Extracting & Smelting Your Gold
February 2013 by Gus PeppleyUnfortunately, not all the gold that we prospectors find is pretty, or appealing to the eyes. They are not all nice, bright, shiny nuggets with lots of character that carry high collector value.
That prospecting effort you are about to spend your time on...is it worth your effort? If you are going to devote your time to it, you will need all the facts you can get.
We were met with a plethora of mechanical problems with the dry washer and even a few with the excavator that were at times frustrating, but we were in this for the long haul, so we needed to solve these problems and move forward.
These are entry-level machines designed with gold prospecting in mind and with the ability to handle mineralized ground and see nuggets of a grain or so in size, perhaps smaller.
The high prices for gold and silver are exciting and certainly have revolutionized the prospecting and mining scene. New interest in gold and silver mining is springing up from every corner, from individual prospectors armed with gold pans to exploration and mining companies working to set up multimillion dollar commercial operations producing hundreds of thousands of ounces per year. The idea of getting riches from rocks is one that motivates a lot of folks all over the globe. It’s an exciting time, but this excitement brings out another side...
Most dry washers have a feed rate adjustment. It needs to be set so that the material flows evenly over the riffles and does not bury them.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
It was early in the 2008 season on the Mokelumne River near Pine Grove, California. Considering the potential for high water through the month of June, my wife Fran and I set our sights on investigating some of the pot holes in...
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