OLD HAND'S HINTS ON LOAMING for Gold in Australia!

by Lost Adams
(Washington, USA)

Below is an article I ran across on the net I thought some of you may be interested in. I had to reformat it so ENJOY.
The Daily News
Saturday July 14, 1934

Every Prospector Should Sturdy the Art

These hints on the art of loaming, written specially for 'The Daily News,' are the fruits of many years' experience by a prospector who is himself a living example of the optimism, patience and thoroughness which he recommends to others. He desires to remain anonymous. Everybody mining talks about loaming, but very few know much about it. A knowledge of this means of locating gold is of the utmost importance to the prospector, especially now that all the more obvious outcrops have probably been tested. The ground to be prospected may be covered with 'floaters' (small particles of the country rocks lying beneath the soft loam or outcropping -further up the slope) and it is usual first to test these by dollying. The gold, however, may not be in these. It may be in a soft lode material, which has frittered away, leaving no outcrop showing, and a few loams will tell if there is any gold with in reach. Even the hardest rock will shed a. few colors of gold, which will show in the dish.

For loaming it is no good using the small dish usually used for panning-off samples. A large 12in. or 15in, dish and a cyanide drum and small tank of water are necessary. Plenty of clean water must be to hand.

Loams constitute the first inch or two of the surface soil- It requires a fair amount of force to wash gold down by water. It is first freed by decomposition from the ore carrying it. Then the action of wind and water carries downhill the earth upon which the gold rests, and the gold also falls towards the lower level. The heaviest particles, once in motion, roll farthest, hence the coarsest gold is found at the bottom of the slope.

To start work, take a slope of ground and near the bottom, carefully scrape up about a foot square and about an inch or so deep of the surface, first care fully removing the largest pieces of stone. As the metal will lodge on the topside of these, knock them together over the pan. Now wash your loam off. carefully panning-off down to as fine as yon can get it. Don't worry, the gold will not wash out of the dish if you are not too rough.

Remember, it is not a sample of ore you are trying. There will possibly be only a color or two. If you get seven or eight you are near something worth testing. A good trace generally means a good thing, though hard ore will not release much gold, while soft stuff washing away in slides will release all it carries. If you get gold (or even it' you don't), try loams right and left about 10 feet apart across the slope or round the hill.

Mark the result of each one by putting white pebbles for gold and- black ones for blanks. You may now have a line showing white pebbles. Try another line 10 feet or less up the slope. Keep your loams going until you get only blanks. You, may find you have an area of white pebbles forming a definite shape, a track or a V with the point uphill. Go to the last top loam where you got gold. Now take loams at intervals of two feet each side and uphill until once more you get only blanks.. If there is no permanent country showing take deep loams. This is to find where the gold is rising from underneath.

To do this, clear away the top soil carefully down to a depth of six inches or more, making potholes of the loam patches. Take a dish of soil from the bottom of each hole. If you show any colors, deepen the hole and try again until you get to the spot from which the gold is shed. '

All this will take days, and the job must not be slummed(sic When you're slightly tipsy/buzzed, and you simply refuse to do anything involving physical movement because you just can't be bothered.). Loaming is a slow, tedious, but sure business.

Take a dish of loam carrying colors and gold and ask any loamer "Where did that gold come from?" Not many can answer. There a re several forms of the metal. If it is bright, yellow and runs heavily, but with a rolling, 'tinkley' motion it comes from quartz. If it is scraggy, honey-combed and red, it is shed from ironstone or ironstone and quartz. Flat, dragging colors come from schist, and very fine, mustard' gold from a mineralized vein. Gold from hematite of iron will hardly move and is very fine. If it seems to have little weight and moves easily, it probably comes from mineralized soft country. In this case there will most likely be one of the other types with it from some vein in the lode.

A magnifying glass will show these characteristics. The surface may be covered with stones which are floaters of the hard country rock, generally greenstone, diorite or ironstone. When the loam is washed out of the dish and the residue inspected with a glass you will generally find that there are other materials present, and these may indicate that the lode matter has been covered by this detritus. In that case a costeen at the head of your loams might open up a good find.

Don't be too anxious with the pick and shovel at first. Give the dish a chance. There are plenty of places were gold can be found without digging useless holes in barren country.
Remember the old Cousin Jack's axiom, 'Where it be, there it be!'

Try everything if you get colors and never mind the know it alls.

Pump anyone that you can see has had good experience.

Ride your luck and don't chase it away by being a pessimist.

Bill "Lost Adams"

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