Tuesday, December 8, 2015

We keep our Gold cleanup time short and simple

Gold cleanup time short and simple
This is a pic of our gold cleanup sluice.

We do this everyday. The plant does not shut down except for the cleanup of the main sluices each night.

It is quick, simple and we know what we have in ounces everyday and keep control of our pay gravel grade.

Washplant sluice, cleanup sluice, screen cleanup sluice cons to 10 mesh. Simple gold wheel, scales all done right by the plant.  1.5hrs
we are done.

Keep it simple!
And keep Rock in the box
Gold cleanup time short and simple
Gold cleanup time short and simple

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Back home filling out the paperwork and paying the bills

cleaning the bedrockWe are checking our values as always, as we move up our mining cut. Properly cleaning the bedrock will for sure show up in your sluice box.

We have wrapped up for the year and I am buried in paperwork, selling our product and paying the bills. This has been a good property and reclamation will resume in the spring.

We have a good lead on next years mining plan, and we hope that it is going to be productive.

Spring testing of the south part of our property will be exciting as it is unworked and may fit our model for continued mining.

Now that I have time I will share the placer mining stories that we experienced this year.
Our mining practices and principles will also be shared, as I prepare some useful information with my spreadsheets. Photo's of our operations as well as the results hopefully will inspire and help any of your future mining projects.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mining Sapphires In Montana

Mining Sapphires In Montana
A couple of years ago a client contacted me to examine a property he had just purchased. He wanted to know what the property might contain in gold values.  I researched the publications available to me and found that considerable gold had been recovered from this property before the turn of the century.

Usually a good producing lode mine is the logical source of placer gold and evidence of structure and geological occurrences are well documented on most of the known districts. I gathered up some testing gear I had and dug a few test pits, while we only found a little bit of gold, which was nice, but the pleasant surprise was these high quality sapphires I found. This was  good news for the owner. This small collection was mine run and not heat treated. You can bet mining this property may be in our future!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

American Gold: the best kinda gold ever

placer gold
I am always championing the gold miners I meet.

A big ol' pile is fun to pick it up and hear it pour back into your pan.

I can just imagine the old timers back in the day, the incredible odds they faced. The tremendous work they did to wrestle the gold from the earth. Hoping to go back to their families to bring them a better life.

The west was settled and explored by these robust and hardy people and they set the stage for America to be the great place it is today. The prospectors, explorers and adventures is a big part of what the United States was and still is today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Placer Mining: Sweat, muscle and perseverance, won the day!!

We were working a placer mine near Drummond Mt a few years back and we kept uncovering old 1860's drift mines. The state of preservation was amazing and you are always at a marvel  how sweat, muscle and perseverance  won the day on this old placer mine.

 I love the hand worked timbers and the tremendous effort it took, all by hand.  lowering all this wood to the depths of their  drifts in the dark with candles as their only light and the hopes of striking it rich. There is miles of this going all the way up the gulch!

These pioneers, miners,explorers just tough…. gutsy, what an experience  to glimpse into their past, and what they accomplished.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Now this is a handful Montana Gold!!!

Now there is a handful of Gold! We were mining a couple of years ago near Drummond Mt and we melted down our daily cleanups.

We have a small induction  furnace and we used it right on the property to consolidate our gold intake for the day and make it easier to send to the refiner. This eliminates loose placer gold from being handled and possibly taken during the multiple handling processes on a placer mine.

Good looking stuff, but it takes a lot of yellow Caterpillar Iron, diesel fuel and hard work  to get this commodity thats for sure!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sluicing for Gold In Montana

Sluicing for Gold In Montana
You are a happy alluvial engineer when you see the results like this at the end of a good shift.

That is the way it needs to look - gold in the riffles at the end of the day. I use expanded metal riffles on most of my plants with good results. There are many more styles and I will get to that another day.

Miners moss is the very best and there is no substitute that works as well as this material for underneath the riffles.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pay Streak: November 2014

Pay Streak: November 2014
Pay Streak: November 2014Last year, towards the end of our season, we had a pretty good cleanup on our project.  We had have been working hard on a 68 day run that had been very consistent.

Keeping rock in the box is what will make your operation a success, which is always easier said than done.

We always have a panning program that insures we have a good grade control.

That property is a fine gold deposit and this is a pan from the pay streak.

When you can keep your grade at the stockpile with these good pans, your success is very probable.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Gold mining in the snow of Montana

Gold mining in the snow of Montana
About a year ago, we got nailed by a snowstorm before we shut down the mine. Well over a foot of the white stuff.

We still had a goal to reach and we got up and running the next day.  Its turned out to be a muddy and messy final three weeks.

Friday, October 23, 2015

This property was mined in 1899 and still is producing economic placer gold!

placer mine
You can see that we do not have much overburden.

If you look closely  from the roots on up…. the ground has been previously worked by a small bucket line dredge.

The dredge was very small and could not dig very deep or even get through the veneer of basketball sized rocks. On the surface, the property looked totally worked out.

When we tested this, I could not believe that they would leave these kind of values so near to the surface.

They did leave a few islands of unworked ground but not much and it gave me insight to how and why they mined this alluvial flood plane.

The surrounding geology has not changed much in 5,000 years and the wind and the arid climate no doubt reconcentrated  much of the near surface low grade alluvial fan to an enriched surface deposit that fit the economic requirements of one of the first bucket line dredges in the world.

 In 1899 this was cutting edge technology and no doubt this was a success to the group that put this dredge on this little valley deposit.

We came along 110 years later and what they considered low-grade, now meets our economic requirements for the present day mining plan that we have put together.

Learn about our placer mining services - click here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hydraulic mining in Venezuela for Diamonds

Hydraulic mining in Venezuela for Diamonds
I have found a few extraction operations using hydraulic mining in the Venezuelan jungle. The local Diamond miners were the first in this area. It is always a good idea to see what the local miners are doing and get an idea to what you are going to be up against. This was a particularly rich area in central Venezuela near where we were exploring and later set up a Diamond recovery plant.

The photo here is a hydraulic Diamond operation I stumbled upon deep in the central part of Venezuela. We heard of a La bullia (a shout) meaning a new Diamond discovery has been found, several miles away from our camp. We embarked on a stiff hike, navigating the spiderweb of jungle trails heading deep into the jungle.

Still a couple of miles from the area we could hear the unmistakable rumble of a Venezuelan water pump. These water pumps are usually an old air cooled engine and a home made pump coupled together with strips of carefully cut tires to attach these incredibly reliable machines together.

If you want to truly understand hydraulic mining, this is the place. I  worked the nozzle and the little gravel pumps they had for hours and hours to get hands on experience. It was pretty cool.  Visit the web site to get more information - click here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Nitty Gritty of Placer Gold Mining: just like technology it's an ever evolving process

Placer Mining Methods
Placer Mining Methods
We encountered some limestone bedrock that would not yield, even with our 345 excavator.

A substantial amount of values were still in these natural riffles we encountered.  You can see the bedrock very clearly here and how it show's nature doing its best to concentrate the gold.

Its a nice example of a sedimentary process and response.  This depositional setting and bedrock change, for the short term  really helped our bottom line at the end of the day.

Placer Mining Methods
We brought in a large compressor and did the final sweep of the hardest part of the bedrock and noticed a spike in the recovered values that day.

As we advanced further, the bedrock was softer and we were back on our normal recovery values.

You always try to recognize changes as you encounter them and adjust your materials handling to the new challenge! Gold placer mining is an ever evolving process.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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

Grand Sabana of Venezuela
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 trek 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.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hughes Creek Placer Mine Magazine Article

Hughes Creek Placer Mine Magazine Article
This issue features an article covering Robs'  Hughes Creek Placer Mine and includes photos.

It's the July, 2014 issue of the Rock & Gem magazine.

Follow the link to read it and view the pictures too - click here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Placer Mining: Understanding Geological Structure

Placer Mining: Understanding Geological Structure
This is a center cut on a gulch placer we were working here in western Montana years ago. At the time of this photo, we were getting ready to move onto the bench placer in the upper left of the photo.  On the upper right you can see the drain ditch doing its job perfectly.

Understanding the geological structure will enhance your mineral extraction strategy. I was fortunate enough to be trained by the best of the best, old timers who had been mining all their lifetime. What they taught me is priceless hands-on experience. That is what, I think, every successful miner has to develop - the hands-on experience.

Keep in mind, you are always trying to achieve digging dry gravel. In reality, most of the time you will have water issues of one kind or another.

Check out my web site - click here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Treasure that will be lost forever, the 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, September 25, 2015

Coarse nugget gold from Montana

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 mining 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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Placer mining is an American lifestyle that represents Freedom

Placer mining is an American lifestyle
Placer mining is a lifestyle that you really have to love. To keep rock in the box, the weather does not matter and you can't get tired you gotta Go Go Go! You have to be thinking way ahead of the game, be prepared for breakdowns, pay streak anomalies  and have the proper trained help.

Going home a 5 o'clock is not happening on our jobs, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in a day. If you have any hiccups  the lights are on, to make your quota of gravel that has to be run through your wash plant to meet your budget requirements.
Placer mining is a lifestyle.

Visit my web site for more information

On our particular job the grade is quite low but with overburden almost nonexistent it fits our company just right. We operate with just three men and most of the time it is balanced good.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sluice box: an essential element of your gold recovery system

Sluice box: an essential element of your gold recovery system
Sluice box: an essential element of your gold recovery systemThe design of your sluice box is essential to the success of your mining operation. Use the right miners moss for your gravel, make sure the length of the box is appropriate to the mineral size you are expecting, and always keep a close eye on the water flow.

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.

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.

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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Placer Mining - an 1860 drift mine

Placer Mining - an 1860 drift mine
We were working a placer mine near Drummond Mt a few years back and we kept uncovering old 1860's drift mines. The state of preservation was amazing and you are always at a marvel  how sweat, muscle and perseverance  won the day on this old placer mine.

 I love the hand worked timbers and the tremendous effort it took, all by hand.  lowering all this wood to the depths of their  drifts in the dark with candles as their only light and the hopes of striking it rich. There is miles of this going all the way up the gulch!

These pioneers, miners,explorers just tough…. gutsy, what an experience  to glimpse into their past, and what they accomplished.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mining remote, what happens when your engine blows up?

Mining remote, what happens when your engine blows up?
I blew up an engine on the dredge and we quickly found a Muslim mechanic and a Hindi mechanic that worked in perfect scync to get me up and running again. 

Boy they worked like best friends!! I'll never forget them for helping me out of a jam!!!

Check out my web site for more information about my travels and mining.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Grade control of your gravel

Another satisfying gold prospecting experience - tallying the gold

My brother Les is tallying up our days gold take on one of our projects in Montana. We always keep a clean and organized cleanup area. The metal topped table is always imperative for easy cleanup of spills   or mishaps. We always pour gold bars from the accumulated fines right on site. Usually within one hour, we know exactly what the value per cubic yard of material we washed from the previous shift.

Keeping grade control of your gravel along with the associated yardage count will keep a handle on what values you are recovering every shift. Remember to keep samples of the associated minerals on the property you are mining and pay close attention to these for any changes in number or morphology as these could help you in discovering a rich pay streak. Remember gold is usually deposited intermittently across the floodplain and keeping a close eye on any anomalies could help you find richer portions of the deposit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Always be studying your bedrock for any anomalies!

bedrock pay gravel
I was down on the bottom of a trench checking the bedrock a few years back.

It always very important to keep a close watch of the ever-changing bedrock conditions. Subtle clues of the geology and geomorphology and recognizing these changes increases your odds of being a successful  placer miner.

Anytime their is a geological structure change, chances are you are going into a gold drop zone.
The structural change may basalt, sandstone or other geological  anomaly, always pay close attention, you may be in a good paying section of pay gravel!! #mining

Monday, August 24, 2015

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

adventures and fun
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, August 12, 2015

Wire Gold In Montana

Wire Gold In 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!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mining bug of the week from Venezuela

Mining bug of the week from Venezuela
This is a picture I took of the largest bee I have ever seen.

This is a tarantula bee from the jungles of Venezuela. These bee's have evolved into such huge insects because their prey is so big. The stinger is an easy half inch long. These animals live in a burrow in the ground.

When one of these starts winding up to take off, you can hear them from a long way off.

I caught this one by putting a jar over the hole in the ground that they live in, and that is how I captured him. Only two to the burrow was the norm but when ever you started seeing many of these, the number of big tarantulas also went way up. Just more excitement for #mining bug of the week!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Diamond recovery barge I built

On the fly hand 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.

Current Gold Price

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Handful Of Montana Gold

Now there is a handful of Gold! We were mining a couple of years ago near Drummond Mt and we melted down our daily cleanups.

We have a small induction  furnace and we used it right on the property to consolidate our gold intake for the day and make it easier to send to the refiner. This eliminates loose placer gold from being handled and possibly taken during the multiple handling processes on a placer mine.

Good looking stuff, but it takes a lot of yellow Caterpillar Iron, diesel fuel and hard work  to get this commodity thats for sure!!!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bags Of Gold

Bags Of Gold
Bags of Gold do exist.

I wish I could say I recovered this bag of gold but I did not , just wanted to share that there is still bags of gold to be recovered out there somewhere in the world!!

Check out my picture gallery to other placer mining photos.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Diamond mining Deep in the Venezuelan Jungle

Diamond mining Deep in the Venezuelan Jungle
This was a diamond mining area near Santa Elana  Venezuela. We used this old but reliable excavator to strip off the overburden, then jumped down into the pit and loosened up the gravels which made it much easier to Hydraulic mine the exposed very rich Diamond bearing gravels.

The local miners used this system very effectively. Just down stream from this man we had a 4" gravel pump that pumped the sand to a Venezuela style jig that recovered our Diamonds. We yielded many 2 1/2 Carat Diamonds from this stretch of Jungle. While there was some fine gold recovered.

It was not enough to be of economic value at the time.  I had a wash plant about three kilometers away and I tested several area's like this and it really helped in defining our reserve's.

View more photos - click here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A fun Gold photo

Gold photo
Just some fun shots of some gold we recovered over the years. While it looks like we are rich, the facts are that this is what pays the heavy equipment bills and mining costs.

It is a great lifestyle and you are always going after treasure!!! There is a new discovery everyday!

Being in the mountains, around Montana's wildlife , great fishing and taking the grand kids out to explore and enjoy our Montana home!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Godwin water pumps - work the best

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

This is our water system on an older 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!!!



Monday, July 13, 2015

Younger days we were still placer mining!!!

Younger days we were still placer mining!!!
My brother and mining partner Les. Well it was several years back…he is holding a good days cleanup on Ruby creek. That project had very spotty gold and it varied a lot.

Mostly fine gold with no lodes anywhere near. Once again it was glacial debris flows.  The narrow lenses were very hard to keep track of.

Les is the can do  guy of our operation. He can fix anything and is one of the best alluvial miners I have ever met.

Visit our web site and leaner more about what we are doing - click here.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Gold Wash Plant Manufacturing - New Wash Plants

Gold Wash Plant Manufacturing - New Wash Plants
At Bear Creek Placer, LLC we partner with Yanke Machine Shop, Inc. to provide high performance, affordable wash plants. Each wash plant is designed with off the shelf components to handle various tonnage of material. Each plant can be built to your custom specifications depending on the environment criteria of your mine.

These plants are virtually "plug and play", minimal assembly required and they can be shipped overseas in a standard sea container. They are designed for commercial mining, are simple to operate, and are low maintenance. (receive more information)

 #mining  #constructionindustry

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wash Plant For Sale - used, $39K

Can be used with gas or electric motor

CONDITION: Good tires. Wired for towing. New hitch.  

MINERAL: Set up for fine gold recovery.  30-40 YPH.

SPECS: 13,000 pounds (aprox).  29' long. 5hp electric motor with new switches works fine providing power. CASE gas motor included, 4 cylinder, but not running.

FEATURES: Vibrating hopper feeds into vibrating catch tray that feeds into your sluice box. Two screens: 1" minus and .25" minus. Plumbing works well; 4" pipe runs length of trommel with sprayers - .25' hole - throughout, including in the hopper. 
Just add you sluice boxes, vibrating grizzly, and conveyor then you have a fine gold operation with clay or muddy gravel.

Located in Montana and ready for immediate pickup.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SOLD >>>>> Rock Crusher For Sale - Impact Crusher

Stedman 2 Stage, Type A, 20 x 18

- 20 x 18 refers to rotor and hammer ratio - measurement.
- Perforated screen - 1/4 inch on bottom can be switched to bars or whatever size screen fits your operation.  
- 4,500 pounds (aprox) weight

Great impact crusher on slag, gravel, ore, or glass.

Call today (406) 530-9712.  More Info - Click Here.

- Hopper is about 10" by 20" and you place larger hopper on that.
- Engine is not included. You attach engine appropriate to your crushing material on this unit.
- Hammers are 30-40 pounds crushing power.

#mining #goldmining

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Prospecting for Diamonds

Prospecting for Diamonds
We found a really nice 2.5 ct Diamond on this island with hand sampling. I decided to bring the 10" dredge to a channel just offshore. The river currents on big rivers is stronger than you would guess.

To keep the recovery barge and the dredge secure we sunk concrete barrels for anchors and they worked perfectly.

We spent a month offshore here while we prospected for Diamonds. Working in remote reaches of the world always has its challenges. Visit my web site for more information.