Monday, April 29, 2013

This is a nice size diamond and there are many more to be found!!!

nice size diamond
Diamonds like this one is what keeps you going when you are in a really challenging environment.

Foreign lands are difficult at best to hunt for these treasures. When you find them it makes it all worth it.

Over the years I have had extraordinary luck at finding these precious gems. I hope to continue to find these treasures as the years pass by.

Rob Towner holding a good days take of gold from one of our Montana properties.

Rob Towner holding a good days take of gold
Rob Towner holding a good days take of gold from one of our Montana properties.

This little operation we had here in Montana was probably one of the most satisfying projects I have ever undertaken.

Of course the nugget gold always gave you a good grin at the end of the day. Placer gold mining is really hard work and precise planning.

My two partners Tony Larghi And my brother Les Towner are the best in the world to work with, true professionals.

Our style makes it looks easy to mine gold on our projects. This is years and years of placer mining experience. Every new project always has something different and unique. You must constantly study your project and make the necessary adjustments.  Perseverance and hard work will make you placer mining project a rewarding experience.

Gold mining pictures always inspire sharing a good days find

Gold mining pictures
Gold mining pictures are always inspiring.  This was a cleanup while we were in a great nugget patch.

Our hard work really paid off on our last property with days like this. Good organization and planning as well as a proper testing program for sure increases your odds and satisfaction of a day like this.

Our project we completed was a profitable venture. We are now saddling up for a new venture that is fine gold. Hardly a piece that is over 60 mesh.

This property will have the challenges that come with high capacity and fine gold recovery. We are gearing up and hope to be in production in 30 days. I am retrofitting an old trommel for the task. We sold our vibrating screen plant and I anticipate the new owners of that plant, will be embarking on a successful venture.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Suction dredging on one the lost Diamond mines of ancient times, this was a life changing event for me

Suction dredging on one the lost Diamond mines of ancient times
Suction dredging on one the lost Diamond mines of ancient times

This is the 10 inch suction dredge I operated in India for six months. This was a first of its kind that I know of. Vibrating screen, with the undersize going to a gravel pump for a perfect slurry being fed to the jig.

I constructed a recovery barge and mounted an electric generator set, water pump and a pan american jig for the 2 mm plus diamonds and hydraulic riffles to capture fine gold and 2 mm diamonds.

We were pot holing on various sections of the river. The scope of the project was to prove the existence of Diamondiferous gravel  over the length of the licensed property.

A huge dam is being constructed on this river and this fantastic historical diamond field will be lost forever. One of the worlds greatest treasure chests will soon be covered by water. The religious temples and ancient diamond sorting buildings so meticulously constructed will be lost to the advancing civilization these valuable stones helped to create.

Hauling ass to our island camp on the Caroni river in Venezuela This is true adventure Gold and Diamond mining.

 adventure Gold and Diamond mining
This is true adventure Gold and Diamond mining

We were heading back up river with a  barrel of fuel. We built our launches out of 3/32 steel and angle iron and these boats were the lifeblood of our operation.

This river was up to a mile wide in places and the remote location kept your planning and logistics on the top of your list every day.

When we moved the dredge these two boats handled the job nicely. You can see we were in the rainy season and we are fast tracking to our jungle island camp as fast as we could. While the rains were unbelievable, it was the accompanying winds that you really had to be cautious about. Rainwater you can bail it out but high winds crossing open water will be deadly. Once you settle into this environment it all seems to be the norm!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Diamond and Gold recovery on the Caroni River Venezuela

Diamond and Gold recovery on the Caroni River Venezuela

Diamond and Gold recovery on the Caroni River Venezuela

This is a picture of an 8 inch cutterhead suction dredge I spent a few days working on on the Caroni River in central Venezuela.

This dredge ran round the clock and they had a good recovery of fine gold and Diamonds. The large sluice box was effective at recovering the fine gold of the Caroni river system and they had a series of rougher jigs to capture the diamonds and they appeared to be very effective.

Diamond and Gold recovery on the Caroni River Venezuela

The layers of successive Iron cappa had free flowing gravel underneath and this robust dredge was pretty good at breaking through this to get at      the auriferous gravel. I was fortunate to get to spend the time with these local miners and it really helped me with my initial reconnaissance of the river.

I later spent 7 months operating and retrofitting an 8" airlift dredge and managing an extensive sampling program for a US based company.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Prospecting Pays Off: Diamonds I Have Found!!!!

Prospecting Pays Off: Diamonds I Have Found
This is a photo of some very nice diamonds I recovered for a client several years ago.

When you are finding these treasures, you know that you have reached the zenith of your professional  career!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My favorite Gold mining Wash plant. I am getting ready to build another one.

My favorite Gold mining Wash plant
This wash plant configuration is in my opinion one of the best designs out there for continuous placer mining operation.

I built my first one like this back in 1986 and I have mined a lot of gravel with this style of plant.  This is a simple screening plant that will run 24 hrs a day.

My favorite Gold mining Wash plantIt is pretty easy to adapt to secondary recovery systems for sure. Typically I like to use sluicing recovery because I have had so much success in using a simpler recovery system such as sluice boxes. However many of my projects over the years have included jigs, spirals and almost every type of gravity recovery system you can imagine.

I really try to keep every project as simple as possible and it has really kept the gold coming my way. Sometime being too sophisticated will extend your downtime, to levels that will not outweigh what a standard recovery system will really net you.

Looking forward, to rising prices of gold and accessory minerals will surely keep these wash plants busy in the upcoming years.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One of my simple mine site plans for Placer gold mining

simple mine site plans for Placer gold mining
Simple mine site plans for Placer gold mining

This is a mine site layout that is pretty straight forward. In a narrow gulch placer you are always going to be under the onslaught of challenges.

I use this format over and over and I suggest it strongly to clients worldwide as a good baseline to get you started

Every site has its own specifics and you are adjusting as you go.
But in general with multiple handling of your tailings due to narrow placer gulch constraints you can get dialed in and get yardage per hour in the 35 to 50 yard an hour range for a good 10 hr shift. With a couple of hrs back hauling your oversize and fines you will have another shift ready to go. Elevated values in these types of deposits is paramount.  With proper bulk testing and a good analysis of the results, even the tight constraints in these types of deposits are certainly attractive to the modern day placer miner.

Reclaiming One of Our Placer Gold Mining Projects in Montana

Reclaiming Placer gold mining projects in Montana
The reclamation phase of any project requires precise planning.
Overburden pays nothing when you stack it on the sides and it pays nothing when you put it back. We were in the process of putting it back.

As you can see we were at about 51 ft in depth and managing your overburden in tight confines is an art in itself. We still managed to make a profit from this ground but the depth certainly is a factor to consider on any placer project.
I consider 50 ft plus to about be the maximum depth you can shuttle around your material in five acres.

Five acres is the limit of disturbance under a small miners exclusion in Montana. A full blown operating permit is prohibitively expensive and renders most gold placer projects in Montana with little chance of success. While there may be some properties that will warrant this, it is in my opinion that not many will support the timeline to complete the permit or the massive bonding that it will require,  this will be of course, depend on the acreage. However many projects are flourishing under the five acre cap and I hope it will stay on track status quo. I am very concerned about the extinction  of all of us, as modern day placer miners.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This is freedom!!!! Discovery and gold mining!!!

Discovery and gold mining!!!
My brother Les holding a weeks gold production from one of our mines here in Montana.

While some of these pictures show a lot of ounces you have to remember we use almost $600,000.00 worth of mining equipment that depreciates and wears out. But....... We flat out love this business!

Every day a new adventure and this is what freedom is all about. When you make a discovery, witness old history and find some gold, these are things you dreamed about growing up!!!!!! Get out there and do it!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Finding a forest treasure!

Last  spring I was out prospecting on my bike and I was working my way up on a stream that had some really interesting placer workings.

I ended up finding this forest treasure!!

This giant puffball was a fun find for the day. I panned some color but this was pretty cool. Took it home and sliced it into some steaks lots of seasoning salt and butter and it was pretty tasty.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Placer Gold Mining Techniques: sorting out the boulders

Placer Gold Mining Techniques: sorting out the boulders

These are boulders that we had to sort out on a daily basis on a placer mine we worked several years ago. That is our 345 excavator  to compare the size and some of the boulders were 8 ft to 10 ft across.

Something that over the years I have seen quite a bit on limestone boulder placer properties  and I really don't have a good definitive answer for this yet........Gold flakes really jammed in some of the cracks.
Every boulder is not like this but a percentage is and it varies throughout the deposit as you work your way through it.

Flat flakey gold tends to really get jammed into some of the cracks on the limestone boulders. Every boulder is not like this but a percentage is and it varies throughout the deposit as you work your way through it. The part that is hard to get your head wrapped around..... is on some of these boulders 3 to 10 flakes are visible really jammed into some of the boulder cracks so tight that you have to pry them out with a knife blade.
Forget about washing these to get it, just a real interesting anomaly that I have observed on limestone boulder properties over the years. Remember to keep a grasp on the diminishing returns trying to get the last flake.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Montana wash plants..... proven production series......No B.S. you order it we are on it the next day. Built by seasoned production miners.

Montana wash plants..... proven production series
This wash plant is being offered for sale. This is our used wash plant and we will sell it for
US $150,000.00 F.O.B. Hamilton Montana. This plant is ready to go. UPDATE May 1, 2013 this plant has been sold.


We can offer a similar plant with used components completely refurbished for US $250,000.00 (USD).


A brand new plant with 5 ft x 14 ft double deck vibrating screen

A 35 ft x 36" wide conveyor belt

A 6 ft wide x 8 ft long vibrating grizzly

All new structural steel

Plant will be ready to ship in 4/5 weeks from order date.

Call me today (406) 530 - 9712.

Using a gravel pump to transport fines (video)

This is a short video of how I like our gravel pumps to operate.  You can see the simplicity of the operation. When ever you are down in a hole or your tailings are building up around your wash plant, a gravel pump is an inexpensive way to transport your fines to a more manageable area depending on your mining plan.

This is about 30 to 45 yards per hour operation and this gravel pumping system handled this nicely for two months at this site. We used a sluice box for the primary recovery then gravel pumped the fines to a secondary recovery using a yuba style duplex jig.

The gravel pump is also a good scrubber of the fines that need additional attrition and that was the case here. The gravel on this property had a lot of clay that took a lot of scrubbing to liberate the gold. As on all properties the rate of diminishing returns verses scrubbing and handleling time is all contingent on your mining plan.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Catching 60 mesh gold with a sluice box

Catching  60 mesh gold with a sluice box
Catching  60 mesh gold with a sluice box

I just finished spending a couple of days doing a bit of testing on a property we hope to mine this summer.

I am a very big fan of the Clarkston report done on the Klondike back in 1989. I was mining full bore on my Grasshopper creek holdings at that time and was trying every kind of recovery system that was out there.
In 1987 I stripped 800,000 yards of overburden and washed over 100,000 yards of paygravel.

This was an ideal time to put a lot of yardage into different types of recovery apparatuses. I had old mine tailings dumps to experiment on and a lot of recovery challenges that I was able to dedicate a lot of my time on. I am always on the lookout for some subtile change of recovery dynamics of sluiceboxes.

On this test just a couple of days ago and I was pouring it to it, I changed to these riffles and curiously I had a huge recovery on 60 mesh gold by changing from a #4 gratex expanded metal riffle which I usually don't stray far from, to this diamond pattern and was able to scalp out a very satisfactory recovery on some very fine gold. The fine gold seemed pretty happy settle out of the upper slipstream and stay put.

Just jumped out of my box a bit and sharing a bit of yesterdays fine gold recovery. For the big picture jigs and probably a nelson concentrator will probably be in the works!!!  Still..... those riffles look pretty good to me. The deposition of the gold is very uniform and shows a good settling pattern. This is a good reference photo for sure.

On the fly hand sketch of a Diamond recovery barge I built

Sketch of a Diamond recovery barge I built
Sketch of a Diamond recovery barge I built

This is another field sketch I made a few years ago of a recovery barge and a hydraulic riffle recovery system.

I have always like to do a simple flow chart to get control of the system. Then a hand sketch. Then if you have access to a-cad or some of the other drawing programs you can get the finer specs dialed in. usually in foreign counties this I about as far as I need to go. In country supplies are usually within grasp and you have to go with in country availability of products and services and be able to adapt on the fly quickly and as efficient as you can.