Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking back at one of the best times of my life, searching for jungle Gold and Diamonds

Looking back at one of the best times of my life, searching for jungle Gold and Diamonds
I was unloading some local natives in the Grand Sabana of Venezuela.

These men were hunters from a local indigenous tribe that lived near where we were mining for Gold and Diamonds.

I frequently gave these hunters rides into a small town close to a hundred kilometers from our mine site. They often brought us jungle game for our cookhouse, and what a variety!!!

On occasion they would bring a Diamond for me to examine or buy.

I would ask them where they found it. Of course its just over the hill!  Well over the hill sometimes meant an over night death march. We were in the Tepui country and the beauty and natural wonders we encountered were like a dream. Waterfalls plunging over 1000 ft over these ancient Tepuis, untouched natural wildlife and plenty of snakes!

We would treck over to some obscure drainage and sure enough you could see a small camp set up near a small stream where they could suruca for Diamonds. These native people were on the edges of modern civilization and a jungle wilderness, unseen and untouched by the outside world.

I am sure it is just as untouched as it was years ago when we were invited to their homes and met their families. The balance of those people with nature is special, and it was a privilege to have these people take me into their world. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A good fifty ounce, 20 hr run of coarse nugget gold from Montana

A good fifty ounce, 20 hr run of coarse nugget gold from Montana
This is  50 ounce of gold in a two day cleanup we had on our last project a couple of years ago. That was two 10 hr shifts.

The property had almost no fines and was comprised of almost all glacial coarse gold. Every cleanup was fun and very satisfying. The gold price was up and we did pretty good that year.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Our gold cleanup sluice showing a bit of color!!!!!

Our gold cleanup sluice showing a bit of color!!!!!
This is a photo of a cleanup we had this fall. We usually use the small cleanup sluice for all our projects and it makes for a quick evaluation of every pit we open up.

Les, Ben and I put a lot of hard hours into our project this last year. I am already anxious to get started next year!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Finding old World War Two warbird crash sites, a hobby I love!!

Finding old World War Two warbird crash sites
Another one of my hobbies and I have done this for many years is looking for old world war two crash sites. I found this B-17 f bomber many years ago and made a trek back to check it out again and still found some great treasures.

I love to search  and I usually find what I am looking for. What a blessed life I have had

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Good Foot Print Operation : 35 to 45 Yards Per Hour

A Good Foot Print Operation : 35-45 Yards Per Hour
A good midsize mining operation will get you started and really give you some great evaluation as a paying operating bulk testing program. You will gain invaluable information on whether to size up or down depending what the margins require with your mining group.   

This is a couple of shots of my signature wash plant. As you can see it is pretty forward and simple.

The plant is light and very mobile on skid mounts. This property I mined was evaluated and  very deep. This plant was designed for a lesser throughput and higher grade gravel , due to overburden removal requirements.

We had a successful season here. This layout plan well worked for this plant.We did not have a lot of big boulders to contend with or tough haul roads.

You can see from the washplant setup that only three men were required to run the operation, everything was kept tight and neat. This type of operation will fit a niche in many of the types of placer operations I run into. It is very easy to size it up or down and add additional rolling stock as your operation requires.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gold Miners At Rest

Gold Miners At Rest
Rob and Les have been out in the Shop lately  working to get everything cleaned up and organized; finding a lot of great surprises in the process. 

It's also fun to visit with friends and get caught up.

~ Steu

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hughes Creek Placer Mine article in ICMJ, April, 2013

Hughes Creek Placer Mine article in ICMJ, April, 2013
In case you missed it, below is a link to an article in ICMJ's April 2013 issue about Rob's work in his Hughes Creek Placer Mine. 

It's filled with some historical info and gives some details too about Rob's  gold mining history in Montana. 

A good read. 

Click here to read the article

~ Steu

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gold Mining Project in Venezuela

Gold Mining Project in Venezuela
Gold Mining Project in Venezuela

Rob and Les have made many friends and met some wonderful folks around the world doing their mining work. 

These photos may have been this land was carpeted in film.  The picture to the left is most likely the first time this fella was ever photographed or even saw two strange looking white folks in odd looking clothes.

It was a chance encounter and a quick snap while Les and Rob stopped momentarily on the road.

~Steu

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gold Washplant: extracting gold for 75 years

gold mine washplant
Still making gold the ole Washplant is doing great.

This plant was built in 1938.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mining the Gold in Montana

Mining the Gold in Montana
A great overview of the mining site that Rob and Les just finished up.

The wash plant, originally built in 1938 and then completely overhauled in June worked flawlessly.

It's probably covered in snow right now.

~ Steu

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sluice box: an essential element of your gold recovery system

Sluice box: an essential element of your gold recovery system
Sluices have been the mainstay of most mining operations worldwide.
 

I strongly recommend using them wherever possible using P.E. Randy Clarkstons recommendations that he conducted in the Klondike placers in the late 1980's

While sophisticated systems can and do increase recovery rates on some projects you need to keep close track of diminishing returns on your project.


This is a photo of Les working on a sluice box order for one of our clients.

Sluice box: an element of your gold recovery system I have found that the down time, and maintenance  especially in primitive areas need to be addressed constantly or your overall recovery can be compromised.


My buddy Pete and I are building some 8 ft wide sluices for one of my projects a couple of years ago.  Panels like these are quick and economical to build.

We learned a whole new chapter in keeping a sluice box tuned during our mining sessions over this last summer here in Montana. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Treasure Hunting: Krishna River for Diamonds


Treasure Hunting: Krishna River for Diamonds
The Lost Treasure Hunters

Sam Speerstra - "Leader" - As the leader of the expedition, extreme prospector Speerstra has dedicated nearly his whole life to finding lost treasures and has spent the last 14 years searching for the lost diamond mines of Golconda. Speerstra believes this is the most important mission of his life.

Dave McCracken - "Underwater Miner" - McCracken, a former Navy Seal, is one of the best underwater miners around. Speersta has known McCracken for 30-some years and is convinced he could be the key to locating underwater diamonds that were never accessible before.

Rob Towner -- "Engineer/Mechanic" - Towner is a modern-day MacGyver who knows everything there is to know about mining machinery. He has worked in India before, so he knows the lay of the land and is no stranger to the challenges set before him.

Dr. Steve Newbery - "Geologist" - Newbery has an extraordinary grasp of geology and the latest technology that can help pinpoint the source of the diamonds.

Susanna Girolamo - "The Apprentice" - This is Girolamo's first major expedition with Speerstra, but her proficiency for languages, experience with third-world medical missions and her logistical skills serve her well as translator, medic and logistics coordinator.


Watch: http://www.cableready.net/6238/lost-treasure-hunters/

Monday, November 11, 2013

Three faces of mining diamonds

I am working through Rob's archive of photos this morning. After talking to him since his return from this last mining session, I have a hard time getting my mind around the guts and glory of the gold mining world. Here are three photos showing the different faces of mining, but t know there is many more faces than these .....

Rob doing some exploration on dredging.



Rob doing some exploration on dredging.











Rob meeting locals and making new friends.



Rob meeting locals and making new friends.










Rob getting down to crunching numbers and working our engineering plans


Rob getting down to crunching numbers and working our engineering plans.

He was not happy with Sam taking this photo.


~ Steu








Thursday, November 7, 2013

No language barriers here!!

No language barriers here!!
We were on the move from several sites on our sampling program in India a few years back. I would select a campsite and we would build a hut for our camp and equipment.

I would build a little model hut out of twigs for the boys to see what I wanted constructed. This was a quick and easy way to get  past any language barriers and always made it fun to watch them get it right the first time. They built the entire hut without disturbing our little model.
All these young men were eager hard workers. I was always poud of them!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A gold miner's best friends

Talked to Rob last night, he and Les are headed back to the mine to wrap up some loose ends over the weekend.


Rob got Jackson from one of the ranchers he met during his mining this summer.




A gold miner's best friends

Kristi is in a show this weekend with her work ... what a great photo of the best friends a gold miner can enjoy!!!


~ Steu



Friday, October 18, 2013

Gold mining under and October moon in Montana. We had an inch of ice on the pond this morning!!!

Gold mining under and October moon in Montana
Mining under an October moon in Montana. The month is coming to a close and we are trying to finish up a small section to complete our 5 acres this year. Reclamation will commence in two weeks and that will last a week or so.

Les, Ben and myself have worked our guts out on this project and we have had a successful fine gold project. We are looking forward to the up and coming months to build a few washplants and do a bit of consulting till spring comes to Montana.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Still placer gold mining it the high country of Montana

placer gold mining
 We are still at it washing gold in the high country of Montana. The nights are very cold but we have winterized our water system and still pouring it on.

Everybody is in good spirits and the blue sky was welcome after 15 inches of snow. We have installed a Knelson concentrator and will see what extra gold we will recover.

This property has been a real challenge with the different geological events that we have encountered.
placer gold mining

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Gold mining in the snow of Montana

gold mining
We got nailed by a snowstorm two days ago. Well over a foot of the white stuff.

We still have a goal to reach and we are going to be up and running tomorrow. Its going to be a muddy and messy final three weeks.

We will also be reclaiming a section for a good part of November.
We will be opening up the shop in December and consulting jobs will be welcome.

Also I will have some buckets of pay gravel for sale later this fall that has fine gold in it and this may help operators see what it takes to make a success of a fine gold property. Getting a good feel of the type and size of the gold particles may be helpful to project management if they are considering a project similar to ours.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gold mining in Montana in late September......

gold mining
We have been enjoying some good gold cleanups. This will certainly help with our payments this winter for sure.

This has been one of the more enjoyable projects I have worked on in years. Being able to work with my brother and partner every day has been a lot of fun and Benny our star quarterback has been unreal with his dedication to our project and keeping rock in the box day in and day out!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Still making gold in Montana

making gold
We are wrapping up the year mining here in Montana. We hope we can squeak out 30 more days.

Lot of snow in the high country and the winds are blowing hard. We have had a good season and when we get home I will probably start building some washplants this winter.

Les and I have been very busy mining and will take a bit of time off this fall for hunting season then back to work consulting, designing and building recovery systems

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Newsletter: September 2013 (video)


This is certainly winding up to be one of the most challenging seasons here in the great state of Montana. We have a smaller crew this year and there is plenty of work day in and day out. We are running into crunch time now and many different variables are reaching their thresholds. Benny has been here for the season and just really done an amazing job of soldiering up. He is accomplishing 900 dumps a shift and doing an all out job on cleaning the sluice boxes. For Les and I he is a absolute inspiration.

I hope you enjoy the video we compiled with many, but not all, of our photos. This place has a knack for summoning rainbows. We have loads of thunder storms rolling through, and the majority of 'em leave us with these beautiful rainbows - right over our site. Talk about a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow ..... the picture is Benny catching one. Click here to view the video.




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Christi is an excellent gold miner

excellent gold miner
Besides running her own jewelry business, Christi finds time to come help out at the mine.

She does it all and here is a great shot of her trimming the sluice box.

~ Steu








Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Bulk testing in some hungry ground

Les is looking a little bit disappointed. We were doing a bulk sample of some promising gravel we were interested in and it turned out to be a bust.

Placer mining is not always a home run by any means. It is a way of life that is a lot of hard work and hope. One thing for sure is we will have a lot of welding and repairs which is part of the mining program.

The cold Montana winter will be upon us pretty soon and we can get our strategy figured out for next years placer mining run. We hope to have an early start for next year in the spring. Lets hope the gold price stays up!!!









Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Rock in the box

Gold in the box
Rob's standard and custom wash plants feature off the shelf industry standard equipment. He builds a trommel design based on the old pitcher style wash plants. Pitcher wash plants were used back in the 1930's, They use a choke feed method resulting in a more efficient delivery into the washing system. He has portable and standard designs that handle up to 100 cubic yards an hour.

The photo was sent over by Rob and Les showing the sluice box full of gold.

Learn more about about this efficient plant by click here.

~ Steu

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Gold mining at night

Gold Mining At Night
Gold Mining At Night

Rob and Les cleaning out the sluice boxes at night.

The wash plant is churning out the ounces with just about zero issues this entire season.

They are getting 900 dumps a shift.

~ Steu



Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fine gold and black pepper

Fine gold and black pepper
Rob and Les were grabbing some chow and and cleaning the fine gold. 

This is a plate full of gold on the dinner table.

So far this season, this picture is my favorite.

~ Steu












Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rainbows And Gold Mining

Rainbows And Gold Mining
A picture is worth a thousand words.

There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Those were my first two thoughts when Rob and Les sent this picture over.

You know you are living right when there is gold in the ground, and you can catch the rainbow too.

~ Steu





Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What do cattle and gold mining have in common?

cattle and gold mining
What do cattle and gold mining have in common?

Ummm, they both are outside ...?

Not much.

Rob and Les were over run with these munchers over the weekend. They want to eat what ever they could. 


cattle and gold mining
It took some considerable effort to shoo them off but not before some dents and broken hoses. 

It's a funny story now, but a pain in the neck when they came by.

 - Steu







Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Some fine gold we are recovering on our mining project in Mt. Almost zero coarse gold.

This is a good shot of how fine the gold is we are recovering with a sluice box.

It really takes a lot of this to add up I can tell you this! Most fine gold properties are very lensy and difficult to get  a surefire estimate of their value.

We will be working very hard to make a success of our low grade deposit. We hope the fall is a good long one and the gold price holds.






Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bottles of Gold

Bottles of Gold
Bottles of Gold

Rob looking live and well with bottles of gold.

This is a miners dream.... Rob and Les are living it!

~ Steu













Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fine Gold Recovery

Fine Gold Recovery
This is a shot of the fine gold in my cleanup sluice box. This is on our property that we are currently working in Montana.

We have it dialed in and will just be at it through the fall.
Fine Gold Recovery
Fine Gold Recovery



Monday, August 19, 2013

Gold - rock in the box


Gold - rock in the box
Great shot from Rob and Les showing gold in the box.

This is a fantastic shot of where ya first find the gold, next comes collecting it and then cleaning it is the last stage.

You have to admit, besides being great miners - Rob and Les are great photo takers too.

~ Steu











Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gold Wash Plant - classic placer mine photo ... except ....

Gold wash plant in action
Mining is going very well - even the weather has been exceptional says Rob and Les.

I received this new photo last night.

A classic placer mining photo with the caveat that Rob and Les probably have one of the longest working gold wash plants in service .... putting rock in the box.

~ Steu




Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Recovering fine gold in Montana

Been working double time on our fine gold property. We are finally getting it dialed in. While it looks like a lot of gold our expenses are high.

I have not been home much at all and will be at our mine through the fall.  Pretty remote and no cell service.
Fine gold can be caught with sluices but with bigger volumes you will start seeing some losses. Once again the numbers come into play and reserves you have verses in hand value with your current and existing investment.

Right now we do not feel it is worth the sizeable investment to go with an additional secondary recovery system yet.



Fine Gold Close Up

Fine gold close up
Great photo from Rob and Les showing this fine gold they are extracting close up.

More skill involved to get this and a different set of strategies are required.

~ Steu













Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Gold Wash Plant: Before and After

Gold Wash Plant: Before and After

The top photo you can see the sluice boxes are not set up yet, just getting started.

The bottom photos has the plant in full gear.

~ Steu























Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Friday, August 9, 2013

A pound of new fine gold

A pound of new gold
Rob and Les sent over some new pictures this morning.

Over a pound of fine gold - looks great.

This is home style sweat equity.

~ Steu













Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Are you seeing Rob or Brad Pitt or Steve McQueen?

Is that Rob or Brad Pitt or Steve McQueen?
Well, if you guessed Rob then you are on the spot.

So what is the constant you see in all these images of Rob?

Correct, the gold!

This is a Rob in younger days on a South America project.

~Steu

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Greetings from the Gold Mine, Rob & Les Video

Great video Rob and Les! The gold in that pan tells the story.

All that glitters is GOLD

All that glitters is GOLD
This photo from Rob and Les says it all.

You have to admit, gold sure is pretty ... no one so many people risk it all to recover it.

I am thinking Rob and Les should start making some gold posters of these great mining shots.

Do you think that is a good idea? Let me know.

~ Steu









Gold Wash Plants For Sale
Rob Towner, Alluvial Mineral Consultant
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