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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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Recovering Fine Gold with Oleophilic Adhesion


Oleophilic means "affinity to or attracted to oils," and this includes gold an diamonds.

Uphill Battle Continues for California Dredgers


There are currently three controlling agencies or entities over suction dredging in California—and you can make that four if the state legislature decides to further muddy the waters with additional legislation to block suction gold dredging in the state.

Long-Term Camping Plan at Fortymile Proposed by BLM


A draft environmental assessment of a proposal to allow long-term camping by gold miners along 21 miles of the North Fork of the Fortymile Wild and Scenic River is available from the Bureau of Land Management.

Determining The Optimal Crushing Size for Gravity Recovery


It’s not easy to figure out what is best without testing, and so a certain level of confusion has developed about how small the ore ought to be crushed.

Legislative and Regulatory Update


  • NEPA comments due
  • Update on latest US Supreme Court suction gold dredging appeal
  • Washington State tries to restrict suction gold dredging

The Significance of Nuggets in Placers


Chances are better that both types of gold did not come from the same source. Let's look at the probable conditions to cause two types of gold in a placer.

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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