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View Full Version : Which Side of the Mountain?

09-19-2012, 06:30 AM
From your on personal experiences, regardless as to how you prospect, which side of the mountain (any state, any mountain) have you located the most gold on? This could be on a mountain or at the base of the mountain. Do NOT include washes, streams, or rivers below the mountain.

I'm only looking for information from your on personal experiences.

When I mentioned above "the most gold", lets say 1/2 lb. or better.

You can only use 1 direction so think carefully before you make a decision.

Answer by just saying N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, or NW.

Would like to see at least 100 answers to this question.



Edit: I changed the direction headings from the original post. srry.

09-19-2012, 02:23 PM
Wow! I would have thought at least 50 responses by now. If any state produces a lot of gold Alaska has to be it right?

How bout forget the 1/2 lb..How bout 1/4 lb. or better?

Any takers? lol!


09-19-2012, 04:38 PM
most of us work the rivers, not the side of a mountain

09-19-2012, 05:27 PM
Hiya Bob,

I left those out because no one really knows where that gold came from. It could have came from some mountain 100 miles up stream. But one thing about searching for gold on a mountain, if you do find gold, you know where it came from.

Not everyone here can afford high tech imaging of a mountain or a range of mountains.

So I think this question could direct some people in the right direction to search for a claim.

But if no one wants to answer the question, it really doesn't matter.

Just thought it would be fun to compare.


09-19-2012, 10:42 PM
The Au on the Mtn. can come from the same source as that of the stream, old stream channels deposited before the uplift of the Mtn. Are you asking about hardrock?

09-20-2012, 04:05 AM

The question applies to any type of prospecting you can do while on a mountain. From the base of the mountain all the way up to the peak. So yes, hardrock included. But don't forget this could include metal detecting also. If you found a pod for instance, you could easily find 1/4 lb. of gold or more.


09-20-2012, 06:42 AM
What about a vein that comes down one side of a mountain and crosses the creek and goes up the other side?

What do you consider a mountain to be? Often times gold occurs in surrounding hills. Are hills included?

BTW, what's the point of the question?

- Geowizard

09-20-2012, 08:52 AM

My original post is pretty straight forward.

So not sure why you're asking so many questions.

The point is...well I guess you won't know what the point is since no ones answering the original question.

Good day!


Steve Herschbach
09-20-2012, 09:26 AM
Hi Dreamer,

I am guessing you think it matters but there is nothing to be learned by such a poll. It is like asking what brand of pants you were wearing when you find gold. Geo is actually just saying what a lot of knowledgeable prospectors probably think when they read the question. What is the point, and why take time to answer a question that when the answers are compiled would mean nothing? If I tell you I found gold on the south side of a mountain it means absolutely nothing regarding whatever mountain you might be looking at.

Which is why your question gets no response but questions. Most of us are scratching our heads.

09-20-2012, 09:52 AM
Hello Steve,

I've been reading too much I guess...lol! But I get this strong impression that most mountain gold is located between NE to SW or the southern flank of any given mountain. That was my reason for asking the question. I just wanted to see if the members compass readings confirmed my beliefs.

Just curious I suppose.


09-20-2012, 10:47 AM
I'm not sure which direction it was,... but I was wearing Carhartts! LOL

Steve Herschbach
09-20-2012, 12:10 PM
But I get this strong impression that most mountain gold is located between NE to SW or the southern flank of any given mountain.

Absolutely not. Mineralization does not take note of compass directions. Plus the wording "mountain gold" means nothing. I assume you are talking about hardrock/lode deposits?

For placers, there is such a thing as the orientation towards the sun influencing which bank is frozen and which is not, causing erosion in the direction of the unfrozen bank. This causes many streams in Alaska to erode towards the southern bank over time, leaving bench deposits on the northern side of the creek. The hardness of the underlying bedrock can override this but it is true of many interior Alaska stream, Moore Creek being a good example.

09-20-2012, 03:12 PM
Gold is where you find it, doesn't matter which side of the mountain you look.

09-22-2012, 12:36 AM
Would it be correct to say in some "known fault areas" such as California ; the gold bearing host formation could trend in let's say a North-South direction paralleling the general direction of the known major fault in the vicinity ???

09-22-2012, 06:43 AM
Question; When did the fault take place? Before or after a deposit was created by another structural event? The point is that a fault that happens pre mineralization, may have no mineralization and another fault in the same area may be mineralized because it occurred post mineralization and mineralized solutions entered the fault zone. It's more about timing and "when".

Look at California; The San andreas fault runs 810 miles north to south. Part of it is mineralized and part of it isn't.

There are other faults:

Calaveras Fault
Central Valley (California)
Elsinore Fault Zone
Garlock Fault
Hayward Fault Zone
Imperial Fault
Laguna Salada Fault
North Anatolian Fault
San Jacinto Fault

What are their directions? What difference does it make? It makes a difference in some localities, if you ask a local geologist. He may assert that mineralization (locally) occurs on NE - SW fault trends. That is based on the facts surrounding the evolution of the mineralization locally with reference to certain fault zones having certain age.

Copperstone is a good example. Read about the significance of faulting and evolution of mineralization over geologic time:


The web is loaded with information on economic geology and the association of gold in different regions.


If you have a certain mining district in mind, do some research online. Find reports on the local geology including fault trends and mineralization related to those fault zones.

- Geowizard

Steve Herschbach
09-22-2012, 08:15 AM
Now you are talking. Gold may certainly be found in reference to a certain geological structure. Like on fault ABC all gold is found on the north side of that fault. But unfortunately once again that does not mean gold is found on the north side of all faults. It just means that in that one case that is true.

The closest you are going to get is stuff like "in Alaska gold is often associated with monzonite intrusives". True. But not all monzonite intrusives are associated with gold, and not all gold is found associated with monzonite intrusives.

Gold actually deposits under such a vast range of situations that "gold is where you find it" is a pretty fair statement. One very large generality I will toss out is that gold is almost never found in sedimentary basins that host oil deposits. The North Slope is about the last place in Alaska I would look for gold. But even then there is always a tiny chance not so much of primary gold deposits but perhaps ancient reworked placer deposits. The world is an old place and petrified seashells are found on mountain tops. In the end until you sample you never know.

09-22-2012, 03:09 PM
It would be nice if someone could pull up a few mountains and find every mine on it and get the total yields coming out of each mine. With compass locations to see if there is anything to my thoughts. I understand there is book stuff but i'm looking for real data. And I really don't mean to make anyone mad. Just check it out if you have the resources (access)(time).



09-22-2012, 04:16 PM
How much yah paying per hour? There ain't no such thing as a free lunch TANSTAAFL.

There is already a bunch of data out there: mining claim info, geologic data and a fair amount of historical mining data.

Many of us already immerse ourselves in it during the off-season.

Then there is the matter of what data has been divulged. Corporations make abundant data available due to shareholder and regulatory demands. The small operators might want to keep their data confidential for a myriad of sound reasons.

Would you be willing to fully divulge your success?

Not mad at all. Madness is divulging individual success to potential ner-do-wells. They can read just as well as you and I can.

09-22-2012, 04:27 PM

Mountains are common. Gold is not common. Most of the gold in Alaska is mined from placer deposits. That was pointed out by Marshall. Now, you are asking if someone could check it out for you. Most mountains that are mineralized have mines all the way around them. The mines were operated over the past 100 years. The miners are gone. There was no data. The miners kept the production data in their head. They weren't writers. Many miners were illiterate. They didn't make a point of documenting their production. So, today, we have mountains with holes where miners used to work. There's no practical way to find data on old diggings that were never documented. Mining states like Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Alaska, Idaho, and others have State offices that store data on many of the mines in that state. But, as usual, they don't have data on every mine. The data doesn't exist.

- Geowizard

Steve Herschbach
09-22-2012, 05:45 PM
Conversely, a huge amount of data does exist. If there were some simple thing like "most of the gold comes from the north sides of mountains" it would have been noted over the last couple thousand years and would be common knowledge.

And that is all the time I have for this subject!

Bill Bohan
09-27-2012, 07:44 AM
If the mountain is made of the correct type of rock.....
Go to the gossan side of the mountain and break trail bush down to the juniper vegetated humps . These humps have low resolution and are between topographic contours. It will look like a dis- repaired sore or scab on the side of the mountain.
Here you will find a burn bed of blacken rock.....which is manganese oxide /and or graphite.
Dig here.

Reno Chris
09-27-2012, 09:24 AM
Go to the gossan side of the mountain
Right, but what that means is that the mineralized side of the mountain is the one you want to look for, and that's not something that is always on the south or east or any other specific direction.

Dreamer - lot of new guys want some simple formula for finding gold. Like find this type of rock and there will be gold with it or go to the (whatever) side of the mountain and the gold will be best there. Unfortunately, its just not that simple. As Bill said, the mineralized side of the mountain is the best one for hard rock mineralization - but that might be any part of it. Geology does not favor any one side of a mountain. In Australia where I was prospecting a year ago, the mineralized areas were flat as a pancake, and a questions of which side of the mountain wouldn't even make sense.

The San andreas fault runs 810 miles north to south. Part of it is mineralized and part of it isn't.
Geowizard - I was just thinking that I cannot think of any part of the San Andreas that is mineralized - is there some part I had forgotten? The San Andreas moves so much that it just does not have the geologic time for normal mineralization processes. Plus the nature of a plate junction (which is what the San Andreas is) is not a very favorable mineralization environment. Smaller faults, along which igneous rocks of various types might be emplaced are much more favorable.

09-27-2012, 10:49 AM

"Mineralization" in all of it's forms has too high of probability of existing over an 800 mile fault zone. Would it be a reasonable statement to say NO mineralization exists over the 800 mile length?

It would be absurd. :)

Here's a reference to precious metals that I found in a quick search: http://econgeol.geoscienceworld.org/content/80/2/344.abstract

There are numerous other lateral faults that opened up Silver and other forms of precious metals deposits that are searchable.

As Steve pointed out a long time ago, with the searchability of the internet it's possible to find an arguement about anything anyone says. I'm not here to argue - only to discuss the topic. So, there is evidence supporting my statement. Why argue the separate issue of whether there is "mineralization along (or on) the San Andreas Fault" when it isn't the issue? The issue is the question of Mineralization on mountains and the compass direction of the mineralization. My point is directed at the relationship of mineralization with structural deformation in the form of fault zones and intrusives. My point is valid regardless of whether mineralization occurs on the san Andreas Fault - or not. The fact remains that both cases are true. My objection is my statement being cross- examined on a point that really isn't the issue which would attempt to correct an error on my part that isn't in error.

I try to be objective when I reply on certain topics. This topic has already been over treated. I think Bill's reply was intended for the topic related to Gossans and not this topic.

- Geowizard

Reno Chris
09-27-2012, 07:51 PM
Relax, its not a personal challenge, and no insult was intended. I was merely saying that I didn't know of any mineralized parts of the San Andreas. That does not prove that none exist, nor was it a statement to that effect.

Lets start a discussion of faults that are favorable to mineralization. I'll do it in another thread.