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 Post subject: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:35 pm
Posts: 880
Lost Nugget Mine

This is just a short little tale, but interesting all the same. Perhaps it is still there just waiting for you to swing a detector over it. See below for more info!

Out in the Arizona desert, exact location unknown, but supposed to be about a two days' trip for a burro along the east side of the Colorado River south of Topock, is a streak of yellow clay full of gold nuggets. It has been seen by at least two men and $50,000 or $60,000 in gold nuggets has been taken from it at different times.

One day about 30 years ago a man came in from the desert and boarded a Santa Fe train at Needles, California. On the way east he showed the Santa Fe conductor about $30,000 worth of large gold nuggets, stating that he had found them in a streak of yellow clay on the desert south of Topock. He gave the conductor several of the large nuggets and stated that he would return later to work the mine. Several months passed and then one day the man got off the train at Needles accompanied by a younger man whom he introduced to the conductor as his son. The two men were outfitted for the trip, taking supplies sufficient to last them for about two weeks.

When three weeks had passed and the men had not returned to Needles the conductor notified the authorities and a search was made to the south of Topock but no trace of the missing men could be found and the searchers returned to Needles. The conductor then secured the services of two Indian trailers and in about two months from the time they had disappeared into the desert the Indians came upon the dead bodies of the father and son and nearby the carcasses of the burros. The men and burros had been shot and the cargo of gold nuggets stolen. Many trips have been made into the desert in search of the rich diggings but no one else ever brought back any more of the golden nuggets.

Those who would search for the mine would do well to heed the advice of the old Santa Fe conductor and look for a band of yellow clay out on the desert about two days trip for a Rocky Mountain canary to the south of Topock on the east side of the Colorado.

About 11 years ago on a trip to a completely different destination; that we couldn't find (no GPS with us then) We decided to go to Laughlin, Nevada to purchase a topo map of the area we were going to prospect in. Well we stopped in the Southern end of Bullhead City for gas and while in the gas station, Jack, our partner started talking to another person getting gas. He was in a midsized pick-up with a camper shell on it. He was telling Jack that this was his last trip out prospecting because he was just too old and was hurting to much to keep it up. But he did do real good on this last trip. He had approx. 10 or 12 - 5 gallon buckets in the back that were full of yellowish clay chunks. He took a miners hammer and broke some of up in his hand and it was full of small (!/2 size of a pea, and smaller) pieces of gold. Probably not all of it had gold. Now after reading this, is this where he found it. He said he was South of Topock East of the river.

It might still be there!

Don...


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:11 pm 
RE: He said he was South of Topock East of the river.

In that case I would look North of Topock and West of the River FIRST. These old guys never tell the truth about locations. Would You? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:59 pm 

Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 6:25 pm
Posts: 454
The area south of Topock is rugged and may hold many stories. It would be nice to go there on a cool winter day, and metal dedect in the streems. Gold will travel down washes a ways and maybe you coul dtrace it back up to its source. A word of caution, the area south of Topock was designated as the Chemehuevi Mountain Wilderness back in 1994, so please stay out of there on mechinized vehicles. But that can't stop you from looking eh? Maybe you will be lucky and if the gold is in clay, heck, just dig it out and don't say anything. I like that :D

Gold in a clay and in nugget form would indicate to me a placer deposit of some kind. So rather than looking for quartz seams it may be best to look out for old sedementtry rock. Maybe on a terrace or if we could only go back in time when the colorado was at a higher level, see where aincent river beds were. Two days burrowride, hmmm. Not sure how far a laden borrow can travel in a day, but maybe 15 miles on a good day? so 30 to 40 miles of Topoch. That would place it somewhere in the Mohave Mountains in Arizona. North of Lake Havasu area. It is interesting because there are old mines in that area, while according to topo maps on the wast side in the wilderness, there are no mines. Still isn't it great to be able to dream of finding that lost treasure?

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:47 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:35 pm
Posts: 880
Your right about the area Mike. And after talking with the old guy -- I'd bet he was being honest. You could just tell he didn't have many miles left in him and in fact it was surprising he'd brought all those buckets out by himself. But he had them and I thought it'd be a good lead for someone younger that could hike into the area and look for a yellow clay streak. Maybe someone will read this and find it? We were onto something we thought was more important and that's why we didn't follow up on it back then. Good luck!

Don....


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:57 pm
Posts: 144
When I find it I'll post pictures :D Thanks for the story!

edit, btw looking at the site in Google Earth there seems to be plenty of interesting places in the area to look for some kinda deposits. I could see a couple alluvial fans and lots of prospects for vein deposits.


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:35 pm
Posts: 880
djui5: Your welcome, it's funny but after my wife sent me this story I remembered meeting that old guy and talking to him. Let's see some pictures and if you find an area that looks promising let us know.

Don....


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:36 pm
Posts: 136
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
I don't know the timeline, but might it be possible that the lake has covered that site now?

-Rock


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:01 am
Posts: 270
Location: Black Hills, Dakota Territory
Rocky you are very likely right - the waters of Lake Havasu could very well have covered this bonanza. I wouldn't necessarily cross it off entirely, for one thing a dredge might do very well if you could find it, or it could be still above the water line.
Roy


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:36 pm
Posts: 136
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
I think I might use a detector and a pan along the riverbank if I were there. Right below the waterline might be a good place to find the tiny nuggets, then backtrack uphill from there. I like to look for horizontal cracks where a stream goes over stone; they can act like riffles.

-Rock


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 Post subject: Re: Lost Nugget Mine, Near Topock
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:55 am
Posts: 2
As for the Lost Nugget, mine south of I-40 in the "Needles" Topock Wildlife bounderies. Only two mines exist inside the NWR boundery. Gold Dome and Jackpot mines. Long inactive but only by foot accessable. A dirt road from Exit 2 South meanders south by sw to the first wash. About a tenth of a mile the road goes sxsw meandering westward about a mile then it dips down into a wash canyon zigzagging westward about a mile untill you run into a NWR barrier. Someone went around it not too long ago and pressed on to a major north-south wash which ends up at a dead end just before the river. Imprenetrable cedar jungle. If you internet map the area it shows the road and mines. I would advise NOT to drive past the barrier. Walking to the mines would be a full day affair. You had better pack a lot of water and a walking stick, cell signal is ok, lots of wildlife. Otherwise the whole area is weak-slim as to mineral values. To me it is best to hike across the sand hills to Jackpot mine-spring then zigzag the soft washes and save a lot of distance. I did this last May 2013. BTW, the Gold Dome mine has a rough road up to it from nearby Jackpot mine. Jackpot mine in on the edge of a large wash. The Gold Dome mine is worth the views. Better to be up there by noon to be back to the barrier by 4-6 pm. If you overnite it, better make sure no rain is in the forcast if you park at the barrier. Camp outside of the NWR boundery. Going back this winter, need a guide?


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