From Curiosity to Mine Owner - Pt II
October 2015 by Scott HarnWhen we last heard from Ernie, he was still in Honduras and we were anxiously waiting to hear how the set up and training went at the mine. It got a bit complicated after that.
When I started dredging a short distance downstream from that feature I realized that I was into a major paystreak and much of the gold was coming right out of the upper gravel. I could see the chunky pieces falling out of the gravel as they were pulled into...
Most placer equipment is really made with gold in the 30 and larger mesh sizes in mind, though if carefully used can often get reasonable recovery down to the 50 mesh size.
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.
Old mine workings and tailing piles can represent opportunities on many levels, from the chance to simply find a nugget on up to the commercial reworking of the old tailings for profit.
After your excitement peaks when you first receive the high gold assay from the vein you just exposed, you ponder how you will extract and sell your gold. You will need to develop a flow sheet for your process to optimize your recovery and minimize your costs and permit requirements.
After he excavates the ore down to bedrock, he goes over the bedrock with a metal detector to ensure he didn't leave any gold behind before he backfills the area.
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