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Small Mining Operations

All About Hard Rock Drills

There are three basic power sources for rock drills—electricity, gasoline and compressed air. Before we go into big pneumatic drills, we’ll start with a quick rundown of each.

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Ask The Experts


Any good books on mineralized faults and contacts?

Wilfley Tables—Repair, Rebuild & Set Up


I researched the Internet and found a number of table makers, but technology has changed in the last 25 years. No one could sell me a kit for a new deck with wooden riffles...

Small-Scale Concentrating and Recovery Methods


The first step in my recovery process after milling the ore to the desired size is to table it. On this particular ore, I get good results milling it to minus 100 mesh.

Setting Up A Placer Operation


Trommels come in two basic sections. The first section is called the scrubber unit. The second is the punch plate, where the gravels and ore of a specified size drop out into a variety of sluice box recovery units.

Early Summer Mining in Wyoming


Old tailing piles extend for miles. There was still plenty of water flowing here, so WPA members set up highbankers at several settling ponds.

Principles of Designing Your Mill Production System, Part I: Starting Up


One of the issues that prospectors run into when working to upscale from micro-scale hard rock testing to a greater production output, is that they often confuse individual devices or machines with systems.

Sampling for Success—Part II


The first and most important thing of the sampling process is to try to be as unbiased as possible. There is a natural tendency to select rock that looks the best—even unconsciously.

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