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Irons MD & Prospecting thread

rte

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Got the spoils panned out from last fridays venture.
GOLD and JEWELS, sounds impressive, but Pretty thin results.
Pretty sure that we were getting into the tailings of the hole on the north side as we didn't get much gold from the top layer.
(top vile) One picker, the rest were very small.
Resized_20210425_100807_7074212719113953.jpeg

The next foot down was looking like better material and better gold but still very thin for that 9 buckets.
(Bottom vile)
1 River ruby and little bits of gold, what's referred to as flypoop.
Still some ground to get and its looking like it will be better with the larger rocks.
(Fingers crossed)
 
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Irons

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Well, I have found quite a few beautiful and unique out in the middle of nowhere places while searching for a good creek to prospect. Unfortunately most of them had zero Gold. My truck and motorcycle have been logging the miles in the woods again and it's a nice change from the crowded lakes and beaches I spent the last several years metal detecting.

Finding a creek on an old township map, then finding a forest service road that gets close to it, then looking for a trail that follows a compass reading that will hopefully take you to it. I swear the people who knew about all these locations must have gotten old and died off because there is like nobody in these remote corners of the woods anymore. No trash, two tracks so faded you can barely keep on them. Campfire rings that haven't seen a fire in many many years. Lots of dead ends too but damn, it's fun!

Many times we have run into private property and had to turn back, or the creek has been turned into a marsh by a series of beaver dams. Other times the trails just twist and turn and never intersect the frickin' creek we know is out there, somewhere.

But this weekend it paid off. I found 2 creeks that are not listed as trout streams, have good access and one has excellent Gold. The first one ought to show some better color I just have to look a little harder. Just doing 3 test pans with my folding shovel had a ton of black sand and garnets and tiny specks of Gold. I think a proper shovel will get me bigger specks in that creek. Quiet and unvisited it is full of all sizes of cobbles and gravels both in the creek and eroding out of it's banks.

Creek number 2 absolutely made my day! Black sand, big garnets and Gold specks big enough you could see the color of them. Don't laugh you frickin' westerners a speck of Michigan Gold big enough that you can see the color of it is damn near a flake! I did 3 test pans in both hard packed gravel and in just sandy gravel from an inside bend and had a 1/4 pan of black sand and garnets with the bigger specks of Gold in each. By far the best Gold I have found yet and I barely scratched the surface. Very exciting to finally find after looking in so many places.

I will be going back to those 2 creeks with proper gear, provisions and a few hours to spend.

My mobile Gold creek locating and test panning machine, easily goes where no brodozer dares to tread! . .
aarock.gif


Z-1RS.jpg
 

Irons

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My paydirt processing set up in the pole barn. Recirculating clean up sluice, panning station and behind the sluice table another small table for classifying, removing magnetite and washing the concentrates before spooning them into the sluice. I can process a 8.5 pound bag of Alaska dredge cons in around 4 hours of casual work with this set up. I enjoy it!

z-2RS.jpg
 

newmisty

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Well, I have found quite a few beautiful and unique out in the middle of nowhere places while searching for a good creek to prospect. Unfortunately most of them had zero Gold. My truck and motorcycle have been logging the miles in the woods again and it's a nice change from the crowded lakes and beaches I spent the last several years metal detecting.

Finding a creek on an old township map, then finding a forest service road that gets close to it, then looking for a trail that follows a compass reading that will hopefully take you to it. I swear the people who knew about all these locations must have gotten old and died off because there is like nobody in these remote corners of the woods anymore. No trash, two tracks so faded you can barely keep on them. Campfire rings that haven't seen a fire in many many years. Lots of dead ends too but damn, it's fun!

Many times we have run into private property and had to turn back, or the creek has been turned into a marsh by a series of beaver dams. Other times the trails just twist and turn and never intersect the frickin' creek we know is out there, somewhere.

But this weekend it paid off. I found 2 creeks that are not listed as trout streams, have good access and one has excellent Gold. The first one ought to show some better color I just have to look a little harder. Just doing 3 test pans with my folding shovel had a ton of black sand and garnets and tiny specks of Gold. I think a proper shovel will get me bigger specks in that creek. Quiet and unvisited it is full of all sizes of cobbles and gravels both in the creek and eroding out of it's banks.

Creek number 2 absolutely made my day! Black sand, big garnets and Gold specks big enough you could see the color of them. Don't laugh you frickin' westerners a speck of Michigan Gold big enough that you can see the color of it is damn near a flake! I did 3 test pans in both hard packed gravel and in just sandy gravel from an inside bend and had a 1/4 pan of black sand and garnets with the bigger specks of Gold in each. By far the best Gold I have found yet and I barely scratched the surface. Very exciting to finally find after looking in so many places.

I will be going back to those 2 creeks with proper gear, provisions and a few hours to spend.

My mobile Gold creek locating and test panning machine, easily goes where no brodozer dares to tread! . . View attachment 209437

View attachment 209438
Pay off!!!
aarock.gif
 

newmisty

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My paydirt processing set up in the pole barn. Recirculating clean up sluice, panning station and behind the sluice table another small table for classifying, removing magnetite and washing the concentrates before spooning them into the sluice. I can process a 8.5 pound bag of Alaska dredge cons in around 4 hours of casual work with this set up. I enjoy it!

View attachment 209439
Crikey, so tidy you could eat off the floor!
 

engineear

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My paydirt processing set up in the pole barn. Recirculating clean up sluice, panning station and behind the sluice table another small table for classifying, removing magnetite and washing the concentrates before spooning them into the sluice. I can process a 8.5 pound bag of Alaska dredge cons in around 4 hours of casual work with this set up. I enjoy it!

View attachment 209439
Don't you ever find bikini clad babes where you go....oh...ha...you'd never tell us!!

Good work...crack on...so to speak.
 

newmisty

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My paydirt processing set up in the pole barn. Recirculating clean up sluice, panning station and behind the sluice table another small table for classifying, removing magnetite and washing the concentrates before spooning them into the sluice. I can process a 8.5 pound bag of Alaska dredge cons in around 4 hours of casual work with this set up. I enjoy it!

View attachment 209439
20210503_005627.gif
 

Irons

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Got back to my best creek this weekend and got you guys some pictures! . . . :2 thumbs up:

Saturday I hiked in with just a pan and classifier to look around upstream and it just kept getting better. In the first picture I thought I was looking at bedrock but it turned out to be layers of hard clay that sit like shelves. THAT immediately told me why this creek is so good, that flat slick clay is just as good as bedrock for holding Gold. You don't even need to break it up the Gold and gravel is sitting on top of it. Downstream where I tested first the gravel was deeper, up here there is just a few inches of gravel sitting on the clay and it's holding Gold!

Second pic I'm scraping gravel off clay and classifying it to #12 mesh. The Gold speck count is pretty good all over here but that small gravel bench area I'm digging at is a slight low pressure area and the count is a little better there so I worked it. There has got to be pockets of Gold in low spots in a creek like this but so far I'm not good enough to spot them. But I will be as I gain experience.

Got the sluice set up, that little bugger (30 inch EZ Sluice) likes a fast water flow through it. Took some adjusting but I figured it out. Got the treat of seeing a nice speck of Gold hit and stick on the flare just above the first set of riffles. Cools as hell!

When I was done I filled in the areas I dug and scattered the sluice rocks around. No need to advertise what I found or what I did.

Final pics are clean up and my total for the weekend, and yes that dark piece is Gold too. I'm very happy with the results so far as I learn this remarkably complex skill!

Thanks for looking!

S-RS1.jpg
S-RS3.jpg
S-RS4.jpg
S-RS5.jpg
S-RS6.jpg
S-RS7.jpg
S-RS8.jpg
S-RS9.jpg
 

vichris

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Hey nice work. Looks like an area thats been pretty well undisturbed for a good long while. That some pretty decent color for a first attempt at it. Congrats. Keep after it
 

coopersmith

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I got my complete mini sluice, like the one irons uses, finally. They sent the sluice, the legs, and half the hose setup, but no other half of the hose, or the pump. I called the place on the sticker on the sluice, and he said id bought from a distributor, who incidently was coming to pick up product that afternoon. The owner took my number, and said hed have said supplier call me, which he did. Everyone was cordial, easy to work with (hard to understand that southern twang, at least for me), and the remaining parts were sent.

I have subsequently ordered several bags of paydirt of various persuasions, to start learning to pan, and run the sluice. I intend to go collect some concentrate myself this weekend as well, there are a couple of dormant volcanoes on my vicinity ive been to before, but never with the intent to prospect.

Thru an acquantence I found out a guy in town is an amateur prospector and mineral/gem hunter. I went and chatted with him, and he is game to go along. he has been moderately successful in this area, as well as on the spanish peaks in huerfeno county colorado. He is already talking about a trip to the peaks, he says hed rather have someone along for safety reasons on the high altitude scree (loose rock) slopes above timberline. He is enthusiastic, has been calling me almost everyday to discuss prospecting, and sending me lots of links to my email. He is not old and crotchity or out of shape, I hope we can get along well.

The wife has been bugging me for years to get her a metal detector. I have finally caved. Id like to get a quality one she can use to look around old homesteads, as well as for me to be able to use it to look for gold. Any suggestions would be appreciated. i see on the sticker on the sluice, the place is also a dealer of garrett detectors, so will probably order thru them if they have what I need, as its a small business.
 
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newmisty

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I got my complete mini sluice, like the one irons uses, finally. They sent the sluice, the legs, and half the hose setup, but no other half of the hose, or the pump. I called the place on the sticker on the sluice, and he said id bought from a distributor, who incidently was coming to pick up product that afternoon. The owner took my number, and said hed have said supplier call me, which he did. Everyone was cordial, easy to work with (hard to understand that southern twang, at least for me), and the remaining parts were sent.

I have subsequently ordered several bags of paydirt of various persuasions, to start learning to pan, and run the sluice. I intend to go collect some concentrate myself this weekend as well, there are a couple of dormant volcanoes on my vicinity ive been to before, but never with the intent to prospect.

Thru an acquantence I found out a guy in town is an amateur prospector and mineral/gem hunter. I went and chatted with him, and he is game to go along. he has been moderately successful in this area, as well as on the spanish peaks in huerfeno county colorado. He is already talking about a trip to the peaks, he says hed rather have someone along for safety reasons on the high altitude scree (loose rock) slopes above timberline. He is enthusiastic, has been calling me almost everyday to discuss prospecting, and sending me lots of links to my email. He is not old and crotchity or out of shape, I hope we can get along well.

The wife has been bugging me for years to get her a metal detector. I have finally caved. Id like to get a quality one she can use to look around old homesteads, as well as for me to be able to use it to look for gold. Any suggestions would be appreciated. i see on the sticker on the sluice, the place is also a dealer of garrett detectors, so will probably order thru them if they have what I need, as its a small business.
Ha. Who knew this was such an addictive, social bonding activity.
.
 

coopersmith

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Im not bonding, im just bored and it looks like fun. I havent got my dick out yet..........lol

Fur isnt worth anything, might as well find a new hobby. skinning coyotes for free.......meh......
 

Irons

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I got my complete mini sluice, like the one irons uses, finally. They sent the sluice, the legs, and half the hose setup, but no other half of the hose, or the pump. I called the place on the sticker on the sluice, and he said id bought from a distributor, who incidently was coming to pick up product that afternoon. The owner took my number, and said hed have said supplier call me, which he did. Everyone was cordial, easy to work with (hard to understand that southern twang, at least for me), and the remaining parts were sent.

I have subsequently ordered several bags of paydirt of various persuasions, to start learning to pan, and run the sluice. I intend to go collect some concentrate myself this weekend as well, there are a couple of dormant volcanoes on my vicinity ive been to before, but never with the intent to prospect.

Thru an acquantence I found out a guy in town is an amateur prospector and mineral/gem hunter. I went and chatted with him, and he is game to go along. he has been moderately successful in this area, as well as on the spanish peaks in huerfeno county colorado. He is already talking about a trip to the peaks, he says hed rather have someone along for safety reasons on the high altitude scree (loose rock) slopes above timberline. He is enthusiastic, has been calling me almost everyday to discuss prospecting, and sending me lots of links to my email. He is not old and crotchity or out of shape, I hope we can get along well.

The wife has been bugging me for years to get her a metal detector. I have finally caved. Id like to get a quality one she can use to look around old homesteads, as well as for me to be able to use it to look for gold. Any suggestions would be appreciated. i see on the sticker on the sluice, the place is also a dealer of garrett detectors, so will probably order thru them if they have what I need, as its a small business.
You are a lucky dog. You have somebody who knows what they are doing that's willing to teach you, and a wife that wants to treasure hunt.
That's pretty much a grand slam brother! Like usual I'm the only fool I know who does this stuff!


.
 

Irons

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Irons

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Ha. Who knew this was such an addictive, social bonding activity.
.
When you do the research and the hiking and the evaluating then finally the digging and the chipping and then see Gold in your pan. Whew!
Be it big or small it's fucking awesome. You did it, you nailed it, you pulled it off. You found it. You're the 1 out of 1,000 today!


aarock.gif



 

Irons

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Got to another smaller creek Saturday and set up for a short sluice run, couple hours. I got a dozen or so nice specks at cleanup.
I thought I would get more here, turns out the paystreak was smaller than I figured or I just wandered off of it.

Beautiful day on the creek though!

5-15-21RS.jpg
 

spinalcracker

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When you do the research and the hiking and the evaluating then finally the digging and the chipping and then see Gold in your pan. Whew!
Be it big or small it's fucking awesome. You did it, you nailed it, you pulled it off. You found it. You're the 1 out of 1,000 today!


View attachment 210541




that is a great movie.........it says more about the human spirit in 5 minutes than old Plato says in a week
 

rte

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5 hours Friday from 6:30am /11:30am.
6 drywasher cleanouts in 3 buckets (trying to find out where the best material is at)
Resized_20210521_174246.jpeg

Results after a little more than an hour today (yes I hand panned it all) after sifting the concentraits through a 1/20 screen.
Will check the larger stuff with the metal detector and see if there are any surprises.

1st 2nd 3rd clean out starting from the bottom.
Then all together in the pan.
2 tenths of a gram maybe?
Resized_20210522_132727.jpeg

Resized_20210522_133342.jpeg

One of the guys in our group figures that each of our claims has 7 million in gold.

(disclaimer) just have to get it out of the ground as jack hoffsman says.

We laughed, then he says technically it's under claim and it's considered an asset which could be added to your net worth.
 
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rte

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Dont forget to check the screened tailings...
I screen to 1/12" before panning.
got a 5 gallon bucket full and I did a quick search with the gold monster in a black tub.
Resized_20210523_112051.jpeg

Found 2 pieces.
.023 gram.
Resized_20210523_112025.jpeg

.129 gram.
Resized_20210523_133623.jpeg

I figured the gold monster would easily scream at me searching in a 1/2" of material.
I was on my 5th pass before it made a sound on the second piece.... hmmm.
I'll run them again through the gold cube and see what that shows
 

Thecrensh

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Dont forget to check the screened tailings...
I screen to 1/12" before panning.
got a 5 gallon bucket full and I did a quick search with the gold monster in a black tub.
View attachment 211537
Found 2 pieces.
.023 gram.
View attachment 211538
.129 gram.
View attachment 211539
I figured the gold monster would easily scream at me searching in a 1/2" of material.
I was on my 5th pass before it made a sound on the second piece.... hmmm.
I'll run them again through the gold cube and see what that shows
I remember in the early 2000s, there was an old industrial mine up in AK that had been bought and was run by people selling week trips to metal detect the big tailing piles. The nuggets people found were measured in 10's of ounces...pics to prove it. Out near Galena, I believe...can't remember the name of the mine and don't know if they are even open anymore. Bottom line, in 2005 it was about $2500 a week to go and stay in a one room shack (food/board)...we know where the real gold was...
 

vichris

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Spent 1/2 a day at one of our claims last Saturday ran a couple of bucket fulls through a dry washer and came up with a little color in the pan. But what was the real find was the small nugget I picked out of my classifier.....puffy gold.....pic of both sides of the nugget.



.
IMG_20210522_174846959.jpg
IMG_20210525_102545979.jpg
IMG_20210525_102619231.jpg
 
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Irons

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I usually just post when things go well and I find good stuff. Unfortunately reality paid me a visit yesterday!

So I had some time before work yesterday so I thought I would go sluice up some cons to run through the recirculator this weekend.
No problem, I grab some gear and head to the creek. The water was up, no problem we got this. Wrong.

I couldn't get my sluice running right to save my ass, wasted an hour on that. No problem I'll just do some panning as I have found good Gold all over this spot. Wrong. I couldn't pan a speck of Gold no matter how many places I tried. This was truly a clown show of fail from start to finish.

So I went to work.

If this was easy every fool would be doing it, not just some fools.


Good luck out there! . . . .
thumbsup.gif


laughingmouse.gif
 

savvydon

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I usually just post when things go well and I find good stuff. Unfortunately reality paid me a visit yesterday!

So I had some time before work yesterday so I thought I would go sluice up some cons to run through the recirculator this weekend.
No problem, I grab some gear and head to the creek. The water was up, no problem we got this. Wrong.

I couldn't get my sluice running right to save my ass, wasted an hour on that. No problem I'll just do some panning as I have found good Gold all over this spot. Wrong. I couldn't pan a speck of Gold no matter how many places I tried. This was truly a clown show of fail from start to finish.

So I went to work.

If this was easy every fool would be doing it, not just some fools.


Good luck out there! . . . . View attachment 211985

View attachment 211984
I appreciate your candor. Shows us all why we value gold in the first place.

If we didn't have down days then the up days wouldn't mean so much.;)
 

coopersmith

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The wife and I have been messing around w a 3lb bag of paydirt we got off amazon today (pirate chris says argh....at amazon). Panning isnt as easy as it looks. I classified the dirt down into 4 lots, and we messed with the big stuff, and saved everything for further review. I may fire up the mini sluice tomorrow and run some of the smaller material, but a bottle of good whiskey, a big fat joint, the grill for some ribeyes, and lawn chair are calling my name. We got done planting corn this morning (3300 acres) and I am tired.

We found nothing in the big lot, but im waiting for my new buddy some come back from a prospecting trip he is on to the sweetwater river in wyo. Chatted w him today via cellular waves, he was dredging a feeder creek, talking to me on the phone................ :2 thumbs up:

He is still on about the trip to spanish peaks later in the yr to prospect.

So all and all, not much to report yet, but I had fun looking at the tiny rocks.
 

Unca Walt

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He will forever shun half-assed measures when handling his catch.
 

Irons

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Panning isnt as easy as it looks. .
Word.

Like any skill it takes some instruction and lots and lots of practice! Goldbay paydirt is easy to learn, dredge concentrates from Chicken Alaska and drywasher concentrates from brother RTE's Arizona desert are as difficult as it gets, IMO.

A good place to learn is over a tub in your kitchen. That way when you want to slam the pan and it's contents on the ground in frustration and stomp on it's remains you remember you are in your kitchen and such outbursts will leave a mark. Forced patience works well.


Keep at it until you are an expert! . . .
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hammerhead

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I haven't had to grab my detector out of the trees in awhile. That's only because I hadn't used it.
 

Lt Dan

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Youngest grand daughter wanted to use my MD to hunt treasure.
I put fresh batteries in it, showed her how to use it.
Wasn't long, she brought it back.
Seems her mom told her to quit digging holes in the yard.
We have rocks here that can be picked up with a magnet - so - it was probably just rocks she was detecting.
 

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coopersmith

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My buddy came out today and we ran the bought paydirt thru the mini sluice. There is definitely gold in it. We did 2 runs thru the minisluice, and there was nothing in the second run, so he reconned we are running it properly. We got it down to 3 cleanouts, about a cup of fines. We practiced sucking the gold flakes off the mat with the sniffer, too cool man! We are going to pan it (he had to go) sometime near the end of the week, and go classify at some spots around some extinct volcanoes in the area.

He is working on a recirc sluice setup with one like irons uses in the creek (ez sluice?), then we will run concentrates thru the mini sluice, and pan the fines. I think its going to be great. Guy is a reformed drunkard and doesnt want to be around the adult beverages, so im going to take the opportunity to dry out a bit............not as easy sometimes as one might think, being a professional and all.

He also wants to take me arrowhead hunting............ :2 thumbs up:

Good Times!
 

rte

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Sounds like progress copper.
Were pretty much on a 3 month break here with the triple digit heat.
On of the other guys is working on a recirculating system and a dewatering system.
Water in the desert comes at a premium.

I'm kicking around picking up a cheap boat trailer that I'll try and make into a low buck road scraper.
 

coopersmith

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My friend left me a vid link, he thinks this is the way to go here. We are dry like you.

 

coopersmith

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rte

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A properly set up drywasher will catch 95% plus of the gold.
Were running a Thompson puffer drywasher and pre screening material down to 1/4" through my trommel.
It's an extra step, but the my trommel can take a beating with the larger rocks where the Thompson puffer is a little bit more lite weight compared to that 141 keene.

The down side of my trommel is that it weighs in at 60 pounds.
At the end of the day if feels much heavier.
My next one I build will be a lighter weight structure and 12 volt motor driven.
 

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