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plumas.placer.miner last won the day on February 6 2016

plumas.placer.miner had the most liked content!

About plumas.placer.miner

  • Rank
  • Birthday 09/06/1959

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Reno, NV
  • Interests
    Small Scale Placer Mining | Fly Fishing
  1. plumas.placer.miner

    Vacuums, Stream Channels and SB 637

    I have a couple of questions... After reading SB 637, I have concluded that the way it is worded, the use of a small motorized vacuum (like a small backpack vacuum) in a "stream channel or bed" is illegal: "...the use of vacuum or suction dredge equipment, also known as suction dredging, is the use of a mechanized or motorized system for removing or assisting in the removal of, or the processing of, material from the bed, bank, or channel of a river, stream, or lake in order to recover minerals." I have questions about this. 1. Exactly what defines "stream channel or bed"? Is it high bank width? 2. Does this law apply to stream channels or beds that are dry? If so, what percentage of the year must a stream need to be wet or flowing in order for it to qualify as a "stream channel or bed"? Example: What if I find (what appears to be) a dry stream bed on my claim(s) that seems only to be a spring thaw runoff drainage? Is that drainage considered to be a stream channel or bed? 3. If the SB 637 definitions of a stream channel or bed also cover these dry spring runoff drainages, doesn't that lend credence to the argument that SB 637, as worded, is indeed onerous and designed to curtail placer mining rather than to ensure water quality? It seems correct to me that using a vacuum in a dry stream channel, far above (for the sake of argument, farther than 100 yards) the current flowing stream channel, would not negatively affect water quality, unless nature itself washes soil down the drainage in spring runoff the following year. Can anyone clarify this for me? Please contact me off list if you wish. Thanks in advance for the responses.
  2. plumas.placer.miner

    Mining Antiques And Collectibles

    I found this on CL today; looks like treasure to me! I think some of these items would be perfect for mining museums. Might be worth a trip to Medford. http://sacramento.craigslist.org/clt/5431815365.html
  3. plumas.placer.miner

    Pandora Mining Company...

    Anyone seen this site? Spendy claims, but the web site itself and the photos are great! Love the motion graphics background and the simple interactivity. It was posted on Reno/Tahoe Craigslist this morning. http://www.pandoramining.com/
  4. plumas.placer.miner

    Any Clue What This Is?

    Tin [sN] Atomic #50, has 15% conductivity. It is harder, and less dense than lead, which it closely resembles. Tin has a melting point of 231.85Ā°C = 449.3F That's my guess. http://mysite.du.edu/~jcalvert/phys/tin.htm
  5. plumas.placer.miner

    Starting A Placer Mining Operation

    Finally, a topic that I know something about...newbie starting a placer mining operation. How new? 2015 was my first season. Step 1. Research.. ad infinitum. Read everything you can find. I started creating a library immediately. Everything from US Geological publications and reports to out-of-print-books that you can now own because of character recognition software, e.g. Whitney 1880, Turner 1896, Lindgren 1911. "miningbooks.com" is a good place to start. The world wide web is an amazing resource - it's incredible what a person can learn when motivated. Note: I initially conducted research for a year before moving to step 2. It is helpful to know that research must be part of your continuing mining activity. Your mind is the tool that will help you find gold...not a pick and a shovel...or a detector or backhoe. Sharpen the mind. Research also means learning and staying current on all pertinent mining laws. I cannot overstate the critical importance of this. If you make a mistake in your on-site mining processes, you could easily add to the already overwhelming legal costs that PLP, AMRA, WMA and other groups are spending right now defending the cases that are already on the dockets. Learning from more experienced miners is challenging, if not impossible. Miners hold their cards close to their chests for obvious reasons. They figure that if you are serious about mining, then you need to put in the sweat equity. You can show a mining veteran the nugget you found, but don't tell them where you found it, or they won't respect you...or trust you. Gold does strange things to people, especially people who have "the bug". On that note, if a veteran miner tells you something about the area, listen carefully. Near my new claims, an old miner told me where there is a spring where I can get fresh, potable water. What a great share that was for me! I shook his hand and said THANK YOU SIR! Later, he gave me some even better intel about the area. See how that works? Step 2. Based upon your research, attempt to determine where you think a good place to try looking for gold. In my case, since I live in Reno, Plumas and Sierra Counties were a logical decision. Sorry...I won't be more specific than that. Step 3. Learn how to query LR2000. There is a steep learning curve, but once you get a handle on it, you can learn a lot from this tool. Once you figure out aliquot part naming, then you can start pinpointing specific places you might be able to locate minerals. Step 4. Once you find a section that interests you, call BLM and ask them to make copies of all the current claims in that section, and you will pay a few bucks for them to make copies and send them to you. The reason for this is because the data you find on LR2000 is likely not current, and maybe up to 3 months behind. Step 5. Sample extensively. Get down to bedrock if you can. You will probably find some gold (because it's up there), but look at it closely. What are the qualities of the gold you find? Why does the gold you found here possess these particular qualities? flour or flakes or coarse? If you are happy with the answers to these questions, proceed to step 6, else... back to step 3. Step 6. Stake your claim. Read all BLM publications on how to do this correctly, then do it correctly. Some of the maps and documents BLM has send me that others have filed are incredibly amateurish. I couldn't even read their squiggles. Step 7. Record the claim at the county seat, which includes paying recording and other fees. Step 8. File the claim with BLM. I pay the fees the first year, and then I file small miner waiver and annual assessment documents in subsequent years. For each 20 acres (approx) on a claim, one name is required on the claim. Putting spouses names on claims is discouraged, unless she is also a "real" miner. If a single claim is 40 acres, two names are required...60 acres requires 3 names...and so on. 160 acres total for each claim. 10 claims total to be considered a "small miner" to be eligible for BLM maintenance fee small miner waivers. Note: $100 in assessment work required annually for each 20 acres. If the claims are contiguous, then all assessment work can be done on a single claim. If the claims are not contiguous, then $100 in annual assessment for each claim must be performed on EACH claim. Step 9. Plan your work, then work your plan. I probably invested $10,000 in equipment before my first season. Then, after I learned a lot about how to find and get gold out of the ground, I spent another $5000 on additional equipment. I am not only a weekend miner, instead I go up in the summer and spend a whole month on the claim...I mean... two, 14 day periods. My mining partner and I also spend some weekends on the claim. Step 10. Once you have worked you plan, what are the results? I promise you will learn so much, that you may decide to sell or abandon the first claim and find another claim somewhere else. In my case, I sold my first claim, and then I filed two more 20 acre claims in a different location. Summary: RESEARCH Sample Locate, stake and file (or you can buy a claim from someone). Mine (verb) Evaluate results Mine (verb) re-evaluate results. What have I forgotten? Oh...don't miss filing deadlines or somebody will take your claims from you. I have already seen that happen this last year, and there were angry and distrustful people brandishing guns. Bad combination. Lastly, be polite and professional to managing agency personnel... and your claim neighbors... of course. Mining is hard enough without creating troubles for yourself. It can be a struggle sometimes for me too. In these troubling times, it is easy to default to a**hole...."You kids get offa my lawn!" heh and...bring your dogs to keep them bears and cats out of camp. That's what I learned this last year. Wow, what a rollercoaster ride! I am loving every minute of it! Can't wait to get up there in April/May and look at the SDHC card in my game camera! Sorry for typos... Brian
  6. plumas.placer.miner

    Recovery Rates For Hydraulic And Ground Sluice Mines

    I read this morning, in "TheTertiary Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California" (Lindgren 1911), on page 72, Lindgren writes (referring to the Forest Hill divide in Placer County at the Morning Star and Big Dipper drift mines,), "From 6 to 7 feet of gravel was extracted, and the contents ranged from $10 to $14 a cubic yard; gravel containing less than $2 was not considered payable." Can you imagine? That was at $20.67/oz in 1911, and now using $1200/oz, the equivalent value considered not considered payable would be $116/cubic yard! So much more efficient are our current methods of exrtraction, that amounts over $.10/cubic yard is considered payable if you can get to the material without spending too much in fuel and labor for the removal of overburden. I guess my point is that recovery rates were inefficient, but that much of the gold placer gold in the tertiary gravels was left unextracted, in search of the better paying leads and streaks, at least as far as drift mining was concerned. Hydraulicing, of course, took much more because it was the overlying gravels too.
  7. plumas.placer.miner

    The Cost Of Freedom

    Geo, You think that there is an "otherwise regulated political process"? You mean like campaign finance reform? I don't really see it. Quoting Eric, "Certain parties are demanding that the government forces the ISPs to give bandwidth away." Certain parties are demanding something that the government do something different than it is already doing? Is that news? (saracsm) That's how the process works, so thanks for helping to illustrate my point.
  8. plumas.placer.miner

    The Cost Of Freedom

    Eric N, I wonder if you are confusing liberty with freedom? The definitions of these are context-based and they always have been. Liberty, within the context of American ideals, is the right to self determination. Freedom within the context of the American ideals, is the ability to act upon that self determination. At least that's how I perceive those concepts. Liberty is a right, and freedom is a privilege. Let me explain why I think so before you all freak out. You aren't free to kill someone (or even yourself), or free to yell "Fire" in crowded theater. That's because laws determine the context of our freedoms, and laws are designed to exist in the service to all people. In other words, your freedom stops at my nose, prohibiting you from punching me in the face (right now) because I write something that you don't like. Freedom isn't absolute. It requires that everyone obey the rules we all have agreed upon in our society. If people, don't agree, then conflict resolution is determined by those we have granted authority to interpret and administer the laws. I think GEO was referring to this when he wrote, "Freedom requires regulation", and I tend to agree with that assertion. That said, I see it a little differently than he does. I say, "Freedom requres responsibility." If everyone behaves responsibly, then we wouldn't need laws. But as it turns out, that's not how people behave. American society certainly contains more than it's fair share of conflict, and our system for conflict resolution is precisely what the forebearers envisioned...mostly. If we don't agree with the rules, then we can work to change them. Changing rules in America takes a lot of money, and that method of conflict resolution has it's shining virtues and near-fatal flaws, but that's the American way. In my opinion.
  9. plumas.placer.miner

    The Cost Of Freedom

    I believe that floating platforms have been created so we have someplace to put people who ask questions about floating platforms. But I could be mistaken. ( I am not trying to pick a fight...this is just my silly sense of humor and I realize humor doesn't work very well in email . Sorry )
  10. plumas.placer.miner

    Recovery Rates For Hydraulic And Ground Sluice Mines

    I am a relative newcomer to mining, and I am not a professional miner either, so my $.02 here should be taken with about that much salt. That said, I do a lot of reading, I mean a lot, and I have done a lot of research, which a lot easier now because companies are beginning to publish old books and journals that were previously difficult, if not impossible to find. The example I offer is: "The Auriferous Gravels of The Sierra Nevada of California Volume 6, No. 1", by Josiah Whitney. While the character recognition software they use to reproduce these old writings is imperfect, the information contained in these volumes is priceless for seeking answers to questions such as yours. Indeed, you can find little tidbits of information that can lead to forgotten discoveries, and long lost information. Consider the following passages in the previously mentioned volume: "The distance from Scott's Ravine to Wilcox's Ravine, by the stream, is not far from four and a half miles. In the absence of any data, it is not possible to make an stimate of the amount of gold and quicksilver lying buried in these 10,000,000 cubic yards of gravelly pebbles." The same passage continues: "In the course of the meandering of Steep Hollw and Bear River, little of interest was found connected with the geological bearings of the gravel question. At one spot on the Bear River however, about a mile above it's junction with Steep Hollow, where the stream changes from a southerly to a westerly course, a small quantity of gravel was found at an elevation of a few feet above the present tailings, probably about 75 feet higher than the bed of the river before washing began. This must have been left where it now is, while the river bed was at or near that elevation. There was not enough of the gravel to pay for working, but the bank had been opened by some prospectors." So, summarizing my point, recovery rates may have only been 50-60% efficient (in 1884, or even in 1907), but one must also consider the fact that some areas were not mined because the amount of gold found, evaluated at $35 per ounce, may not have made economic sense to process and extract. Side note: Everytime I read Whitney, I want to go to the mountains right away and start prospecting! What a glorious feeling his writings create in me!
  11. Chicken Alaska with Minelab: http://www.mynews4.com/mostpopular/story/Reno-man-strikes-gold-in-Alaska/E-PKtKhHo0KBIxmMlJpoMQ.cspx
  12. I have been thinking about this issue a lot. My claim, although it contains a stream, has waned so badly during this drought, that the flow is down to percolation. If I want to wash gravel, at least for the forseeable future, I will either need to either sink a well of some type, or create a recirc system. I conducted a pretty exhaustive online search for recirc systems and found out that a lot of peole have made them with varying results. I have decided that there are a number of varying factors when choosing how to design a system: 1. Amount and type of pay that you are going to wash in a given period of time. How many yards per hour or per day? What material particle size will classified down to before washing? Soil properties: clay, pebble, etc. (affects settling time and frequency of clean-outs). 2. Number of people participating in processing the pay. 3. How to get enough water to the processing site, and how to keep it there (the water loss inherent in your system design that is mentioned by others above). 4. What size pump to use. 5. What type of filters to use between settling ponds and my pump, if any. 6. How many settling ponds or containers and what types? Bear in mind please that I am a real NOOB when it comes to placer mining. These thoughts, above, are all things I have learned by reading. I have not actually designed or tried out a recirc system...yet. That part comes this Spring and Summer. I have used large plastic garbage cans filled with water at home on my 2.5" Highbanker as initial trial. That didn't work. SUMMARY: I just need to find out what else doesn't work, and I will be on my way. Heh. Onward through the fog.
  13. plumas.placer.miner

    Salmon Populations Declines?

    This is a topic that many will decide not to touch, but if you will allow an alternative viewpoint for the sake of discussion... Taken from the perspective of the fishing industry, a profession upon which the answer to this question is as fundamental to the livelihoods of fisherman, as mining is to the livelihoods of miners, any amount of "pressure" upon the system is perceived detrimental to their culture, to their identities, and to their ability to provide for their families. And, not insignificantly, while any one single activity is likely not the cause for the decline in anadromous salmonid populations, the "pressure" from many sides, not matter how miniscule, contributes even if only slightly, to the decline. More importantly, that's how the fishing industry perceives the problem, and as we know from the plight of the mining industry, perception in large part, has a bearing on behaviors and choices. How do we respect the fishing industry's right to the resource while providing for our own rights to the resource? Therein lies the conflict we must attempt to thoughtfully solve. I can understand the desire to seek simple solutions to complex problems, but the answers are never quite as simple as we hope. The truth is usually a combination of factors, in varying degrees, and science finds it very difficult to prove causation, even if correlation is clear. That's why simple arguments of causation appears to pinpoint problems, but ultimately fail to provide comprehensive, long term solutions. The ICMJ's stated position on responsible dredging practices is wise, thoughtful, and is in the best interest of it's own members, and to those with other interests in other organizations. I support it whole-heartedly. "Dredge responsibly. Continue to follow the 1994 regulations regarding seasonal restrictions to avoid damage to spawning beds and do not dredge into river banks or stream banks. Do us all a favor and continue to properly collect and discard any trash, lead weights, mercury, etc. you recover while dredging." Personally, I have found that thinking of these types of problems from the perspectives of other's viewpoints allows me to understand these issues on a deeper level, to empathize with other's positions, and to find solutions that are mutualistic, allowing us to move forward without causing distrust or hurt among those with whom wish we need to create respectful relationships. It allows us to propose solutions that are not taken personally by those with whom we disagree, but ultimately must share the resources with because we all have the right, and the responsibility, of respectful stewardship over these public resources for everyone's benefit, fishing and sporting industries included. The logic of this approach, I like to believe, is self-evident. I expect however, that some will vehemently disagree with my argument. That said, I encourage disagreement, in part because I am a Service-connected, Disabled Veteran, and I spent a combination of 10 years in the Marine Corps and the Navy, defending your right to make your argument, and freely state your position, but also because the viewpoints of others are important to us all. I only ask please do it with civility.
  14. I am impressed, not only with your tenacity for sticking with this goal and dream despite the adversity and obstacles, but with your ability to articulate these events so effectively in writing. It reads well, even though it is obvious to we readers that there is some whiskey drinking between sentences. I think stories like this could be published in the mining journal, as ongoing series. Subscribers will be chomping at the bit for the next installment. I know I will....
  15. plumas.placer.miner

    Mining License Plate Frames?

    This is not on my mining truck, it's on my drive-around-town truck. I bought two of the GPAA magnets ($8.65 ea.), and the metal license plate frame was $27.99. If you see it around Reno, please wave hi.