How to Make a Rock Sled for Dredging
August 2017 by Ron Kliewer
When my “anonymous” friend told me the rock tub was probably a hundred miles from where he safely stashed it, I decided to build another sled and improve on my old design.
A Wilfley table works best when all of the mineral being run across it (the pulp) is about the same size. For this reason, I took a good look at each of the samples.
They must have assumed the paystreak was spotty and had been mined out, so they never mined as close to the side of the valley as they should have.
Improper sampling techniques lead to more avoidable heartache than almost anything else in micro mining.
The evaluation must also consider the gold fineness or purity. The purity of the Sugardaddy nuggets is estimated at 850 fineness, meaning 85% is gold (Au), 12% is silver (Ag) with 3% being other gangue alloyed metal.
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.
While river dredging in fast water, don’t be afraid of being swept out of your dredge hole by the current. If this happens—and it most certainly will in fast water—there is no need to panic. Don’t try to swim against the current because you will waste much energy in an effort to conquer the river. Just let it take you downstream.
It is not necessary to have a PhD in geology, but you need to know the basics, so that’s what I am going to try to dig into here—the understandable basics of these gigantic gold deposits.
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