Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Can I Make a Living Gold Mining? (Part 4)"

Here We Go Again

OK brothers and sisters, here we go again. This marks the fourth time now I've written about this topic in "Bedrock Dreams" and something tells me it won't be the last!

There are numerous factors at work here and each of them influences people in varying degrees when it comes to the questions of making a living gold mining. These factors include the record high price of gold today ($1,545.38 per troy ounce as I write this), the tough economic climate we are experiencing, and the relative levels of knowledge and expertise of those who pose this question to me (again and again).

Where to Find Placer Gold

Can you make a living as a small-scale gold miner these days? If you can answer a truthful and resounding "YES!" to each and every one of the following 10 questions then you have more than a fighting chance:

1) Do you have a solid background in the theories concerning gold geology and mineralization as well as gold deposition physics?

2) Are you a student of both lode gold and placer mining history?

3) Can you identify placer gold and various types of gold ores if necessary?

4) Do you know how to use a gold pan properly and understand what good sampling techniques are?

5) Are you experienced with various types of small-scale mining equipment such as sluice boxes, drywashers, highbankers, suction dredges, trommels, rockers, etc.?

6) Are you mechanically inclined or have the ability to troubleshoot and/or repair your own gear and equipment?

7) Do you own a gold claim with high potential or have access to good gold ground?

8) Can you afford to approach your mining activities on a full-time footing and not as a hobbyist or part timer?

9) Do you  have the ability to be imminently patient, and persist and persevere though all sorts of extremes in weather, climate, and other physical conditions?

10) Are you willing to work harder than you've ever worked in your entire life, not only physically but mentally and emotionally too?

Will you strike it rich? Probably not. Can you make a modest living at mining and pay the bills? Perhaps...if you're good enough at what you do and are willing to make a 100% commitment to get there.

Types of Placer Mining Equipment

That's it...there are no quick and dirty answers to this question and no "magic" pills that will turn you into a gold mining magnate overnight. If you're good with that, well hell's bells "pard"...I wish you the very best.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Can I Make a Living Gold Mining?"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Miner Speaks Out on the Madness in California

Gold miner John S. sent his view of the anti-mining, anti-dredging issues plaguing our compatriots in California (the "once-golden State"). I apologize to John for taking so long in getting his words published, but these days my blog posts are stacked up like airliners over O'Hare Airport.

Gold Prospecting Books

Anyhoo, here's John's take on things (with minor formatting and editing on my part):

"Regarding the 'Legislative Push to End California Gold Rush Has Miners Panning Environmental Rules:'"

"1. Start voting the current California Legislature out and put in your own legislator for the people.....a prospector/miner friendly version. (Hint, hint..)"

"2. Start a class-action law suit to recover all the money owed from dredging permits that will never be handed out to small-scale miners if things are left as is. That's theft and should be punished by jail time...a career-busting response."

"3. George 'Buzzard' Massie would be rolling over in his grave knowing our rights have been trampled this way. It's time to obtain help from his two sons Tom and Perry since they also have a large investment in this lame decision."

(Note: George "Buzzard" Massie was the founder of the Gold Prospector's Association of America [GPAA]. J.R.)

"4. I think it all boils down to this; We should then cut every type of activity that the government currently supports and funds, including:"
  • "Policemen's Balls" (Note: I think John means the social function type of balls here! J.R.)
  • "Governor's Ball"
  • "Fishing"
  • "Boating"
  • "Race cars"
  • "Building permits" 
  • "And every other type of cash-strapped organization there is"
"We could then say we were not picked on if everybody else got screwed along with us. But sadly, we all know that's not the case. They (the powers at be) want to be selective on what they want and who they want to cut (screw?). What gives them the almighty right to pick this type of organization to cut? Moreover, who has the right to pick and choose what organizations get funding cuts??"

"A Great Example of Wasted Money"

 (Note: Here John speaks about his own small community. J.R.)

"Back in the old days we had to walk to school 7+ miles both ways. Now the government taxes us for school buses at the rate of $14 million annually and then places that tax on your property taxes. Next they build a school gym so the kids can exercise (to the tune of $32 million) and that tax is also  applied to our property taxes."

 "So my point is: In just this little community of ours the powers-at-be spend large amounts of taxpayers' money on stuff that is not really necessary and potentially wasteful. If you were to add up all the $$$ the government spends on the schools in California they could buy a house for every person in the state and suction dredging would live on forever.

Gold Mining Gear

"These career politicians need to think before they act or else we need to VOTE THEM OUT and SEND THEM PACKING!"

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Striking it Rich:" California Man's 9-Pound Nugget a Scam?

c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Striking it Rich:" California Man's 9-Pound Nugget a Scam?

 (The so-called "Washington Nugget" may not be from California after all.)

Batten Down the Hatches!

Stand by for heavy seas and batten down the hatches, me hearties! The nearly 9-troy pound "Washington Nugget" supposedly uncovered by Jim Sanders (yep, now his full name is out) on his Nevada County property and recently sold to a private collector for nearly half a million dollars may not be California placer gold after all.

Before I get into the meat of the matter here, you can read these posts for background info leading up to this latest revelation:

"Striking It Rich:" California Man Finds 9-Pound Nugget (Updated)"

"Striking It Rich:" California Man Cashes in on Spectacular Nugget"

Same Nugget Found Near Ballarat?

OK, back to this unusual tale turned even stranger by recent events. It seems an Aussie placer miner named Murray Cox is claiming to all who'll listen that he and his "pard," Reggie Wilson, found this very same nugget in the Outback way back in 1987. In case you didn't already know it, the 1980s produced a veritable explosion of very large gold nuggets (including the "Hand of Faith") in the Aussie Outback as newer and better metal detectors began being used by a new breed of prospector turned treasure hunter...the nugget shooter.

Gold Prospecting Books
Gold Pans

Cox claims he and Wilson found this very same nugget which they called the "Orange Roughie" near Ballarat, Victoria in 1987 and that Wilson sold it in 2000 to a dealer for just $50,000. Interestingly enough, photos of their find show a nugget that is essentially the same size, shape, color, and weight as the "Washington Nugget." Hmmmmmmmm....

(Reggie Wilson with the "Orange Roughie" nugget from Ballarat, Australia.)

Tests Could Confirm or Deny

Now even Fred Holabird, the geologist who conducted the recent auction of the "Washington Nugget," is having second thoughts and admits he (and others) may have been scammed. Holabird is now calling for mineralogical identification tests to be performed on the purported find by Jim Sanders (who also goes by the moniker of James Saunders Grill) on his Nevada County, California property. Chemical/mineralogical tests would confirm for once and for all that the nugget in question is Aussie gold from Ballarat and not gold from California's Northern Motherlode region.

Where to Find Gold

Jim Sanders (a.k.a, Saunders, Grill, etc.), who claimed to have found the "Washington"/"Orange Roughie" on his property outside Nevada City is not talking to the press or anyone else these days. Nor is Spectrum Numismatics International, the company that placed the winning bid at the nugget's recent auction.

I'll Tell You What I Know

Who's telling the truth and who's lying here? No one seems 100 percent certain at this point. Those in Sanders' camp say that Reggie Wilson and Murray Cox are liars and the two Aussies maintain steadfastly that the "Washington Nugget" is in reality, their former "Orange Roughie" and that Sanders and the rest of his co-conspirators are "scammers."

What is known is that Sanders or Saunders or Grill or whatever his name is who owns the California property where the "Washington Nugget" was supposedly found was asking millions of dollars for his land. Sounds a bit like "salting the works," doesn't it?

(Comparison photo; "Washington Nugget"on left and the "Orange Roughie" on the right.)

I'll tell you what I know...right now is a very good time to get your ass scammed or hustled...especially with anything dealing with gold or gold mining. With gold as high as it is, the red warning lights should start blinking inside your head because every 2-bit hustler, scammer, con artist, thief, and liar is out there trying to cash in on your dreams.

Carhartt Wear
Wolverine Boots

I know this only too well from my own recent claim scam experiences....so do as I say and not as I do...be smart and DON'T ASSUME ANYTHING...moreover, don't believe anyone or anything until the proof is solidly in hand.

Good luck to one and all.

(Thanks to California miner Phil C. for bringing this news to my attention.)

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Bedrock Dreams" Rogue's Gallery (Part 2)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Rocks in My Head:" a Prospector and Miner in the Making (Part 8)

(Gold display at the Dahlonega, Georgia Gold Mining Museum.)

Here's a bit more from aspiring placer gold miner Alan Brown of Dahlonega, Georgia. Please note that I've made small editorial changes for formatting and readability purposes:

"Enough Gold to Actually Display!"

"By this last winter I had pretty much cleaned out my spot all the way down to bedrock. Surprisingly, it seemed  at this point I was no longer recovering any gold at all. There had been a reddish clay and sand layer just above the bedrock that contained the majority of the gold I found."

"As I continued to clean the area out thoroughly, it became perfectly obvious that the bedrock here was not a good place for gold to collect. One reason for this is that the bedrock was relatively flat and smooth. But by the end of this entire process I had recovered enough gold to actually display...quite proudly, I might add!"

"My New Spot"

"I had learned a great deal along the way, but by December the weather directed me more toward family, fireplace, and football games. It was just too cold out for the likes of me, so I'd give gold mining a break until around March or so...that's about all I could stand to wait. One reason for my impatience was that I'd already picked out my next spot."

Gold Panning Kits
Gold Concentrators

"My new spot was just below the one I had been working where a smaller stream coming off the hillside entered the main stream channel. At the point where this 'feeder' stream dropped down to the main stream level, it had eroded an area about 3 feet in and had exposed a gravel layer sitting above bedrock."

"Suffice it to say that I did a fair bit better at this spot and also learned a few new mining 'tricks' as well. But that's a story for another time perhaps."

"Gold in More Than the Riverbed"

"Since I began my search for gold I've found it in many forms. I've found it in the people I've met along the way, the experiences I've had outdoors, the time well spent with my kids, and being able to write about it all. In a future installment I'd like to introduce a new friend and fellow prospector, William (Bill) Findley."

Gold Mining Equipment

"Bill had read my story in 'Bedrock Dreams' and contacted me with an invitation to work a private spot. Needless to say, I gratefully accepted his kind offer. I'll have the details soon."

"Thanks for reading and good luck out there!"
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Claim Your Own Land: Don't Deal With Frauds"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The "Dark Force" Does It Again: California Suction Dredging May End Permanently (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series of posts I warned you that the "Dark Force" is hard at work in California. Not only are its minions pressing forward with the current suction dredging moratorium, but they are trying to put an end to dredging in the much tarnished Golden State permanently. Although not a "done deal" at this juncture, the writing may indeed be on the wall.

Who composes the "Dark Force" I speak of? Well brothers and sisters, I exposed two elements in my last post and now I'll throw in a few others:

Left-of-center liberals and intellectual elitists who believe they are intrinsically superior to the lower classes (that includes us by the way) and that they, just by virtue of being born, have a corner on the truth market. Of course, only they know what is right for the rest of us lesser beings. Like condescending parents, these types view us a children to be led and punished. Most of them have never worked a real job in their lives or earned anything by the true "sweat of their brow," nor have they ever tried to run a business.

They are invariably the gentry: trust-fund babies, academics, and theoreticians with advanced degrees but little, if any, common sense. You know the type...they pontificate about everything and act like the friends of the poor and downtrodden when in fact, they despise anyone who is not a clone of themselves. They want our mining claims transformed into nature walks that only they and those like them can appreciate...after all, mining is soooooooooo dirty and destructive. You'll know these idiots by their hybrid vehicles plastered with all sorts environmentalist and hippy dippy slogans.

Dickies Work Clothes

Leftists and "wannabe" socialists who seek to transform the fundamental structure of our country, one brick at a time. They scoff at our Constitution and manipulate the Bill of Rights to pursue their own agenda, much of which envisions a socialist state where everyone is "equal." In case you don't know what that means, take a stroll down memory lane in Soviet Russia under Stalin, Red China under Mao, and other sterling examples of socialism taken to its logical conclusion like North Korea. These are the same "caring" people who gave aid and comfort to the enemy and literally and figuratively spat upon those of us who were fortunate enough to return home from the Vietnam War.

They really don't care much about "green" agendas but manipulate the environmentalist whack jobs like puppets in a Punch and Judy show. This is the most dangerous element of the "Dark Force" we face as miners and as Americans because they want us all marching lockstep with their world view. Government control is what they are all about and Big Brother is their leader. They hate "fascism" but they themselves are classic examples of fascists. Go figure...

In Case You're Wondering...

In case you're wondering what this all has to do with suction dredging and mining you better stop, think, and look around a bit. The threat is real and it appears that California has already been overrun in more ways than one.

Gold Panning Kits

Next it will be Oregon, then the entire Northwest and West. Oh, and it won't just be suction dredging that will go by the wayside. If this trend isn't stopped soon, at some point you won't be able to pan, sluice or look for gold at all in the West....or perhaps in the entire U.S.itself.

But hey, maybe you can take one of those nature walks...

(Again, please heed the following:


Please FAX Governor Brown and tell him that you OPPOSE the proposed 5-yr moratorium and $1.8 million budget cut on the suction dredging program. His fax number is (916) 558-3160.

Thanks for your help!

Dave Mack (Dave McCracken)
The New 49er's, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039, USA)
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "The 'Dark Force' Does It Again: California Suction Dredging May End Permanently"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com

Friday, June 3, 2011

The "Dark Force" Does It Again: California Suction Dredging May End Permanently (Part 1)

Well, lo and behold, the "Dark Force" in the once-golden state of California wasn't satisfied with a 5-year suction dredging moratorium. Nope, that wasn't good enough. Now the "Dark Force" is looking to shut down suction dredging in the state permanently.

What is the "Dark Force" I speak of? What, you didn't know already? Hmmm, let's see:

Hypocritical Indian tribes who profess a unique oneness with nature and tout the purity of their way of life but have no qualms about paving over huge tracts of land to erect obnoxious and outlandish casinos in their chase for the "white man's gold." Oh, and aren't these the same "noble savages" that don't pay taxes, get all sorts of government "freebies," and are considered sovereign nations when it comes to following the oppressive rules that the rest of us are typically jailed for breaking?

Wow...what I don't understand is this...if they're sovereign nations and all that and we can't break their rules or intrude in their business, why is it they're always OK with government handouts from American taxpayers and it's fine for them to intrude in our business? Go figure...

Placer Gold Locations

By the way, I wasn't alive in 1849 and couldn't have participated in the "genocide of native peoples" in California (or anywhere else for that matter). So if you're looking to make me feel guilty on that one, homie don't play that game. Oh don't worry, I know I'll be accused of racism here...that's always the fallback position these days, isn't it? But in reality it's a just a classic case of "money talks and bullshit walks..."

Various and sundry environmental whack jobs who would rather see you lose your livelihood or even your life "lest one branch be harmed on the head of that redwood tree" or "one little fishy be displaced from this rock to the adjoining one." You'll know these types by their cult-like, religious fervor about all things "green" and their "I've drunk the kool aid" stares.

Oh, and don't forget their lingo, constantly filled with buzz words and phrases like "sustainability, carbon footprint, eco-friendly, greenhouse gases, all natural, organic, waste neutral," and God knows however many other pieces of contrived horseshit they concoct to bedazzle each other and get the easily swayed and led out there to march lockstep with them.

Wolverine Boots

And while I'm at it here, don't you recreational and small-scale miners out there know what horrible people you are??? Sob, sniff, cry.....don't you realize the harm you cause to all living things and the damage you do to the environment by releasing copious amounts of methane after eating all those beans and that bacon? Shame on you all!!!

There's more to come but in the meantime I suggest you read the following from Fox News:


 Please Heed the Following

Also please heed the following request from Dave McCracken, founder of the New 49ers. Dave has fought this fight for us harder than anyone else I know for a long time now and he deserves your support:

Please FAX Governor Brown and tell him that you OPPOSE the
proposed 5-yr moratorium and $1.8 million budget cut on the
suction dredging program.  His  fax number is (916) 558-3160.

Thanks for your help!
Dave Mack

The New 49er's, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039, USA

I'll have more to say on this subject in my next post. Stay tuned...
(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com