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Small Mining Operations

Lode or Placer: What Difference Does It Make?

This explains the large difference in particle sizes between placers and hydrothermal lode deposits, but also means that while the mining may be similar in some cases, the sampling and recovery techniques are usually quite different.

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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.

Sampling for Success—Part I


All these decisions and more depend on the richness of a claim—something that is determined by sampling. But sampling isn’t cheap, and even collecting the samples can be more difficult than it appears on the surface.

Gold Geochemistry: Where Does Gold Come From?


Prospectors often wonder why gold deposits in veins like it does. Why is one vein rich while another is barren, even though they are only a few hundred feet apart?

Dry Washer, Wet System or Metal Detector?


I love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.

Small-Scale Hard Rock Mining With Water Recycling


Once I have established the presence of gold in the sample, I collect five-gallon bucket quantities of the rock material for processing back at my shop.

Small-Scale Concentrating and Recovery Methods


The first step in my recovery process after milling the ore to the desired size is to table it. On this particular ore, I get good results milling it to minus 100 mesh.

Resurrecting An Old Hard Rock Mine--The Saga Continues


Another little gem of equipment he built was a nifty sample splitter. In order to get accurate assays, you need to have really good, representative samples for the assayer to process.

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