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Small Mining Operations

Ask the Experts: Silent partners and mining—is it worth the risk?

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Proper Assaying of Placer Samples


The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.

Crushing Quartz in Calaveras County: A Placer Miner Learns New Tricks


I had never run an impact mill before, but anything involving rocks, water and a big electric motor sounded great.

Persistence Leads to Over a Pound of Gold


I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.

Recovering Fine Gold with Oleophilic Adhesion


Oleophilic means "affinity to or attracted to oils," and this includes gold an diamonds.

The Seven Troughs Mining District


The favorable geology of the northeastern and central parts of the Seven Troughs Range are the parts most interesting to prospectors. They are underlain by a thick sequence of Tertiary volcanic rocks, mostly rhyolites and andesites.

Dry Washer, Wet System or Metal Detector?


I love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.

Modern Mining Reclamation


A study showed that between 1930 and 1980, only a quarter of one percent of the land in the United States was used in all mining applications combined, including surface mining, tailings disposal, underground mines, and all mineral processing facilities.

Subscription Required:
The Bawl Mill   • Ask the Experts: Big rocks or small cobbles?   • Ask the Experts: Quartz rock and the chance of gold in my area of New Hampshire?   • Ask the Experts: Equipment and gold locations in Colorado   • Sierra County Gold—Part II   • The Silver Islet Mountains of Utah   • Gold Placers of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska   • Alternative Gold Leaching Methods   • Over the Divide   • Prospecting for Diamonds in Kimberlite   • Additional Note Regarding "Strategic Metals—Part II"   • Take a Kid Detecting   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices

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