Hunting for "REEF" Gold....an approach for beginners.

Prospecting Australia

Help Support Prospecting Australia:

Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
4,565
Reaction score
5,392
This is very interesting reading from Wal and Goldie. What I'm still confused about is what is meant by the term quartz blows and you mentioned exposed parts of stringer reefs; so what are we looking for? Quartz ironstone or mineralised quartz or both and how much of it would be exposed on average? Thanks for all this great info... Aaron
1663810083255.png
Quartz blow - massive white quartz body with very little associated ironstone and usually very poor in gold in the white quartz.
 
Last edited:

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,967
Location
Australia, NSW
This is very interesting reading from Wal and Goldie. What I'm still confused about is what is meant by the term quartz blows and you mentioned exposed parts of stringer reefs; so what are we looking for? Quartz ironstone or mineralised quartz or both and how much of it would be exposed on average? Thanks for all this great info... Aaron

Sorry for being a bit late on a reply Aaron as I've been down the coast out of service for a week.

The pic that Goldie showed is exactly what a "quartz blow" looks like and they are common on both gold and non gold fields. Most quartz blows are devoid of gold if the surrounding terrain is not mineralized and the quartz itself shows no signs of mineralization. Goldie explains this in detail further up in the thread. A "stringer" is usually a section of horizontal thin reef protruding from a major thicker vertical reef. This is only a "general statement" as the main shafts don't necessarily have to be vertical, as most follow sheer zones, and reading about strike and dip will better help you get a grasp of what happens in tilted zones. Other areas have undergone major folding and this will again determine the angle to which the main ore body lays.

If you look at cross sections of deep underground gold mines you will see that not only do they sink a main shaft but they also follow the numerous offshoots extending from the main load and this can often be a complex pattern depending on how much earth movement has occurred over the millions of years since their formation.

You ask how much on average would a stringer reef be exposed, but unfortunately that would be almost impossible to predict. The stringers attached to the main reef are easy to see as they have all been worked out from the main reef and would be generally exposed by trenches as the ore would have already been removed. Some stringers or gold bearing cracks, along fault zones can at times be connected to adjoining shafts. Remember these fault zones can in places be extremely long with numerous shafts intersecting the gold bearing mineralization within them. That's why in "some" areas a line of shafts can be as much as a few kilometres apart and still be accessing the same "deep bodied ore" from the one source.

Mineralization in one form or another within lets say quartz, is what we are mostly looking for when trying to find free gold within that source, which is in enough abundance to get a signal from our detectors. State by state and even within the same locations this mineralization can vary to quite a degree. I have many nuggets which contain both ironstone and quartz matrix within the same nugget and other species which have pure white quartz as their matrix, some are within ironstone alone so as you can see there is not a one scenario that covers all. Nearly all the pure white quartz species I have still came from surrounding quartz showing staining from a variety of minerals associated with the gold bearing ore, amongst them many gold species were within a "bluish" quartz. Goldie has elaborated on many of these associated minerals in the posts earlier within this thread, and they make for very productive reading as to the large variety of minerals which can be associated with gold bearing reefs.

Trying to get back to your question and keeping it as simple as possible, the stringer reefs I try to find are the ones that because of earth movements, have broken away from the main source and are now quite some distance from the original reef system. The one I'm working now has its closest shaft over a kilometre away. Broken sections of this stringer can be seen in the form of scattered quartz shards shedding from two separate hillsides in a folded section of the nearby geology. Looking at the mineralization I'm fairly confident that before the folding occurred this stringer was attached to the the shaft a kilometre away, as the sheer zone intersects several major shafts within this fault line. Folding can do your head in when looking for indicators that can be widely dispersed.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
4,565
Reaction score
5,392
I guess in many cases "stringer reefs" (really just thin quartz veinlets) arequartz veins, that occur in the same regions as major reefs, but that it did not pay for the goldminers to chase because it takes a lot of mining to get a tonne of gold-quartz ore out of them. Also they were harder for them to find if isolated, and are more inclined to peter out but be replaced by others nearby (so may keep recurring in the same "package" of rocks, often following a single structure, eg anticlines in Victoria).. These are often only cms thick. The fact that they are thin does not mean that they cannot be rich (often they are - I have seen quartz veins only one cm thick that were 10% gold)). The old-timers did not have detectors to find the coarse gold in them - you do. Sometimes as WalnLiz say, they can be offshoots of a larger reef but in other cases they just occupy thin fractures that formed at the same time as the big reefs, but were not connected to them. Nevertheless, they can often occupy the same fold structure as bigger reefs even when the bigger reefs may be absent.

1664094988870.png
 

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,967
Location
Australia, NSW
One thing I like to point out is in my cases I'm concentrating on what would be regarded as smaller shafts and reefs compared to the big major reef complexes worked for years by major companies. These large reef systems have had a lot of expert advice and resources put into them and on most occasions the surrounding geology has been test drilled and surveyed, so they don't miss much.

Where I have found most of my reef gold there is shafts, but in most cases they are not named even though many are plotted on geological maps or registered in mines department records. The less effort put into them by the old timers the more gold they tended to leave behind in their endeavours to race from gold field to gold field. Stringer offshoots from these less worked reefs were not of much interest to the old timers, and as such give us our best chances these days where even only a few ounces will satisfy most. Most of the shafts near where I concentrate would be no more than 50m deep, and certainly no signs of long term activity.
 

Gold Mbr2020

Aaron
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
38
Reaction score
83
Location
, VIC
Sorry for being a bit late on a reply Aaron as I've been down the coast out of service for a week.

The pic that Goldie showed is exactly what a "quartz blow" looks like and they are common on both gold and non gold fields. Most quartz blows are devoid of gold if the surrounding terrain is not mineralized and the quartz itself shows no signs of mineralization. Goldie explains this in detail further up in the thread. A "stringer" is usually a section of horizontal thin reef protruding from a major thicker vertical reef. This is only a "general statement" as the main shafts don't necessarily have to be vertical, as most follow sheer zones, and reading about strike and dip will better help you get a grasp of what happens in tilted zones. Other areas have undergone major folding and this will again determine the angle to which the main ore body lays.

If you look at cross sections of deep underground gold mines you will see that not only do they sink a main shaft but they also follow the numerous offshoots extending from the main load and this can often be a complex pattern depending on how much earth movement has occurred over the millions of years since their formation.

You ask how much on average would a stringer reef be exposed, but unfortunately that would be almost impossible to predict. The stringers attached to the main reef are easy to see as they have all been worked out from the main reef and would be generally exposed by trenches as the ore would have already been removed. Some stringers or gold bearing cracks, along fault zones can at times be connected to adjoining shafts. Remember these fault zones can in places be extremely long with numerous shafts intersecting the gold bearing mineralization within them. That's why in "some" areas a line of shafts can be as much as a few kilometres apart and still be accessing the same "deep bodied ore" from the one source.

Mineralization in one form or another within lets say quartz, is what we are mostly looking for when trying to find free gold within that source, which is in enough abundance to get a signal from our detectors. State by state and even within the same locations this mineralization can vary to quite a degree. I have many nuggets which contain both ironstone and quartz matrix within the same nugget and other species which have pure white quartz as their matrix, some are within ironstone alone so as you can see there is not a one scenario that covers all. Nearly all the pure white quartz species I have still came from surrounding quartz showing staining from a variety of minerals associated with the gold bearing ore, amongst them many gold species were within a "bluish" quartz. Goldie has elaborated on many of these associated minerals in the posts earlier within this thread, and they make for very productive reading as to the large variety of minerals which can be associated with gold bearing reefs.

Trying to get back to your question and keeping it as simple as possible, the stringer reefs I try to find are the ones that because of earth movements, have broken away from the main source and are now quite some distance from the original reef system. The one I'm working now has its closest shaft over a kilometre away. Broken sections of this stringer can be seen in the form of scattered quartz shards shedding from two separate hillsides in a folded section of the nearby geology. Looking at the mineralization I'm fairly confident that before the folding occurred this stringer was attached to the the shaft a kilometre away, as the sheer zone intersects several major shafts within this fault line. Folding can do your head in when looking for indicators that can be widely dispersed.
You guys definitely know your stuff. Bit of information overload for me but if I understand even some of what you have provided thats a bonus. My questions are probably a bit naive as I'm trying to understand the geology of gold and how it gets moved around and ends up where it does, and some of the terminology used. I'm in central Victoria now and only started the hobby (obsession) 2.5yrs ago after moving back here again. I've always had an interest since I was a kid after seeing the Garrett Bounty Hunter etc being advertised or as prizes in magazine competitions.
In the past few months I've found detecting more frustrating (prob not alone there) and think how good would it have been back in the 80's or even 25yrs ago, albeit with a VLF machine, or being in WA not Vic. I'm very glad it's a hobby and not my livelihood, that's for sure. Thanks again for the great information. Regards Aaron
 

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,967
Location
Australia, NSW
Was certainly easier in years gone bye Aaron and when I first started nearly 60 years ago there was very few chasing gold and the rewards for those chasing the metal was very worth wile. This all helps us old fellas as we worked the fields with not the same competition as today. These days we have the added benefit to revisit most of our old haunts with the new technology available to us thus giving us an unfair advantage I guess. In saying this we are always learning and there is still a lot of gold out there to be found. Its a good thing that 5000,s 6000,s and 7000,s were not available to us in the days when we started. :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
4,565
Reaction score
5,392
Was certainly easier in years gone bye Aaron and when I first started nearly 60 years ago there was very few chasing gold and the rewards for those chasing the metal was very worth wile. This all helps us old fellas as we worked the fields with not the same competition as today. These days we have the added benefit to revisit most of our old haunts with the new technology available to us thus giving us an unfair advantage I guess. In saying this we are always learning and there is still a lot of gold out there to be found. Its a good thing that 5000,s 6000,s and 7000,s were not available to us in the days when we started. :)
A 60 year old memory like yours and mine can forget some details - remember how little gold was worth per ounce then!
 

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,967
Location
Australia, NSW
A 60 year old memory like yours and mine can forget some details - remember how little gold was worth per ounce then!

Agree totally with you Goldie, but was so attached to the gold I found that I still have at least 80% of it in a bank vault. The best superanuation fund in the world in my opinion. ;) ☺️...I leave Bitcoin to the newcomers ;)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
1,240
Reaction score
3,389
Location
Kalgoorlie, WA
Great thread Wal
Geology is endless and as the topic is for beginners have you touched on the size,mineralisation and colour of the quartz in areas?
When we pull up to areas these days we can usually tell if it's worthwhile or not by the texture,colour and size of the quartz if chasing reefs.
That's priority for us,also i couldn't agree more you don't need to be in WA or Vic,look outside the square,two of us walked over this about 12-13 yrs ago in nsw,a weathered down reef 10-12klms from the nearest gold being found,a bit over 70ozs of nuggets and specimens.
We've had great success on the reefs the last couple of years in wa also,im not exactly sure why but i guess it's a combination of knowledge and persistence,maybe a bit did sink in over the years 😂


89E8EB28-1157-4AD4-905E-427873A08383.jpeg
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
83
Reaction score
103
Reef gold is worth the time and are sometimes quite shallows only the last on was 19" deep the rest were shallow.
26+ ounces of specimens from the same reef, the solid nugget 4 oz found at another reef. These ones were from Maryborough Vic.

gold old.jpg
The following were found in West Aust. within 100 km of Leonora WA.
Well over 20 Ounces. The large one had about 17 oz from 113 Oz specimen. The centre right hand size yield 4 Oz.
p1011887.JPG
Some miscellaneous Specimen
p1011908.JPG
A lot of gold nuggets and bit were found in the same vicinity, after weeks of gridding the area.
 

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,967
Location
Australia, NSW
Reef gold is worth the time and are sometimes quite shallows only the last on was 19" deep the rest were shallow.
26+ ounces of specimens from the same reef, the solid nugget 4 oz found at another reef. These ones were from Maryborough Vic.

View attachment 4863
The following were found in West Aust. within 100 km of Leonora WA.
Well over 20 Ounces. The large one had about 17 oz from 113 Oz specimen. The centre right hand size yield 4 Oz.
View attachment 4864
Some miscellaneous Specimen
View attachment 4865
A lot of gold nuggets and bit were found in the same vicinity, after weeks of gridding the area.

Nice collection there geof and totally agree that the reef gold is worth the effort chasing. The lot you got from near Leonora looks very similar to the gold we got from near the Iron King mine some 60 ks north of Leonora many years ago. We got more reef from there than nuggets in total gold weight. For me personally "Reef" would make up close to 50% of my finds so not to chase it would be leaving a lot of gold behind.
 
Last edited:

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,967
Location
Australia, NSW
Great thread Wal
Geology is endless and as the topic is for beginners have you touched on the size,mineralisation and colour of the quartz in areas?
When we pull up to areas these days we can usually tell if it's worthwhile or not by the texture,colour and size of the quartz if chasing reefs.
That's priority for us,also i couldn't agree more you don't need to be in WA or Vic,look outside the square,two of us walked over this about 12-13 yrs ago in nsw,a weathered down reef 10-12klms from the nearest gold being found,a bit over 70ozs of nuggets and specimens.
We've had great success on the reefs the last couple of years in wa also,im not exactly sure why but i guess it's a combination of knowledge and persistence,maybe a bit did sink in over the years 😂


View attachment 4861

Love your location Dave and wish I could spend more time in your region these days. I'm sure I have mentioned mineralization and colour of the quartz within the thread but I will double check to make double sure...age can effect the memory sometimes. 🤔

The last 15 years we have spent most of our time in the Kimberly around Halls Creek and within a 150ks of the surrounding area. First frost in Canberra and we are off for several months as we don't like the cold anymore. In the northern fields "nuggets" slightly out number the "reef" but most of the nuggets are in the creeks. Very few who venture up there look for reef and for that I am very grateful. The more they stick to the creeks the better I like it, but in saying that I still would like newcomers to look outside the square and see how rewarding searching out reef gold can be.

Feel free to add as much info as you like to the thread as the more different scenarios portrayed from interstate, the better the understanding for the newcomers. Hope good luck follows you around mate.....Wal.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
1,240
Reaction score
3,389
Location
Kalgoorlie, WA
Love your location Dave and wish I could spend more time in your region these days. I'm sure I have mentioned mineralization and colour of the quartz within the thread but I will double check to make double sure...age can effect the memory sometimes. 🤔
You may have i didn't read every post,i'll try and get some pics out and about the next month,a photo can speak a thousand words.
I spent time walking around barren reefs early on,quartz was just quartz back then,the "right stuff" as ya know is one of our main indicators....
 

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,967
Location
Australia, NSW
You may have i didn't read every post,i'll try and get some pics out and about the next month,a photo can speak a thousand words.
I spent time walking around barren reefs early on,quartz was just quartz back then,the "right stuff" as ya know is one of our main indicators....

You are spot on Dave with the barren quartz statement. Too many newcomers think that if they follow quartz they are on the gold. What they don't realize is that quartz is the most abundant mineral on the earths surface and as such only very little contains gold at all. What we have to determine is where the mineralized quartz is within gold bearing geology, and concentrate on that alone,.."generally". Colour, staining, oxidization, co existing within ironstone intrusions, and many more, will give a closer picture as to where to look in most states. Each state and indeed each goldfield within those states have differing variables which need to be researched to give you some sort of consistency in finding the gold.
 
Last edited:

Moneybox

Philip & Sandra Box
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
14,569
Location
Cue, WA
Merv and I took Zimba (our little CAT) out onto one of our leases here in Cue. We have several shallow mines close together so we were hoping to find the interconnecting reef.

Zimba dig.jpg

We had fun but if there was any gold it's still down there.....
 

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,967
Location
Australia, NSW
Merv and I took Zimba (our little CAT) out onto one of our leases here in Cue. We have several shallow mines close together so we were hoping to find the interconnecting reef.

View attachment 5074

We had fun but if there was any gold it's still down there.....
Next time I'm out Cue way and get a really deep signal... expect me to give you and Merv a call to come and dig it out for me. ☺️
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Latest posts

Top