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Small Mining Operations

How to Make a Rock Sled for Dredging

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.

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The Basics of Crushing and Milling Operations


In processing gold, silver and other valuable ores, the minerals containing the values, such as metallic gold, silver-bearing sulfides or other minerals, must be freed from the surrounding host rock before those valuable minerals can be captured.

What About Palladium?


Palladium may well be an underexplored element and therefore an opportunity for prospectors and geologists. This is because they are often less than obvious and other than the native metals, a chemical analysis of samples is required to identify PGM-enriched rocks.

PLP Update: Back to The 'Swamp' on Behalf of Small Miners


We spent the morning in a meeting with one of the higher-ups at the US Forest Service. I presented him with 412 complaints received from our readers, along with a summary of the complaints to make his job easier.

The Miner’s Switchback


Common thought is the switchback slows the velocity of the rushing water and gold drops out from the cut bank to a fill gravel bar within or below the switchback. I am not going to disregard that model; however, I hope to improve upon it.

Dredging Safety: Don't Ignore The Warning Signs


At first, I tried to shift things around, but then a hand with a rock would appear, so I would stop trying to adjust my gear and grab the rock to keep things moving.

Placer Sampling for the Small-Scale Miner


I have seen many samples taken originally with an eye toward getting the highest grades possible, but later someone claims that those results represent an average grade of the whole gravel deposit.

Prospecting Hard Rock


We panned out maybe three gold pans of the material and we were shocked at the gold that was there. This rock appeared to be rich.

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