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View Full Version : Summer Prospecting Plans - What are Yours!

Steve Herschbach
04-03-2013, 06:53 AM
Well, as my article in the latest ICMJ Prospecting & Mining Journal relates my dredging plans are off for the summer. One door closes, others open, and I am hot the path of some excellent metal detecting opportunities in Alaska this summer. I am going to have three main targets. First, sniping bedrock with a detector which is going to get gold no matter what, but the average size will be very small. That will basically to make sure the bills get paid. Then I will put in significant amounts of time hunting tailing piles. This is not Ganes Creek or Moore Creek type stuff, which is exceptional in nature, but run of the mill tailings. That means lots of hours, very low odds of hitting gold on any given day. But the hope is a larger nugget will make the time pay off. Then finally something I have never done in Alaska - hunting virgin ground in hopes of finding a patch of gold. Extreme long odds stuff with low probability of a find, which is why I have not done it in Alaska before. I literally did not have the time! Despite the low odds however it is the type of hunting where results could be newsworthy if a find is made.

The bedrock detecting will be with high frequency VLFs like the Fisher Gold Bug 2 and White's GMT. I will be doing lots of "scrape and detect" and hitting every tiny bit if gold is more important than depth when doing that. The tailing pile detecting will be with either the Fisher F75 SE or Gold Bug Pro which are good at sorting out ferrous from non-ferrous. Tailings are full of junk. I detect about 12 hours a day so these models have ended up being what I prefer hunting tailings simply due to their light weight. Many other units would do as well but add another pound on my arm, and that is a critical factor for me, having experienced arm strain in the past. If the VLFs prove an area of tailings relatively free of trash, I will switch to my Minelab GPX 5000. The blue-sky prospecting in deep ground will be with the GPX 5000 almost exclusively.

Going to be my first real go at it in Alaska for an entire summer with a detector. I will be staying very mobile and may end up all over the state by the end of summer, or parked in one spot if I am doing well. That is one very nice thing about detecting - I can stay very light and very flexible. The entire time, I will be scouting for dredging possibilities for 2014 and beyond.

I am looking forward to the summer and wish everyone success in their own summer plans! Be a nice way to wrap up the forums. What are your plans for the summer?

04-03-2013, 11:03 AM
Steve ,

I am seriously interested where you will begin to prospect for new ground, given you have access to the whole state and years of listening and knowing a lot of the history and geology of Alaska ... Could you list what target areas you plan to prospect ... Looking at the mapper a few nights ago, I was overwhelmed with the amount of great possibilities there are with fly in access ... A man could spend a lifetime prospecting all the possibilities ...

Steve Herschbach
04-03-2013, 11:11 AM
I am starting in Fortymile, will probably hit Iditarod District and Nome areas. Brooks Range is on list but will probably run out of time for that but it is in the mix just in case.

04-03-2013, 11:25 AM
Steve ,

Can you post the article you have written for those of who have don't have subscriptions to the journal ???

Steve Herschbach
04-03-2013, 12:26 PM
That would be a violation of copyright law. it is not mine to post - it was purchased from me.


Long story short - I lost the claim.

04-03-2013, 08:32 PM
Just read the article. Makes me want to cry!
I commend you for writing such an article in hopes that it will help others in the future.
Such a shame. These days I have to use both hands to count the number of friends here in the Fortymile
alone that have lost federal claims to simple mistakes.

04-04-2013, 09:58 AM
My summer plan is to sit back on the river bank and watch Brian bust his butt while I enjoy several cold beverages recuperating from this spring dredging season! After about 15 minutes of that I guess I will don the drysuit and get back to napping on the bottom of the river until the dredge runs low on fuel.

Steve Herschbach
04-04-2013, 10:51 AM
Hi Dick,

Always good to fess up to being human now and then, and if just one person decides to look into whatever they have going on and a claim gets saved as a result that would be icing on the cake. Other than having a serious case of curiosity about how it would have all worked out my partners and I are well on the way to making lemonade out of lemons. Job one is to round up some more state mining claims. I've had enough of federal ground for the moment.

04-04-2013, 10:59 AM
When one door "Closes" , always another "Opens" .... Isn't this a wonderful life we get to live .... If it weren't Challenging how Boring would it really be ....

I love the lemonade we make !!!!!

04-05-2013, 07:51 AM
This summer, I will be doing follow-up on many of the geophysical targets that were identified in the 2011 survey of the Ophir-Iditadod mining district. These hits are just like the hits you get with a metal detector - just on a larger scale.

- Geowizard

04-05-2013, 08:37 AM
I have 5 target locations identified. Three are placer, one lode and one as yet anomalous target identified by DGGS during a survey for radioactive minerals. All of them are in the Chugach Range and only one has a trail close to it.

One placer is a gravel terrace deposit. One placer is in glacial outwash, but has been identified as having potential by DGGS and the third was a failed gold rush site. The failed site has had several local folks attempt to make money on it over the years, but they used off-the-shelf equipment which is pretty poor for recovery of the gold hereabouts.

The lode is more of an area type survey effort in the general vicinity of a couple of worked out pocket mines and several hard-rock prospects. I just have to check the tailings piles and gain the experience. Sort of a bucket list deal.

The anomoly is just a short ways out of my way and little is known other than it has some potential identified by DGGS for a gold lode deposit. Again, the gold hereabouts is that flattened fly-poop size stuff and it may be that is what there is and little of it.

But I'm retired now and the time has come to enjoy what I like most. In this case, it means my only limitations are based upon how much I can carry on my back. So far looks like 3-4 days worth of consumables unless I ferry more in. I am considering an assortment of homemade high-calorie cookies as my main food source to save weight. Over half the sites are above treeline, so ready to eat might be a good choice.

04-07-2013, 04:06 AM
The wife and I will be working at the goldfeverprospecting camp on the South Fork of the Fortymile River, and dredging in my spare time. Leaving early May to help set up camp.