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Smaller operations

Putting Together A Small Free Gold Mill


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.

The Miner’s Switchback


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.

How to Evaluate Mineral Claims—What to Know Before You Buy


Even though they have put down thousands of dollars, the buyers often stop paying on their claims part way through the process after they realize they’ve been duped, but the company just sells it again to another buyer.

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Trip to “The Swamp” on Behalf of Small Miners


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).

Dredging Safety: Don't Ignore The Warning Signs


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.

PLP and MMAC Update


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Nice Specimen Gold Recovered in Northern California


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.

How to Make a Rock Sled for Dredging


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.

Early Summer Mining in Wyoming


Old tailing piles extend for miles. There was still plenty of water flowing here, so WPA members set up highbankers at several settling ponds.

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Shaker Tables for Processing Hard Rock Ores


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.

Underground Mining: Getting the Ore Out


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.

Prospector's Guide to Rock Breaking and Blasting


The holes were overloaded with explosives, but I didn’t know it. I was just a green mining engineer fresh out of school and told to watch as the experienced miners set the charge.
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The Challenge of Winter Dredging


Dredges actually do pretty well in freezing conditions. There are a few tips you should know, however.

Underground Mining: Stoping Methods


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.

Digging It Dry


I believe dry washing is an underappreciated prospecting method. There are plenty of places where there is some pretty decent gold to be had, but the spot is a long way from any water and dry processing may well be the best way to go.
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Dredging Therapy


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.

Moving The Big Rocks


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. 

The Seven Troughs Mining District


The favorable geology of the northeastern and central parts of the Seven Troughs Range are the parts most interesting to prospectors. They are underlain by a thick sequence of Tertiary volcanic rocks, mostly rhyolites and andesites.
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The Highs and Lows of Drywashing


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.

A New Method for Handling Stubborn Gravity Middlings


The solution focused on the relative difference in malleability between gold and waste, rather than the difference in density exploited by gravity circuits.

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