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From reading the land to setting up your equipment

Reminder: Annual Claim Filings Due


Mining claimants who wish to retain their mining claims on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands through the 2021 assessment year must pay a maintenance fee or file a maintenance fee waiver certificate on or before September 1…

Prospecting for Copper—What to Look for on the Outcrop


For the prospector, knowing what oxidized hydrothermal alteration looks like in the field is an important exploration tool.

Dredging Tips and Tricks: A Measure of Water Pump Efficiency


…as an academic argument, when mated to the appropriate engine, is the pump really moving water at the rate of 400 GPM?

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Hard Rock 101: Small-Scale Blasting


…the process remains much the same: Drill holes, load explosives, close up the holes, blast and muck out the resulting broken rock.

Hard Rock 101: Micro Blasting


Micro blasting can be used to take down hanging rock, separate minerals from overburden, and collect gemstones and other high-value product with minimal damage.

10 Keys to Prospecting Like A Pro


Want to find a lot more gold when you get out there to prospect? Well I’ve put together ten ideas that I think will help you become more successful…

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Practical Advice for Milling Hard Rock Ores


The problem is that extracting gold from hard rock is often a lot more difficult than processing placer gravels. Still, there is some very high-grade ore out there in many old mining areas.

Speed Prospecting for Hard Rock Gold


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.

Dredging Tips and Tricks: T-80 Air Compressor Maintenance


The next morning, I retrieved the compressor and again attacked the sticky head bolt. As if by magic (and some applied physics) the head bolt sighed and finally broke loose.

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Hard Rock 101: Mechanical Techniques


Since we know that the secret to breaking rock is applying force from the inside out (putting tension on the rock), we will be looking at ways we can generate force using human and machine power.

Hard Rock 101: Breaking Rock—Part I


What do you do when you’ve located a promising deposit of gold or gemstones, but it’s trapped in solid rock?

Tips and Tricks


I cleared the connector by poking a small Phillips screwdriver through it. To ensure the bore was clean, I dunked the connector into some water and then blew it clean with my shop air compressor.

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Sampling for Success—Part II


The first and most important thing of the sampling process is to try to be as unbiased as possible. There is a natural tendency to select rock that looks the best—even unconsciously.

How to Research Prospecting Locations and Mining Claims


If you are interested in researching mining claims for any purpose, you will first have to decipher the BLM’s LR2000, a Rube Goldberg database seemingly designed by a 1980s Soviet-era computer hacker.

Some Tips and Tricks for Dredgers: Determining Pulley Size and Belt Length


If Epd is larger, then the compressor will be spinning faster than the manufacturer’s maximum specified RPM and might destroy itself. If this happens, then the compressor again might not produce enough air to support a diver. Neither is a desired outcome.

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How to Turn Your Gold Finds Into Cash


Even if you are not ready to cash in right now, it might be good to evaluate your options and make a plan of action so when that day comes you know exactly what to do.

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.

Time to Stake Your Own Mining Claim


So let’s dive in and see what I can do to convince you that this is the year you should be out staking your own claims.

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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.

Exceptions to the Rules: Re-Thinking Prospecting Rules of Thumb


Looking at the exceptions to the basic rules is sort of an advanced prospecting discussion, but the readers of ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal are plenty able to handle it.

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