Small Mining Operations
Most small-scale miners want to know how they can set up a system much more cheaply. The difficulty is in the balance of putting together a decent small-scale system at a reasonable cost.
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.
Besides the EPA issue, our major priority is to work on the proposed amendment to the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act (S 145), a bill proposed in the Senate by US Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada).
At first, I tried to shift things around, but then a hand with a rock would appear, so I would stop trying to adjust my gear and grab the rock to keep things moving.
Each specimen is carefully examined to determine if it would be beneficial or not to use an acid treatment to reveal more of the gold.
When my “anonymous” friend told me the rock tub was probably a hundred miles from where he safely stashed it, I decided to build another sled and improve on my old design.
Most placer equipment is really made with gold in the 30 and larger mesh sizes in mind, though if carefully used can often get reasonable recovery down to the 50 mesh size.
Choosing the right method to move your ore and waste is all about making the right choices. Sometimes more than one method may be used during the life of a mine as an operation expands and grows.
Dredges actually do pretty well in freezing conditions. There are a few tips you should know, however.
In an old mine that does not have stopes, you know the old miners did not take much if any ore out of that excavation. On the other hand, if you see large stopes within the mine you know that it is these places where the miners found profitable ore deposits within the vein.
The big moment finally arrived. With Norm suited up, I pulled the motor to life and felt instantly better. There’s really something relaxing about the sound of a dredge running—they don’t sound like anything else.
The anticipation of finding out if the system of snatch blocks, shackles, chokers, anchor points, and the strap binding the massive slab of rock in the bottom of the river would even budge an inch was weighing on me.
We were met with a plethora of mechanical problems with the dry washer and even a few with the excavator that were at times frustrating, but we were in this for the long haul, so we needed to solve these problems and move forward.
The solution focused on the relative difference in malleability between gold and waste, rather than the difference in density exploited by gravity circuits.