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Small Mining Operations

The Fire Assay of Carbon

Carbon, activated charcoal, or “char,” as some old timers refer to it, can be an assayer’s nightmare.

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Gold Rush in the Congo


It all started with a phone call from my friend and prospecting partner Pat Keene. He told me that he knew of an investor who was just starting out in the gold industry and was looking for a gold consultant to go to Africa to prospect and analyze a 400 sq. mile concession in the middle of the Congo rainforest. I waited for the “just kidding” line...

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.

The Basics of Froth Flotation


I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at the basics of this important mineral separation technique and how a miner can use it to recover the values out of an ore.

Proper Spacing of Placer Sample Sites


The zone of influence of each sample must be carefully considered when deciding how far sample sites should be spaced from each other.

Principles of Designing Your Mill Production System, Part I: Starting Up


One of the issues that prospectors run into when working to upscale from micro-scale hard rock testing to a greater production output, is that they often confuse individual devices or machines with systems.

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.

California to Allow Suction Dredging in 2019?


There are a few questions you will need to ask yourself before you apply for a suction dredge permit from the State Water Resources Control Board.

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