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Small Mining Operations

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Smaller operations

Principles of Designing Your Mill Production System, Part I: Starting Up


One of the issues that prospectors run into when working to upscale from micro-scale hard rock testing to a greater production output, is that they often confuse individual devices or machines with systems.

Specialized Equipment Available for Hire


Since we’ve already covered the basics of permitting a “Notice Level” mining operation, it’s time to talk actual mining.

The Basics of Permitting and Bonding Your Mining Operation


With the recent surge of interest in gold projects, it’s about time to revisit a subject that strikes fear into the hearts of small-scale miners: Permits.

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Using Countercurrent Material Flow to Improve Gold Recovery Efficiency


There is a material processing principle widely used in large milling operations to improve recovery that is poorly understood by most of the micro-mining and prospecting community...

Hard Rock 101: Blasting With Kinepak Explosives


Fortunately, there are products on the market that can address these problems and make a small-scale mining operation feasible.

Ancestral Yuba River Placer Gold Deposits


The small-scale miner has reasonable opportunity to exploit some of these small, rich placer gold deposits. 

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Hard Rock 101: Advanced Micro Blasting


They… create negligible fumes and much less fly rock than blasting. Below are some tips on maximizing your effectiveness with these tools.

Now Is The Time For Exploration


I’ve been following the precious metals for decades, and I haven’t seen a move this powerful in many years.

From Iowa to Alaska—How I Became A Gold Miner


May 18, 2019, after 26 years, I had finally saved enough money. I bought my one-way ticket to Fairbanks, Alaska, and I started off by finding a new job…

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Why Assaying Placer Gold Deposits Doesn't Work


Let’s set up a thought experiment: Suppose you had some material that ran one ounce per ton gold, which is generally considered high grade to fantastic grade depending on the circumstances.

Subtle and Not So Subtle Dangers of Hard Rock Mining


I’ve been in enough mines to know better, and I mentally kicked myself several times. That was a close call…

What Do You Need For A Successful Micro-Scale Mine?


For simplicity, I will assume that you wish to make enough profit so that you can comfortably pay your bills using just the profits from the mine.

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Hard Work Pays Off On Hard Rock


They worked their plan, bit by bit, and sure enough, after the blast, gold was detected… Over two pounds of beautiful crystalline gold was recovered in that stretch!

The Mysterious Telluride Minerals


…let’s dive in and take a closer look at these rich gold and silver-bearing minerals to find out what they are, where they form, and how to identify them.

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…

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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?

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.

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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.

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.

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