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Small Mining Operations

Ask the Experts

Ore testing and other advice for starting up a mining operation.

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Additional articles that might interest you...

Exploring Placers with Auger Drills


Augers can be used effectively for placer exploration with certain limitations.

Dredging Do's and Don'ts


I’d start the day by crawling out of my dome tent, cooking up some Spam and eggs, and heating water for instant coffee on the Coleman stove.

From Iowa to Alaska—How I Became A Gold Miner


May 18, 2019, after 26 years, I had finally saved enough money. I bought my one-way ticket to Fairbanks, Alaska, and I started off by finding a new job…

The Bucking Room


Since this position was the least desirable due to the hard physical labor, the bucking room was used as punishment. Do you have a mediocre worker? Bad attitude? Off to the bucking room!

What Do You Need For A Successful Micro-Scale Mine?


For simplicity, I will assume that you wish to make enough profit so that you can comfortably pay your bills using just the profits from the mine.

The Fire Assay of Carbon


Carbon, activated charcoal, or “char,” as some old timers refer to it, can be an assayer’s nightmare.

The ABCs of XRF


Fast forward to present day and the XRF has come of age. Pull the trigger on the hand-held device and you get a nearly instant assay of the surface of a rock.

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