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.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Coarse nugget gold from Montana

coarse nugget gold from Montana
This is  50 ounce of gold in a two day cleanup we had on our last project a couple of years ago. That was two 10 hr shifts.

The mining property had almost no fines and was comprised of almost all glacial coarse gold. Every cleanup was fun and very satisfying. The gold price was up and we did pretty good that year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Placer mining is an American lifestyle that represents Freedom

Placer mining is an American lifestyle
Placer mining is a lifestyle that you really have to love. To keep rock in the box, the weather does not matter and you can't get tired you gotta Go Go Go! You have to be thinking way ahead of the game, be prepared for breakdowns, pay streak anomalies  and have the proper trained help.

Going home a 5 o'clock is not happening on our jobs, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in a day. If you have any hiccups  the lights are on, to make your quota of gravel that has to be run through your wash plant to meet your budget requirements.
Placer mining is a lifestyle.

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On our particular job the grade is quite low but with overburden almost nonexistent it fits our company just right. We operate with just three men and most of the time it is balanced good.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sluice box: an essential element of your gold recovery system

Sluice box: an essential element of your gold recovery system
Sluice box: an essential element of your gold recovery systemThe design of your sluice box is essential to the success of your mining operation. Use the right miners moss for your gravel, make sure the length of the box is appropriate to the mineral size you are expecting, and always keep a close eye on the water flow.

My buddy Pete and I are building some 8 ft wide sluices for one of my projects a couple of years ago. Panels like these are quick and economical to build.

Sluices have been the mainstay of most mining operations worldwide.

I strongly recommend using them wherever possible using P.E. Randy Clarkstons recommendations that he conducted in the Klondike placers in the late 1980's.

While sophisticated systems can and do increase recovery rates on some projects you need to keep close track of diminishing returns on your project.

I have found that the down time, and maintenance especially in primitive areas need to be addressed constantly or your overall recovery can be compromised.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Placer Mining - an 1860 drift mine

Placer Mining - an 1860 drift mine
We were working a placer mine near Drummond Mt a few years back and we kept uncovering old 1860's drift mines. The state of preservation was amazing and you are always at a marvel  how sweat, muscle and perseverance  won the day on this old placer mine.

 I love the hand worked timbers and the tremendous effort it took, all by hand.  lowering all this wood to the depths of their  drifts in the dark with candles as their only light and the hopes of striking it rich. There is miles of this going all the way up the gulch!

These pioneers, miners,explorers just tough…. gutsy, what an experience  to glimpse into their past, and what they accomplished.