Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Treasure that will be lost forever, the Diamond fields of Kollur and Golconda

Diamond fields of Kollur and Golconda
My ol buddy Tim from Montana came over to India to help with the diving on our project.

It always helps when you have a good dive buddy. We have worked together for many years on civil projects and others since we were young fellows.

It always  makes mining  a lot easier.
We enjoyed a stiff hike to overlook the river that we were dredging for diamonds.

The ancient Golconda Diamond field will soon be covered by a dam and the Diamond fields and their history will be lost forever.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Now it's a nice Diamond when it about cover's your hand len's.

Diamond found with suction dredge
This is a very nice Diamond I recovered while working for my buddy Sam a few year's back.

I was running a 10" suction dredge on a river in India and boy the job was brutal. I just found this photo I took and thought it would be a good one to share.

That is one beautiful Diamond. Most Diamonds originated when the earth was in its infancy and knowing your are the first human to touch it, is kinda neat.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Godwin water pumps are in my opinion the top of the line for placer gold mining

Godwin water pumps
This is our water system on our current gold mining project. I use the godwin pump whenever possible.

These are in my opinion the best pump on the market out there. Plug and play. The self priming feature is dependable and on my projects the last thing I want to do is fight a pumping system.

This is a screen system we use and it is very effective especially when you are recirculating your wash water. At the waterline you can see we made removable screens for fast cleaning when they start to plug up with grass, roots and other debris.

With three sides you never have to shut down. The pump intake is 4 ft under the waterline with a solid bottom insuring you get the cleanest water from the top of your settling pond. The catwalk and safety railing for sure is a good idea from a safety standpoint. Keep your pumping site clean and well maintained and this will help with keeping rock in the box and making gold!!!

Building a good stationary type hopper for a gold mining wash plant

Building a good stationary type  hopper for a gold mining wash plant
This is a hopper we built out in my shop.

This was for a little vibrating screen plant. This is a good example of a choke feed hopper with plenty of  hopper water.

The deck below is a screen deck we also fabricated.

On the subject of hoppers, you can have vibrating variants that  in some cases,  can assist in the liquefaction of introduced pay gravel.
 Depending on the type of gravel you have, a vibrating hopper is sometime a good addition to your washplant. Be aware more moving parts and maintenance, not to mention cost!!

 Most placer gravels are free flowing and feed out to a screening system just fine with a choke feed system. Millions of yards have been successfully treated with this type of hopper.
Building a good stationary type  hopper for a gold mining wash plant

Pay Gravels: Managing boulders on your gold placer mining cut

Pay Gravels: Managing  boulders on your gold placer mining cut
Managing boulders on your gold placer mining cut.

A lot of placer  mines have a high percentage of boulders in the pay streak .

One of the ways to manage these is to use them to your advantage. I like to stack them up on the side of the next cut.  The reason for this is to essentially build a rock retaining wall for the purpose of clearly defining your next cut as you strip down to it.

This also helps keep dilution of the pay gravels from the overburden by using these boulders as a wall. Boulders are much easier to rake out and simply throw them back into your worked pit. I also like to use discarded stumps and trees along the edge if I have to.  These can be a bit messy to work with, and the wood can come back to haunt you in your settling pond with the duff and tree bark plugging your intake screens if you are recirculating your water. This is something to keep in mind.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hydraulic riffles for gold recovery in a heavy black sand environment.

Hydraulic riffles for gold recovery in a heavy black sand environment.
This is a set of hydraulic riffles I built  a few years back. This was the underflow from a Pan American Jig.

We had a lot of blacksand and it contained significant  amounts of gold. Regulating the water pressure to around 7 lbs on this particular job seemed to do the trick!

Really the biggest problem we had was handling the enormous amounts of black sand and being able to transport it upriver to a table concentrator. This was on a floating Diamond recovery barge I built.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dedication and study is what it takes to produce gold consistently!!!

Dedication and study is what it takes to produce gold consistently!!!
One of last years cleanups. Production, production its all we seem to do!

One thing is for sure you have to become very dedicated to produce gold consistently.  This is a lifestyle that is always filled with challenges, high hopes and always another good day!!!

Producing gold is very expensive and not for the faint of heart. Alluvial mining is a very specialized business and a lot of good men are fully engaged in it across the world.
We get to meet and work with some amazing people out there and hope to continue for many more years.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mining gold with my brother Les

Mining gold with my brother Les
My brother Les is as good of a miner you could meet. He can build and fix anything on a mine site.

On our current project we are all old school on this one. Just three of us and we are dialed in at 60 to 70 yards per hour 7 days a week with 12 hr plus shifts.

The project is dialed in and we clean the boxes two times a day.  Around noon and at shut down evening time.

We don't run around the clock as we are just keeping it steady, and not many hiccups or problems thats for sure.

One damn nice Gold Nugget

One dam nice Gold Nugget
This is a pretty big gold nugget. I get invited to some pretty spectacular gold projects.

This is from a spot that is super secret and dam its a rich site. Not an area that is friendly to outsiders for sure.

These last couple of years some of my good buddies have ventured to some pretty exotic places and are still coming up with some great finds.

Just had coffee with a friend and he has found several hundred nice nuggets. It makes the winter a little more bearable when your buddies share their adventures with you!!!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Panning gold in the living room!!!!

Panning gold in the living room!!!!
Yep…..Its below zero out and my buddy Pete and I just gotta bring it into the living room!!!!

These were some concentrates from a little property I just had to test in the snow.

Spring is still six weeks away!!!

Bannack Montana wire gold

Bannack Montana wire gold
I was placer mining on Grasshopper creek years back and was getting some great octahedral gold as well as some fantastic wire gold specimens.

I spent a lot of time and money  chasing the lode opportunities on my properties. One of my mentors Mr Gosta Miller who has since passed was able to talk me out of a perfect octahedron gold nugget I found that weighed a little more than one half an ounce. I found several from this area back in the day.

The fascination of finding these treasures will be with me till the day I die. Sharing these old photo's and history of finding and collecting these treasures, I hope will inspire some of the young geologists and mining men that will take on these adventures!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I found a very rich hard rock gold ledge years ago, without photo's who would believe it!!! Chunks of gold.

hard rock gold
At one time I owned a large block of patented gold properties on Grasshopper Creek. I was placer mining and also looking for lode opportunities.

Sure enough I stumbled upon a Limonite ledge that the old-timers had missed. On a skarn type of deposit that this was, the gold bearing ledge could turn anywhere out in the limestone. For several weeks I was hot on the trail going very slow and the geology was showing that a good chance of a pod laying underneath the limestone cap and sure enough I found it.

Some of this stuff went a hundred of ounces to the ton. Gold prices were very low but I still managed to make a profit that year.

This is what some of the original miners back in the 1860's were finding every day. Just to be able to experience the hunt and discovering a real hard rock vein was pretty neet!!

I was a pretty young fellow then, but boy did I find some chunks of hard rock gold. You can see in my pan that we were getting some great cleanups. I donated some of this gold to Montana tech and it is on display at the mineral museum.
hard rock gold

Inching up the Draw that May have held some of Henry Plummers Gold!!!

Henry Plummers Gold
If you look carefully up the little draw above the excavator, you can see where we were headed towards the old cemetery on the left. Our intention was to dig up that old cemetery, boy that ended up being a disaster!!!

 That is my old property at Bannack, Montana and we were in the thick of hunting for Plummber's gold!!!

Several days before this photo was taken we found a catch of 27 ounces of placer gold mixed with mercury and several coins dated 1861 and earlier. Plummber had hanged a couple of horse thieves as the story went as I was told and he buried them on this site. There is much more to tell and I am writing my memoirs on this subject and it should shed some additional light on what I discovered while hunting for Henry Plummers gold.