Small Mining Operations
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.
The fact that mineral deposits can contribute specific types of heavy minerals is why the analysis of the heavy mineral concentrates in the streams of an area can be an important prospecting technique for finding undiscovered mineral deposits.
A Wilfley table works best when all of the mineral being run across it (the pulp) is about the same size. For this reason, I took a good look at each of the samples.
I love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.
I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.