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.