New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD  QUARTER, AUGUST 2012                                VOLUME 26, NUMBER  8

Dave

By Dave McCracken

 

I recently teamed up with Discovery Network and four other specialists to participate in an adventure-packed expedition to locate the famous Golconda diamond mines of India. Lost for maybe 250 years, the world’s most famous diamonds originated from these very same mines, including the Hope Diamond.

India Diamond Crew Dave Mack

The (very) challenging project forced our team to overcome a myriad of obstacles, including extreme weather, treacherous locations on land and in water, venomous snakes, crocodiles and language barriers, all within a culture that is rife with superstition and an unshakeable belief that anyone who attempts to find the lost mines would be cursed.

Pro-Mack Diamond Dredge

We constructed and shipped a very special suction dredge to India from Happy Camp, California to support this project.  While you will have to watch the show to see how it all plays out, I believe you will be pleased with the expanded exposure to suction dredging as a means to uncover fortune and economic opportunities.

The full reality show was originally scheduled to begin on 24 August. But Animal Planet decided to push the show back to early 2013. Here is their press release which introduces the show and the cast members. Fellow cast member, Steve Newbery, has posted summaries for each of the initial five episodes right here.

I personally believe a big part of moving the legal and political realities more in our favor is to increase awareness broadly about what we do. Surveys show that most people like the idea of being able to go out and discover fun and fortune. The Discovery specials on suction dredging in Alaska are also helping a lot with this.

It is with this in mind that I have devoted a big portion of this last year pulling my very best prospecting stories together in a new adventure book titled, “Extreme Prospector.”  This is now available on Amazon as an ebook for half price at $9.95.  Conventional printed books will be available in November.

Extreme Prospector Book Cover

2012 Annual Dues Billed This Month

We bill $50 for annual dues to all Full Members in August. This is because most of the costs, especially property taxes, associated with maintaining our extensive mining properties come due before September.  The Bureau of Land Management just substantially increased annual filing fees to hold mining properties. So we thank you for your support on this!

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

 

New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD  QUARTER, JULY 2012                                VOLUME 26, NUMBER 7

Dave

By Dave McCracken

We did the drawing for our most recent legal fundraiser on 7 July at our weekly potluck in Happy Camp. Thank you very much to everyone who participated! Congratulations to the following winners:

One-ounce American Gold Eagle:  Tom Stull.
Quarter-ounce American Gold Eagles: Dave Siegrist; James Rocha; Jerry Keith & Uwe Mueller.
Tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles: Vern Breitenstein; Mike Regan; Gilbert J Reynolds; Donald W Flickinger; Gary Thurston; Jim Yerby; Tom Stull; Joe Martin; Wesley Wright & Randol Thrasher.

Giving Away Dave Mack’s Gold Nuggets!

Dave's Gold Nuggets

We do not have much time remaining to raise money to support a Petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a recent Ninth Circuit Decision that is making it more difficult for small-scale miners to prospect on the public lands across America, including a big portion of our new properties along the South Umpqua River in southern Oregon.

Therefore, I am allowing three ounces of my personal gold nuggets to be used as prizes in this new fund-raiser!

New Fund-raiser, 25 prizes in all:

Grand Prize: 1-Ounce of Dave’s Gold Nuggets
Four ¼-Ounce Bags of Dave’s Gold Nuggets
Twenty 1-Pennyweight Bags of Dave’s Gold Nuggets

The drawing will take place at our offices in Happy Camp on Friday afternoon, 9 November 2012 (you need not be present to win). But please do not wait to send in your contributions; because we must file the Petition in about 30 days!

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49′ers, P.O. Box47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online by clicking 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

 
Map Thumbnail

“Here is a special Google Earth Access Guide that displays State Land and New 49’er exclusive mining properties, along with all the corresponding access points, which  are available to our members along the South Umpqua River drainage in Southern Oregon.”

 

 

 

New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND  QUARTER, JUNE 2012                                VOLUME 26, NUMBER 6

Many of you will recall that we have been engaged in litigation with anti-mining activists who have been attacking us through the Karuk Tribe of California since 2003.  It all started with their lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), challenging that District Rangers do not have the authority to allow small-scale mining activities under a Notice of Intent (NOI) when the Ranger concludes that the mining activity is not likely to create a significant surface disturbance.

USFS regulations do not require a prospector to provide an NOI to the local District Ranger unless the prospector believes his activity might cause a significant disturbance.  Once the Ranger receives an NOI, if he believes there is likely to be a significant disturbance, he has 14 days to inform the prospector that a formal Operating Plan is required.  In that event, the regulations provide authority for the Ranger to stop the mining activity until the Operating Plan is approved.  Depending upon the circumstances, it can take a long time to gain approval of an Operating Plan.

USFS regulations do not provide the Ranger authority to require a prospector to file an NOI.  Therefore, NOI’s are mainly a voluntary formality which prospectors normally do to cooperate and coordinate with USFS.  Under existing regulations, the Ranger’s only authority is generated by his “Decision” that a mining or prospecting activity is likely to cause significant surface disturbance.  In 27 years on the Klamath National Forest, this has never happened with our program.

Believing that it was a bad idea to allow USFS and anti-mining activists to fight between themselves over the rights of small-scale miners, we intervened in the litigation from the beginning.  We defeated the Karuks in Circuit Court, and then we defeated them again in the first round of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, the Karuks succeeded in having the full Ninth Circuit overturn our win. Here is the full Decision. Here is also a short summary from our attorneys about the Decision.

This new development affects all USFS lands in America!

From my own perspective, since it is only required that an NOI be filed if the prospector believes there may be a significant impact, and the Ranger has no authority to require an NOI, this Decision has pretty much eliminated NOI’s from the ongoing relationships between prospectors and the USFS.  Said another way, based upon the existing USFS regulations, it looks to me like prospectors can proceed with our mining programs as before; and just like before, the Ranger only has the authority to step in and require an Operating Plan if and when he decides there is likely to be a significant impact.

The word “decide” has important legal implications as a result of this Ninth Circuit decision. Case in point:  Since the Ninth Circuit has determined that a District Ranger does not have the authority to make a “Decision” concerning the lack of a significant disturbance without first consulting with multiple other agencies, it also places doubt on the Ranger’s authority to “Decide” that a significant disturbance may occur (triggering the requirement of a formal Operating Plan) without also doing consultation with other agencies.

We have been in communication with the Mineral Officers within the several USFS Districts where we have mining property. They are still waiting for direction from USFS in Washington DC.  So it is still too early to know how this new development will affect our program, if at all.  In our case, in 27 seasons along the Klamath River, there has never been a Ranger that has required us to file a formal Operating Plan.  We have filed annual NOI’s as a volunteer, cooperative formality.  My guess is that we will probably have to stop doing that.

As a precautionary measure, I strongly suggest anyone planning to attend our scheduled weekend group mining events to register in advance with our office: 530 493-2012.

Now we must raise funds to appeal this terrible Decision to the Supreme Court!  It does not appear that USFS will file a Petition.  However, my guess is that they will submit supportive briefs if we file the appeal.  We have also been encouraged by two substantial conservative legal foundations that mostly take up property rights cases, suggesting they will also file supporting documents.

Since The New 49’ers is the only private organization defending the rights of small-scale miners in this particular litigation, besides USFS, I believe we are the only ones with standing to file the Petition with the Supreme Court. Going to the Supreme Court is not going to be cheap. Therefore, I am encouraging everyone to please support our ongoing legal-fund raiser. The drawing will take place at our weekly potluck in Happy Camp on Saturday, 7 July (2012). So there is very little time remaining before we will be giving away 15 American Gold Eagles:

Gold eagles

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

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

Participation in this drawing so far has been so poor that we have not even raised enough money to cover the value of the gold.  This is not good. So I am hoping a bunch of you guys will jump in and give us a hand during the next several weeks.  Thank you for anything you can do! 

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

 

New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND  QUARTER, MAY 2012                                VOLUME 26, NUMBER 5

  Happy smiles Running high-banker

Successful gold mining on any scale must be accomplished in two separate steps.  The first is prospecting. We also call this sampling.”  We sample to try and find a high-grade deposit.  The idea is to not invest very much of your time into any given location until you find something that is going to pay off.  Once we find a good location through sampling, we switch gears into what we like to call “production.”  During the production phase, we try and process as much of the high-grade material as possible given our rather limited resources.

Nearly the entire focus of our Weekend Group Projects is on these two phases.  And it was no different on this particular project.  After reviewing the theory Saturday morning using a backboard demonstration, all 48 of us met after lunch out at our famous K-15A property, otherwise known as the “Mega-hole.”  While the theory is important, nothing can compare to actually doing it out along the river with experienced prospectors.

Once out on the river, the first thing we always do is provide a substantial demonstration on how to take a proper sample.  Sampling is not just about shoveling some streambed material in your pan.  You have to focus on gathering up targeted material.  Since we know that the gold on K-15A is concentrated directly on top of a special brown layer which is about a foot deep in the streambed, the best sample will be from filling our gold pan with that particular material.  We do this by first shoveling aside the material which is on top.  Once we get down to the target area, we carefully gather up the material which is in the contact zone between the two different layers.

Then we pan that material very carefully.  We need to be careful, because the sample is so small.  We cannot afford to lose a single speck of gold if we want to have an accurate look at how much gold is in the contact zone.  Sometimes a sample pan will just turn up a few specks.  Seeing those specks might prompt you to take a few more samples.  Then one of those additional samples might show a better result.  The better result might prompt you to process 25 or 50 buckets of the target material through your high-banker to see how good the area really is.  This is how high-grade deposits are found.

 Sample result Showing gold

After providing this group with a sampling and panning demonstration, we passed the pan around to show how much gold we recovered.  It was better than an average result.  Doing this provides newcomers a baseline in two important ways:

1)      They can compare how much gold they get in their own pan samples to what they saw me recover.  Then they have an idea if they are getting an acceptable result.

2)      They will be able to compare how much gold we get in our single sample pans to the amount of gold we recover when processing the same material in volume on the following day.  Tying the sample result to the production result gives a prospector judgment in what he or she is looking for during prospecting.

After seeing my result, this enthusiastic group spread out across the bar and started doing their own pan samples. Thankfully, I had eight experienced members helping me with this particular project.  While half of them were helping beginners with their panning techniques, the others set up our high-bankers for the following day. A “high-banker” is a gold recovery system which can be set up some distance from the waterway, which will process much more volume than a gold pan. This means pay-dirt does not have to be carried very far, or can actually be shoveled directly into the high-banker.

About half of the participants in this project were beginners.  So my helpers and I stayed out on the bar on Saturday afternoon until everyone out there was panning correctly.  Since many were recovering their first gold, which was theirs to keep, there were still plenty of people going hard at it when we departed.

Saturday night potluck at the Grange Hall in Happy Camp lured in most of the participants, along with plenty of other members who either live in the area or were doing their own mining programs.  There was more food to go around than we needed, and morale was very high – which always makes me happy.  We had a short meeting and ended with a prize drawing.  These weekly potlucks have been a New 49’er tradition during our busy months all the way back to our first season in 1986.

We were shifting over into a production mode on Sunday. So my helpers put their “Team Leader” hats on and split the whole bunch of people down into smaller, more efficient groups.  We started early, about 7 o’clock, so we could get most of the hard work done before the worst heat of the day was upon us.

 Connie People digging

All of the gold we recover on Sunday goes into a common bucket.  Everybody who helps will get an equal share at the end of the day.  The production focus on Sunday switches to volume of the target material.  We want to fill buckets with as much pay-dirt as we can, and process it through the high-bankers.  Having said this, there are three important points that we stress:

1)      Processing volume is most-effectively accomplished by reaching way out and dragging a bunch of material into the hole.  We call this a “top cut.”  Once in the hole, it is easy to remove oversized rocks from the loose material and shovel the remainder into buckets. Then we do the same thing again with a “mid cut.” The wider you are making the top cut, the easier it is to take apart the puzzle of rocks that are wedged together.  This method is much faster than just working one rock loose at a time, a practice we refer to as “nitpicking.” Here are some demonstrations from me of how to use a hand-pick to get optimum results:

 

 Richard, 2 buckets Three guys

2)      It is important to not fill the buckets with low-grade material.  By this, I mean loose sand or gravel on the surface seldom have enough gold to justify being processed through a high-banker.  But because beginners want to feel productive, sometimes we really have to impress upon them to stop filling buckets with non-producing material.  Since we will be feeding the high-bankers at full capacity, every bucket of worthless material will subtract from a bucket of pay-dirt.  This will directly affect how much gold we will recover at the end of the day.  The same principle applies to the material which is below the contact zone.  The amount of gold we will recover is directly related to how much of the target material that we process. Here is Ray Derrick’s explanation of the way we like to do it:

Feeding high-banker

3)      To get the most out of a high-banker recovery system, you must supply it with a steady feed.  Dumping a whole bucket in there at once will overwhelm the system, and some of your gold will wash right out into the tailings.  You can tell where maximum capacity is by watching to make sure the riffles do not get overwhelmed and pack up. Here follows Richard Krimm’s explanation of the proper way to feed a recovery system:

We normally do not break for lunch on Sunday.  It is understood that everyone will take breaks whenever they need them.  Otherwise, we just try to keep the high-bankers running.  When they run out of fuel, it gives us an opportunity to clean out a front portion of the recovery system from one of the high-bankers.  We work this down in a pan and show the gold around to all the participants.  This goes a long way to convince everyone that their effort is adding up to something good.  It also always motivates another 150 or 200 buckets of pay-dirt after we refuel.  The following video segment captured the mid-day look at how we were doing:

Pan of goldIt starts getting pretty hot out on the bar by about noon.  So that’s normally about the time we are shutting things down and going into our final clean-up stages.  By clean-up,” I mean removing the gold and other heavy concentrated material, mostly iron, from the recovery system, and going through a step-by-step process to reduce it all the way down to just the gold.  We begin this process out on the bar; but the final part, and the gold split is completed in Happy Camp.

The main purpose of these Weekend Projects is to expose our members to all of the essential parts of a successful small-scale gold mining program.  It begins with sampling. Then it switches to production. And then we go through the final clean-up, separation, weighing and gold split.  All participants are invited to participate in every step.

In all, we recovered 285.5 grains of beautiful gold. That’s about 6/10ths of an ounce, or about $1000 at today’s gold value.  Not too bad for less than four hours of production work.  There were also 23 natural gold nuggets.  There were a lot of smiling faces as we split the gold evenly amongst the participants.

Final gold

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

On behalf of The New 49’ers and some individual members, our attorney filed a legal challenge to California’s new dredge regulations last month in concert with a “takings” claim against the State of California. If we cannot overcome the incredibly-restrictive regulations, then we will force the State to buy all of the mining properties which have been rendered valueless. Defending the rights of small-scale miners, this now places us in three separate litigations, in three separate jurisdictions. Since costs are mounting, we greatly appreciate your participation in our legal fund drawings!! 

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

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

 

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.