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Smaller operations

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.

Resurrecting an Old Hard Rock Mine—Setting Up the Millsite


One of the first things we did while looking at buying the equipment was figuring out how it would dovetail into the milling process we already had in mind.

PLP Update: The Path for Legally Re-Starting Suction Gold Dredge Mining in 2021


Present conflicts and realizations having to do with dependence on China have illuminated the fact that suction dredge miners have a vital role to play and are an ignored and untapped domestic resource—until now.

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Memories of Shirttail Creek, Northern California


…for a few hours, we fervently dug for gold. After we did a cleanup, I couldn’t believe the amount we got.

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?

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.

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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.

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

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.

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Caught Between A Hard Rock and A Rare Earth Place


The same day, while two of us were heading to Vancouver to attend the mining convention, two others from our team were headed to Nevada to begin loading the millsite equipment.

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.

To Foam or Not to Foam


George was considering filling his dredge floats with closed-cell foam, ensuring that there would be no area available within each float for flooding.

Sixteen to One Gold Mine: Going Underground - Pt II


We descended hunched over, down a long, steep, wooden staircase to the 1,000-level.

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21st Century American Gold Rush: Rare Earth Elements


The burning question I needed answered was why didn’t the deposit ever get mined of at least one of the valuable minerals? A couple of reasons have come to light.

Sixteen to One Gold Mine: Unique Challenges and Potential Rewards - Pt I


Many of the Sixteen to One’s challenges arise from its unusual geology and the pocket characteristics of the ore deposits.

What About Palladium?


Palladium may well be an underexplored element and therefore an opportunity for prospectors and geologists. This is because they are often less than obvious and other than the native metals, a chemical analysis of samples is required to identify PGM-enriched rocks.

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Montana Gold and Sapphires Revisited


I had a chance to visit the operation in person and talk with Neal. I was very impressed and I think our readers could learn a lot about building up a commercial placer operation from scratch…

A Third Generation Small-Scale Hardrock Revival


One of his friends had 700 feet of small-gauge mine track and a hundred-year-old track bender laying out in his back 40; plus he also wanted to join the team. Perfect.

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