The "Rye Patch" Majuba Mtns.
Thank you for the great links to info. on the Gold Mtn. area in Nevada.
The 1st link threw me, as it is a history of Asian immigration to the west coast, but the other links were good. I like to think I am pretty good at researching, but you never fail to amaze me with your researching skills.
So, the "Rye Patch" in Nevada. I have been researching the area for awhile.
I know some think it is picked over, but I believe if at all, it is just the surface.
I want to narrow down the area to "the best" area if possible. Then I will research abandoned claims, and file on at least one. Looking at Google Earth images, very few areas have been scraped, which is what I intend to do. For those unfamiliar with the term, it is where you detect the surface, then using a bladed piece of equipment, scrape the top 6-12" off and detect the ground again. Rinse and repeat. Low tech and low cost.
I also intend to sample and determine if it is worthwhile to run the scraped material through a drywasher to capture gold too small for a detector.
I just figured that it might be worthwhile to run it by you Stan and find out what you know. Of course, if any of your members are willing to share their personal experiences in the Rye Patch area, it is greatly appreciated.
Stan's response: Jack, as you know, "the patch" is an amazingly rich area and is quite a geological anomaly. Some geologists believe the gold was blown to the surface through epithermal vents and others think that a blowout in the Majuba Mountains left a type of debris field of gold nuggets. For sure, the gold nuggets have not traveled far, if at all.
For me, I would investigate 2 things in depth to better understand the "lay of the land". First, I would study the surrounding / supporting geology in depth. Then, I would try to plot all of the historical metal detecting and scraping activities on a geological map (combining my 2 areas of focus). By combining the geology with the best discoveries, a pattern may emerge.
This website discusses the geology a little bit:
It may be important to dig out as much data as possible about hydro & soil geochemistry, magnetics and gravity studies that have been done in the area.
There are numerous websites and forums that discuss (with photos) some of the best historical recoveries in the area over the last few decades.
Of course, legal permissions and mineral rights ownership is an issue and I know you already have this covered.
Scraping and digging is a great way to go as large nuggets have been discovered as deep as 10 feet down. The gold seems to run in concentrated patches. If metal detecting can reveal a concentrated patch, then it might be feasible to dry wash or run a small, recycled water circuit operation. I would also metal detect flood washes where Mother Nature has already done the excavation.
I would first focus between Majuba Mountain and the reservoir. But then, by combining geology and some history, I would try to move out into the less-explored areas of the region.
Most of all, have fun!