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Thread: Alaska size gold nugget

  1. #1
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Alaska size gold nugget

    http://supercub.org/gallery/view_pho...old_nugget_jpg

    Another example of how things are larger in Alaska.

    Just north of Fairbanks, there are hundreds of acres of tailing piles as a result of gold dredging. It is now figured that only 20% of the gold was taken out and the rest, especially the larger nuggets were passed on with the rocks.
    One day there was a kid, probably 12 or so years old, that was walking along the top of the tailing piles and throwing rocks. He picked up one "rock" about the size of a lemon or lime and was very heavy. He kept it and took it home. Guess what? Turned out to be a gold nugget.

    There are many other areas in Alaska that were worked over with gold dredges. One area is near Chicken, another at Eagle, several sites around Nome and an area at Hogatza, commonly called Hog River which we served with light aircraft and DC-3s. Once a week after clean out, they would ship 60 pound mail bags by certified mail on our flights. They always changed the days of shipments and it was all hush of course but all of our ground crews knew what they were just from the size and weight.

    It is quite an honor to be allowed to watch a dredge in operation and when I was assigned as relief Wien station manager at Nome, I was allowed to watch the operation. I often took a gold pan down to the beach at Nome and panned for gold and would always come back with colors. Wien ran a tourist program there which included panning for gold in a private tank and tourists were allowed to take home what ever gold they found in bottles furnished by Wien. If a person didn't pan any out, they received a vial of gold anyway. Our tour guide at the time was good old Blueberry John. Remember him Nome? There was lots of gold mining done in the Nome area. One of the most unusual "mines" was at a bar owned by Wyatt Earp. Yes, the famous gun fighter. He always had the floor covered with sawdust and once a week, he would clean the floor and remove all the gold dust that had fallen on the floor. At that time, gold dust was considered acceptable as payments.

    I have mentioned before about panning for gold in Dahl Creek. Actually, I could take a pan down to the creek and make more money than what Wien paid me but aviation was so much fun....

    There are so many areas, to many to name, that gold mining was done about 100 years ago and much of the equipment and facilities are still there. Even today, some new and large mining operations are starting up in new areas. Maybe some of those living in Alaska now might like to share what is going on now days. I know Pogo is coming on line and a new area near Iliamna is starting up.

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    Ernie

    Gold Mining in Alaska is alive and well this last month outside of MaGrath there have been several large nuggest fround one over 30 troy ounces one over 40 ounces then one over 54 ounces and about the time you think they wont get any bigger someone finds one over 80 ounces! These nuggets where all found with metal detectors searching old tailing piles. I have spent many days searching for gold and have never found a nugget over 1 ounce. When I see pictures and hear storys of those large nuggets I start to think the next time I go out could be my lucky day. Do you think I may have a little gold fever?

    Dont think your going to buy a gold pan and strike it rich large nuggets like this are few and far between. But for those who are struck with gold fever check out Ganes creek and Steves mining journal at this web site. http://www.akmining.com/mine/metal.htm

    Cub_Driver

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Sure looks like you have been bitten Cub_Driver and I know the feeling. First time I was around lots of gold was when I hauled freight from Talkeetna west to the Petersville mines for Cliff Hudson in 1957. Jar after jar of small nuggets and dust sorted by size. I did notice that there were a couple of Winchester rifles and a couple boxes of ammo close at hand though but otherwise, very little security at the time. Not the same now days for sure.

    When I was living at Dahl Creek, a gold miner that had turned jade minor had me come up to his claim and give him estimates of weight on some jade rocks he had pushed aside to get to the gold years before. They were all over 8,000 with one right around 10,000. One 9,000 pound rock, kidney shaped, was really interesting.
    We started trying to figure out how many coffee table slabs a person could get and what it would be worth. If the rock didn't have any fractures, we started thinking about what it would look like with a couple of lights under the slab shining up and lighting the jade. Our guess was right at $1.5 million each again if there was no fractures and that was in 1968. The jade in Dahl Creek has been rated the second best in the world with the best coming from China. Next time you are in Anchorage around the Log Cabin downtown, take a look at the jade rock there. It came from Dahl Creek and was donated by the couple that bought the mining operation from my friend. That rock I believe is about 250 to 300 pounds.
    http://supercub.org/gallery/view_alb...mName=album111

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Cub_Driver
    Is Moore Creek a hardrock or surface operation? Looks like Steve has a very interesting web site. Thanks for the links.

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    Erine

    Moore creek has always been a placer mine. The main vain that deposited the gold has never been found. If you look at the gold found at Moore creek you can tell it is not well polished and has a lot of quartz in it giving the indication the gold has not moved far from the mother load!!! Of course people have been searcing for the vain of gold since 1915 so I am not holding my breath thinking I will find it.

    Cub_Driver

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cub_driver
    Erine

    Moore creek has always been a placer mine. The main vain that deposited the gold has never been found. If you look at the gold found at Moore creek you can tell it is not well polished and has a lot of quartz in it giving the indication the gold has not moved far from the mother load!!! Of course people have been searcing for the vain of gold since 1915 so I am not holding my breath thinking I will find it.

    Cub_Driver
    How true and good luck but hope you are able to take a breath once in a while.
    The flakes and dust I was panning in Dahl Creek had to travel some distance from the headwater where alll the area was staked as private claims. I never heard for sure if the lode was ever found but many have said they thought it was very high up on Asbestos Mountain and only opened up at breakup. Upstream and after a very heavy rain, just find a big boulder in the creek and dig a few shovels of sand and gravel from the downstream side and almost every pan will come out with lots of colors and small nuggets. I always made sure I knew where everyone was before I went in that area though. Since my airport was the only way to get there, I would be able to see an aircraft landing. Claim jumpers still get shot in Alaska. Dahl Creek was mined for gold over 40 years before it turned to the jade boulders that were pushed aside at the time.

  7. #7

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    Anyone here pan for gold in the summers?
    What on average would you be able to cash in at the end of your season?
    Have you ever jumped a private claim by mistake?

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