Volume is the Key to Success
June 2017 by Alan J. Chenworth
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.
My last update on this adventure was in the April 2012 issue and involved our search for the northern extension of the Cedarberg Mine. At that time we had found it and we were in the process of returning for some detecting when Mother Nature struck with a late rain and snow storm.
Exposed veins and outcroppings can be a great source for gathering good gold ore for processing. Veins and outcroppings do require a lot of work to free the ore from its earthen grip, but this labor can be very rewarding.
Watching for these areas is one of my primary targets during the winter. It doesn’t take but a few inches of the surface moving away to give a fantastic target response that you didn’t hear prior to the washing of the surface.
Chris got a nice target signal on the edge of rising bedrock, but still in a low, but washed area. After breaking up the bedrock, he recovered several pieces of gold amounting to almost three pennyweight.
My first clean-up showed that my efforts were not in vain. There was considerable color with some good-sized nuggets in the riffle trap.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
Of course, I know a bit about crevicing, but Steve seems to really have a knack for it, and I’m all about continual learning. I can always learn a few tricks from the pros.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts: What indicator rocks should I be looking for in northern Nevada? • Ask The Experts: What to do with scheelite • Ask The Experts: Small-scale drilling • Quartzsite Gives Up Some Big Gold • Prospecting After Winter Storms • How to Stake Your Own Claim—Researching Mining Claims • The Birthday Nugget Patch • MMAC Update • The Goldfield Mining District, Nevada—Part I • Getting Started • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices