Chat about anything you want.
#13849 by goldkimber
Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:27 pm
We know about the gold in SW oregon, we know about the gold in eastern oregon... we even know of a bit in the cascades. But I wonder, does anyone have any evidence or experience of gold being found in the mountains or tributaries of the central coast range? I see very little evidence of historical mining claims in the area, say benton or lincoln county. But, yet some say one can find gold dust on the beaches as far north as Newport. I see black sands all up and down the Oregon Coast. So, I can't help but wonder is there anything there in the Coast Range? I live on the edge of this coast range, the wife crosses it every day. I'm closer to the coast range than I am the cascades... would I be wasting my time prospecting in my figurative "backyard?" I'd like to hear your input, your stories, experiences for the area. For that matter, I'd be interested in any Coast Range prospecting/mining results from about Florence, Northward. I am just beginning to study the geology of the area. It may not be favorable, I don't know. I'm no geologist, but know that geology is my key to understanding what's likely to be there. Any resources/knowledge you'd be willing to share would sure be appreciated. Keep on diggin'!


#13863 by goldkimber
Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:50 am
Actually that is encouraging becuase that gold had to come from somewhere to be there. I'm likely going to give it a try tomorrow and see if I can find anything at all? Not going with high hopes, but I'm hoping to be surprised...
#13869 by galenrog
Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:28 am
Gold in small quantities can be found in almost every coastal stream and river in Oregon. I have read stories about mines in the north Coast Range as far south as Eddyville, but have yet to verify these stories through back issues of the Ore Bin or any other authoritative publication. Still, Gold is found in nearly every stream and river that feeds to the coast.
#13895 by 4theluvofgold
Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:23 pm
Coastal streams I have actually found color in using basic sampling and no equipment.

Wilson, Alsea, Siuslaw, Yahatz, Umpqua (of coarse),'

about 10 others without obvious names. I worked the Trask river good and nothing. Siletz, same deal. North of 6 and south of 126 are the better areas.
#13900 by William6
Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:33 pm
Search on line and download USGS open source report 94-21, geology of the Tillamook highlands. Get the text and both maps, north and south. There are several mineralized areas discussed and shown. Three areas are each 16 miles inland. At the north is Cruisers gulch, discussed in another thread. Perhaps most interesting is the area along Cook creek and Tin Shack road, south of Buck Mt., 16 miles east of Nehalem bay. There is sulphides in fault breccia, and the analysis shows lots of lead and some gold at 15ppm.; I am not sure if I did the math right, but I think 34.29ppm is equivalent to 1 ounce per ton, to 15ppm just under 1/2 oz. per ton? Also further south at slick rock creek (private property) the Larrew property,described on pg. 149 bulletin 14D . In the 1930s a gold claim was filed, gold found behind a waterfall on a tributrary of Slickrock. There was a 5 stamp mill set up. GPS 45.256668 -123.619166 . Once I was deer hunting on Starker forest lands west of Philomath, I think off of Shot Pouch road,(south of Burnt Woods) and found a sluice setup in a stream. I took a peak, but the stream looked to have light weight mica and not gold. Also there is the lost Tillamook, a gold source for Indians in 1800s. My best guess is at the inlet to Skookum lake, but this is city water supply and off limits.
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#13904 by kerbyjackson
Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:22 pm
There has not been, as a general rule, much mining in the northern portion of coastal range. For example, the Oregon Metal Mines handbook for NW Oregon leaves very little in the way of records of REAL mining in those coastal counties, with the exception of the beaches. Though the SW beaches are by far the richest, there is A LOT of micron gold in every mile of our coastline. Some of it originates from streams, most does not. The gold that does exist in these streams tends to be spottily deposited and it would take a lot of prospecting to really locate the best areas.

My personal opinion would be that you are better off focusing on the beaches and getting gold consistantly. Recovery is the key of course and though the stuff is tiny, if you can catch it, there is a tremendous quantity of it out there.
#13912 by goldkimber
Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:10 pm
Awesome feedback guys, keep it coming. I do appreciate it.

As promised, I headed out to a new location in the coast range today (alsea basin). Took most of the day to find the spot I was looking for (very isolated, beyond back-woods redneck country). So isolated, in fact, there were land slides that were blocking the road in places, large rocks and boulders in other places... basically, no one goes out here...

Being that I only had a few hours this afternoon to get there, I did a bit a roadside geology along the old logging roads getting there. Found quite a bit of green colored rock with what looks like calcite (very opaque) veins running throughout. Lots of clay topsoil, very red, apparently iron rich. I found the streams and river to be in high water conditions due to the recent warming trend forcing lots of snow melt from upper elevations. Thus, there really wasn't much, if any, bank to work with on any of these streams today. The water was really running hard in places and found water falls in places that are normally dry the rest of the year. But I did find the creeks and rivers that I want to prospect in the coast range over the next few weeks/months and see if any color can be found. Great looking areas, nice areas to work a sluice this time of year, once the water calms down just a bit. Just hope the geology is there.

I do prospect in the Cascades, as well as the trip I am planning to the beach this coming week. I will likely bounce around the state a bit as I try my luck in different parts of the state as my work takes me there.

On a side note, I did just get back from a trip to Wyoming where I did some indoor prospecting... e.g., went out in zero degree weather, broke through the ice at the bottom of the gulches and went about 3-4 feet down and collected a hundred gallons of material to come back and pan up in the laundry room where it's a much nicer 68 degrees, and the fridge is nearby... So far, I am seeing lots of glacial sediment, kimberlite, lots of quartz (rose qrtz. too), with either gold or pyrite in it. I believe I have both present. I definately have lots, and lots of small garnets present in these Wyoming samples, and since were were on the southern border, I am keeping my eyes open for placer diamonds, which have only been recently discovered in the region over the past few decades, and are a very untapped resource in that area.

Anyhow, I'm hoping to find a regular supply of placer gold to work that is closer to home. So keep the great advice coming. I'll keep you guys posted as to my findings as I go out again, probably in a few days. As far as the whole coast range placer gold goes, I have a hypothesis. There is so much clay soil in the area, so much understory and brush, some creeks you can't even see because so many trees are across them that you would have to cut your way to the water with a chainsaw. So here's my hypothesis: If, a person does find gold nuggets in the mountains of the central coast range... because there is so much sticky clay soil, I bet a person would be very close to that gold vein. I don't see gold having a very good opportunity to travel in these streams, even under heavy water flows. There too much chuncky clay in the creeks to really flow freely in my opinion. So, if anyone does find nice pickers out there (especially in matrix), one had better bust out the metal detector and start scanning the hillside for the rest of the vein... What do you guys think?

I'm definately seeing large differences in soil types from the cascades (very sandy soil in the streams, low clay content).

I hope to get the sluice up and running in this area of the coast range this week or next. We'll see what's under that gravel/sandstone/clay bar.
#13919 by kerbyjackson
Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:55 am
If you're going to do it, a GOOD gold detector would certainly be the way to go. However, that heavily oxidized clay is going to play hell with it, due to the iron content.

As for your theory that the clay will stop the gold from traveling far, don't count on it. We have tons of this stuff in SW Oregon and when you see the stuff - really BRIGHT RED and very dense - it's usually a good indicator. Believe me, you can get enough water roaring through even a small gulch during a flash flood to chew this stuff up and you'll see whole layers of it in streambeds and these red clay layers are usually rich. Our general rule of thumb is, if you are mining and have a nice bright red streak coming out of your machine, you are probably "really on it". All of those guys who came up here from California and elsewhere seemed to pick up on this pretty quick and they did a pretty good job targeting the orange-red clay layers in the Rogue and got good results.

I've personally seen large boulders rolling downstream in small gulches during flash flood events and sometimes you can hear them smacking together underwater. I've also been in really isolated, very overgrown creeks and you'll see logs, hydraulic pipe, etc. trapped up in branches after these types of events in such a way that you'd think someone bombed the placed. Sometimes, the total disarray seems downright spooky. So believe me, if you get enough water in these small creeks, even if it's only for a few hours, NOTHING in that creek is really impervious to the amount of force and water involved and they can tear that clay up in such a way that the whole waterway is bright red.

Generally, your only real rule of thumb about how close you are to the lode source is how rough the gold is. If you see sharp edges and attached quartz, you are close to it. But if the gold is very beat up and rounded off, it has traveled and it really doesn't take a lot to beat it up good. (Remember, gold is pretty soft and malleable, so the coarseness is a prime indicator of how far it's traveled).

Though there is not a lot of gold up in that area, on the plus side, there has also not been a lot of mining. So unlike SW or NE Oregon, when you do find it, it's going to be a virgin deposit and the digging ought to be VERY good when you do locate it.

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