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flintgreasewood

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Everything posted by flintgreasewood

  1. flintgreasewood

    Shaft Ice Annomalies

    Rod, you may have something there. I remember when I worked up in northern Wisconsin during my high school summers, we'd set aside containers of "bug juice" or cool aide type drink before we'd leave at the end of the season. It would ferment and then freeze during the cold winter. But it wouldn't freeze solid. There would be a core of liquid that was almost pure alcohol. Can't say that I checked the alcohol content of my shaft brew. Maybe that's the source of Alaska Amber Ale...filtered, of course.
  2. flintgreasewood

    Shaft Ice Annomalies

    Ever since last summer when I was removing ice from my prospect shaft I have been puzzled by something I found. I was down probably about 25' jack hammering away when suddenly I was blasted by pressurized water. Immediately I figured I had broken through into the old drift. Unfortunately, that was not the case. At that point I was not even half way to the bottom of the shaft. So what was going on with that water pocket which was surrounded by solid ice and frozen muck walls? Actually, it was not the only pocket I hit. There were a couple more though neither was pressurized. Anyone have any ideas?
  3. flintgreasewood

    Shaft Ice Annomalies

    No, Dick...it was a lot of nasty, smelly water. I was hit with probably a couple of quarts and there was a lot more left in the cavity. The pressure was so great that it blasted my face and I'm almost completely upright when jackhammering. I should also add that it was in the center of the shaft ice...about 16" from the muck wall.
  4. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Well, after talking with my partner this evening I'm back looking into the possibility of blasting and stripping with a dragline and dozer. I forgot that all that work would be done beginning with freezup and possibly continuing on into mid spring. A cut 100' x 200' would be made basically straight down to bed rock. I'm surmising that we would blast a 20' x 100' x 10' thick section, stack that material, and continue that process down to just above the pay gravel. We might want to consider steam thawing the last section as it would contain bones and tusks. The pay would be removed and stacked for processing in the summer. Then back up the dragline and take out the adjoining 100' x 20' cut. After that, move the dragline downstream and across valley to take the cut next to the first one. I'm assuming the dragline would begin backfilling into the first cut, but possibly the overburden would continue to be stacked till we started into the 5th cut to keep the dozer far enough away from the material being replaced into the first cut. I may be totally out of whack here but it's good for me to try to get a good sense of what might take place. As for drilling and blasting, I'm still figuring 10' spacing for hole pattern with 2" holes 10' deep. With those numbers my calculations come out to 523 cu. ft, or 26,150 lbs.of anfo prills per cut. Now I need to get a cost per ton of anfo. BTW, the dragline has a 120' boom with a 6 yd bucket. It would take approximately 30 hours in a perfect world to remove one cut, 60 hours, or one week for a full 200' x 100'. If we took off January and February, we could still get in 20 to 26 weeks of stripping before things began to thaw. That comes out to 96,300 cu. yds of pay [8' of gravel and 2' of bed rock]. At that rate there would be enough pay stacked to take a full 100 day mining season to run using a 100 yd/ hour wash plant. Maybe I'd better get to bed...that all sounds pretty wild and crazy.
  5. flintgreasewood

    Shaft Ice Annomalies

    Chuck, Interesting concepts. The saline idea is intreguing. Threre was so much "stuff" in the liquid, very brown in color and completely unlike the clear ice surrounding it. That first pocket, and the only one that was pressurized, was a long ways from bedrock. I've heard of miners being rapidly flooded out of a drift upon breaking through into an underground stream, but I don't know if that ever happened in permafrost unless they were in a zone of intermittent permafrost.
  6. flintgreasewood

    Shaft Ice Annomalies

    I get the pressurization theory but why wouldn't the freezing of the water in the pocket be inexorable and the pressurized air merely fracture the surrounding ice and dissipate into it? Could it be that even after 100 years of freezing that there was just still a little bit of water left and given a few more years it too would have frozen? Dunno!
  7. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    If I'm correct, the slow detonation rate of anfo should make it perfect for frozen muck which is relatively soft. N'est ce pas?
  8. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    A bit more on that last thread. The simple way that we currently are developing our prospect will allow some flying by the seat of our pants. But just as we saw in the beginning of this topic, when the operation begins expanding and changing directions toward more complex procedures it takes much more careful consideration and thoughtful planning or you're never going to get to square one. I think this is very evident with the Gold Rush crews. They rush into "bigger and better" seemingly without much of a plan. And they pay for their foolhardiness. I'm trying to avoid those pitfalls, especially since I don't have a deep pocket outfit backing me up if I fall on my face.
  9. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Chuck, Thanks for taking the time to work out all those calculations. I need to familiarize myself more with such figures and properties of things. They will all come in handy at some time or other. I have a good friend who is and engineer and inventor and builder of equipment. He devotes countless hours in designing and computer modeling for things he builds. I'm just the opposite. I get an idea and I just start building it or doing it and, of course, making changes as I go. I'm a "by guess and by golly" kind of guy. We all have our place in this world of work.
  10. flintgreasewood

    Henry Plummer's Gold

    Thanks for the story. Seems like no one ever finds the fantastic "lost caches" of gold. I'm sure some of them really do exist or did exist and if any did get discovered, the lucky finder kept it hush hush.
  11. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Doug Baker, outside Manley, has a large hydraulicing operation. As I recall, his overburden is at least 60', but, whereas, he has plenty of water from Quartz Creek, I have very little. Also, he has significantly better gradient than has my ground which aids in the wash. Several years ago I helped set up a small hydraulic system in Eureka. I didn't get much time on the "giant" but what I did sure was fun. But we digress...
  12. flintgreasewood

    Hydraulic Hoist Operation

    Chuck, You may notice I have not mentioned the word "winch". I have a true hoist. It is a Kinematics which is very similar to the Pullmaster line of hoists. I is an equal speed in both directions hoist with built in braking to keep it from losing a load. It also has a significantly faster line speed than a winch, which, for my needs, is crucial. I have to hoist out of the shaft 65' and then up the highline to the gin pole another 55'. I don't want to wait all day for a trip to complete. It appears that my 16hp engine is going to be sufficient to run a much larger pump than I am currently using. Last year I bought a multi stage hydraulic motor that I will probably turn into a pump, which does work...just can't turn a pump into a motor.
  13. flintgreasewood

    Hydraulic Hoist Operation

    I just purchased an 8 ton hydraulic cable hoist. It is overkill for my needs but it I got it for a ridiculously low price so I went with it. I now have an operating system that has a max gpm of 7 at 3000 psi. The max gpm for the new hoist is 35 at 3000 psi. Since I will be hoisting a max load of 1000lbs. at a line speed of about 1/2 the max rate for the hoist, will my low volume system handle the job?
  14. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Oh, lordy, lordy, Chuck. Maybe I should stick to furniture refinishing!
  15. flintgreasewood

    Hydraulic Hoist Operation

    Thanks, Chuck...so it looks like I'll get only 20% of max line speed [180'/min] or 36' per min. I don't like that. I think I may pick up a higher volume pump that can still be operated by my 16 hp. engine.
  16. flintgreasewood

    Hydraulic Hoist Operation

    Thanks, Eric,...kind of like I figured. Just don't want to have to get an upgraded system and find I didn't need to.
  17. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Hey, Dick Don't know if you read my post #15 where I went through the problems I envision with blasting, stripping and stacking. It looks overwhelming to me. I think I'm back to "simple" drifting out of a shaft.
  18. flintgreasewood

    Hydraulic Hoist Operation

    Not that it would make a lot of difference, but the hoist is an 8000 lb. not 8 ton.
  19. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    I'm by no means an expert on the dynamics of thawed muck. However, I have learned that muck varies in water content. My partner had drifts that contained large ice lenses and apparently high water content in general. The muck I have so far dug up and stacked on my claim seems to have much less water content. As it sits in the sun and thaws it barely changes shape...just dries out like normal mud. Still and all, I respect your concerns for major slumpage and I would expect that even in the best of circumstances, we would experience problems with it.
  20. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Eric, Really appreciate your input. Some real good things to think about. We would undertake the open cut method only after a thorough drill program to determine if there is enough gold to make it worth while. I just decided to draw out a possible mining design plan to get a more realistic understanding if this whole thing could be physically possible. I now think that, based on the nature of muck, it would be impossible to open a cut 70' deep [to include about 2' of bed rock] using a 250 yd/hr dragline [what might be available to us]. My way of figuring goes like this: drill and blast a 30' x 10' x 100' pattern, clean it out, move downstream 30', blast and clean out the next top cut. Move back upstream, blast and clean out a 30' x 10' cut in the bottom of the top cut. That would leave approximately a 10' wide bench above each side of your bottom cut. I figure you'd need it that wide to account for sliding due to thawing muck. So now you'd go back downstream and take another 30' top cut, move over and take another 2nd tier cut. Now you have a pit 20' deep and 50' wide at the bottom. Blast and remove the next 30' x 10' in the middle of the pit. I'm down only 30' and I have a pit 90' wide at the top. That's already a cast of at least 100' and I'm not even half the depth to the bottom. Extend it all out and to be able to have a 20' wide cut at the very bottom in bed rock, my pit at the top would be 1/3 mile wide!!! Talk about the Grand Canyon! The largest walking dragline in existence doesn't have the capability of casting material that far...almost 1000'! Now, say all that were even possible to pull off, I'd need to start working on the next section downstream, but where to put that material? I can't begin back filling the pit till I get at least 3, 20' bottom cuts removed, which means removing an additional 45,000 cu yds of muck and WHERE to put it??? Unless I'm totally off base, I can't see any way on God's green earth that it could work. And I haven't even begun to figure in all the other headaches like creek and ground seep drainage, fuel and blasting agent costs, road access into the claim, repairs on heavy equipment and the fact that all the drilling, blasting and removal of material must take place in the cold weather months. Uggggh! I'm back to liking the idea of drifting out of a shaft...just like they did it back in the day.
  21. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Kurt William, Flaw fields... Is that where they drove large numbers of steam points in the frozen ground? One problem we have at the claim is limited water. If we can get a good dam and holding pond built, we'll have sufficient water for steaming. Also considering bringing in water from a large spring about a half mile away. We'd also have to acquire a monster boiler. It's an interesting process to consider if blasting proves not doable.
  22. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Yup, Chuck...we do have 58 feet of good ole' muck. I'm not up on all the fine points of dragline positioning so I can't talk about their use with any confidence. I'm guessing that our cuts are going to be wide enough [across valley] that the dragline won't be able to reach the furthest blasted overburden, hence the reason for the dozer. Years ago I worked as a welder for a strip coal mine in Montana. We had an 80 cy walking dragline that was fascinating to watch. If this all works out it will be an amazing learning experience.
  23. flintgreasewood

    Blasting Frozen Muck

    Well, I guess I should have made myself a bit more clear. We're not talking shaft sinking here. I got a shaft already. Nor am I thinking drifting with anfo...though I know someone who has done that. This will be open cut mining...removing 58' of frozen muck to expose the gravel. I'm envisioning using a 2 man, gas operated core or auger drill to put down blast holes maybe 10 deep for a section of ground, the dimensions of which are to be determined though study and even trial and error [as I have never heard of this being done]. We'll have a dozer push the blasted muck to where a dragline can remove it from the cut. Geo, your concern for the refreezing of the blasted muck is valid, I believe. We'd just have to make sure we didn't take too big a cut that the dozer couldn't handle in time before it refroze. Thanks for the input thus far and I look forward to further discussion.
  24. flintgreasewood

    Christmas Wishes

    Merry Christmas to all my fellow miners and prospectors. Here's hoping that you all will have a most enjoyable Christmas day. And may we all reflect on the greatest treasure ever to bless the earth...the coming of Jesus Christ...God in human flesh...savior of the world!
  25. flintgreasewood

    Undiscovered Deposits!

    Though I haven't read the Assessment report yet, my immediate question is...how much of the identified minable area back in 1998 has since been closed to mineral access for any number of reasons? I'm guessing it's considerable.
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