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Posts posted by diggingbar

  1. Certainly no expertise in this area... just a couple ?'s.

    I read about the SSN leach a few years ago.  A certain study determined that a ratio of 7:1 worked best on a variety of ores.  It sounded promising and simple to try.

    I recall reading that you can re-use the old leach solution over and over after you have recovered your pm's.  

    Wouldn't that mitigate the concern for the disposal of the toxic, heavy metals?  

    Some landfills will take toxic stuff like old batteries, paint, pharmaceuticals, oil and antifreeze.   Would they not also take a few gallons of your toxic heavy metal solution?  

    Just curious.

  2. Looks like he figured out a method that works and is enjoying the process.  Nice color.  If the gold is there, you do what it takes to get it, right?  

    Personally, I think that is what makes a miner.  If he knows the gold is there, there is no word "quit".

  3. As you know, the Gold Hog mats are HEAVY, which is a downside to them.  My recommendation would be to keep lengths to 4 ft.

    Although stiff, they will roll up just like a piece of miners moss and can be placed into a clean-out tub (I use rectangular cement mixing tubs), then rolled around and bounced.   It usually doesn't take much time or effort to get the mats clean.  By the way, I don't use the side tape trick on the edges to get a good fit.  I just trim the mats for a very precise and snug fit.  Fitting the mats together is another downside to them.  It can be a tedious and laborious process of careful trimming and gluing.  I understand that commercial ops can have mats pre-cut and configured.

    Another downside I have noticed is if left in the direct sun, the rubber mats will expand and move, so I tend to cover them with a few shovel-fulls of sand to keep them cool when not running.


    The mats I have in the dredge consist of a top section of about 18" long followed by a section that is about 42" long.  After some run time, I will stop and do a check of the top mat to see how things are looking.  I will pull just the top mat and do a quick cleanup, either get inspired or depressed, then reinstall, and fire back up.  This is a very common dredging technique, so nothing new here.

    I will often leave the lower mat in and run without cleaning it out for up to 12 hours of run time.  When it's time to clean the lower mat, it gets carefully rolled - starting from the top, allow gravity to be your helper, and roll 'er up with an eye on the edges of the mat.  Just like with moss, you don't want to be dropping material over the edge of your sluice box.  The heavy roll of mat gets dunked and cleaned in the waiting tub at the end of the sluice.

    This is straightforward stuff and am not sure why you asked… regardless, there you have it.  

  4. Harry, I refrained from comment on the new Yukon mat because I haven't used it.  I'm also interested to hear what actual users of the new mat have to say.  I did take a look at the new Yukon mat and watched some of the Gold Hog video presentation on it.  I'm always interested in the new mats that Doc comes up with.  I wonder what miners think about independent exchange zones whereby your fine gold has the ability to travel side to side on the mat surface?  


    I like the Gold Hog matting concept and appreciate the comprehensive testing that Doc does.  I'm glad he came to market with a novel product providing a new option for miners, although the matting is pricey.


    I have fitted an assortment of Gold Hog matting in a custom long tom as well as a custom 4" dredge.  On the dredge, I have a section of raised expanded metal over the Under Riffle (UR) matting, which seems to be a similar concept to the new Yukon mat with 4# grating over it.  


    Wish I was in the Yukon running a wash plant and seeing an ounce an hour.  I would probably put a section of the new Yukon mat somewhere in the runs to see how it performs vs. miners moss.  

  5. No experience with the new 151s.  I would try to seal that gap with some thin strips of weather stripping attached to the bottom of the riffles.  That is the common trick for that issue on other brands.  If not, maybe just a bead of silicone?

    I thought the old model 151 worked pretty well, knowing that it wasn't the best at keeping a high percentage of fines.  I took a quick peek at the conversion kit offered for the 151.  Seems like quite an upgrade, if not expensive.  

    After sealing your gap, you might consider re-running some of your old piles and see what you get.  Or, run another DW side by side with your 151s.

    I'm pretty happy with my Royal Gold Large DW and would most likely buy the bigger Royal King if I felt the need for more capacity.  Not knocking the Keene 151.  Hope you can work the bugs out of your new, improved unit.

  6. All responses are accurate as current configured GPR systems don't work.  Simple physics makes it impossible.  One of the pieces of equipment that was tested, with good results, at the 16:1 Mine in Alleghany I am currently evaluating.  It is a new design that overcomes the operational shortcomings of current available GPR equipment.  With further testing we may be able to detect specific minerals and metals by their signatures within their home environment.  Currently am looking for varied environments to do further testing, so someday we may call it a metal detector too.


    This sounds pretty interesting.  Tell us more when you can.  Just working with the 16:1 must be exciting.  I passed by years ago, but unfortunately no tours on the day I was there.

  7. Interesting.  Maybe the small-scale operators will become more important in the future?  I doubt my elbows will last another 20 years of digging for gold.  


    From the chart in the article above, it would suggest that mineable zinc is running lower than gold.  That's a big surprise to me.


    I go to the San Juan mts of Co. almost every Summer to camp and kick rocks.  There is so much sphalerite just lying around you would think there is millions of tons of zinc ore that was not processed because it didn't have value at the time when gold and silver were sought after. 


    The world's population isn't shrinking and will need more metals unless we collectively want to return to a lower standard of living.

    In my view, the lower metal prices we have seen in the last couple years have bottomed and will be base-building and heading higher.

  8. Reno,

    Do you have any photos of the large dry washing plants (dry blowers) you saw in Australia?  


    Were they just larger versions of the ones we are familiar with here in the U.S. or were they very different in their mechanics?


    Why do you think no one here makes a large, commercial-size dry washer?  Is the gold recovery just too poor to justify and therefore miners just do what it takes to get water to their site and work wet?


    Interested in your take.

  9. Nice tails indeed Harry!


    I work my axx off busting up virgin hard pack gravel and don't see gold that size….


    I would argue that today's technology is far superior to the days of old when hydraulic methods were used.  They got paid in volume.


    A modern wash plant should have a much higher recovery rate than hydraulic mining if the fancy tech is used like jigs and concentrator bowls for the tiny stuff - down to say 200 mesh.

    If you know the gold in the tails is all within a certain range of particle size, then you only have to engineer your recovery system to catch that range of size and nothing else.  As an added bonus, tailings are usually in a nice, accessible heap, ready to attack.  The miner doesn't have to move heaven and earth to get to it.

  10. Jimmy10, looks like you are able to filter through the nonsense and determine the truth for yourself.  


    An understanding of the mining laws is most important.  There are specific rights given to the locator of a valuable mineral deposit.  


    Interesting point about your time and liberty.  I say go ahead and do your prospecting while you can and continue to research the topic in order to support your rights.


    I am hoping the member Clay will chime in on this thread.

  11. Great story Harry.  

    Best to use the power of the mining laws and discreetly go about your business.  If you come to the determination that your activities will rise to a "notice level" of disturbance, then it may be time to make a call to a public land official.  

    For small-scale projects,  "hide and do your thing" works pretty well.

  12. The Bradshaw mtns of Az have received a good amount of rain and snow lately.  Most of the larger drainages should be flowing now and for several weeks.  I would guess other drainages in placers around the state might be flowing now as well.

    If you don't know where to try dredging, you might join the roadrunner's prospecting club out of Phx. (Or meet a member and go as a guest).

    They have lots of dredgeable claims.  Unfortunately, they agree to various restrictions imposed by the Forest Service, such as 3" dredge max (unless you are grandfathered to use 4").  There are also seasonal closures on many of the club claims due to birds and frogs you should look into.  I was a member for a few years and then decided I'd go do my own thing, but it still might be a good way to get into the scene, meet peeps and get to know some creeks.

  13. It is up to the miner who has been trespassed against to call his local sheriff to make the matter a priority.  

    Legitimate calls requiring law enforcement must be responded to.  All it takes is a call to your local sheriff.  Talk to the sergeant and ask that person whether they would be willing to prosecute the matter.  They may say no, but if it's in the criminal code, it's law enforcement's job to respond.

  14. There should be a person in the BLM district office that would be able to answer your questions.  Here in Az, there is a "bond calculator" spreadsheet that you fill in and it computes your bond.  A friend got a NOI to do some placer mining in the desert with a backhoe and wash plant last Winter.  The bond was reasonable and refunded as soon as the project was completed.  Every district office will most likely be worlds different.

    In Az, it seems that the BLM prefers you bring in your own water and recirculate it.  My friend had a water truck deliver a couple loads into a holding pond.  We don't have many running streams in the desert anyway.  Using water from a nearby natural source would be best, but your local authorities may make you jump through all sorts of hoops to use it.  Good luck with your project.

  15. What qualifies as a large dredge?


    Out of curiosity, how many large ops as you describe are out there?  


    I saw one last Summer in Colorado.  

    I know there are a number in the Yukon and Alaska, such as the miners on Yukon Gold.  That's a great show, by the way.


    I would guess that most of the large, commercial ops are on other continents.  After reading your link, I see you are targeting North America.  Good luck with your new product.

  16. I'll add a little to this old thread.  I think specific equipment comparisons like this is important info.  I will compare the HP400 and the DK350.

    I have used the 6.5 Honda with the Proline HP400 pump for many years - for both a 4" floating dredge as well as a 4" dry-land dredge on legs.  A dry-land setup with suction nozzle requires more "power" to dredge than a floating dredge setup with a power jet.  Because of this, I usually have to hook up two pumps to effectively run a dry-land dredge, where I only have to run one pump to dredge with a floater.  Part of the reason for this difference is the use of a hydraulic blaster with the dry-land setup as well as the long lengths of high pressure hoses.

    A couple years ago, I wanted to get an extra pump.  The Proline 400 is getting to be pretty expensive, so I thought I'd save a little $$ and I went with the DK Nugget 350.   The DK is nice quality and looks to use 6 vanes while the Proline uses 5.  The DK has a threaded intake for a 2.5" foot valve, while the Proline has a slip-on intake for a 3" foot valve.  I think I prefer a slip-on fit because it's one less, heavy fitting.  

    Both pumps bolt together differently and the DK requires a spacer to be inserted on the pump output shaft.


    I can say that the HP400 puts out more volume and pressure than the DK350.  I have switched the two around while running my two-pump setup (both with Honda 6.5) and the difference is noticeable.  Both good pumps, but the HP400 has more "power".  I would bet that the HP350 and DK350 are more evenly matched.


    I have worked with guys that run the Keene P180.  It seems to do the job, but I can't make this same apple-to-apple comparison with the Keene.  


    One thing I would note is that the 3" intake on the HP400 seems to make the difference in performance.  The P180 is only 2.5" intake, from what I recall.