Coeur Alaska Hopes to Begin Work on Gold Mine This Fall
September 2004 by Associated PressOn a recent afternoon, Rick Richins fished a large piece of quartzite ore studded with glittering particles from the floor of a dark, dripping tunnel at the Kensington gold mine.
The Gold Rush in California called hundreds of thousands of souls to leave their homes to journey to the the far reaches of the West. At first the rich goldfields of the Sierra Nevada beckoned to these adventurous pioneers.
Rotten rock (saprolite) can be found in all warm, humid regions, but is best developed in humid, subtropical climates, like that found in the American South. Outwardly, it looks like bedrock, but upon closer inspection, it can be seen that roots penetrate it and that it can be worked with a shovel or hydraulic monitor.
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.
We all know that it was never Congress’ intent to regulate gold panners and other individual mine operators through MSHA. In fact, I believe the concept of owner-operated mines with no employees was so strange a concept to the lawmakers that they never even thought there would be a need for such an exemption.
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