Category Methods

Hard Rock Mining

hard-rock-miningHard rock mining is an underground mining method that is used to mine extremely hard materials, such as those containing ores such as the valuable metals we are going after, specifically gold.  The excavation of these hard golds, silvers, diamonds, and other minerals requires a few things that we will be discussing and we will also mention the methods and techniques applied, as they are very different from the placer mining we have been discussing at length.  Let us explore.

The first obvious thing you need to work on underground hard rock mining is underground access.  There are ways to get this done.  There can be what is called a decline, which involves a tunnel with either spirals downward or slowly heads towards the target at a slight angle.
These are started into a rock side or the side of an already dug cave.  There will often be load-bearing supports brought in to help keep everyone safe.  Another method is just a mine shaft, which is a vertical well-type hole dug next to the body of rock you will be working on.  You can also haul the ore out this way as well with buckets.  Finally, there are adits, which are horizontal caves or excavations dug level and to the side of ore bodies where you don’t need any kind of ramp or spiral decline.

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Gold Wave Table

gold-wave-tableWe are going to continue talking about placer deposits and how to recover gold from these using methods known as placer mining.  We have discussed lots of ways to help you sort through giant rocks and how to move through massive amounts of soil at once.  But the one thing we haven’t replaced is gold panning.  Up to this point we’ve been talking about gold panning everything by hand.  What a pain!  Regardless how much we automate the rest of the process, we have to still pan out gold?  Thank goodness for the gold wave table!

The gold wave table essentially pans out the gold for us.  We can walk away and it will pan while we drink coffee and read the newspaper!  So how does this thing work?  Well, have you ever seen those gambling games where you drop quarters in and the machine pushes the quarters off a ledge and then off of another ledge and hopefully then you win?

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Gold Trommel

gold-trommelA trommel is a rotating cylinder that has a screen in it that is used to filter differing sizes of materials.  It is used in a number of industries, including separating municipal waste, or common house trash, from biodegradable goods.  There is another type of trommel used to separate different sizes of rocks.  This is the one that is most useful for us, because we can used it to sort through sizes of giant stones and help us get to where we can sluice and pan for gold.

There are many sizes of these gold trommels, moving from portable smaller ones used in the trash industry, to the gigantic ones used in heavy construction and mining industries.  As an individual you’ll probably want a small portable one, but a team of miners might get a medium sized one, but it’s going to start getting quite costly.

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Gold Sluicing

gold-sluicingWe’ve been discussing the many methods of extracting gold from the earth and the various places to do this.  We slightly touched on gold sluicing when talking about dredging.

But right now we will delve more deeply into the topic of gold sluicing.  So what is this gold sluicing concept about?  What technologies does it require?  Is it something that an individual can do or does it take a team and some substantial money to get it together?  Let us look further…
When we talk about gold sluicing, we are still talking about mining placer deposits.  These are the spots where loose sediment collects and only the heavy stuff, as in gold, doesn’t get washed away.  Gold sluicing has been a pretty common method of mining and prospecting since the beginning.  Basically what a sluice box is, is a man made channel for water to flow through.  The reason it needs to be man made is so that man could design the “ripples” for lack of a better word, or speed bumps even, on the bottom of the channel.

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Gold Panning

gold-panningHopefully you understand that the first skill you will encounter is the most important and it is likely going to be the first employed by you when you go to the first place you should be going, which is the placer deposits.  This super important skill isgold panning.  So how is gold panning done and what is involved?  What kind of materials are needed?  Well, let’s see!

Gold panning is a process that takes the black sand and minerals mixed into it in the placer deposits and “mines” the gold, which is to say that it extracts the gold out of the sand.  This is done using a miner’s gold pan.  This pan is much like a large, shallow bowl with ridges built in to help separate the sand from the gold.

This is the absolute most easy and simple method of extracting gold and is also the most inexpensive.  The process is simple, it’s cheap, and it’s crucial because you will do this as a beginner and as an expert panning out the finest pieces of gold from your big machinery system.  Just as a piece of history, gold panning is the oldest form of mining gold, which was discovered in Rome.

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