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flintgreasewood last won the day on March 19 2016

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About flintgreasewood

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  1. JR Thanks for your continued interest. I'm back in town for the fall and winter[back on line] so I can update easier. It was a slow season for pushing the drifts in my shaft. I spent much of the summer upgrading infrastructure, as it were...new gin pole, new shaft deck, new dead man, etc. Also had water issues that have been so aggravating I just didn't want to be down in all the wet. I did get some thawing done and am very pleased with the performance of my home made thawing rods. I'll start back in the drift as soon as things freeze up good. We're also prospecting an old mine's dump piles [not tailings] and will try to keep that going even after freeze up. Got a couple of young guys helping me out now. Sure nice to have the extra muscle, enthusiasm and company.
  2. Hey, Leonard...good to hear from you again. Been past that mill many times on my mountain bike. Just love James Canyon and all the mining in that area. It would be great to see renewed activity up there again, but bucking the greens of Boulder County is pretty daunting. Come on back up here to Fairbanks and see my operation this summer.
  3. Steve, Your interest seems strong enough that we should carry on further discussion via e-mail. Mine is flintgd@aol.com. Talk soon.
  4. Hi, Steve, Harry, Chris and other interested miners, My first reaction in response to Steve's last post is: where does the money come from to drill, rip with a dozer, excavate, haul material, build access road, site grade, etc? It's going to take someone or some operation that has a very good knowledge of the immediate area and its potential and, therefore, is willing to take the risk to get some firm numbers. Next, frozen muck drills fast, but 80' holes are still not cheap. I'll try to get some costs. Working with a dragline is probably the most cost effective way to remove overburden and currently there is a good possibility of a 2 1/2 yarder available. If operations were to begin at the furthest downstream point that would be just past where the two feeder creeks joined, thereby combining two pay steaks. That would surely be the richest ground. Drilling might best begin at the division of the creeks. I'd like to think that by summer's end I'll have good knowledge of the pay on the upper end of Vault [more than 1/2 mile above the junction] from drifting out of the shaft I've put down. So, how serious are you about my ground, Steve? What could you bring to a venture? How similar is a "syndicate" to a partnership?
  5. You are right, Chris, about the thawing muck. It certainly presents problems but there are mining operations in the Fairbanks area that routinely tackle frozen overburden as deep or deeper than my ground. Frozen muck rips easily, so you do all your overburden removal beginning in the fall after freeze up. Take a break in December and January and get back with it till June when it really warms up. There's plenty of room in the valley to stack overburden. So by June you have a patch of pay gravel 150 to 200' wide by, say 200 feet deep by 10' thick, That's about 15,000 cu yds. Based on historical reports of gold produced downstream on Vault Creek I'm convinced the pay could easily run over $100. per yd. That would come out to around , $1,500,000. Of course drilling first is essential, and what I find in my drift tunneling will enable us to put some numbers where up to now there is only speculation.
  6. I'm looking for someone to mine roughly 2 miles of virgin permafrost placer stream valley close in to Fairbanks. The overburden ranges from about 45' to 80' so it would require an operation not afraid of going deep. Pay gravels are 8' to 10' and contain gold for nearly the entire horizon. Though the ground has not been drilled, there are several prospect shafts that indicate values of a minimum of 1 oz per 30 yds.. The history of the creek below my claims is rich and much research has been done re. geology and production. Ground is a mile from major highway and town is less than 1/2 hour distant. A prospective operation will need to drill the ground and have large dozers w/rippers, rock trucks or dragline and excavators. There is a large spring that can supply sufficient water for processing. If interested contact Kurt
  7. That's exciting. I'll be watching your progress too.
  8. Hey guys I have approximately 10 feet of gravel on top of bed rock. I'm only beginning to run my drifts across valley so I'm not able to say what the angle of bed rock is yet. Now I'm recovering from back surgery [relatively minor] but it's going to keep me from any vigorous mine work for several weeks. Ahhh, patience!
  9. Hi Chris It's almost February and I'll soon be starting my cross valley drifts. In anticipation of increased material removal I am beefing up and enlarging my hoisting system. Should be an exciting season. Good luck to you
  10. Welcome to the Forum. That's a pretty slick looking piece of equipment and well made too. Aluminum? Where are you located?
  11. JR, Good to hear back from you. The seepage into the shaft ended shortly after freeze up. All is nice and dry down below. I'll be digging a substantial trench up stream this spring to hopefully divert any flow into the shaft next summer. Let's hope it works.
  12. Thanks, Doug I hope my efforts serve as an encouragement to other current and future drift miners. I'm hoping to develop simple systems that can be utilized by even just one person to successfully mine underground.
  13. Late December last year I began digging a 6' x 6' prospect shaft about 100' downstream from the original Cobb prospect shaft. Armed with a 30 lb electric jack hammer, a couple of shovels and my nifty 1/2 size home made "Fairbanks self dumping bucket" system I worked my way down through frozen muck and eventually a 10' gravel layer to bed rock at 62'. On my way down I encountered layers of tangled branches and trees up to 6" in diameter. After 40+ feet I hit fine sand and scattered patches of gravel, fossil bone fragments, then complete bones. I was anticipating these finds but the excitement of actually finding them was intense. The first chunk of mammoth tusk nearly put me over the top. Progressing downward, the bones became less frequent and the pay gravel more dense. I had been told that a jack hammer would be ineffective in frozen gravel. Good I don't listen to everything I hear; it busted up almost as easy as the muck. The gravel graded into fractured and decomposed bed rock and I knew I had finally reached my goal...10 months after starting the project. Before freeze up I was able to wash 5 yards of pay and the result was encouraging. I'll have to wait till late spring to resume processing what I brought up before and what I can hoist this winter. Now it's late November and all is solidly frozen above as well as below ground. Since bottoming out in the shaft I've been devoting most of my time to upgrades above the shaft in preparation for winter work. Also I had to take a part time job in town to help pay for the added expense of moving to a small cabin also in Fairbanks. What little time I've been able to devote to underground efforts have been to expand my working space. On the way down I managed to increase the dimensions of the shaft from 6' x 6' to over 7' square. The plan is to continue out to 10' square before I begin pushing the drifts across the valley. Jack hammering straight down is relatively easy compared to working horizontally and even vertically. Sufficient pressure is difficult to exert out of position so I began working on ideas to free the gravel other than by the traditional steaming or blasting to reduce the great amount of physical labor involved with jack hammering. Suffice it to say, I'm making good progress in those efforts. I'll report on this process in months to come.
  14. For those who have been following my odyssey some real progress has been made on my new shaft in the past two months. It's been one hard slog to jack hammer my way down to 55' but persistence is paying off. I'm now in mixed gravel and muck and will be into some gold in a few more feet. The gravel is proving to be more difficult to jack hammer than I had hoped though it varies around the shaft. Some will be almost dry and breaks up easily and other places it will be as hard as concrete. What keeps things interesting though is the fossil remains I'm uncovering. Just today I pulled out a mammoth metatarsal [toe bone]. Last week I chipped out a 5 lb. chunk of mammoth tusk. It's likely I'll be finding full tusks as I drive the drifts. Hoisting is going quite well though I have to watch the weight in the bucket as the gravel is substantially more heavy than the muck and my motor overheats if I overload or send up a bucket without letting the motor cool down a bit. I'm getting ready to run some heavier electrical wire so that should help with voltage drop. We'll be building a new boiler house shortly and setting up the steam system though we may be experimenting with some different methods of thawing. More to come soon.
  15. Here's a brief update on my work at Cobb prospect this season. I'm now down to the 40' level in my 6x6 shaft. It hasn't been easy with problems of spring snow melt, a snapped gin pole, endless modifications of the hoisting system. trails turning to mud bogs. dying jack hammers and just plain gettin' older and tireder. The gin pole situation was nearly fatal as it allowed the full bucket to be free to return to the shaft and fall 25' to land right at my feet...a real heart stopper. God is good and saved me from harm. I now have a full size 2" x 10" x 10' plank that I used as a shield every time I hoist or lower a bucket. Don't wish to put God to the test again so soon. Then I had to cut and drag into position a new and larger pole to replace the broken one. Raising the 34' spruce with tripods, come along, a small electric winch and lots of guy wires was no easy trick, but I managed. The trail turned bog forced me to find a new high and dry route to the prospect but that entailed crossing Vault Creek and two little pups. To do that I had to build three bridges, two of them 30' long and one 10'. That's a lot of 4" x 4' poles. While pitching some of those poles I threw out my back and an MRI determined I ruptured a disc in my lower back. So I've been limping around for 6 weeks with a numb foot [pinched nerve] and am awaiting laser surgery in late Aug. Fortunately, I am not in pain and can still work in the shaft as normal. I now have all systems working to near perfection with a new jack hammer and even a small hoist dedicated to hauling me up and down the shaft instead of having to use the ladder...a real energy saver. Just the other day I noticed my bucket refused to lower into the shaft. I determined the dead man that was anchoring the main high line was giving way so that the line was too slack. Fortunately, I had several 3 1/2 foot lengths of 1" rebar that I had ground points on. I drove three of them in line 3' apart and connected them base[ permafrost frozen just below the moss] to top and attached the high line to the first one. It has so far proven to be a fine dead man setup. I made sure the posts are well insulated and protected from possible rain. It's been a lot of hard work and sometimes discouraging with the slow pace I am going but I'm learning patience. I have only 16 to 18 feet to go to hit gravel and then things really get exciting. I'll let you all know when I get there. Till then, have a great rest of the summer mining season.