About Me

Gino Del-Ciotto Hi there, I am Gino Del-Ciotto the owner of Nugget Valley Gold Prospecting Adventures. Let me personally take you out into the wilderness to experience the joy of finding your own gold and platinum! Nugget Valley Gold Prospecting Adventures Ltd. is the only Gold prospecting adventure company that offers the chance to also mine for chunky platinum nuggets one of the rarest minerals and most valuable in the world. Did I forget to mention the odd pink or white diamond shows up in the pan as well?

The Birth of a Dream

Posted by Gino Del-Ciotto on Thursday, March 13, 2014 Under: Adventures in the Nugget Valley.
I thought for my first real blog entry I would tell the story of how I, a young 31 year old prospector came across the Nugget Valley and how it developed into the tourism destination it is today. Way back in the late 90's and early years of the new millennium with the world economy on the ropes with the tech bubble about to burst, I realized gold was cheap and way safer than the paper fiat currencies being used these days. I won't get too deep into that subject we will leave that for the campfire discussions when you come out to see me!

The long and short of it is I first started to buy gold and silver, then a good friend of mine Jason said on a lark that we should learn how to find gold and start hunting for deer together as we were both into hunting. This would bring us to about 2002. Jason enjoyed the hobby but decided to focus most of his efforts on hunting, myself I was hopelessly bitten by the gold bug and was suffering from a fierce case of gold fever! I did some research and became fascinated with the area around the former gold rush town Granite City near the sleepy town of Coalmont B.C.

As I had an interest in rare minerals as well due to the fact I am a avid rock hound and love cutting gemstones and carving soapstone sculptures that I sell to help fund my various exploits, the area was of great interest to me due to the fact it had one of the rarest precious metals in the world, Platinum! Platinum is available as a nugget specimen in only 3-4 locations worldwide so my search began in earnest to find a gold / platinum producing claim and meet people in the business of prospecting. Over the first 2 years I made a claim on the very famous Granite creek before the staking rush started a few years later. I found my first gold there and some small bits of Platinum!

As well i located areas where I could harvest rocks for my other interests. After a couple of years of this I felt the need to learn more and in a faster fashion. So on my third season out I being a fairly shy guy at the time worked up the courage to talk to some local people at the local and only bar called the Coalmont Hotel, a historic building now more than 100 years old! I spoke to the bar keep and his wife and asked them about the area the history and they were happy to indulge me. After quaffing a couple of beer and getting to know them better I asked them if they could direct me to the best local prospector they know that I could possibly pay for lessons and buy some gold and platinum nuggets.

They referred me to a man by the name of Maurice who lived only 100 yards away from the hotel. I knocked on his door and introduced myself and inquired about purchasing some metal off of him. His partner was there too and we worked a deal out, and I purchased a good quantity of gold and silver to supply my fledgling and growing paydirt business as I could not find enough material myself to satisfy the demand for my Eureka Gold Sands. I was staying in a very rustic cabin in town near the Tulameen river the owner was quite a character we became fast friends. The next day I asked Maurice if he could spend some time with me on my next trip out to the area and maybe even show me his claim. He told me that it was a tough hike and his partner told me I was too heavy (I was very out of shape at near 360 pounds) and would not be able to do the intense hike back up the mountain at the end of the day. He joked everything goes downhill so you'll find your way down one way or the other!

I left a little dejected but more determined than ever to get to their claim as the gold was very nice and chunky and some of the largest platinum nuggets I had ever seen on pictures or in person were in their possession. (At least until I found collectors who purchased them at very high premiums that put a smile on all of our faces.) A year later I came back 70 pounds lighter at a still over weight but much trimmer 290 pounds, something I achieved by cutting most commercially bought meats and replacing them with personally harvested wild game which is far healthier for you! I continue this diet to this day and am a mean trim 260 pound now! Maurice's partner was impressed with my efforts and agreed that Maurice could take me and my cousin Shane down to the claim to see it.

We had a few other friends of Maurice's join us including the owner of the cabin that I rented while out there. The climb down was intense, it was mid June and the water was roaring through with the snow melt. I made it down fine as I was an experienced bushman the steep trails were no problem. We were able to do a little panning and that day Maurice showed me and our friend's his technique's and I found my first Nugget Valley gold nuggets! (Some of you may be asking why I do not name the creek here and the answer is simple. Claim jumpers, our paying guests learn the location names and such but as gold is now very expensive and valuable as well as the great platinum nuggets down there, if I publicized the name of the creek I am sure that many unscrupulous people would descend on the claim before we get our material out of it.) At this point I should mention

Maurice is not a young man he was 67 at the time we first went down to the Nugget Valley together he is approaching 74 now and still puts most people to shame on the hikes, proving you are only as young or old as you want to believe! After that trip I was hooked I had to live out this way, so planning began to do that. It took 3 more years as I had interests in the big city I had to close out before retiring my car for a 4x4 and my busy stress for the quiet outdoors where I still make my living today. I returned every year becoming great friends with Maurice and eventually we became like family, we share in all of our mining exploits together now as 50/50 partners.

The knowledge he has bestowed on me is priceless and it is my mission to keep that man mining until he says he doesn't want to anymore than I will push him to make sure he really wants to stop and knowing him he will pick the pick back up! Due to a legal issue and paper work error we lost the claim in 2010 and a home prospector or otherwise known in our community as a armchair prospector claimed our claim from under us via computer and we were forced to pay thousands to get the claim back into our name! Maurice's partner decided to bow out and I became Maurice's 50% partner as I had the cash to top up Maurice's fund to save the claim! That was a close one, from that point forward I became the business manager as I am more familiar with the computer staking and electronic management of claims as required in this day and age. I have since been able to secure our claim until 2022 so we are not worried about losing it again.

We can look forward to many more years of finding the Nugget Valley's gorgeously large Gold and Platinum nuggets as well as hearing all of Maurice's fascinating stories from his trapping days in northern Saskatchewan to his nearly 40 years of prospecting in the very area where we are located. So after I acquired my 50% share of the claim another crisis hit us, because the other partner had left the business he needed to take his equipment back which left us with minimal gold mining gear so we had to step up to the plate and do everything we could do including trading some of our nicest nuggets (one was 20 grams!) for new mining gear. So now we were many thousands into saving the claim and we needed to find a way to replenish our funds as well as satisfy our need to prospect as this is both I and Maurice's main passion.

I helped keep things afloat through selling material at premiums to collector's of rare platinum nuggets while we developed a plan. The plan became Nugget Valley Gold Prospecting Adventures. We realized that people would be willing to pay to go on guided authentic adventures in prospecting up in the Alaska and Yukon regions. We are located near the Washington state border with Canada making us much more accessible proximity wise as well we have gentler weather this far south in Canada, as well we have something no one else can offer not even other local miner's, that is the chance to pan out large platinum nuggets as most of the material in local streams is flour sized up to maybe 2mm in size our 1 gram plus Platinum nuggets are an anomaly in the area and are extremely rare but far more common in the Nugget Valley than any other location in the Tulameen Platinum Complex where the area's platinum is spread out. Now the year is 2014 and Nugget Valley Gold Prospecting Adventures is now 3 years old, we have hosted nearly 35 guests in total as well as a few free trips for those we know well and some auctioned trips that we donated to help local charitable efforts.

We have hosted people from 12 to 80+ years old and will cater a trip designed for your needs and ability. Not everyone can go to the Nugget valley but through our other claims ad the permission we have to use other prospecting friends claims we can always get you onto the gold! See you this summer in sunny Princeton B.C. where we live and base the operations of Nugget valley Gold Prospecting Adventures.

In : Adventures in the Nugget Valley. 

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