New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND  QUARTER, APRIL 2012                                VOLUME 26, NUMBER 4

Clean UpDiggers

I have been managing these weekend group mining projects for the past 26 years. All this experience has taught me that every single group has its own chemistry.  There are probably a lot of different things that contribute to this; the different personalities, the weather, how the bigger world is doing at the moment, and perhaps even how I am feeling.  But every group is different.

We always begin with a morning of theory on Saturday.  This gives me an opportunity to size up the participants and the group-chemistry, organize things with my experienced helpers and provide a presentation of the long-proven procedures that we have developed to find gold.  We call this a  sampling plan.

These days, we do the initial meeting and the morning presentation at the Grange Hall in Happy Camp.  Nearly everyone was already present there when I showed up at about 9 AM.  And I knew even before I got out of my car that this was going to be a lively bunch.  They were already having a lot of fun.  This is all good; because my seasoned helpers and I know how to direct all that enthusiasm into the hard work which would be necessary later in the day, and especially on Sunday.

After going over the weekend plans and covering the theory on sampling, I always take time to answer everyone’s questions before we break for lunch.  But this time, I had to cut it short with this lively group or we would not have had time for lunch!  I know the participants are really into it when they are asking all the right questions.

DiggingRich Krimm

Saturday afternoon found us all up at k-15A, otherwise known as the Mega Hole.  This is one of our more popular high-banking areas.  By high-banking, I am talking about mining up out of the water.  We also have a very popular camping area at K-15A.  This makes it convenient for participants to just walk down to the gravel bar where we are doing the project.  K-15A is quite a long mining property.  Over the many years, we have done plenty of weekend and week-long mining projects there, on both sides of the river.  The property has been very productive for us, and we are lucky to have it.

On this particular project, we were up towards the upper-end of the property.  We have been doing these weekend events there, because boats are not required when we have larger groups, and because there is this very distinct brown layer which is usually only a about a foot deep into the gravel bar.  We get lots of nice gold right off the top of that layer!

I am lucky to have a bunch of experienced members who enjoy coming out and helping me to organize these events.  With their help, we split the larger group into smaller ones, each with one of my helpers as a team leader.  The team leaders went out and did some sampling in advance on Saturday morning, while the rest of us were still busy at the Grange Hall.  So, when we showed up out on the gravel bar on Saturday afternoon, my helpers just pointed to several hot-spots where I could provide a sampling and gold panning demonstration.  It’s always better if I turn up some gold in the sample.  This gets everyone motivated to find more gold!

Participants get to keep any gold they find on Saturday afternoon. So after seeing the gold from my sample, this group went right to work.  It wasn’t long before people started showing me the gold in their pans.  For many, these weekend projects provide the first gold they ever found.  “First gold” is always the most precious!  I still remember my first gold. It didn’t come this easy!  But it was still a very magic moment. So I enjoy this part as it unfolds, sharing the “first gold” moments with others, watching for the sparkle in their eye at the first moment of realization.  I love my job!

 RestingUSA Scarf

Really, we were just going through the motions out there on Saturday afternoon.  My helpers had already confirmed where we were going to dig on Sunday.  So we devoted the afternoon assisting beginners to dial in their gold panning techniques. It’s not that panning is difficult.  It just takes a little practice to teach your body the correct motions.  This bunch was catching on fast!

As the afternoon progressed, we set up the high-bankers close to the places where we would dig pay-dirt.  We wanted everything to be ready for an early start on Sunday morning.  This is because we like to get most of the physical work done before the summer heat of the day sets in.

A high-banker is a portable sluicing device, like an aluminum trough with baffles (called riffles) along the bottom edge. Since gold is 5-to-6 times heavier than normal gravel and sand, it gets trapped in the riffles, while the lighter material is washed through by water. Because water is pumped to it, the recovery system of a high-banker can be set up close to the dig-site.  This eliminates the need to pack the pay-dirt closer to water.

After getting everything set up, my helpers and I left to go get set up for the evening meal.  There were a bunch of participants lagging behind out there still panning for gold.  Some of them probably stayed until dark!

Nearly everyone met up back at the Grange Hall that evening to participate in our Saturday evening pot-luck.  These pot-lucks are a tradition that dates all the way back to 1986 when we started The New 49’ers.  Mostly, they are just get-togethers.  Lots of members come.  We have a great meal, enjoy each other’s company, exchange helpful information and do a prize drawing.  Mostly we just have a good time.

Workers High-banker

Almost everyone was out on the bar ahead of me on Sunday morning.  The team leaders had everyone organized, and Rich Krimm informed me that two or three hundred buckets of pay-dirt had already been processed.  This was good!  Man, there was a lot of productive activity going on.  The enthusiasm was infectious. I’m not sure I have ever seen so many people having so much fun playing in the dirt! Here are some explanations of what was going on:

Since most of the work gets done before lunch on Sunday, we just encouraged the flow of material from off the top of that brown layer, into buckets, and through the high-bankers.  The harmonious sound of picks, shovels, rocks being tossed out of the way and material being poured into the high-bankers is like music to my ears.  There was a lot of laughing and joking going around.  Morale was high out there.  This always makes me feel good!

We don’t normally shut things down for lunch on Sunday.  People just take breaks when they are ready.  We usually only stop when the water pumps run out of fuel.  This also gives us an opportunity to clean-up one of the high-grade portions a one of the high-bankers.  A “high-grader” is a smaller portion of the high-banker that recovers perhaps about 50 percent of the gold.  Because it can be cleaned up fast, you can get a good idea how an area is producing when you run production samples.  A few hundred buckets is a pretty substantial sample! 

Nuggets Onlookers3

Rich made quick work of recovering the gold from one of the high-graders. Then he made sure to take it around and show everyone out there on the work site.  You would have thought we were at a sports event the way everyone was cheering.  The hard work was really paying off!  

We actually do this on every project so everyone can see how their physical energy is being converted into Mother Nature’s most-favored treasure – gold!  This always motivates at least another few hundred buckets once the pumps get fueled up.  But on this day, the group never stopped filling buckets even while we were preparing for a second run.  They only stopped digging when they saw that others were cheering over the gold! The following video sequence captured how jacked up this bunch was: 

So that we can be completely finished by dinnertime on Sunday, with everything put away and the gold split up, we like to end off on the dig by about noon.  This was a real struggle with this group, because they just wanted to keep digging.  I imagine some of them would still be out there digging if we didn’t shut the high-bankers down!

Le Trap Onlookers

After cleaning out the high-banker recovery systems, we ran the concentrated material over a special “Le-Trap” sluice that we use to reduce the amount of iron with no loss of gold.  It is always a treat to watch the gold accumulate in the riffles.  Some of the participants were wondering where the ice cold beer was!  But that would have to come later, since we were not yet finished with our day.  Here are two video sequences which captured a Le Trap demonstration, and also the fun we were having during clean-up:

After back-filling the holes we had dug out on the bar, we made plans to meet back up at the Grange Hall where we would finish the clean-up and split the gold.

Let me just say that this is real mining.  The participants get to assist in every step along the way.  In addition to being part of the process, the experience rubs off on all the participants, allowing everyone the knowledge to do it on their own.  I demonstrate the process exactly how I do it in my own mining programs.

Final gold Onlookers2

Once we got it all separated and cleaned up, our work from several hours of hard work that morning produced 290 grains of gold, which is 6/10ths of an ounce.  That’s around a thousand dollars, and it would have bought us plenty of beer.  And pizza, too!  There were also 21 nuggets, the largest being 6 grains.  We split it all up evenly between the 43 participants, and I’m not sure I have ever seen a happier bunch of people!

High-banking in California this Season

While Oregon is more user-friendly towards suction dredging; our best high-banking opportunities remain along our extensive properties on the Klamath River in northern California.  Therefore, Our Weekend Group Mining Projects will take place during 2012 near our headquarters in Happy Camp.  They are scheduled as follows: June 2 & 3; June 23 & 24; July 14 & 15; August 4 & 5; August 25 & 26. These events are free to all active Members, and everyone is invited to attend.  Please contact our office in advance to let us know you will be there: (530) 493-2012.

New Legal Fund Prize Drawing

Gold Eagle Coins

We will be giving away 15 prizes in our new legal-fund raiser:

Grand Prize: 1-ounce American Gold Eagle
Four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles

The drawing will take place at our weekly potluck in Happy Camp on Saturday, 7 July (2012).

The girls in our office automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution that we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc).  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Contributions can be called in to our office at (530) 493-2012, or they can be mailed to The New 49’ers, P.O. Box47, Happy Camp, CA 96039.  Or you can do it on our web site by going here:  Make a Donation

We greatly appreciate help from you in regenerating our legal fund!

2012 Group Insurance Policy

All Members are eligible to sign up for $10,000 of accidental medical Insurance which covers you while camping, prospecting for gold, and also during any activities which we sponsor. Dental accidents are included, along with $2,500 for accidental death or dismemberment.  The policy has a $100 deductable.  It is an annual policy which extends through January of 2013.  This insurance is available for $30 per year, per person. More information can be found here.

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter: We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better, because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.

 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012
www.goldgold.com

 
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“We have located some excellent suction dredging opportunities for our members in southern Oregon!”

 

 

 
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“We have discovered high-grade gold dredging opportunities on the Rogue River in southern Oregon!”

Rogue RiverOregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently completed an update of its own suction dredge regulations and is now issuing annual permits for $25 (same fee for non-residents). More information can be found here. Oregon State Lands is also issuing a free dredging permit (required). The revised regulations allow a statewide dredging permit for dredges with intake nozzles no larger than 4-inches. Five or six inch dredges can be necked down to a 4-inch ring at the nozzle. There is a special permit available for larger nozzle sizes. The season on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon begins on 15 June and ends on August 31. There is a very long stretch of the Rogue River crossing Oregon State Lands where members can dredge. We struck high-grade gold while dredging along the Rogue River during the last few seasons. We have a Map and an Access Guide for all members who wish to suction dredge along the Rogue River in southern Oregon. Members are invited to contact our office for more information.

Rogue River GoldThe main difference between the Rogue and Klamath Rivers is that the Rogue has mostly-shallow gravel deposits to the pay-dirt. We have yet to find a single place where gravel depth was more than three feet. The place where Craig Colt and Dave Mack dredged over a pound of gold only had one foot of material over the pay-dirt. Many other members have experienced the same thing. Shallow streambed material allows sampling and mining go faster.

The Rogue is a good dredging river, though we warn you that it is generally wide with faster-moving water.  In that light, if you are just getting started, the South Umpqua River might be better suited for you.


 
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“There is a lot of exposed bedrock showing on this river. Local miners have told us this is a sniping and underwater crevicing paradise!”

South Umpqua River BedrockWe are very excited to announce that we have identified more than ten miles, in 19 separate locations, along the South Umpqua River in the vicinity of Roseburg, southern Oregon. This is located about 1.5 hours north of where we have been dredging the past few seasons on the Rogue River.

The South Umpqua is a smaller, slower, warmer waterway than the Rogue! This will be a much easier place to work, especially for beginning-dredgers.

The DEQ and Oregon State Lands dredging permits also apply to the South Umpqua, with a 2-month season extending between 1 July and 31 August.

 

 


 
 


State Land area open to suction dredging under a General Authorization by Department of State Lands and a Water Quality Permit issued by the Department of Environmental Quality

SU-1 Snapshot


GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: To view the content from the location links below you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth

UPSTREAM: 43 12’51.72″N, 123 20’38.20″W
DOWNSTREAM: 43 12’58.04″N, 123 22’33.94″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-1-1  SU-1-2  SU-1-3  SU-1-4  SU-1-5  SU-1-6  SU-1-7

This public area is only the north-half of the river, from the north bank to the center of the river only. The location is in the City of Roseburg and takes in almost two miles of river front. The stretch of river encompasses the four city parks of Deer Creek Park, Gaddis Park, River Front Park & Stewart Park (see access points below).

There is plenty of parking at Stewart Park and Gaddis Park with an access path along the entire river front length.

Important note: The city noise ordinance must be followed; mufflers required and operating hours are 7am-to-7pm Mon-Sat, No dredging allowed on Sundays and Holidays. Cigarette smoking and the consumption of alcohol are not allowed in Roseburg city parks and violators will be cited. It is important that you remain within the confines of the public property, because it is surrounded by private property.

 Access Point SU-1-A

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES:  43 13’03.24″N, 123 22’29.38″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU1A-1  SU-1A-2

This access is a paved parking area in Stewart Park, on Stewart Park Dr., a little over 400ft away from the river.  All equipment and gear will have to be hand-packed across the park lawn to the river bank.  There is an unbelievable amount of exposed bedrock visible at this location.

Access Point SU-1-B

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES:  43 13’01.72”N, 123 22’18.91W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-1B-1  SU-1B-2  SU-1B-3  SU-1B-4

This access point is a gravel parking area in Stewart Park, on the north side of Stewart Park Dr., just under 300ft away from the river.  All equipment and gear will have to be hand-packed to the river bank.  There is also an unbelievable amount of bedrock visible at this location.

Access Point SU-1-C

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES:  43 13’01.65″N, 123 22’11.21″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-1C-1  SU-1C-2

This access point is in Stewart Park and is a gravel shoulder on the south side of Stewart Park Dr., less than 90ft from the river bank.  There are short paths leading right to the water.  There is room for about fifteen vehicles.  This is where the shallow bedrock at access points SU-1A & SU-1B begins.

Access Point SU-1-D

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES:  43 13’05.07″N, 123 21’59.76″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-1D-1

This access point is a gravel parking area in Stewart Park and is located at the SW corner of Stewart Park Dr. & Centennial Dr., about 100ft from the water.  The bank is steep.

Access Point SU-1-E

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES:  43 13’15.77″N, 123 21’17.02″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-1E-1

This access point is a paved parking lot located at the baseball field in Gaddis Park.  There is ample parking but it is 700-to-800ft to the water.  There are two paved paths leading from the parking lot, one in the SW corner and one at the SE corner.  There is an unbelievable amount of shallow bedrock just upstream from where the SE path meets the river.

Access Point SU-1-F

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES:  43 12’50.08″N, 123 20’36.45″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-1F-1

This access point is a very limited parking area for Deer Creek Park and is located at the end of Pine St.  The bank is almost 30feet straight down, making access here very challenging.  This is also the beginning of the riverside trail which leads all the way to Stewart Park.


Upper Klamath :: Upper-mid Klamath :: Mid Klamath :: Lower Klamath
Elk Creek :: Indian Creek :: Scott River :: Thompson Creek
Salmon River Main Stem :: Salmon River North Fork
Master List of Mining Properties

 

 


State Land area open to suction dredging under a General Authorization by Department of State Lands and a Water Quality Permit issued by the Department of Environmental Quality


GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: To view the content from the location links below you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth

UPSTREAM: 43 12’41.62″N, 123 21’00.33″W
DOWNSTREAM: 43 12’45.66″N, 123 20’51.64″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-2-1  SU-2-2  SU-2-3  SU-2-4

This public area is only the East ½ of the river, from the East bank to the center of the river only. This location is in the City of Roseburg and is approximately. 800ft of river. This location encompasses the Riverside Park in the City of Roseburg, including approximately 800feet of river. It is important that you remain within the confines of the public property, because it is surrounded by private property.

At this time, we have permission to dredge on the west side of the river at this location from the private property owners. Please treat this area with all due respect as this permission may be revoked at any time if anyone disrespects the property.

Important note: The city noise ordinance must be followed; mufflers are required and operating hours are 7am-to-7pm Mon-Sat, No dredging allowed on Sundays and Holidays. Cigarette smoking and the consumption of alcohol are not allowed in Roseburg city parks and violators will be cited.

 Access Point SU-2-A

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: 43 12’42.84″N, 123 20’48.50″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-2A

This access point is at the Roseburg visitor’s center on Spruce Street. Parking is limited, and you must pack equipment to the river.  There is a path along the entire river front, but access is steep and challenging.

 Access Point SU-2-B

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: 43 12’45.72”N, 123 21’04.84”W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-2A-1  SU-2A-2

This access point entry is located at the west-end, right between where the one-way bridges of Oak and Washington Avenues come together at Madrone Street. This access is private property that we have permission to use at this time. That permission may be revoked at any time if anyone mistreats this property. You can drive right to the water’s edge onto the gravel bar on the west side of the river. A 4×4 truck is recommended, because it is possible to get stuck in river rock. But people do drive 2-wheel-drive trucks to the waters edge and do not get stuck.

The island is private property as is the dry riverbed. Do not drive on the island at any time for any reason.


Upper Klamath :: Upper-mid Klamath :: Mid Klamath :: Lower Klamath
Elk Creek :: Indian Creek :: Scott River :: Thompson Creek
Salmon River Main Stem :: Salmon River North Fork
Master List of Mining Properties

 

 


State Land area open to suction dredging under a General Authorization by Department of State Lands and a Water Quality Permit issued by the Department of Environmental Quality

SU-3 Snapshot


GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: To view the content from the location links below you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth

UPSTREAM: 43 11’56.59″N, 123 21’18.54″W
DOWNSTREAM: 43 12’37.19″N, 123 21’12.86″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-3-1  SU-3-2  SU-3-3

This public area is only open on the east-half of the river, from the east bank to the center of the river. This location encompasses the two city parks of Micelli Park and Templin Beach Park in the city of Roseburg and takes in nearly a mile of riverfront.

Important note: The city noise ordinance must be followed; mufflers are required and operating hours are 7am-to-7pm Mon-Sat. No dredging allowed on Sundays and Holidays. Cigarette smoking and the consumption of alcohol are not allowed in Roseburg city parks and violators will be cited.

 Access Point SU-3-A

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: 43 12’26.01″N, 123 21’23.60″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-3A-1  SU-3A-2

This access point is the paved parking lot for Templin Beach Park, off Templin Avenue.  There is a paved boat ramp at this location.  This is a fee parking and launching area with plenty of parking and public restrooms.

 Access Point SU-3-B

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: 43 12’12.26″N, 123 21’19.16″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-3B-1  SU-3B-2

This access point is the paved parking lot for Micelli Park, at the end of Mecelli Street, located at the baseball fields.  You must pack all equipment to the river.


Upper Klamath :: Upper-mid Klamath :: Mid Klamath :: Lower Klamath
Elk Creek :: Indian Creek :: Scott River :: Thompson Creek
Salmon River Main Stem :: Salmon River North Fork
Master List of Mining Properties

 

 


State Land area open to suction dredging under a General Authorization by Department of State Lands and a Water Quality Permit issued by the Department of Environmental Quality

SU-4 Snapshot


GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: To view the content from the location links below you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth

UPSTREAM: 43 11’32.23″N, 123 21’27.12″W
DOWNSTREAM: 43 11’56.59″N, 123 21’18.54″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-4-1  SU-4-2  SU-4-3

This location is in Douglas County proper, just outside of Roseburg city limits and is just over a half mile in length.  The public area takes in from bank to bank, the entire width of the river.  The location encompasses a large portion of the Douglas County Fairgrounds.  There is ample parking, and a boat ramp at this location.  There is also an RV park at this location that is run by the Fairgrounds.  This is a day use area, and the gates do get locked.  Check with the fairgrounds office @ 541 957-7010 for the open hours because they are subject to change.  Here is their website.

This location shares a common downstream boundary with location SU-3 and a common upstream boundary with SU-5

 Access Point SU-4-A

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: 43 11’40.64″N, 123 21’18.87″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-4A-1  SU-4A-2

This access point is the paved boat ramp located on the Douglas County Fair Grounds.  There is plenty of parking, but it is a day use area and the gates do get locked.  There is lots of shallow and exposed bedrock in this area.


Upper Klamath :: Upper-mid Klamath :: Mid Klamath :: Lower Klamath
Elk Creek :: Indian Creek :: Scott River :: Thompson Creek
Salmon River Main Stem :: Salmon River North Fork
Master List of Mining Properties

 

 


State Land area open to suction dredging under a General Authorization by Department of State Lands and a Water Quality Permit issued by the Department of Environmental Quality

SU-5 Snapshot


GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: To view the content from the location links below you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth

UPSTREAM: 43 10’48.55″N, 123 22’19.76″W
DOWNSTREAM: 43 11’32.23″N, 123 21’27.12″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-5-1  SU-5-2  SU-5-3

This public area is open on the west-half of river only, from the west bank to the center of the river. The public area is just over a mile and a quarter in length. The location encompasses the south-end of the Douglas County Fairgrounds, but the majority of this area is south of the Fairgrounds. The location is within Douglas County proper, not within city limits. Equipment has to be packed to the river. There is lots of shallow and exposed bedrock at this area.

This location shares a common boundary with location SU-4.

 Access Point SU-5-A

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: 43 11’32.55″N, 123 21’35.71″W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-5A-1  SU-5A-2

This access point is beside the RV Park at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.  Equipment must be hand-carried to the water.  There is ample paved parking.

 Access Point SU-5-B

GOOGLE EARTH COORDINATES: 43 10’59.98”N, 123 22’24.74”W

Click on thumbnails to view images full size.
SU-5B-1  SU-5B-2

This access point is right on the I-5 interchange 121, along the east frontage road, just before the northbound onramp. There is paved roadside parking for about a dozen vehicles. All equipment must be hand-packed, and access is challenging.


Upper Klamath :: Upper-mid Klamath :: Mid Klamath :: Lower Klamath
Elk Creek :: Indian Creek :: Scott River :: Thompson Creek
Salmon River Main Stem :: Salmon River North Fork
Master List of Mining Properties