Adventure at the 420 Level
March 2000 by Sam E. Phifer, P.G.Beneath the rolling fairways and manicured greens of a sedate golf course community in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, lie the 600-foot deep, water filled, caved workings of the once famous Phoenix Gold Mine.
Tabling and jigging are two relatively inexpensive methods of recovering the “free particle values” from the noble metal ores. However, not all ores contain their values as free particles. In fact, many gold ores contain appreciable amounts of “metallic gold salts,” some of which readily dissolve in the system water and continue to migrate right along with it.
Imagine being able to get gold from plants. This phenomenon is called phytomining. But it’s not as easy, or as profitable, as it sounds. You may have heard of phytoremediation—the process of extracting metal contaminants from soil.
In 2005, my wife and I, along with our supervisor Horacio, made numerous business and supply trips from Arivechi, Sonora, to the capital of Sonora, Hermosillo. This is a distance of 135 miles along a very narrow paved mountain road.
Many of you are aware that we have been engaged in litigation with anti-mining activists that have been attacking us through the Karuk Tribe of California since 2003. It all started with their lawsuit against the US Forest Service (USFS), challenging that District Rangers do not have the authority to allow small-scale mining activities under a Notice of Intent (NOI) when the Ranger concludes that the mining activity is not likely to create a substantial surface disturbance.
While the current mine plans forecast an end of mining in about 2019, Bingham Canyons’ future remains bright. Company officials are looking at an expansion that, if approved, will extend the mine life until about 2036.
I saw a big brown hind end of what at first I thought was an elk, about 75 yards away. I was standing behind a large tree and stopped and peeked around the tree to see what it was.
The Bawl Mill • Group Sues Feds Over New Nat'l Monuments • Tribe Joins Idaho in Roadless Suit • 10,000 Shovels Back Protest • Letter to the Editor—From Mike Miller, President, Original Sixteen to One Mine • U.S. Dept. of Interior Inspectors in Arizona • Wyoming Tops in Royalties • Sunnyside, Arizona • Evaluating a Placer Discovery • Company Notes • Treasures for Sale • "Gold" Coin Debuts • Picks & Pans: Prospecting at Mills Creek, Alaska • Delamar District, Nevada • Millie's Tailings • Looking Back • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices