Small-Scale Miners Rock the Mining World
August 2012 by Chris RalphWith the high price of gold, there are many new prospectors out in the hills all over the United States, and while we would all prefer to be finding those larger nuggets, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes all that is available is nothing more than a few small flakes. The truth is, new prospectors are sprouting up all across the planet—especially in the developing nations.
While recovery rates are important, they must necessarily be secondary to the volume of material processed. Running more material at lower recovery rates is generally preferable to increasing the efficiency of the system.
This is the story of a nugget patch I’ve been working on that is a bit unusual. I won’t be telling you where it is located, but I will tell you how I found it and how I’ve worked it.
• Re: Tyrie's Roadway Nugget
• Re: Are Permits Needed for Highbanking in California
The pile up on the small hill had to be a couple yards of black sand. I’m not one to ignore a little gold even if it is small in size—I have always believed that gold fever comes in all sizes.
I am going to break bedrock down a bit and explain my view of the varying scenarios I come across in the field.
Picking the right spot to placer has to do with years of experience, and a little luck. The textbooks can tell you where it should be, but sometimes the rules just don’t seem to apply.
An online video gave me some ideas, and with a lot of trial and error I developed a reliable method of panning free gold particles down below 35 microns quickly and easily.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts: Something for everyone... • Ask the Experts: VMS ore • Ask the Experts: More suggestions for dealing with metallic trash.... • Ask the Experts: various mining courses • Sniping for Gold • Gold in Guyana—Part II: Process Optimization at Sacre Coeur Minerals' Lower Puruni Alluvial Mining Project • Following Clues to an Old Mill and Vein Strike • Big Rock Gold • Still Gold in Humbug, Arizona • Never Take Safety for Granted • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices