Friday, January 31, 2014

Hunting for treasure is some of the best times of your life!!!

Hunting for treasure is some of the best times of your life!!!
There really is gold out there to be found. I am holding a cleanup we had a couple of years ago in western Montana.

It is good to share photo's like this to give incentive and hope to all the prospectors and miner's that even now you can still find a treasure.

One thing is for certain, it takes perseverance, a lot of hard work and preparing yourself and your team to find these hard won gifts of nature.

The dream of finding gold and other treasure's is in us all.

Placer Mining Information
You will find quality resources for the various aspects of alluvial mining and exploration here.

This is an example of a well tuned gold placer mining operation

This is an example of a well tuned gold placer mining operation
This is what a well tuned mining operation should looks like.

Everything is kept tight. We need 5 truckloads per hour in a semi circle around the wash plant. This system we are using maximizes the efficiency on this project.

There is plenty of time to keep tails in check and oversize rock to go back into the pit. Everything is kept on short hauls 80% of our material is handled by the rock truck.

 My brother Les is keeping a watchful eye on the operations.


Placer Mining Information
You will find quality resources for the various aspects of alluvial mining and exploration here.

This is what a good pan should look like when you are tesing your pit pay gravels for paying gold!!

This is what a good pan should look like when you are tesing your pit pay gravels for paying gold!!
This is a good test pan we had in one of our pits this last summer.

Some good test pans like this is going to bring you a good cleanup at the end of a shift.

This is about 60+ mesh and finer  gold. When you see this in your panning program, the bills will get paid thats for sure.

You can see the amount of heavy black sand and iron in each pan gives you a good idea what you are up against for sure.

Your gold pan is always the best start, when you are placer mining for gold.


Placer Mining Information
You will find quality resources for the various aspects of alluvial mining and exploration here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Trommels and vibrating screens is always a case by case study for primary screening of Gold and Diamond bearing gravels

Trommels and vibrating screens is always a case by case study for primary screening of Gold and Diamond bearing gravels
Sometimes with heavy clay, vibrating screens cannot get the scrub you would get with a trommel.

 This is an example of a property we worked several years back that would have been better served if we had chosen a trommel.

Most properties can be adequately  serviced by vibrating screens, but as you can see here that a more thorough washing of the gravels  with a trommel would be more desirable, in this case.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Wash Plant Operations: Some dandy setups with vibrating screens and trommels for gold

wash plant operations
 These are a couple of good gold wash plants that work very well on many mining operations and this of course depending on your requirements. This type of screen worked very well with a long service life,working mostly sandy bedrock and loose gravel.

With modified high-pressure wash water is does well in some clays, this is matched of course with your screen analysis of your pay gravel
wash plant operations
 This setup I had with two trommels served me very well during a time we had hungry ground and low gold prices. This is a set up that is really reasonably cheap and you can usually keep one going all the time. We worked competitively most of the time and we got some impressive yards washed. I am exploring this option again because the numbers look pretty good against just one big plant. You can get a lot of control of your gravel and should always make good rock in the box runs which will net you the gold. Double trommels are surprisingly easy to keep going. Lot of muck going through my two plants!!
wash plant operations
We trenched in front of this wash plant on ruby creek till we found the pay zone and spent a long fall on the continental divide making gold in the Big Hole of montana. Prices of gold was pretty low but we got by.
wash plant operations
This is a good robust design plant that knocked out a 1000 ounces of gold its first two years. We leased some property that had some small remnants of pay gravel and being portable and fast we did good. We hit some pockets of nugget gold and made that property a lot of fun. I have some video of that property to check out for some operating procedures that might help out.

View my wash plant operations brochure here

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cassiterite in our alluvial gold mining project

Cassiterite in our alluvial gold mining project
Montana tin stone in our alluvial gold mining project a few years ago.

Tinstone found in our alluvial gravels undoubtedly derived from the nearby volcanics. They make for interesting and very unique specimens. Not many of Montana's gold fields have cassiterite like these beauties

This is some cassiterite we recovered from a placer gold property we had leased some years back. With a high specific gravity of about 7, these tin stones were easily recovered in our recovery system.

Cassiterite is a low grade constituent of igneous rock and is re-concentrated or re-precipitated in many parts of the world by alluvial dynamics. This 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, Brazil, and Thailand.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A big floating wash plant I built for Gold and Sapphires years ago

gold and sapphires floating wash plant
This is a sapphire dredge I built some years back. It was very effective at recovering sapphires and gold. This would work well with diamonds.

From concept to rock in the box was six weeks. I used the flexi float snap together system. This made it super easy to shape, and build any configuration you could imagine.
This floater could be fed land based material or used New Zealand style excavator dipping very effectively. 

I would like to build another one like this in africa or south america. They are very portable and parts can be trucked and river barged in with its own floats. Once you get to the final stages of design its pretty easy to mix and move your system for maximum efficiency in many applications.
gold and sapphires floating wash plant


The most reliable choke feed system you can use in the placer Gold and Diamond mining industry

choke feed system you can use in the placer Gold and Diamond mining
I have always used this system of feeding a trommel or a vibrating screen. This is always the most trouble free and fastest way to get sticky bedrock clays and mud introduced to the treatment plant.

This will for sure, keep pay gravel material flowing to your recovery system.

There are many tips to explain here and I will attempt to share my experiences and why.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hydraulic riffles recovering gold in a tropical environment

Hydraulic riffels recovering gold in a tropical environment
This is a wash plant designed in New Zealand, specifically for washing clay and heavy mud.
This is currently in use in malaysia for fine gold.

The barrel is deep set with plenty of scrubbing area. Clays are notorious for not liberating the gold contained in the smaller fines fraction.

This design is getting close to a solution that will probably be sought after by Gold and Diamond miners looking forward and especially in the tropical alluvial mining environment.

Of special note is the hydraulic riffles (Kiwi style). The screened media is introduced to a rubber lined gravel pump and further gold liberation is achieved by the centrifugal violence in the gravel pump. The splitter sends the conditioned mud and sand to the hydraulic riffles for the fine gold recovery.

While I was not on this site, a good buddy of mine who is from New Zealand was and sent me this photo. Tuckey introduced this riffel system to me back in 1989.

Henry Plummer"s Gold - Montana Journalism Review by Alison Mills

Henry Plummer"s Gold - Montana Journalism Review by Alison Mills
Towner’s smile is brighter than the ginger-blond streaks defying the rest of his gray hair. The Montana native collects ounces of the flecks and dust, making a living as a miner and explorer. Crowned with a well-worn baseball cap, Towner wears a heavy khaki jacket and boots caked in mud. He has sifted and sorted across the world, from Venezuela to Ghana to India.

“I’ve always been a treasure hunter,” Towner says. “I just got a knack for finding stuff.”

Towner’s current mine site is about 35 miles away from Bannack where Henry Plummer hanged in 1864. The crooked sheriff may have been involved in the murders of more than 100 miners in the mid-1800s, and legend has it he cached more than his weight in gold.

Historian Zoe Ann Stoltz is not won over by the allure of gold and bandits.

“It’s not romantic,” she says. “It was a horrific time.”

She followed up with a recommendation to read Frederick Allen’s “A Decent Orderly Lynching.” Allen’s vision of the Wild West doesn’t match the legends most Montana schoolchildren grew up with. Most of the stories told around schoolyard playgrounds and campfires err on the side of indecency and chaos.

The true beauty of history is that it’s lost. Plummer’s secrets — money and thoughts alike — haven’t weathered the winters as well as Bannack’s faded, falling buildings.

Read more at: http://mjr.jour.umt.edu/?p=2600


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Placer Mining: What trommel barrel design really works best?

Placer Mining: What trammel barrel design really works best?
This is what the inside of a trommel barrel should look like, fast, simple, less wear and fast ejection of screened gravel in most rotary screen applications.

Most alluvial gravel is easy to scrub, the real secret is to use the weight of the gravel to scrub the gravel. As you can see here at around 75 yards per hr, with a 5 ft diameter screen 25 ft long you will get a good scrub.

The 1 inch water spray bars pushes a lot of water through the media creating a very good liberating scrubbing action.

Using an excavator to feed with is usually the most long term productive way of introducing material to the washing system. The first 6 or 8 ft of blank barrel helps wet, distribute irregular sand and gravels to your screens and recovery system be it simple sluices, jigs, or any other type of gravity recovery system.

The real problem most operators have is the screened material. This is where the biggest problem in gold recovery is encountered. I will share more tips on what I have encountered in later posts, the new season is fast approaching!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Treasure Hunters - Episode 2


Rob and his fellow Treasure Hunters travel to India to search for the lost diamond mines of Golconda. After following several clues, the team explores a potential site around the Krishna River where they make a promising discovery of a temple used by ancient miners.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rock in the box will make you money!!

well running placer gold mining plant
This is an example of a well running placer gold mining plant. Every aspect of this operation is kept tight and close.

Of particular note is the sand tailings.  Keeping these on a long or even longer run helps take sediment out of your recirculated settling pond water.

You will get longer operating times between settling pond water recharging events.

Rock in the box is where you will make your gold, keep it going!