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Smaller operations

The Hughes Creek Placers, Montana


Gold discoveries in the Montana territories sparked a frantic stampede to these bonanza destinations in the early 1860s. Hughes Creek is located in Ravalli County, which is located in western Montana, and the gold here is...

Excavator Testing Wet Placer Ground


The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.

Hard Rock Milling: A Matter of Scale


Most prospectors understand placer mining a lot better than hard rock mining and don’t realize the amount of work that goes into processing different types of hard rock ore.
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Selenium, Mercury and Suction Dredging—Studies Contradict CA State Water Resources Board


Federal and state regulatory agencies often cite mercury and methyl mercury in our waterways as a major factor for further restrictions on placer mining, and on suction gold dredge mining, in particular. However, these regulatory agencies are minimizing selenium and its neutralizing effects.

Gold Deposits of Montana


Historically, Montana has been an important gold producer, in terms of both lodes and placers, and it still produces gold for the prospector today.

Refractory Gold Processing


After your excitement peaks when you first receive the high gold assay from the vein you just exposed, you ponder how you will extract and sell your gold. You will need to develop a flow sheet for your process to optimize your recovery and minimize your costs and permit requirements.
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Extracting & Smelting Your Gold


Unfortunately, not all the gold that we prospectors find is pretty, or appealing to the eyes. They are not all nice, bright, shiny nuggets with lots of character that carry high collector value.

Customizing Your Dredge


I am going to suggest dozens of ways you can increase suction power, dredge to greater depths, and improve recovery methods in your sluice box.

Scams, Scammers and Schemes


Gold mining has received many black eyes from many scams, scammers and schemes throughout the years. Unscrupulous scammers have swindled naive people for millions of dollars in the past and will, no doubt, continue into the future.
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Gold Dredging on Oregon's South Umpqua


Familiarizing oneself with an unfamiliar part of the country is often a requirement of successful gold prospecting. In the pursuit of gold, it may become necessary for a prospector to branch out into new hunting grounds.

Proper Assaying of Placer Samples


The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.

Dredging Backwards?


Before I tell you what dredging backwards is, I’ll tell you why my team and I decided to give this very unconventional dredging method a try.
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Wealth Beyond Your Wildest Imagination


“Wealth beyond your wildest imagination.” Those were the words that were used to inform me of how much gold was in a paleo channel that exists beneath the present channel of the Similkameen River in the State of Washington; words that have echoed in my mind for the past sixteen years.

Gold in Guyana—Part II: Process Optimization at Sacre Coeur Minerals' Lower Puruni Alluvial Mining Project


In Part Two of my two-part series I describe the mechanized alluvial gold mining operation on the lower Puruni River launched by Sacre Coeur Minerals in 2011.

Gold in Guyana—Part I: Porknocking on the Puruni River Road


In part one of this two-part series on gold in Guyana, I describe artisanal mining efforts currently winning alluvial gold from small-scale placer operations located along the lower Puruni River and its tributaries.
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Bering Sea Gold—Part II


In last month’s issue we covered the initial discovery of gold, the subsequent gold rush that occurred around Nome, some of the geology of the area and past production. We’ll conclude the article in this issue with a further examination of the geology and deposit types, discuss the resources...

Bering Sea Gold—Part I


The popularity of the new Discovery Channel series Bering Sea Gold has peaked interest in what gold resources are offshore of Nome, Alaska. The Cape Nome mining district is world famous...

A High Price to Pay


Over the last several months, starting from before I left for Australia, I’ve been working on getting all the 2011 paperwork done for my mining claims. I will admit that some parts of the paperwork I let go until only a week or two before the due date.
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Good Assays and Bad


The high prices for gold and silver are exciting and certainly have revolutionized the prospecting and mining scene. New interest in gold and silver mining is springing up from every corner, from individual prospectors armed with gold pans to exploration and mining companies working to set up multimillion dollar commercial operations producing hundreds of thousands of ounces per year. The idea of getting riches from rocks is one that motivates a lot of folks all over the globe. It’s an exciting time, but this excitement brings out another side...

Who is a Qualified Person?


So you think you have an ore deposit? The work has been long and hard, but there are a few drill holes, lots of samples and assays. The data is in a reliable computer and there may be a mine at the end of the tunnel. What is the likelihood of a profitable operation? Can you raise capital for development or exploration?

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