( ten foot), I’ve come across a lot of gold, that has been held up in cracks and holes in the rock. There is one thing to remember… get to bedrock, and get it clean.
Now a lot of people may say “get to bedrock”, but what does it mean? Simply, remove all loose gravel, all loose rocks, and dirt. Put it all through a pan or sluice, gold can be anywhere! Don’t throw it away!
I take a pry bar, hammer and chisel with me always. Looking for gold usually means digging. I know of one fossicker, who uses a large pick and sledgehammer to get down to it ( remember it’s work or is it play, up to you).
So my hole is looking better. All the loose material has been removed, down to bedrock. Now, time to expand the hole. After about an hour, I had given up trying not to fill my rubber boots with water… It makes it quicker to dig, if your not worried about the little things…did I mention it’s winter here? It doesn’t get very cold anyway in Queensland, so toughen up, and STOP complaining!
After five hours in the glorious sunshine, chest deep in slightly cool water( I’m not complaining) and moving lots of gravel, perseverance pays off. A quick check of the rubber mat in the sluice box…. is it…it looks like gold, it looks like a lot of gold, Yeah!
The picture does not show it very well, clicking on the picture may enlarge it. I’ll explain what is in the picture. The bottom has the largest concentration of gold pieces, the first ten rows of ribbing contain six or more pieces, there is even one piece of gold in front of the mat, where the two sections of box are bolted together. Several more pieces are visible near the middle bolt, and at the top of the photo, in the dark, another three or four pieces lurk.
I know, I know, where is “The Lost Irishman Mine”, it’s lost… Keep hunting, you’ll find your own “Lost Mine”, have fun naming it. My sluiced gold for the day.
A hot shower and dry clothes, makes it all worth while.