Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tools Of Ancient Diamond Miners In India

How the ancient civilizations mined for diamonds in India
How the ancient civilizations mined for diamonds in India

What you are looking at here is one of the oldest types of a mineral recovery Jigs I have ever seen. This is an interesting study! If you note that the width is about 42 inches or so. The length is about
7 ft. This is close to a duplex Pan American jig. This is just for curious comparison. Also note the round hole in the center right of the box. Here is how they used this stone box for recovering Diamonds.

First they cut and hauled these slabs of dolomite limestone from the quarries lower down in the valley. Bear in mind that this was the 13 or 14th century! They brought these slabs to the middle of a diamond bearing area and set up these rudimentary recovery plants near the pits they excavated by hand.

They positioned the slabs as you can see. They then mixed a molasses type of sealer and sealed the inside of this box water tight. They then blocked off the hole at the middle right of the photo.

Next they hauled water from a well that was dug not far from this site,an impressive feat in its-self!!  Next they would have filled this box half full with water.
The ancient miners then hauled the gravel and rock they dug,  and filled this box about half way with diamond bearing gravels.

Then with sticks, small paddles, even their feet make a heavy slurry. The purpose is to keep the slurry they created, agitated enough so the heavier  specific gravity minerals would settle down to the bottom and this included the Diamonds.

They would then pull out the plug at the upper center part of the box and drain off the upper slurry leaving a diamond rich concentration at the bottom part of this puddle box.

The best part yet was that almost every one of these had another smaller puddle box right next to it to further re-concentrate the gravel!! Really ingenious of these people. The gravels all around these boxes have heavy minerals and smaller Diamonds still being found today by local villagers.

This Diamond field is where some of the most famous Diamonds in the world came from.Tavernier purchased many of his famous Diamonds for King Louis XIV of France from  the village of Kollur just a scant  half a mile away from where these puddle boxes were located, including the French blue, which many historians believe is the most famous Diamond on the planet the Blue Hope Diamond.



Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved
J3FJTEPH7VMF




Sunday, February 24, 2013

Now this is Treasure Jungle Diamonds and Gold!!!!!


Above my buddy Wade is picking through the gold nuggets. He is not looking for the gold but is picking out the Diamonds we found. The suruca he is picking from is the same ones we used for the filming of Lost Treasure Hunter's on Animal Planet.

You can see I am picking out and sorting the Diamonds we recovered that day in Venezuela. We found some very high quality Diamonds in this area. To this day I know that area has some of the best alluvial potential I've ever seen, and some day it will be exploited I hope!!! I want to be there again!!!!

We had our day in the jungles of Venezuela and I'm just glad I found these extraordinary photo's to share of one of my adventure's

A floating Wash plant designed and built by Rob Towner for Mining Sapphires

A floating Wash plant designed and built by Rob Towner for Mining Sapphires

This is another one of my signature style wash plants. I designed and had this plant ready to wash gravel in six weeks. This is what I call my snap together system.  The floats were from  out of Houston Texas. The other components were from my equipment yard and Goldfield supplied the jigs.

This plant was designed for Sapphires and gold. The recovery for the primary mineral sapphire was good. Gold was a by product. This style of plant will work for most Diamond, Gold, and Sapphire  alluvial projects that groundwater is encountered.  We were digging at a depth of 20 ft. with a two and a half yard excavator.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved


One of a kind wire gold nugget from Montana

One of a kind  wire gold nugget from Montana

This is a beautiful piece of wire gold we found up Hughs Creek. Of course it looks like a C and Christi my fiance is now the proud owner of this one of a kind wire gold nugget!!



Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved

MIning Equipment: this is a good template for alluvial Diamonds and Gold

MIning Equipment: this is a good template for alluvial Diamonds and Gold

Mining Equipment: this is a good template for alluvial Diamonds and Gold

This was my trommel and jig plants I used on Grasshopper creek. This equipment I had was completely refurbished and sent to South America. This is a very good template for a mining operation of 35 to 60 yards per hour. The trommel is a good choice depending on the material you have. A quadraplex jig for a rougher and a Pan American duplex jig to pickup the gold and smaller Diamonds. Gravel pumps to deliver material to the Jig and another to get rid of your tailings.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved


Prospecting for Gold And Sapphires in Montana during winter

Prospecting for Gold And Sapphires in Montana during winter

I was doing a little bit of prospecting last year. Pretty dang cold. I was checking out an area that had some Gold and a few Sapphires. There was a few Sapphires  but not of sufficient quantity to bring it into commercial operation.












Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Grasshopper Creek: My Bon Accord Placer Operations

Grasshopper creek  My Bon Accord placer operations
Grasshopper Creek:  My Bon Accord Placer Operations

This was one of my operations I had on the Bon Accord on Grasshopper Creek about 1991. I had Both of my trommels working on the North side. This was some very low grade ground but it was enough to keep us going. There was a nice bench here that lasted a few weeks. The gold was very fine flat and flakey.

Most of it passed a 60 mesh screen. These trommels were workhorses for sure. I had just setup a vibrating screen wash plant down below here and we took out over 500 ounces in 6 weeks from a pocket on a perched tertiary channel. The price of gold was pretty low back then. The secret here has always been.......... stay obsessed with rock in the box. Production is a key, for sure. I sure would like that kind of ground again at todays prices!!!!


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved


Gravel pumps for the modern day placer miner

Gravel pumps for the Modern day Placer miner
Gravel pumps for the modern day placer miner

This is another piece of equipment that I have used for years and years. The simple gravel pump.
This is the cheapest and most reliable piece of equipment to move sand and 3/4 minus you can find.

This 6x4 gravel pump we used for final disintegration of some clays we encountered and we had good results with that. The 90 degree elbow was just what we had in the bone pile, and we later replaced it with a 90 degree sweep which is the very best.

I prefer the Gallagher pumps but in todays world almost all of the rubber lined pumps do a good job. You have to size them for the job.

They have to be engineered for the application.  Gallons per minute with your desired pulp density, for the job of course.  Gravel pumps are another really good option for the modern day placer miner.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cassiterite Montana Wood Tin

Cassiterite Montana Wood Tin
Cassiterite Montana Wood Tin

This is some Cassiterite I recovered from a placer gold deposit we had leased some years back. With a high specific gravity of about 7, these tinstones were easily recovered in our recovery system. Cassiterite is a lowgrade constituent of igneous rock and is re-concentrated in many parts of the world by alluvial dynamics.

This is a type of tinstone is commonly referred to as Wood Tin. This cassiterite is Botryoidal. You can see the precipitation rings on the upper center of my photo,  these growth rings resemble a freshly cut piece of timber hence the name Wood Tin.

Most of the major cassiterite producers are in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand even England was a historical producer in the Cornwall area.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved
J3FJTEPH7VMF


These riffles were working perfectly.

These riffles were working perfectly.
These riffles were working perfectly.

I am a tremendous fan of the Clarkston report. I usually start out with miners moss at least a half inch thick. Every deposit has a characteristics that are different, meaning the blacksands may be fine, these tend to pack the riffles, combine that with flat and flakey gold and you are going to have serious recovery problems.

This shot above shows a good recovery with indoor outdoor carpet. While I am not a fan of this type of carpet, it seemed to work very well with this type of gold and the feed rate we fed the sluices with.

It  is always a good idea to observe every aspect of any recovery plant. You may see a clue that will help in your own recovery efforts. For this type of gold, the indoor outdoor carpet worked well.

Operators of plants tend to get a favorite matting, but from my years of overall experience the miners moss is usually the very best choice. I tend to stay on course with that, but occasionally I will put something new into my circuits for sure, to check it out.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A pile of Diamonds


I mined these Diamonds in South America.

I used a high pressure water hopper, a vibrating screen and PanAmerican style Jigs for the primary Diamond recovery processing.

Our rainforest environment was a constant challenge. We constructed all weather roads and this single event made a huge impact on our recoveries.

Weather related shutdowns historically speaking especially in tropical environments can be minimized by careful attention to Roads. These need to be built to withstand the rainy season. Your camps also must be safe and comfortable to work, in these extreme environments.

I have worked on many projects around the world and getting Diamonds and Gold takes focus and dedication as well as effective planning on all phases of the Diamond or Gold mining program.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved




Get a good wash plant going

Get a good wash plant going
Get a good gold wash plant going

I can build a washplant based on your budget. This means a used plant or a plant from all new components.  It's up to you. Believe me, I have extracted thousands of ounces over the years and I know how to build a washplant that puts rock in the box.

I  build wash plants in between my mining seasons. I have a mobile plant plant right now puts out about 45 to 65 yds per hour depending on the clay and size fraction to the recovery system. On this plant I am using sluices. We later used a gravel pump and it assisted in liberating additional gold for our project.

I can get a plant out in about 4 weeks time that is a hopper, vibrating screen, sluice box and a conveyor stacker. This one would be around 45 yards to 60 yards per hour.  Additional recovery would be by customer order. My equipment is always run by Generator set power. Also with clays I strongly suggest gravel pumps.

You can go to my website blog and see the many types of plants I have built and associated recovery systems. I have had a lot of experience putting together trustworthy plants that get the target mineral. Alluvial Diamonds and Gold are my specialty. Let me know what you are looking for and we do have a window to put something together or do some onsite consulting.  Call me at 406 530 9172 to set up a consultation.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Creatures of the Mining World: bug of the week!

Creatures of the Mining World: bug of the week!
Creatures of the Mining World: bug of the week!

I'm always prickin with the jungle creatures!

There is always something banging scratching or  rattling around my tent or camp in the jungle every flippin time I go somewhere.

Truth is.... I love it. Bug of the week is my favorite saying out there.

I did a small job in Panama  last summer and we had a bunch of cicadas hatch and the nights were very noisy and very fascinating!
I caught this beautiful creature and after a good look at him I released him back into the hot humid night air of Panama.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved




Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gold needs a place to hide


Gold always needs a place to hide

This is the leading edge of the slick plate.

This shows how the gold, after it has settled down during its migration down the slick plate and has found a place to hide.

Gold is easy capture you just have to give it a place to settle into. When you can get your gold to separate from the slipstream above, your chances of recovering even the fines increase dramatically.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hydraulic riffles for fine gold

Hydraulic riffles for fine gold

Hydraulic riffles were first developed in New Zealand as far as I know. I first encountered them on a floating wash plant when I was doing a job there in 1989. Hydraulic riffles are a system of riffles that have a built in manifold that injects water into the gold recovery mats, and fluidizes the gravel that is retained in a specially designed deep riffle system for a fluidized bed that greatly enhances fine gold recovery.

Sizing the material prior to introducing it to this system is very critical for these to work properly.
I have found that 1/8 inch minus feed generally works the most efficiently. They handle a pretty substantial feed rate with surprisingly good recoveries. The larger size gravels will tend to clog up the riffles and impact your fine gold recoveries. These riffle systems are sensitive to feed rate and feed size but when you balance them out, they enhance many operations that are plagued by black-sand and other heavy alluvial minerals. The system above is one I did on a test of a property in western Montana.

We did not increase our recovery with these,on this particular test. Angle iron and expanded metal was satisfactory in this case. The downside of hydraulic riffles is the tremendous amount of cleanup concentrate. If the values are sufficient then your cleanup circuit will be a bit more complicated with a cleanup jig and or a concentrating table.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another unwelcome visitor in the Diamond fields

Another unwelcome visitor in the Diamond fields

Another unwelcome visitor in the Diamond fields

This was a big  boa snake that kept hanging around the dredge site we were working on. I for one don't like the surprise of one of these snakes anywhere around my worksite on or off water. In Venezuela snakes usually mean the chance of being bitten, not maybe but when. I don't care what kind of slithering reptile it is around my work area kill it, capture it or get it away from camp. Around the water its even worse!!! The men on this project were among the best at keeping them away. The locals fear snakes and I am with the best of them!! Just seen to many, or I'm gettin old!!


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Retrofitting and commissioning a huge experimental Diamond and Gold 8 inch airlift dredge on the Caroni River in Venezuela

Retrofitting and commissioning a huge experimental Diamond and Gold 8 inch airlift dredge on the Caroni River in Venezuela
Retrofitting and commissioning a huge experimental Diamond and Gold 8 inch airlift dredge on the Caroni River in Venezuela

My two right hand men beside me, Mark and Rennie. They were both from Guyana. These men were suction dredgers on the Caroni River in Venezuela. I became acquainted with them during my first week in country and was able to hire these outstanding bushmen. I was hired by Mr. Hanson from Spokane Wa. to retrofit an experimental air lift dredge.

There are huge quantities of fine gold in the river sands of this river. I installed two large trapezoid jigs  for additional recovery as well as set of very efficient New Zealand style hydraulic riffles. This dredge was a first and only one of its kind I ever encountered. The design was very complex and had a lot of moving parts.

 Similar to a drilling rig we had sections of eight inch pipe that was lowered by a cable system hung from a forty foot derrick. A hydraulic pile drive system was the cap of the pipe string. This system had depth capable of plus 150 feet. I operated this dredge in water depth of 120 feet for about seven months. Diving down to the missile inlet was quite an adventure at that depth.

Rocks could not be back flushed at times and you had to go down and manually clear the inlet. There was a lot of huge creatures that loved to hang around the inlet. I have a video of some of my trips down and I will post it later along with some more of the
adventures I had here.

This was one of my most challenging events in my mining career. I loved this place and the men worked so hard for me and had absolute loyalty to me. We also recovered a lot of very small diamonds, and a lot of fine gold in the hydraulic riffles.

This Kiwi  invention I was introduced to me by Colon Tuck of New Zealand when I worked on another large bucket line dredge there in 1989. This was the richest area I ever had seen in my life for sheer numbers of small high quality diamonds.


Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved