So you wanna placer mine
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overtheedge
23:56:51 Sun
Sep 30 2012
So you wanna placer mine
Part 1

So you are thinking about becoming a placer miner. The first question you need to ask yourself is why?

If you think this route is the way to riches, think again. The odds are not in your favor. You will make more money in a 9-5 at a hash-house than you will make per year placer mining.

Yes you can make lots of gross income if everything works out just right, but it is net income that matters. In other words, it is return on investment that is the all of the matter.

Is it the adventure? If so, you should find a pay-to-mine outfit and spend your time there. Few have the skills needed to spend weeks in the field. Couple that with everything else and you are taking a vacation is all.

Placer mining is a lifestyle. To have any success, you must gain the skill sets and assets needed.

1. Knowledge.
You need to learn as much as possible about gold deposition, physical geology, placer mining technology, repair/maintenance, etc.

Many of us use the winter off-season to do research, repair or build equipment and planning.

2. Discretionary income.
How much money do you have that you are willing to gamble with. Yes, you are gambling on yourself with your money.

Every trip you make to the field costs money. In most cases, your income is far lower than your expenses. This has the direct consequence of how long can you continue to spend money with minimal income.

3. Time commitments.
Many if not most of us have to work 9-5 and this limits our field time. Many are married and this means we MUST spend time with the family. Unless the entire family is into placer mining, you aren't spending quality time with the family and it WILL have an adverse effect on item #2.

How long can you stay in the field? A couple days, a couple weeks or a season?

4. Skill set.
You can only acquire the needed skill set by doing. At the top of the list for skills is panning ability. If you aren't really good at panning, you will be forced to spend money on technology that will probably never pay for itself. Remember that tools cost money and that is money NOT available for field time.

I contend that if you can't shake out 30 or more pans an hour, you need more time learning to pan. The easiest way to acquire this skill is by spending an entire season with just a pan, shovel and snuffer bottle.

This panning ability has the direct positive effect on you learning sampling techniques. The more effective your sampling efforts, the greater your chances are of achieving a net positive cash flow.

The ability to sample has the added benefit of helping you learn the depositional characteristics of the gold in that particular stream.

Your skill set is also a matter of physical conditioning. Either get in excellent shape or remain at the recreational level. All terrain vehicles are NO substitute. They will get you further from the road than you can easily walk back and if you are 20+ pounds over-weight, maybe they will get you out on a stretcher and not a body-bag. Maybe.

5. Realistic expectations.
This creates a problem. We all have visions of goose egg nuggets, but the reality is our recovery might be weighed in grains.

You have to learn what amount of gold per day will pay the bills. 30 pans an hour will easily get you a yard worked a day. Weigh the gold and figure the return at no more than 75% of spot. Forget about spot+. Yes, it can be done. However I've met few that can sell any quantity and are you gonna be in marketing or mining?

How many yards per day will it take break even? Locally, I can run 3X as much (4.5 yards) with a high-banker compared to panning. Realistically you can figure 4-8 yards per day shoveling in.

Buying technology increases up-front costs and operating expenses. If the deposit can't pay its way, you must move on. Unfortunately the up-front costs must be transferred to the next site. This is why pan sampling is a must-do.

Unless you have gotten a large inheritance, forget about large low-grade deposits. True expenses rise faster than net profits. Far better to sell the claim to someone that already has the equipment and expertise to turn a profit. Any potential investor will want a piece of the recovery and you are almost guaranteed to lose everything.
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Placer mining is NOT the highway to fortune. If you want a fortune, start, develop and sell a business. All the stuff on TV and youtube is pie-in-the-sky nonsense. Nobody shows you the bad days that go on for days and weeks.

For the few that equate placer mining with a lifestyle, the rewards aren't measured in just dollars. It is about the hardest work I've ever truly enjoyed.
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I've probably over-looked something.

Best suggestion I can offer is start small, stay small and watch your expenses. Never stop learning. With enough perseverance and money, your possibility of success increases. But success is not in the form of a fortune but rather enjoyment with a modest season's profit.

Feel free to add your thoughts. Disagree all you want. I haven't made the final step yet to full-time mining, but not for lack of trying over the last 40+ years. I can almost always stay in beans.
----------------
In part #2, I'll cover what I think is the cheapest, efficient, small-scale production aspects.
eric

baub
02:53:14 Mon
Oct 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Thanks Eric.

b

overtheedge
03:35:26 Mon
Oct 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Part II
I have had to stick close to the phone for a job prospect so I had time to type up this.
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We'll set up a scenario that I find all too common.

Sampling finds me a pay streak that shows 40-50 colors with a few just about big enough to pick up with tweezers. Or 100 or so just visible to the naked eye per pan of bank-run. This is roughly 0.25 dwt of flour gold/yard in this area. Or at today's spot of $1750 about $17-18/yard. This is good ground around here. I can usually find a better spot every couple weeks or so under normal water conditions.

Once I have found the site, I do a quick sampling to delineate the boundary. The boundary is defined in the previous paragraph. From experience, I know less than that amount per pan is marginal for staying in beans with no expenses.

Now I face a choice: pan or high-bank. This decision is determined on the extent of the deposit. Around here, it is flood gold and the maximum depth is less than 1 foot. Digging deeper than a foot is a waste of time and effort around here.

So we'll say the deposit is 15' wide and 40' long. This equates to roughly 20-22 cubic yards. This is 4-5 days high-banking in the rivers I work. High-banking is the most effective recovery system for this deposit.

Much of the time, the size is closer to 6' wide and under 20' long or about 4.5 cubic yards. This is 3 days panning or 1 day high-banking. The question now is access. Because most of the ground I work is a couple three miles from the nearest place to park, hauling in a high-banker and all support stuff for 1 day's work is silly. So I'll take the minimalist approach.
-----------------------
Production panning or the minimalist method.
Panning is work. At 30+ pans an hour, you can pan out 1-1.5 bank cubic yards a day. But you have to work smart to shake out 200-240 pans of classifieds a day.

Equipment:
Garrett Super Sluice pan
#2 long-handle shovel and plastic trowel
classifier
2ea 5 gallon buckets
Plastic tub of roughly 12-15 gallon capacity
sheet of plastic 10'X 10'
snuffer bottle

Find a spot that you will be panning at. Lay out the plastic sheet with the edges held up; think big plastic basin. Put large tub where you will be digging. Fill and carry over 2 buckets of water and fill tub.

Put the classifier in the tub and shake. Empty and repeat until tub is close to full of classifieds. Fill buckets half full, carry to plastic sheet, dump and refill buckets with water.

Do it all over and over again until you have moved 40-50 buckets to the sheet.

Never carry anything that is obviously not gold. If you are concerned about nuggets in the classifier, use a heavier piece of plastic as the classifier dump. Look it over, pick up any nuggets and dump the material off.

Either sit or squat to pan. NEVER bed over to pan. It is tiring, energy inefficient and ... just sit or squat.

Fill the pan and shake it underwater. Tilt the pan every few shakes to shake out the lights. As the pan empties, refill with the trowel. Do this several times (6,8,12x,whatever), then raising the pan half way out of the water, side to side shake most of the lights off.

Tilt the pan so the part nearest you is lowest and tap the upper side several times. Snuff out the easiest gold. Then while keeping the remainder in the pan, refill and repeat.

NOTE: Once gold is in the pan, you really gotta screw up to lose it. Please note: none of this swirling the pan nonsense. If you want to production pan, spend a few hundred hours using a LeTrap pan. Then use the same basic technique with a round pan.

After snuffing, repeat the whole procedure until what was in the plastic basin is done.

Then go back to classifying.

I can usually work through 3-4 of these routines a day for 0.75-1 dwt a day or close to $70 a day at today's spot price. Keep in mind that I am only panning classifieds, not bank-run like I would sampling.

On good ground around here, this is just a bit better than minimum wage.

Admittedly, I often work less productive ground. Part of this is due to the long hike home so consequently later in the day, I work the less productive sites rather than hike even further from home. In the 30's, the US Bureau of Mines determined that the subsistence miner averaged close to 7 grains a day. That is a $20 day at today's spot. I rarely do much worse than that around here.

So if you are driving anywhere, you better do at least twice that amount per day or go broke and hungry fast.
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So why would a person choose production panning?
1. Start-up and operating costs are minimal.
2. Gain expertise panning.
3. Learning to read the river.
4. Develop confidence in your abilities.
-----------------
Production panning 2.0

If you consider the time/motion characteristics, you will notice classification and transport the major cause of low productivity.

We've all seen photos of the old-timers using long sluices. Add a splash board for shoveling in so the material is deflected into the flume. Flume: sluice with no bedding.

Make the flume long enough to get its water from the river and near the bottom end add a short section of screen for a classifier. Have the flume pitch steepen after the screen and go a ways longer for tailings. Under the screen, have your plastic basin or another flume/plastic pipe to the panning material basin. If you are concerned about gold getting in the wood grains, line with heavy plastic or aluminum roof flashing.

With a lined flume, you can use scrounged scrap lumber. When you are finished and moving on, remove the liner and burn the flume.

Although you can classify much more using this technique, you will find that panning very much more per day is impossible. Even with Popeye arms, you will tire out.
--------------------
Production 2.8
Substitute a sluice for the plastic basin. For this level of production, a 6-8" sluice 3-4' long will handle everything you can shovel. The key is always classification.

At this level, you can process just as much as someone with a high-banker.

If the stream gradient will require a lengthy flume, you can run a 30 GPM pump and get enough water as long as the flume is 6-8" wide and you take time to flume tend.

NOTE: Never compromise on the sluice bedding. You go to all the work to get it into the sluice, now is not the time to lose any. Any good bedding material will last several seasons under this usage regime. If you can't afford good bedding, you can't afford to go to the river.
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Stream sluices aka river-robbers.
Once you learn to production pan, no advantages over panning at all. Multiple disadvantages such as siting requirements, feeding, etc.
----------------
High-bankers
The only advantage I've found to high-bankers is convenience. For myself, all the stuff needed is one heavy load on these tired old bones. Often it takes two loads to carry everything out because it is after a long day's work.

For every day I high-bank, I usually pan 3-5 days. Small deposits don't warrant hauling in a high-banker and sure doesn't warrant the long back-hauling.
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Dredging
I have three dredges with the largest a 2.5" Keene crash-box. I dredged 2 days this season. I could have done just as well at lower expense by panning.

From my limited experience with dredges up to 4", I can say that unless you are in water deeper than long-arming, a dredge is a poor choice.

You still are moving large rocks by hand. The amount of material processed is small. I have real problems doing better than about 1/2 cubic yard an hour with my 2.5". Most dredges have poor recovery in -30 mesh material. All of them are heavy, cumbersome and plug-ups just p*** me off. Putting a restrictor bar across the nozzle increases the moving over-size by hand issue.

Unless the current is really swift, you can shovel from under-water. Yes you will lose some, but not as much as we have been led to believe.
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Any further upgrade requires earth-moving equipment. Most folks in really good shape are limited to 4-8 bank cubic yards a day. I average about 4.5 into a high-banker and slightly more (6 plus or minus) into a sluice-flume system.
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Again, feel free to disagree. I would just ask that you provide a good argument so I can maybe learn some more. My thoughts change as new info is processed.


eric

cubsqueal
04:10:20 Mon
Oct 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Eric,

I'm always amazed at your ability to organize your thoughts in such an orderly fashion! That is a gift I have had to do without.

With critical thinking like you have, I imagine gold doesn't have a chance in your area.

overtheedge
08:07:33 Mon
Oct 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I do pretty well down to 80 mesh, at 100 mesh my recovery percentage drops to low 90's/high 80% range. At 150 mesh I bet I ain't doing any better than 50% if that.

It is just too bad that the gold hereabouts runs just over 50% in the -30+60 mesh range with nothing larger than 14 mesh.

Even worse is the exceeding low tenure. The Tonsina River, my favorite haunt only because I can walk to it, isn't considered to have gold bearing potential. Upstream there was one pseudo-goldrush that had 60 claims for one season in 1898. It was worked out with a total take of somewhere between 60-100 ozt. According to what history I can find, in 1899 there was one family left in the drainage.

To the best of my recollection, over the last 30 years or so here, I've never had a 5 dwt daily clean-up off the Tonsina. Several 3-4 dwt and lots of 0.5-1 dwt. But I've learned a lot about fine gold recovery and flood gold deposition in glacial streams.

I get the information flow organized by writing off-line and then editing it profusely. Often it takes several attempts and even then I am amazed that I can get anything understandable across.
eric

Fleng
17:08:54 Mon
Oct 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Great reading OTE.

baub
18:45:49 Mon
Oct 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
OTE,

You answered many of my unasked questions both clearly and concisley.
I'm going to try something very similar to that which you explained to us in a river with very fine gold only.

Thanks for the help!

b

dickb
18:54:48 Mon
Oct 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Might reduce the expectations of some of the newbee's with gold fever. Nice lesson and really to the point.

Dickb :confused:

overtheedge
20:42:27 Mon
Oct 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I knew I would forget something and it would be important (at least to me).

Back in part I under knowledge, I think the best thing I ever did in this field was take a college course in Physical Geology. 2nd best was keeping the book and workbook.

I find myself dragging the books out and consulting them repeatedly on crustal deformation and orogenesis (mountain building). In this area, glaciology enters the picture big-time.

If we want any chance of success, we need to know what mechanism provided the pathway for intrusions which are linked to ore deposits.

As mountains build, they are also torn down by mass wasting. Once the material reaches a stream course, this is where knowing the basics of hydrology come in. From this, we can get a good idea of sediment load versus stream velocity which directly effects sediment deposition.

Just wish I had majored in geology rather than prodigal son-ology. Oh well, it has been an grand adventure.
eric

hoppingforpay
00:00:23 Tue
Oct 2 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I imagine this type of deposit can be found on many of alaska rivers with the right type of geology entering it's waters. Usually the streak is found at the head (upstream) of a bar. On leaner rivers only a very small percentage of the bars will show a sign. And of these an even smaller percentage may pay. Here is one I found years ago on a known gold river. I have checked 25 miles of this river and only found 1 more bar like this one which I also worked.Funny thing is the pay does not go into the water at normal height. Some of this ground was 1 oz per day (4 days) and test pans showed a wooden match head worth of fine gold to the pan.

The workings show what amounted to 11ozs for 20 something days at around 3 yds a day.



hoppingforpay
00:05:18 Tue
Oct 2 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Pic worked on preview but seems I lost when it counted...maybe someone can fix

Jim_Alaska
01:41:03 Tue
Oct 2 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
The pic is way too big. Try resizing it on photobucket and them post it again.

hoppingforpay
02:51:14 Wed
Oct 3 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Well I shrunk it some maybe...

I just wanted to show the work involved even in uncommonly good ground. The best of it being 7 dwt a yard.

I had walked out with a backpack 18 miles to this river. I took 2 pans on a large gravel bar got maybe a spec in one of the pans then proceeded upstream and came to this bar. A normal boring white gravel bar. I took a pan thinking its not going to be good because it was loose and white. Low and behold possibly 175 colors, a wooden matchheads worth I took another and another and another pan and all of them were good. I staked claims walked out leaving a pup tent and a cheap toy raft. I went and bought used 4 wheeler.

I returned a week or so later with a highbanker and necessary gear and worked it. I slept 10 ft up in the trees because both my tent and raft were ruined by bears and it's much better sleeping.

This was around 1994 I had been dredging elswhere in AK since 91 but wanted to go deeper into the bush to get to areas less touched by dredgers of the late 70s and 80s.

I later brought in a 5" and put it in just down from this bar. I got 5 grains for a tank. Moved closer to the spot ditto. 5 dwt was the best I could do and that was right up to where I was shoveling. Luckily there was some good stuff upstream.

The gold from that bar was the only gold I got that year 3000 bucks back then. Enough for the 4 wheeler.

overtheedge
03:48:36 Wed
Oct 3 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Gotta love them bears. Last year I stashed my high-banker with pump, etc up against a whole bunch of wind/thrown trees. Wanted to keep it off the river due to bears and the relatively few white-water rafters.

Went back the next day and everything was scattered all over the place with the pump upside down 15-20 feet away. No damage fortunately.

I learned to stash the stuff way back in the brush away from any game trails. Dense willow or alder thickets seem the best.
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Worked a 15-20 mile stretch of the river except for a 3-4 mile stretch that is difficult to get to. The good bars seem to be just below sharp curves where the is active erosion of high gravel banks. The rest is good for a couple fly-poop sized colors. I've gone a couple three miles at a time and nada.

I've found that most of these bars get recharged with gold after a good break-up. The problem is waiting for the water to drop which didn't this year except for 5-6 days.
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That is one thing that took me awhile to grasp. It takes a mess of colors per pan of flour gold to be worth working. Looks like pennyweights in the pan and is only a few grains.

Oh well if it was easy, gold would be cheap. Hardest work I've ever loved.
eric

hoppingforpay
02:24:34 Fri
Oct 5 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Yeah I left one for half a summer on the River of Leaves, it looked ok till I started it. Looked like a lawn sprinkler. New plastic. They like that new smell or anything with fuel or oil in it. Probably lose 1/4 oz per year to bear write offs. I thought a chainsaw would be safe, but no, a hole in the gas tank and fuel on my leg...

Yeah I noticed that where the river is eating at an old channel and turns a corner. I know of one right now on the North Spoon of the River of Leaves that many a prospector has left only foot prints in the past 10 years.

My 3 yds a day may seem like a pretty wussy effort but my back wasn't up to par do to that pancake flip.Don't cook on the ground when mining.

But seriously 8 yds! Who is this guy! Lebron James? I need a overburden shoveler and driveway builder!

Honza_Basta
17:29:32 Sun
Oct 7 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Panning: it depends on... whether you are pannin each pan to the pure gold, or only producing cons.
Today finished finals of the World goldpanning championship in South Africa. The best panners are used to proceed 40 pound bucket of sand in approx 1:30min. :smile: Mostly with "Ferrari" pan... ...but of course, it is not real production.:confused:

hoppingforpay
19:21:38 Sun
Oct 7 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
A person can do a pan every two minutes no problem if he has a pile of gravel right next to him. Accumulating the pile will take time from the day too.

Some may think I am jerk cause I question some assertions made by others. I try to stay within the boundaries of my own experience. This includes decades of living off the gold I have recovered with may be 5% of income from other sources.

Eight yds is around 16 ton. " You load 16 ton what do get another day older and deeper in debt....

But thats loading blasted coal and just a song. Eight yds is a hole 6x6x6 feet. A dump truck load. Sure one can shovel out a dump truck in a day. Digging into a gravel bed is another story it requires a lot of picking to loosen rocks. Some of the rocks may weigh 200 lbs or more. These rocks have to be moved in order to get to bedrock or just make room for other rocks.

I mentioned 175 colors to the pan that made a pile the size of a wooden match head. This is very rare, what an old timer would call a 10 cent pan or a 10th of a penny weight. If you read some history from the early days you will come across talk of 25 cent pans. This I believe would be 25% of a dwt or 4 pans to the dwt. I have seen these kinds of pans also. Of course an even more rare find.

Placer mining is about ground. One is looking for the above and it is not easy.

hoppingforpay
01:39:38 Sat
Oct 13 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
A better picture of skim digging deposit.It doesn't pay beyond 1 ft deep and next economical deposit was more than a mile away but not a skim deposit.



hoppingforpay
01:47:44 Sat
Oct 13 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Tree camping



hoppingforpay
02:26:46 Sat
Oct 13 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
And the 11 ozs. About 1/2 oz per day. Average pan about 100 colors making a pile about the size of a paper match head.A fairly heavy fine gold, not the kind that licking your finger will pick them up.Very rare to find gold of this richness just sitting on the surface but I am sure there are more of them out there for an intrepid prospector.



overtheedge
06:58:42 Sat
Oct 13 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I'm in agreement with you hoppingforpay.

I've sampled supposedly good ground according to best selling books and a person could shovel-in 8 yards a day. As an example, I spent a couple days in the Alaska Range around MP 223-224.5 Richardson Hwy. I sampled the creeks from the bridge downstream to the Delta River. The rocks were shovel size and smaller, but I got nothing but pyrite in the pan. So much for the best selling books. It was an adventure and I would have never known unless I tried.

Where I get into the gold is the head of the bars. A long hard day into a high-banker is about 4.5 yards. Towards the lower end where the economic cut-off is, I can hit right around 6 yards. The pay layer is shallower at 6-8 inches and the large rocks to move are far fewer.

Perhaps I should have made it clear that the yardage is bank cubic yards where 1/2 or better is too big to do more than move out of the way. Moving half a dozen basket ball size rocks is 3-4 cubic feet in itself. Spending 5-10 minutes moving these just these puppies is close to half yard. Just shovel what you can and roll the boulders into the spot you opened up.

Realistically, I only shovel about 2-2.5 or so yards through the high-banker or sluice. The rest of the yardage is just rolled to the side.

I would argue that 8 bank cubic yards is closer to 13 tons. This is figured at 3300 lbs per yard. Seems every year or so I weigh a few shovel loads and mine run 10-11 pounds a piece. 2 shovel loads to the pan.

Around here, 100-150 colors to the pan is about 2 dwt a day shoveling in. Wouldn't be so bad if that was the daily average, but it only comes in short spurts with lots of lean days in between.

Next year I get social security and I'm heading to better diggings if my health holds out. I'm getting to old to work this hard for just beans.

BTW what State you working in hoppingforpay?
eric



hoppingforpay
04:16:42 Mon
Oct 15 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Yeah 8 yds is doable if surface digging and the rocks dont need to be picked to get loose and completely moved out of the hole.Ive seen a lot of hand diggers and maybe the best of them move 60 buckets. Ive seen all day spent on a bucket sized hole also!

Creeks hide their gold much better than rivers. Only pans taken from bedrock will reveal anything if anything.Need to find where the old timers dug then search.

I went to the Alaska Range when I first came here with some Slovakians.There was ok gold but not for the amount of money we were going through.



hoppingforpay
04:26:17 Mon
Oct 15 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
This spendy....



overtheedge
16:54:27 Mon
Oct 15 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
You ain't justa kidding. 20 some years ago, when I was chasing fire, we would hire light to medium rotary's. Going rate back then was $750-1000USD per hour dry with 3 hour daily minimum (Bell Jet Rangers, Long Rangers, Hughes 500s, AS-350s, etc). Bell 205s, 212s ran around $1500/hour dry. Then there was the ferry time from usually Anchorage to Copper River Basin.

I can well imagine that fuel prices now are at least 2-3X what we paid back in the late 80's early 90's. So figure hundreds of pounds an hour in fuel (usually Jet-A) consumption on top of rental price.
eric



hoppingforpay
03:48:32 Tue
Oct 16 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I think it was 5000 bucks to hire chopper. We also had a plane and five people on this gold extraction plan.It had been prospected the year before by one of the Czech's but he was overly optimistic on what we would get. We got 6 oz before things erupted in a long crazy story. We did run into some 1 oz per day stuff which showed in a place that had nothing to do with the rivers current channel.

This is how many come up to Alaska to get the good gold. Over manned over spent and under knowledged.I had a feeling of this possibility and I had brought my own dredge which I did not fly in.I was able to get on a persons claim on the River of Leaves and drummed up some gold to avoid getting a job yet again.It is also the year I practically destroyed my back flipping that pancake.

When I first started chasing gold it took me and my father a year of weekends to get 1/2 oz saved.Being young and dumb I decided this is what I was going to do.I read as much as I could find on the Klondike and mining in general.

I discovered a reference to gold on the Big Salmon River in the Yukon so I built a plywood scow and drove to Quiet Lake bolted the scow together in the campground and took off pretty much scared for my life. It eventually disapated each day that I was not mauled. I checked each creek I came to for color but found nothing except on Illusion Creek where I think I found a little bit.I did end up getting 160 dollars worth out of the river but I was told about this spot by the guy I bought a 3 inch dredge from.A lucky find this guy was had been prospecting the Yukon for many years.Running many of it's rivers.

Scrub
19:14:55 Wed
Oct 17 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I enjoyed the discussions about actual experiences. There's just one thought I'd like to add. While the objective may be gold, I've enjoyed the experience of the search just as much as the finding. I've never gotten rich and never expect to ... however, just to be out in the middle of nowhere, working hard and taking what you find without grumbling is the reward I expect, and I've never been disappointed yet with that attitude.

Thanks for all the threads from guys who actually know their business! Keep on working, writing and dreaming!
:thankyou:


LipCa
02:40:38 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Sixty buckets is only about a yard and a half. I don't think I would last long at 320 buckets a day!

Good thing there were big rocks:smile:

Scrub
14:32:49 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
An old friend of mine & I are planning to go back again next summer to placer mine in the eastern Interior. We dredged & high-banked on the Forty Mile last year, and I've requested a permit on another river that I used to pan and sluce on in the 70's. Judging from the size of gold and the amounts I was getting there then v.s. what we got last summer on the Fortymile, I don't think I'm being overly optimistic in thinking we may get as much as an oz/day using a high-bank and/or dredge there. Of course, as is correctly pointed out in the above discussion, it may be a small pocket. Also, nearly forty years can change things on the river as well as fog my memory. However, I have vials from the two adventures and there's no disputing the gold I found in the 70's is much larger.

Any advice on production rate comparisons on a 2" v.s. a 4- or 6"-dredge? We used a 6" dredge last summer & found it difficult to manage. We're both over 60, & although we're in pretty good shape for our age, the 6" dredge worked us to death. We encountered two problems: 1) Managing the large cobbles; & 2) keeping our weight belts above our waists.

The other river upon which I've requested a permit is shallower and has smaller cobbles. I'm therefore thinking about employing a simple garden rake to rake down cobbles before dredging; we're also building a harness to keep our weight belts up.

The garden rake has tines about 2" apart, so that may help us dredge more efficiently by reducing the # of larger cobles to keep out of the nozzle. The fact that this river is (normally) shallower may even render our wet-suit, hooka system & weight-belt unnecessary. What do you more experienced miners think about extrapolating recovery rates as I did above and about the garden rake & 2" dredge idea?

Thanks for any input ...

/s/Scrub

geowizard
15:04:13 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

I agree completely. If a person is mining for recreation, then the objective is recreation. If the objective becomes a matter of making money then the requirements change.

Placer mining with a "for profit motive" becomes a matter of offsetting the costs with revenue. Anybody that's ever had to balance a check book knows what that's all about.

So, you wannabe a placer miner? :confused:

The first decision is; recreational? or Commercial?

Let's discuss a "commercial" placer model:

Since the discussion is moving to a higher level, commercial placer mining is something I can offer advice on.

The prerequisites are the same as for most entrepreneurial ventures;

1. You must have knowledge of the business.
2. You must be prepared to invest time and money.
3. You must understand that losing is part of the equation.

One of the difficult barriers to entry into commercial mining is the financial cost involved. Because it is necessary, as shown above, that the mining operation move a large amount of material to generate significant amount of revenue - at least enough material to offset costs.

It is understood, one man alone, cannot do the work required. Two men doubles the production and doubles the cost. The solution is to employ machines that can move more material and do it efficiently!

Given the proper business model and appropriate investment it can be done.

- Geowizard

geowizard
15:23:11 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Scrub,

You were writing at the same time I was.

I have a 3" Proline combo and a Keene Mini 6" Dredge. As you mention, they have trade-offs. The 6" is more work. Moving more material requires more work! You probably know the answer to your question. Answers to the question of grade of the placer are always answered "after the fact". I have always found it reasonable to extrapolate grade. Caveat: I have seen it taken to excess when grade is extrapolated over 160 acres and from surface to 30 feet. :smile:

With reference to the rake. Underwater, the rake would tend to pull the diver back and forth rather than raking. Smaller picks work better because force is applied over a smaller area.

- Geowizard

geowizard
15:31:13 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Mobe and de-mobe represent the largest cost of placer mining in remote areas. Any notion of striking it rich on a placer mining operation within 50 miles of the road system in Alaska is FANTASY!

This summer, I was visiting with a senior helicopter chief pilot and asked about the cost to charter an A-Star B2. She quoted the Cost at $4,500 per hour with a 10 hour minimum plus fuel.




This helicopter has a useful load of 2270 lbs. Useful load includes fuel and pilot. One hundred gallons of fuel - 600 pounds and an average pilot - 170 pounds = 770 pounds. The payload could be no more than 1500 pounds.

- Geowizard

overtheedge
17:07:33 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Don't forget density/altitude. Usually not a problem for most of Alaska if we stay out of the mountains. Can be a real biggy in the lower 48 during summer.

Then there is that last 1/2 hour or so of fuel which belongs to the pilot. Don't bother trying to dicker for a few minutes more.

If you have refueling capability, you can get a bit more payload by lifting less fuel. You just have to refuel more often.

Internal loads fly faster than external aka sling-loads. But externals can have a faster turn-around. It is all about packaging and load personnel.

Typically, no PAX with external loads.
--------------
Cost/ benefit ratio is the deciding factor for everything having to do with mining including exploration.

I haven't had to but a seat on single engined fixed wing in years, but for the sake of argument, I'll figure $250 an hour. Let's figure this is strip to strip. Roughly 100 mile radius for $500. Roughly same payload. Walking another 10-15 miles from an airstrip might have an economic upside.
------------------
You have to know what your economic cut-off level is. How much you can afford to lose. Your physical and psychological ability. Your knowledge/skill base.
-------------------
On every placer deposit, there is an economic threshold and a point of diminishing returns.

There is only so much gold per yard. For one-man-band operations, 50 yard gravel might be it. The one man operation can economically work small stringers. If the deposit is several acres, small equipment makes more economic sense.

For every size class of equipment, there is an economic threshold. All your equipment is limited in through-put by the bottleneck. The more equipment/expenses, the more in the hole you start each day.

You will become a mechanic. Or broke. And you thought you were in the hole this morning?
-----------------
Ain't quite made the transition yet. But trying my hardest. Is there a draft under my hat?
eric

geowizard
17:47:05 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
ote,

All valid points. And the shovel hasn't even hit the dirt.:smile:

Could just wait for the carnival to come to town and spend a couple hundred on merry-go-rounds for a real thrill!

But, then, the REAL thrill is nuggets. BIG nuggets!

Your estimate for a single-engine charter is close. The last time I used a charter out of McGrath a couple of months ago, it was $550 an hour, they get $330 for a 34 mile out and back. Yes, they charge for the return flight even if I stayed at the mine.:gonetoofar:

- Geowizard

Jim_Alaska
18:22:21 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Scrub,

Having 37 years experience dredging in Alaska, as well as in the lower 48, I think I can help with some of your questions.

First of all, as has already been suggested, The name of the game in any gold mining venture is the more material you can move, the more gold you will recover.

In that vein I would suggest not even thinking about using a 2" dredge. You simply cannot move enough material to make it worth it. You will find that there is more material over 2" than under it. A 2" dredge is a toy. I consider the smallest dredge for any kind of "production" is a four inch, and even then, this is minimal.

I have gone the "raking the cobbles" route in my early days. I found that it does not accomplish much. Once you get a hole started, it all has to be raked uphill. Simply raking the surface before dredging only removes the very surface cobbles, the minute you get below this there are just more cobbles.

You didn't say just how shallow this new river is. If you are working with your back on the surface, a harness for weights might be ok, but remember that you will increase depth as you enlarge the hole. I would strongly advise against a harness for safety reasons.

Until you get in an emergency/panic situation you will never understand the idea of just being able to cut loose one buckle and drop your weights. Just imagine a situation where you are working hard and need to take a breath, but your regulator just popped out of your mouth and you don't have time to find it. At a time like this the difference between having to cut loose one buckle, or three buckles and also shrug out of the shoulder straps could mean the difference between you living or dying. Don't ask me how I know this, just take it from one who has been there.

It is very difficult to get your weight belt tight enough once you develope the gut that comes with age. One trick I learned is to just get it on any way I can and then once in the water get yourself in a "head down" position, laying flat on the bottom. In this position you will be able to really tighten it properly.

You will experience lots of problems and decreased productivity if not using Hookah and trying it with a snorkle.

Since the name of the game is moving material, please understand that in a two man dredging operation each man has his specific job. The nozzle man's only purpose in life is to keep material moving up the nozzle. The other guy should be the "rock man". A good rock man will have the initial dredge area cleaned of rock before you begin dredging. He will then take care of, not only the larger rocks and boulders, but also help you be more efficient with your nozzle work by extracting the rocks that need to be moved as you uncover them. If you as nozzle man are moving fast enough that you also need to pull some rocks from in front of the nozzle, you should not have to throw them, the nozzle man's hand should be right there to take what you pulled out.

My rock man will be right at my elbow, taking rocks as I give them to him, while also moving the ones he sees. Your rock man should be someone who not only has lots of strength, but one that can also think for himslef and anticipate what is needed before it is needed.

You will find it more productive to switch jobs between rock man and nozzle man, giving each a needed break, assuming that you both understand the concept of each job and are very proficient at both.

Being nozzle man takes a lot more understanding than many guys can handle to be productive. Any rock that plugs the mouth of the nozzle, or causes a hose plug-up results of a lot of lost time. The object is to be able to determine if a rock you are going to suck up will fit or become stuck. For production reasons it is way better to simply not suck up any rock that you even "think" might cause a problem. It takes a lot less time to simply throw it rather than have to clear a plug-up.

Sharp rocks, flat rocks, or long thin rocks are all potential plug-ups. Avoid putting them up the nozzle.

As far as the best size dredge, it will depend on what you can comfortably handle and the size of the material being worked. Remember the production factor, if the dredge is a real grunt to operate, you will tire faster and at that point all production will stop while you recover.

Don't try to rationalize your time. You can only handle a given amount of time underwater working. Fatigue, plus the effects of cold water will tire you faster than anything. I consider four hours actual underwater working time to be about all I can handle. And you will find that even that cannot be sustained day after day with no break.

You will not be able to work for very long without a wetsuit in Alaskan water temps. As a matter of fact a wet suit won't do much good unless you have it hooked up to a hot water system. I tried using a wet suit my first year and very quickly put out the money for a good dry suit. They are expensive, but the upside is more time in water to work.

I hope this helps some, I am sure others can add some to this thread that will be helpful.

geowizard
23:33:53 Thu
Oct 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Jim,

You're a hard act to follow! :smile:

The only thing I could add is a ride in an Astar(in Alaska).

Fasten your seat belts, please.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsG6-R7HUJs

hoppingforpay
01:48:03 Fri
Oct 19 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
My point was that one doesn't choose to to be recreational or commercial just that some guys become commercial.Everyone would rather get an ounce in a day as opposed to a pennyweight in a day.I have plenty of stories about guys wanting to be commercial and buying or having all the equipment ( Cats, Excavators ) but not the slightest clue about ground. It is very much possible that these types of guys can find and do find 5000 yds to the oz ground. That can be avoided if a person gets good at prospecting and can "see" what he is testing. Simple math is much more important to understand than geology when it comes to, is it mineable or not.

A small miner who has mined many paystreaks through many years carries a "log" in his head of his past finds that he applies to the ground he is looking at. The more of these finds the miner has the less likely that nature will trick him out of a good find.Especially if his finds are not all from just one stream.

Just like an indian following a trail a prospector through the development of his "visuals" will decide where to put in an excavation to see if there is gold.He doesn't want to waste work and time.He doesn't want to dig a 20 foot to bedrock hole when 2 hundred yds up stream there is bedrock within 4 feet.He is looking at everything, the width of the valley, the swiftness of the stream,the color of the rocks,the growth along the edges of the stream,stones or plantlife showing disturbance by man, anything that will reduce the chance of digging a worthless, time wasting hole.

After my first sale of Yukon gold to a car dealer/gold buyer in Whitehorse I went back to California. I side tracked along the highway along the Klamath River. I don't think I saw a single dredge. I wondered about it but not enough to check the BLM for claims...I could of had my pick because this was I believe before McCracken got them all, 1983 I think.

Commercial is about getting there first and making all followers recreational by default!

Lipca that is right 60 buckets equals a yd and a half but probably around 4 yds moved in order to get those buckets.


BobAK
04:12:06 Fri
Oct 19 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Tons of good info here, and yes like Jim said--a rake and 2" dredge gets you nowhere

geowizard
19:02:31 Fri
Oct 19 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

There is an "intermediate level" of placer mining. This level provides a transition from buckets and back pain to using a machine with hydraulics.

Most of you are probably aware that I moved two Bobcat loaders to my operation at Ophir Creek. These machines get the wannabe placer miner past the physical limitations imposed by be human. The S185 has a quarter yard bucket. I have always considered 20 - five gallon buckets as a half yard. So, yes 60 buckets = 1.5 cu yards. Running dragline tailings, I can load my washplant once a minute. So with everything working properly, I can push 60 loads an hour = 15 cu yds. per hour. I used the 6 inch suction dredge as a model for a 50 cu yard per hour washplant. There are archives of the "Maxi-Banker" on this forum and else-where.

So, yes, I spent the past two winters fabricating three Maxi-Bankers. The Maxi-Banker is fabricated from unistrut and can be disassembled and re-assembled. That way it can be flown in on a Cessna 207 to remote areas and reassembled. The washplant has two or three 4" x 56" spray bars and a 650 gpm Keene 23 HP pump.

- Geowizard

geowizard
19:13:30 Fri
Oct 19 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Ophir Creek has 10 million cubic yards of dragline tailings that run .01 to .025 troy ounces per cubic yard.

See www.ophir-alaska.com

The math is what I call a straight-line calculation. I developed a business model, put together an MS Excel spreadsheet that demostrates the profit/loss calculations for various production scenarios.

The Bobcat was chosen because I have to fly equipment into McGrath on a Boeing 737 freighter (Northern Air Cargo). The freight charge from Anchorage to McGrath is a buck a pound plus tax plus fuel surcharge. The Bobcat will fit through the cargo door with 3 inches to spare. The 8 mile trip on a barge down-river for two bobcats and Hoses was extra. :smile:

- Geowizard

cubsqueal
03:44:02 Sat
Oct 20 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

While reading this fascinating thread, I can't keep from thinking how comfortable and warm my recliner looks!

Back in 1980 when gold was about $800/oz., my father and I were invited to "mine" on a good-sized group of claims on Burwash Creek in the Yukon. Several family members (not ours) had gotten together hauling up cats and other equipment. One of the gentlemen was saying nobody realized how rich they now were. Using the valuation of a spot on their claims and projecting that value linearly for their full claims area, they were worth $14 million, or so they thought. The guy was like drunk with the thought of their enormous wealth. Anyway, most of them lost their farms and homes. Not a happy ending.

Below these claims a Canadian group had put in a really nice-looking operation--at least $1.5 to $3.5 million, can't remember now. They went broke too. (An old miner had previously mined the area and had apparently done a very good job of following the paystreak. Seems like he got killed when his cat ran over him?)

As a friend used to say when we tried to pan a little yellow stuff here in western Oregon, "Why does Mother Nature have to be such a stingy old bxxxx?"



Jim_Alaska
04:03:52 Sat
Oct 20 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
And then there is always the old adage: How can you make a small fortune mining? (Answer) Start with a large fortune. :devil:

cubsqueal
04:24:01 Sat
Oct 20 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

This might be a good place to tell about the young couple that came into a small shop here on the Central Oregon coast about 2 years ago. The owner described them as very rugged looking. They said they were down from Alaska after spending the summer mining on a relative's claims, and were in the process of returning. They had a brand-new F-350 and a new dredge in the back. They would not say what part of Alaska they had been in, but did say they found (as I recall) 150 oz. of nuggets and 175 oz. of fines. They paid for their purchases with gold.

So I guess we can all dream....

geowizard
15:45:27 Sat
Oct 20 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Entrepreneurs know there is risk in what they do. If a gold miner applies a reasonably strict business philosophy to what he or she is doing, the outcome has an equally reasonable chance of success.

Take sampling for example. How many samples are adequate?:confused:

Books have been written on the subject of sampling a placer gold deposit. Many investors will not invest money in a placer mining operation because of the risk involved. Sampling before-hand is one of the important steps required in the process of reducing financial risk.

I began sampling dragline tailing piles at Ophir two years ago (almost three). Sampling was done using a Cat D8N, Cat 235 Excavator, and a 150 cu yd. per hour wash plant... The equipment was used by a lessee and I was able to monitor the production. samples of the gold I received as royalty are viewable at www.stampede-gold.com .

In order to expand the process of sampling, I used a new Proline highbanker combo 3" suction dredge. Samples were measured using five gallon buckets. When you do the conversion, there are 40 - 5 gallon buckets to the cubic yard. I considered 20 buckets to be an adequate sample.

Sample location is important when sampling!

Dragline tailings are upside-down. The inside core of the tailings represent the muck and overburden. The next outer layers represent the material mined for gold. The outer most layer represents the end-point or barren bedrock material.

Know the source of the sample and take it into consideration.

Statistical variation:

While working at Honeywell, they offered a paid course in "Six-Sigma". The course was offered to "exempt" employees. Exempt employees are those employees on salary and that are exempt from over-time. Well, I was not an exempt employee, because I was hourly and received overtime. - Long story - short - I applied and was accepted into the Six-Sigma training program.I was the first in the door, sat in the front of the class and when the program was over, I was the last one out the door, turned out the lights and closed the door. It was probably the most important training that a person can take.

How many samples represent a statistical sample? :confused:

It turns out that you need 11 samples. The samples then represent the area sampled. I have taken hundreds of samples at Ophir and applied the rules of six-sigma to the sampling campaign.

How do you measure the weight of the gold? :confused:

The measurement system (scale) should have greater precision and accuracy than the specified result. Precision in a digital scale is represented by the number of digits. Accuracy depends on "calibration". I measure to one milligram on an Ohaus scale. I calibrate the scale using Ohaus certified calibration weights. I adjust the resulting measurement for the drift or difference in the calibration.

Bias:

Don't bias the measurement.

The scale should be covered, so you can't breathe on the scale!

- Geowizard

overtheedge
18:13:53 Sat
Oct 20 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Geowizard brought up a good point on sampling.

When prospecting, if a place is good enough looking to sample pan, I run 3 pans. Long ways from 6 sigma. It might make 1.5 sigma at best. 3 pans also gives an idea of variability between pans.

1 sigma is 68.3 percent probability. 2 sigma is 95.4 percent probability. Statistics is just probability aka odds. Sampling tells you what you got in your pans and statistics might predict what probably remains in the deposit. The better the sampling efforts, the higher the probability one way or the other.

The problem with 1 pan is the nugget effect or anti-nugget effect. The next pan could be anything but the first. 3 sample pans increases the probability that the deposit is or is not economical at that location only. 20 feet away and it can be a whole different ballgame. Hence the need to sample pan to delineate the economic boundaries.

I would argue that sampling separates the successful commercial miner from the recreational. Success defined as income exceeds out-go.

It appears that the recreational miner tends to find a spot that has color and then goes to work using whatever tools they have available. The commercially-minded miner samples profusely and often. They make sure the odds are in their favor.

This becomes more critical with heavy equipment. Every hour of operation costs money; you are already in the hole expense-wise: Initial investment and start-up operational costs.. Either the overburden pays or it gets moved out of the way the fastest and cheapest way possible. Just keep in mind rehab costs.

A thorough sampling effort will help you gauge the size-class of the equipment that can be economically utilized. The placer deposit has to pay ALL expenses including equipment purchase price and transportation costs to and from. The recreational miner amortizes the equipment costs over the life-span of the tool. In a commercial operation, the amortization period has to be over the lifespan of the deposit.

An operation that is just paying its way is a money loser. You absolutely need profits. A sizable portion of these profits MUST set aside for maintenance, rehab and demob.

Ever wonder why claims are sold with the equipment? Too old? Health issues? How old is too old and maybe the health issue is just "sick and tired of being broke?" Then there is that accumulated rehab and demob costs that aren't off-set by any recovery.
----------
The hand-miner has an oft overlooked expense; food. We tend to forget that hand-mining is calorie intensive. The 2500-2800 calories that gets us by at a day job is just a snack. It is easy to eat 5000 calories a day and still lose weight. Not eating enough reduces efficiency of the human engine. If you are consistently running out of steam early in the afternoon, you aren't eating enough fuel.
-------------
Unfortunately, experience is an expensive school and there have been far too many times I've paid the tuition. And on occasion, I've been known to take a remedial course. Not so often anymore, but ... I still tend to shed 15-20 pounds a season and get overly optimistic. Ah, but next year!
eric

geowizard
20:13:13 Sat
Oct 20 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

I burn 8,700,000 calories every 15 minutes!:welcome:

Sitting in the shade on my patootie.

I haven't touched a shovel since I discovered Bobcats. Ote is correct in the fact that the name of the game is calories. That concept works it's way back to what is "work" and how we measure work. Horsepower plays into the subject. Human beings at an early point in history gave notice to the potential of using horses! At a later point, i.e. WWI, before the internet, the diesel engine was developed. Years later, hydraulics improved mining by replacing the cables.

There's a moral to the story...

A human can only consume a limited amount of calories and do a limited amount of work. When it comes to feeding a human and feeding a machine and comparing the cost versus performance, the machine wins.

In the bush, I figure the cost of diesel at $10.00 per gallon. One liter contains 8,700,000 calories:

http://www.ehow.com/how_6195532_calculate-calorific-value-diesel-fuel.html

One liter = approx 1 quart = approx $2.50. That's the cost of a Big Mac. Yes... I had to buy the machine. But I own it and I can sell it. Yes... I have to transport the machine to the mine. But, the machine is worth more near a mine. (location = value added). Yes... I have to maintain the machine. But, it's parts are replaceable and mine arent!:smile:

- Geowizard

Scrub
02:06:36 Sun
Oct 21 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Thanks for the info & advice! I'll use it.

overtheedge
07:36:48 Sun
Oct 21 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of internal combustion engines attached to tools. I am a tool using specie. I think most of the time. There is only so much gold per yard, ergo to make more money, you MUST move more yardage. Under average conditions hereabouts, I can process about 4.5 yards a day shoveling in.

Even one of those tow-behind mini-backhoes will move more yardage in a day than I can move in a long week. Maybe two. On what, 3 gallons of gas? Around here, food calorie costs are about $2/1000 calories actually it is 1000 kilocalories. Gasoline is $4.84/gal for 26.5 million calories. Gasoline, diesel, cheap for the tools they can fuel and work accomplished. Plus, ta da, the tool is engineered to do one job very very well. I'm a generalist. My body can sorta, kinda do any job but isn't optimized to a specific purpose and still needs a tool designed to fit the average person.

I tend towards the frugal side. Better to run smaller equipment than to over-extend yourself going to the largest practical for the grade/acreage. Just as long as you meet your minimum on average. Lot easier to upgrade with gold in hand than attempt a quick downgrade when you are broke.

If I had the ground, I would budget for the upgrade to mini-sized equipment as fast as possible. Shoveling-in is just the means to that upgrade. Or in my case, I snipe point bars where the total yardage rarely goes more than 25-30 yards. Then days, weeks of just colors until I find another bar that pays.

One other point, a mining claim runs into that prudency issue. The intent of the claim laws is to put the claim into mining production. I would ask, if the claim consistently turns a profit shoveling-in, why not make that initial upgrade to mini-sized equipment? The additional profit will grossly exceed the costs in the same ground.

As an example, let's say that I am content with 2dwt/day shoveling-in 4.5 bank cubic yards well shovel the smaller stuff and just move the big rocks aside. Let's assume that a mini-backhoe has a 1.5 cubic foot bucket and it has a dig, lift, swing, dump and return cycle time of 15 seconds. That is 6 cubic feet per minute or 13.3 yards an hour. we'll operate or shovel-in for 6.5 hours a day. Shovel-in: 4.5 yards. Mini-hoe: just over 86 yards. 86/4.5= about 19X the 2dwt=38dwt or just under 2ozt a day. But I am physically limited to 6.5 hours before I'm done in. Not so with powered equipment. Wanna work some 16's? 16hrs x 13.3yards=212ypd/4.5(my yardage shovel-in) = 47 times that 2dwt minimum= 4.7ozt/16 hr day*

eric

* Your results may vary. Offer void where prohibited by law. Make sure your seats and tray tables are in the full upright and locked position.

Just how short is that pay-back period again?

geowizard
14:21:48 Sun
Oct 21 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Sometimes, we spend our time re-inventing the wheel!

History can serve us well. I often read about members of the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame. One such miner was Peter Miscovich, an Iditarod miner:

http://alaskamininghalloffame.org/inductees/miscovich.php

He came to America through Ellis Island with no education, and no understanding of the english language.

Can we learn about placer mining from the experience of other placer miners that precede us?

- Geowizard

geowizard
16:50:49 Sun
Oct 21 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
What's the margin? :confused:

Margin is (generally) defined as the difference between cost and revenue.

Let's say we have placer gold that runs 0.01 troy ounces per cubic yard. We are employing two equipment operators to operate a Bobcat and washplant.

Revenue:

If: We operate 10 hours per day. We process 10 cubic yards per hour x 10 hours = 100 cubic yards. The washplant is 80 percent efficient = .8 ounces of raw gold. Raw gold when sent to a refiner pays .70 of the spot gold price. So, given spot gold at $1750 an ounce x .8 ounces x .70 = $980.00 on the revenue side.

Cost:

One Bobcat burns 10 gallons of diesel x $10.00 = $100.00

One Bobcat burns 10 gallons of diesel x $10.00 = $100.00

(The second Bobcat clears tailings)

23HP Pump burns 10 gallons of unleaded x $10.00 = $100.00

Two employees @ $20 x 10 hours = $400.00

Pump replacement $2500 a 1000 hours = $25.00/10hrs oper.

Bobcat (x2) replacement at 5000 hours = $100.00/10 hrs oper

Food, gas for genset, wifi, etc. $125.00

Total cost = $950.00

Margin = $980. - $950. = $30.00

Less taxes = $20. :welcome:


added content:

Who does the cleanup?

You do!

Added cost = $400 (one day) cleanup...

Net = ($380):gonetoofar:

Note some operators do cleanups at 5 day intervals to avoid this problem. They don't go broke as fast!

Oops... Forgot Caveat Emptor: Your results may vary. There can be additional losses that translate into "cost". This model assumes no sick days, no injuries, no equipment down-time, everything works perfect!

Corrected grammar, spelling errors and calculations. No liability is assumed for any use or misuse of the aforementioned business model...

- Geowizard




geowizard
17:52:42 Sun
Oct 21 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

IF You still wannabe a placer miner, YOU have to fix the problem!

I fixed the problem!:smile:

Please tell me, what would you do?:confused:

- Geowizard

Diamond_digger
19:31:03 Sun
Oct 21 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Mining gold and diamonds is in the gene pool or in the blood as my Old Teacher Harry Sullivan used to say.
You either have it or you don't
Them that don't never make it as miners.
Andy

geowizard
20:22:33 Sun
Oct 21 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Andy,

Welcome to the forum! :welcome:

- Geowizard

overtheedge
20:25:44 Sun
Oct 21 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
From an earlier post, you stated that the Bobcat could feed 15 yards an hour. You process 10 yards. This would imply that the feed cycle time is too long. Better placement of the washplant might get you a couple, three yards more per hour average. We'll use 12yph.
+20% gross income

The tailings Bobcat might be able to accomplish its job in 75-80% of the time provided tailings management practices were optimized.
+$20 net savings per day on expenses

The washplant efficiency is at 80%. An optimized plant should get you close to 90% recovery with 92% possible. But we'll figure 90%. Sluice bedding perhaps?
+12% gross income (0.90/0.80=1.125 aka 12.5%) on top of +20% from first paragraph. For a total gross increase of 34%.

Then you ran 10 hours a day. This is where the hourly operational costs limit increased profits as the daily fixed are already low. But recall that 34% increase in recovery for a 10 hour day? 12 hour days increases recovery period by 20% but more probably 15% due to inefficiencies at the end of the day. This would realize a increased recovery of about +25% for 2 hours rather than the 34% for the first 10 hour.

Former fixed cost @10 hours = $950
With optimization outlined @10 hours = $930
With optimization @12 hours = $1085

Former recovery @10 hours = $980
Optimized @ 10 hours = $1313
Optimized @ 12 hours = $1588

Daily net
former @10 hours = $30
opt @10 = $383
opt @12 = $503

I think the figures are right. I didn't bother writing it all out and might have screwed it up, but it looks close. So if increasing the day to 12 hours, why not 14? The longer the day, the less efficient and higher the probability is of operator failure resulting in injury or repair shut-down for damage inflicted. Some folks can do 14 or maybe 16 for awhile, but they get ground down to the nub sooner or later.

Just me, but I would operate 6 days a week. Clean-out once a day and concentrates clean-up on the seventh day.

As the owner, I would be on the tailing's Bobcat (remember that rehab thingy and who is responsible?). The 20-25% of time not on the loader would be spent sluice tending, moving one of the maxi-bankers to a closer spot and managing. Its my money on the line. I (and mining operation) should clear more per day than the employee.

Could the operation be optimized some more? Yes, but the margin drops off faster as the operational costs increase. It is all about margin. But that point of diminishing returns is real.

However with the material to be worked known (quantity and grade), I would be faced with the decision to be happy with what I make a day or scale up to the next production level. Yep, buy bigger equipment, washplant, etc. 120 day season with added profit of $500/day is only $60K. Maybe a small excavator first. Not the mini. Build a couple of the maxi-banker El Grande models (appropriately sized to the excavator) over the winter between working the -80mesh fraction that I didn't clean-up on the day off last season. The -80 mesh fraction flew out with back-haul.

As you can probably tell, I'm a fan of mobile washplants. Cut that stinkin loader cycle time as much as is practical.

But you knew a caveat was coming. I have NOT made the jump to full-fledged placer miner. These are just my off-the-cuff thoughts. Everyone who wants to be a placer miner MUST go through this exercise. Don't earn $1 million by spending $5 million. Do a spreadsheet on costs/income. Gain a full understanding of process flow and your operation. There is always a bottle-neck. Deal with it. Fix it. But don't bust a hump to get marginal returns that last percent or two isn't worth the effort. Let it go.

Just my opinion. I haven't made the transition. For a limited time only!!! I, overtheedge, do certify that the above is guaranteed to be worth no less than what you paid for it. The thought process used to put together the above has served me well, but your results might vastly differ. Do your own due diligence. "The captain has turned off the no smoking sign."
eric
BTW I like where this thread is going. It makes me think. It keeps me grounded in reality, uh er potential reality. Next year perhaps.

geowizard
03:10:28 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
ote,

Good Job!

This type of situation happens first. "After" you begin operation, you see the real numbers!

Everybody wants to be the boss but when it comes to solving the problems, the boss has no-one else to turn to. He or she must turn to his or her inner self!

The revenue side is controlled by variables the operator has some (limited) control over.

Grade:

The operator may elect to do additional sampling in order to find higher grade gold. It doesn't sound like much but increasing grade from .01 to .015 is a 50 percent increase in revenue!

Capacity:

Ote hit that variable immediately. I considered adding another Bobcat. Another Bobcat will double the capacity. Also any waiting for the screen to clear on the washplant costs time and time is money. Capacity of the washplant is 50 yph. It's possible to up the capacity to three Bobcats feeding the plant.

Recovery:

Yes, Ote is spot on again. Tuning the washplant to improve recovery keeps gold in the sluice where you want it. Testing the sluice for gold blowing out the end should be done regularly. It's easy to be lulled into thinking everything is fine. Then working a week before cleanup and finding that the gold has been blowing out the end of the box.

Cleanup:

Doing a partial cleanup of the top 30 percent of the riffles saves time and generates revenue with minimum impact on production.

Next, I would focus on the camp and camp management!

Ideas?

- Geowizard

overtheedge
05:10:20 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Ah. Adding another Bobcat was a possibility. So can we assume that there are 3 personnel; working owner +2?

That changes some of the dynamics and makes optimization even more important.

$125 a day for camp costs @ 3 personnel. Making big cuts here is gonna be tough. The weight of the food alone costs a bunch to fly in. Perhaps a buyer/consolidator/river boat delivery person in McGrath. Provided you have transportation to get to the river. Scheduled deliveries.

Why WiFi? The mine needs commo, but ... ? Hey, why not? How about during a 4 hour period on the day off? You're probably paying for bandwidth/hours.

How many hours a day on the genset and for what?

Are facilities included in the $125? Tents, plywood shacks, cookhouse, etc?

Still, $125/day and say, 120 day season = $15K and this is for 3 people. Then a good figure might be $5K of that is freight costs. So we are left with roughly $835/person/month. Gonna be tough. Anymore data to give us a better picture?
eric

Diamond_digger
09:51:03 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Geowizard,
Thanks had a bit of a search to find the right forum.
I see the same [people hang out here as well.
Gmf they should be moving yards man hahahaha
Andy :devil:

geowizard
15:04:06 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
ote,

You bring up another very important point. A common mistake that is often made is to allow yourself to become an employee.

The mine manager has to have the freedom to move around and not be tied to a piece of equipment for 10 hours. Who will order the fuel? Who will order supplies and schedule the delivery? Who will interface with the visitors that show up? Who will refill the fuel tank on the water pump? All of these things add up to a days work that takes away from production if not handled by a "third party".

Yes, adding a third machine i.e. Bobcat adds to the cost of operation and requires one more operator. It adds about $400 per day to the cost side of the operation. The doubling of production will add an ounce of gold to the revenue side.

Our dependency on the conviences afforded by electric power requires a genset. A small, 5 KW - 10 KW genset will blow through 5 gallons per day operating part-time. It starts with breakfast in the morning. The genset allows the cook to use electric skillets. The cook can work with light in the kitchen. A small refrigerator keeps perishable foods i.e. meats and eggs and cheeze from spoiling. How about the coffee pot or tea pot? Today's generation needs to get on the internet and check emails or communicate with the outside world including checking Facebook!

A day in the life of a mine:

I get up early and head out on the 4-wheeler to inspect the mine.

I usually set up a schedule. The genset gets started at 7 AM. I make a fire in the wood stove for heat. I start coffee and wait for the sleepy eyed campers to wake up. While waiting, I start the bacon and eggs and blueberry pancakes. Everybody eats breakfast while I provide time for discussion of the strategy for the day. I try to shut down the genset by 8 AM and head out the door so we can begin mining by 9 AM. During the day, power tools are needed to trim, cut, fablicate and modify the washplant, or do small repair jobs. Lunches are "bucket lunches". A 5 gallon bucket with sandwiches and soft drinks. The camp boss or cook has the job of making lunch and delivering it to the work site.

Someone has to check the genset from time to time and refill the fuel and check the status of the oil. The camp boss has that resposibility.

The camp requires fresh water for cooking, drinking and washing. We have two sources of water. Roof water runs off into a rain gutter and into clean 5 gallon buckets. The buckets are continually filled by rainwater and moved inside for cooking and drinking. The second source of water is creek water. The creek water is acceptable for washing dishes and clothes washing. We have an indoor shower for showers. It is a dipper and 5 gallon bucket in the rear mudroom exit. The mudroom is fitted with a shower curtain for privacy. A 2 gallon galvanized bucket is set in a steel frame on the heat stove for hot water.

So, anyway, by the end of the day, after cooking dinner and everyone checking emails, I shut down the genset at 9 PM. I have bear bars on the doors and windows to provide security at night.

- Geowizard

overtheedge
18:35:00 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I was trying to get an idea of total number of personnel that the camp keeps fed, sheltered, entertained, etc.

@ $125/day total.

I'm a big fan of working management, just not full-time working. Full-time manager, part-time fill in doing what needs to be done. If you need full time fill-in, you need another employee. Can you afford another employee?

Uh, remote means remote. Having to provide daily email and Facebook? Nonsense. Either run with the big dogs or stay under the porch and lick yourself. Employee access to commo link on day off only. This camp of yours is NOT Diavik or Prudhoe Bay. Hmm, maybe download a couple movies from Netflix or U-tube too. Who's up for pizza and beer? Room service? Restock the mini-bar, hooker sent up?

Remote means remote. Everyone pitches in on camp chores. Playing cards, mini chess set or a couple board games for entertainment. I like books. Perhaps provide a place to plug in a battery charger for an e-reader. I ain't your mama. No sense calling mama to complain.


Quote: geowizard

I make a fire ... . I start coffee and wait for the sleepy eyed campers to wake up. While waiting, I start the bacon and eggs and blueberry pancakes. ...


Sounds like I is mommy. But admittedly 15 years in military, 7 more as wildland firefighter in Ak and decades of going walkabout has left me happy to just get resupplied somewhat regularly.

Of course, friends and acquaintances are quick to comment that I am an anachronism. Today's employees have certain expectations well in excess to the most basic necessities.

Hmmm. $200/day/employee in wages + support costs = 20-25% of gross/employee? Looks like the management plan needs to be re-approached like a good old fashion rat-killing. Watching the margin means analyzing everything from the cost/benefit ratio aspect.

You (employee) either make me at least half again what it costs to keep you around or you better make your flight outa here.

Don't forget insurance money (workman's comp, medivac, equipment breakdown, cook-shack burned down, etc). I didn't see any of that in your impromptu spreadsheet analysis.

Just thinking out loud. Finding gold is easy. Making it pay is something else. Nothing will destroy a business venture faster than a "less than optimal" employee except a manager wearing blinders.

Now you might understand the reason for my nom-de-plume.
eric



geowizard
19:04:01 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
ote,

Excellent! Bravo! I'm going to post that on the inside of the door on the privy! Excellent post!

Two new points to consider...

1. Employees are contractors. I have had to come to terms with the issue of employee liability - years ago.

"I Ain't Joe Momma!" :confused:

and...

"I Ain't Joe Long Term Disability Program!" :confused:

So, my "contract miners" operate under the terms of a contract. I remind them that I maintain a list of replacements.

There are 30 million people in the U.S. RIGHT NOW that are unemployed. I'm one of them! I am not an employment agency, although, sometimes I feel like one. Lots of "helpers" out there want to be a helper on a gold mine. Too many helpers unfortunately become a liability. There are those that enter into the scene with the intention and fore-thought of becoming a liability and the others that are accidents waiting for a place to happen! That makes being an employer a problem and makes being a prospective employee a problem. State and Federal employment laws make it a jungle out there!

Mining companies must operate under the umbrella of an LLC. Miners must operate the same way. A miner becomes a "service provider". He or she is a "vendor" that provides certain "contractual services".

I forgot the second thing...:smile:

- Geowizard

geowizard
20:23:16 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

The second thing...

Rewarding performance:

I offer a "Performance Bonus. A performance bonus is additional payment for performing above a "benchmark".

If, for example, I have determined that on a normal day, the mine should produce one ounce of gold, AND when Wild Willy is at the controls, he produces 50 percent more gold, well, Wild Willy gets a 50 percent increase in pay.

Putting the "producers on the payroll" and providing an incentive for additional performance, keeps everyone working for the same objective!:smile:

- Geowizard

overtheedge
20:31:48 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Though I know little about labor contracts, it is my understanding that all contracts must have penalty clauses on each party for non-compliance. But thinking I understand is NOT the same as knowing I understand.

All of the above postings is the the basis for my plans to keep my operations as one-man shows.

If I were to consider a second person, the most important would be a camp manager. They would set their own schedule as long as the basics are there when needed. The stew is in the pot and biscuits in the bread safe, serve yourself. Coffee in the thermos.

I admit that at my age and after a long day's work, it is tedious to take care of all the domestic needs. Things aren't so bad when the water is hot. A warm tent and chair is bliss after a day working in the driving rain.

So you really wanna placer mine? Or just be a laborer?
eric

geowizard
22:10:11 Mon
Oct 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Because of the regulatory clime today, many business leaders are opting out. The regulatory compliance issues surrounding a small one-man operation become significant as soon as you mention the word "machine".

A single miner or many miners may work together on a mining project. Without a "machine", the hand-digging miners have little to worry about except their limited physical endurance. Physical endurance has a limit. We can take one man or woman and draw a circle around him or her and define the extent of the placer mining that is possible. We have covered that aspect of placer mining.

Man vs Machine:

Machines provide "mechanical advantage". Simple mechanical advantage in the form of levers and pulleys are one thing. As soon as powered (motorized) machinery arrive, the game changes. Can we draw a circle around what a man with a machine can do? Yes.

Placer mining can be defined as a process where money, manpower, material, space and time are expended toward something that we all agree is "good". There is something "good" about gold!:smile:

Ever see an Alaska Chicken Forum? I've never looked for a Forum on other commodities - all of which are good and probably equally important. Why do some chicken farmers settle with a few chickens and a rooster and others will settle for nothing less than a thousand?

The difference between raising one chicken and two chickens is the input doubles and the output doubles.

Placer mining is different!

A bigger loader burns more fuel but still only requires one operator. The amount of material moved divided by the cost increases significantly. A Cat D8N and a Cat 235 excavator with a 100 KW power plant and 3000 GPM pump will burn 100 gallons of fuel per day. The washplant capacity is scaled appropriately at 150 cu yds per hour. The crew requirement is two.

Fuel cost goes down because you can fly in 3000 gallons of fuel at a time @ $7.00 per gallon. You write a check for $21,000. every thirty days. Pay checks remain the same. Wifi, cost of bacon and beans remains the same.

Capacity goes up to 1500 cubic yards a day.

15 x .7 x .8 = $8,400 per day = $252,000 per month.

Less: $21,000 fuel, $12,000 labor, $9,000 lunch meat and beans. = $210,000 net.

To get there, a placer miner needs something called an "Investor"!

The Capital equipment cost will run $500K for a used D8N, Excavator, MSI washplant, Pump and Genset.

In a 50-50 investor Return on Investment (ROI) = $300K per 90 day season. Mine owner gets the same.

The $30K remainder goes into repair fund.

The investor would probably be in the game for three or four seasons depending on the negotiated settlement.

Investors often prefer gold rather than FRN.

- Geowizard

hoppingforpay
02:48:23 Tue
Oct 23 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
After 5 years and a split on 20 ozs. I ended up here as a partner with 2 others. We helicoptered in but it was only 2 miles in by foot on the M.Yuba. It was a first find of virgin ground that lasted more than 10 days.



In small scale mining such as this high grade ground such as this is sought because at the yardages moved by small dredges reworking ground left by the old timers rarely will carry more than a one man show.

The ground was about 1 dwt per hour for the first 4 ft.The next 10 to 12 ft. had basically nothing in it and was quartz laden. The last layer sitting on bedrock was a dark brown layer with green boulders with white stripes so positioned that they acted like as if bedrock itself. The gold was in piles off the corners and nooks of these boulders that pans of 1/2 oz to 1 oz could of easily been had had we wanted to. Even so we only took around 30 ozs because it was so deep and much of the time was moving boulders with a 6 ton hand chain come along.You can see the boulders with the orange bottoms that we winched out.That hole inspires one but I never saw another one like it tell not long ago 20 years later.

jeff08xx
04:08:24 Tue
Oct 23 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Quote: hoppingforpay at 02:26:46 Sat Oct 13 2012

And the 11 ozs. About 1/2 oz per day. Average pan about 100 colors making a pile about the size of a paper match head.A fairly heavy fine gold, not the kind that licking your finger will pick them up.Very rare to find gold of this richness just sitting on the surface but I am sure there are more of them out there for an intrepid prospector.


I like the tree camping idea. I would have liked to have seen how you did that work.



hoppingforpay
01:31:13 Fri
Oct 26 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I just have public internet when the library is open so I am not daily on the net...

To that question. I just cut some poles wired or nailed them up in the trees then just laid alders across.I watched a lot of Gilligan's Island so I was prepared!

Whats funny is the first night I slept up there I watched a bear cross the river and waddle into my camp.I growled at him loud and he took off in a bolt.

hoppingforpay
02:26:29 Fri
Oct 26 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Geo,

I think the most important thing is that the .01 to .025 is absolutely rock solid assessment. If this is so for 10 million yards OTE should be able to get about 1 pennyweight per day anywhere he digs on these tailings. He digs almost 5 yds per day .01+.01+.01+.01+.01= .05 a pennyweight. Rather than just agree and extrapolate into the "future mine" you should invite him to come up and test the ground to see if it truly is 10 million yds of .01 to .025

This would mean that the dragline operation was losing 1 pennyweight to 2 pennyweight per 5 yds it ran for an entire 10 million yds. What was the grade to begin with?

geowizard
02:41:03 Fri
Oct 26 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
hoppingforpay,

Those are good points and good ideas! Thanks!

The placer gold at Ophir was mined using dragline-sluice methods. The method was considerd to be 50 percent efficient. Considering that about 100,000 ounces were recovered, it would be reasonable to assume 100,000 ounces remain in the tailings. I have done extensive sampling and other - third party samplers have sampled the tailings. I also had a full scale lease that ran for a little over two years. His lease was not renewed and has now expired. The lessee recovered on average .01 opy consistently, mining over a thousand yards per day. I monitored most of the operation and derived the grade from the total yards and final pay.

Mining also was done on a high bench I refer to as the nugget patch. This was a 5 acre test of virgin ground near an area that was hydrauliked in the 1960's. The nuggets that I received can be viewed on www.stampede-gold.com .

- Geowizard

overtheedge
04:20:13 Fri
Oct 26 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Quote: hoppingforpay

If this is so for 10 million yards OTE should be able to get about 1 pennyweight per day anywhere he digs on these tailings. He digs almost 5 yds per day .01+.01+.01+.01+.01= .05 a pennyweight. Rather than just agree and extrapolate into the "future mine" you should invite him to come up and test the ground to see if it truly is 10 million yds of .01 to .025


Wow. It is roughly 400 miles from me to Ophir in a straight line. No road from here to there.

Like crossing 2 state borders. One by car and one by plane.

Invite? To determine if 10 million yards of 40-100 yard gravel are stockpiled? Using a shovel-in recovery system for 1 dwt/day ($55-60)?

Maybe drop by after church and knock her off real quick. Wanna stop for a pizza on the way home? Let me buy, I'm hammering down a 1 dwt/day.
eric

shaftsinkerawc
15:31:33 Fri
Oct 26 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I'll put ya up overnight OTE, and cover breakfast and coffee on your way up.

geowizard
15:54:05 Fri
Oct 26 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Is this a non profit organization or what!!? :confused:

There is a barrier to entry. As in any business, there is an "entry fee". The saying; "It takes money to make money" is true in placer mining.

Money:

Money doesn't grow on trees... So, where does money grow?

To my surprise a few years ago, while looking for a money farm, I found out that there are businesses that invest "venture capital" in mining companies! In the last year, I have read that there are companies that have grown so much cash that they can't find enough banks to put it in. The problems are related to the limits of insurability on deposits. These companies; primarilly Canadian, actually get a tax break on money that is invested in mining. The money must be invested in a Canadian Mining company. That's WHY so many mining companies are listed on the TSX and located in Vancouver, BC. The companies are "public", not "private". My mine is "private"!

How to grow your own money:

Having been in the exploration business for "a long time", I had acquired some of the best "privately owned" mining properties in Arizona. I listed a property on www.goldandsilvermines.com . The phone began to ring. Eventually, a real live buyer came along and "Bingo",a check arrived on my doorstep (literally). The property that I sold is the largest, privately owned underground mine in Arizona.

Seed money:

Rule #1: When mining property generates revenue, the money must be used as seed money to grow more money. If the money is taken as "income", it becomes taxable and therefore shared. Therefore, the revenue earned, must immediately become revenue expended.

Acquisition:

People always ask me; "How do you know where to find Gold?"

My reply: "At a Gold mine!"

Realizing the plight of federal lands in the CONUS, I began my search for Gold Mines in Alaska.

There's no place like NOME! Nome still holds all of the production records. It was once considered as being the largest gold producing region in the world!

The problem with Nome is access. Problems with access affect time on the ground and cost of everything that you touch. The other problem is weather. The season is short. If mother nature does not behave, the mining season can be shortened and/or become non-existent.

I began search for ground to plant seed money in the interior. Being an Alaskan, having lived in Alaska, I knew about conditions in the interior. I staked a placer gold mining property near Ophir and the next year, Ophir was abandoned. I did the same at Ophir. I sold a very nice Silver mine in Arizona. The next year additional seed money was spent on acquisition of 23 more claims, increasing the total to 32 claims.

Money doesn't grow on trees... Knowing how to make money grow is part of the key to getting through the financial barrier to entry.

I don't have money. When I put a dollar in my wallet, and take it out the next day, It buys less than it did the day before. Plant money and watch it grow!

Last year, I sold a 50 percent interest in mining assets in Alaska. I organized Alaska Gold Exploration, LLC and staked over 20,000 acres of exploration targets. Visit www.alaska-gold.com .

- Geowizard



hoppingforpay
23:19:02 Sat
Oct 27 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I have dredged with an 8" years ago where a bucket dredge had been because it panned good along the shore.These tailings were brought back down by the river so there was some concentrating action to help out the grade.It ended up not quite good enough at 1/2 oz per day.At the time I was only getting around $240 for an oz. so I left after a week.Seasons on rivers very drastically on permissable days of work just as in Nome.To stay out of debt for most guys that want to try the gold thing a winter job is needed.Ski resort? teacher? bus driver?

Otherwise whomever is dependant upon you will most likely become upset at your endeaver.

Ote,
I went to the Koyukuk for 6 dwt. towing boat and dredge.400 miles aint nothing in Ak.

hoppingforpay
23:46:27 Sat
Oct 27 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Heading down Koyokuk.In fact the second time.Went with a pan first trip. There are probably some skim bars down by Bettles or Hughes or who knows where else.



baub
23:53:34 Sat
Oct 27 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Good thread.

geowizard
00:20:40 Sun
Oct 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Logistics:

Logistics can be painful. If it isn't the first request, it's the second request made by every wannabe placer miner. I wann-a-be-able to drive my RV and pull my dredge on a trailer behind it to a paved dredge launch.

We all have our creature comforts!

Me, I like the "dry" heat of the Southwest. Over the last Billion years, continental drift has moved Alaska 3000 miles north of the Sonoran Desert.:confused:

In 2011, I made five round trips to the land of the Great Nanook. In 2012, I made three trips! BTW, it's 3000 miles from Beijing China too. I could live in Beijing and have the same commute! In order to remain pacified, I always fly first class. So, at least once a year, if not more, I pamper myself. It isn't all about self-indulgence. There's no charge for baggage. They buy the food and refreshments! It's almost as cost effective considering the savings. In less than 24 hours including over-night in Anchorage, I'm boots on the ground at the mine.

- Geowizard

overtheedge
07:05:11 Sun
Oct 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Quote: geowizard

Logistics can be painful.


So you wanna placer mine?
You accomplish nothing without logistics. It doesn't matter how good you think the ground is or your eagerness. Logistics gets you and your support to the site and back.

It takes money to start, money to play and money just to get what little you've recovered to the refiner.

But what if money is tight?
What do you do?
Should you give up?

Each has to figure it out for yourself. It is possible to make a subsistence living placer mining. Some make middle class. Getting rich is just a fantasy. On occasion, fantasies come true. 9 out of 10 times, it is to someone who paid for the knowledge the hard way for many years. The other 1 out of 10? Some folks have fallen in the septic tank and gone on to date the prom queen.
eric


geowizard
15:07:16 Sun
Oct 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Good question; "Should you give up?":confused:

Famous quotes:

"Winners don't quit and quitters don't win!"

"When is it over?, over..." It's "over" when I say; "It's over!"

Read about the Comstock Lode! The previous mining company "QUIT" 3 feet from the Mother Lode!

What separates winners from losers in placer mining?:confused:

The losers "QUIT".

By definition, "quitters" are "losers"!

What is an "entrepreneur"? Entrepeneurs are "business people". In business, "You have to be willing to accept losses as well as gains"!

- Geowizard

geowizard
15:36:31 Sun
Oct 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
But Geowizard, "What if Money is tight!"

:welcome:

Yes, "Money is tight!" One of the things that we have plenty of is "PROBLEMS". Ever see anybody with a "problem"? How many people do YOU know that have "problems"?

Problems represent "OPPORTUNITY.

New Book: "How to make Money in Mining", By Geowizard


Chapter 1:

Mining the Miners: :smile:

Search all of the gold forums for "problems".

Did early miners have any problems?

Si! Who provided solutions?

I personally know of companies that consult on the subject of mining logistics. There are companies that provide support services for mining companies.

There are companies that teach MSHA classes and provide consulting services on mine safety!

The mining support "services" sector is a multi-billion dollar industry!

"Services" require little or NO investment! Mining corporations (with proper negotiation) PAY for the cost of setting up service providers IF there is a cost for initial setup.

Opportunities are everywhere. The bigger the problem, the more "costly" the solution.

- Geowizard



overtheedge
18:05:45 Sun
Oct 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Problems. We all have problems.

When I was a Combat Engineer 12B3, we had a saying, "There is no problem that can't be solved by the suitable use of high explosives." The underlying principle is that a solution exists.

I learned this problem solving format at the NCO Academy.

1. Identify the problem
Make sure you have correctly identified the problem. Symptoms are not the problem. Sometimes the most apparent problem isn't the fundamental problem.

2. Identify all the possible solutions.
All the solutions no matter how silly or impractical.

3. Select the best solution.
Okay, here is where you weed out those silly and impractical solutions. What you are looking for is efficiency and timeliness. Efficiency usually is based upon costs. Timeliness has to be a consideration. Some get worse the longer you delay, others pile up.

4. Implement the solution.
If you did the above process, the probability is "no more problem".

5. Follow-up on the solution.
Make sure that you chose the best solution. Don't fall in love with the solution, change if its not working. You still have that list to chose from.

The surest way to fail is by not starting.
2nd easiest, lack of good intel.
3rd failing to deal with logistics.

eric

geowizard
15:36:23 Mon
Oct 29 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
hoppingforpay,

Nice photo!

Yes, I agree. Logistics in Alaska represents a special case. I found early-on living in Alaska, that the road system had it's limits. I once drove to the end of the road (Wasilla). Wasilla was at the end of a dirt road and was only a few scattered log homes in the woods! :smile:

Flying wasn't a matter of choice. It was a matter of necessity! Being ground-bound in Alaska can be clostraphobic. Everywhere you go, you're outnumbered and surrounded by trees. Flying is expensive. It's getting more expensive for everyone including pilots.

Boating and using the water-ways seems like a practical alternative. Logistics being limited by the modes of transportation and water transport being an option, boating solves some of the problems of logistics.

- Geowizard

hoppingforpay
03:12:39 Tue
Oct 30 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I am still not quite convinced that there are 120 million dollars in them tailings according to your sampling explanation. It's a major deal to prove 10 million yds. I read the grade changes and there were many operators with no doubt different losses. I read there is one claim in 1933 reported 7 to 8 bucks a square ft. Thats insanely rich. Do you know where that is?

I think in order to attract what your looking for is to prove out 5 to 10,000 ozs. I do not know what the last operator did as far as prospecting is concerned. Dragline tailings would be different than bucket dredge tailings. They may just discard the top gravel. I don't know if the last operator got to bedrock or not.A dragline would be a poor performer on resistant bedrock hitting bedrock could raise the value of the tailings. Because of lack of reach a small excavator may not have the same results.

Historical data is rough...ground changes do to the dudes who mined it.When I am dredging I see just what the old timer is doing or an excavator for that matter. Some are sloppy some aint. Sloppy is good! Like how did this nugget get on top of a peice of timber placed into the bedrock.

If I were to evaluate these tailings the inexpensive way I would take thousands of pans. My gut feeling is that many pans will be empty because the ground is supposedly coarse 5 grns per yd coarse could be 1 to 20 peices.Heck you might take 100 pans all empty 30 ft apart and bam a 5 grn pan.Thats my mental picture right now and I'm standing by it till further info arrives. Overall tailings depress me they represent negative visual and caution alert. Intruder! Intruder!

geowizard
15:00:37 Tue
Oct 30 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
hoppingforpay,

You have obviously done your reading and had alot of experience at the process of sampling and mining.

My position has been neutral. I'm not buying and I'm not selling. The record stands for itself. When I look at a mine that has had past production, I look at two things.

1. Scale:

The scale of placer mining is obvious from the tailings that remain. If a 2000 cubic yard tailing pile remains, it's because someone found gold. The larger the tailing pile, the more gold that was found. Short tailing piles represent an area that was marginal to subeconomic.

2. Continuity:

Was the placer deposit continuous or intermittent? In this case, the placer mining was continuous. The creek bed is a wide area averaging 1000 feet across.

Your reference to the precision of mining is a very good point. In the case at hand, at Ophir, there were limits on the degree of precision that could be applied from a mine engineering standpoint. The perfect scenario would be to dig a hole and place the tailings on virgin ground. Then dig a second hole and place the tailings in the first hole. The dragline has to be positioned on a bench. For mining to be continuous, the dragline has to be continuously repositioned on the bench. In the real world, positioning is never optimal. The dragline has to be able to reach the digging, reach the sluice and reach the tailing pile. On a typical day, 12 men shoveled material through the sluice box. Dragline buckets had holes in the sides for water to escape. Nuggets escaped through the holes.

The only reason mining stopped was because they had to. The reason was because the sluice box was completely full of gold.

The sluice box or boxes were set on the ground. The creek was diverted at a point uphill into a channel. The channel provides water from a higher level, almost 100 feet above creek level. The channel could be opened at points above the sluice so that the entire creek flowed through the sluice box. No pumping was required.

All of the production and all of the sampling that has been done has been consistent. The average tenor of the tailings is .025 opy. I use the value of .01 opy to remain conservative.

Virgin Ground:

The lessee opened a 5 acre cut on a bench. The cut was mined down to bedrock (shale). He cut into the shale about 12-18 inches to recover the gold in the upper bedrock. I refer to the cut as the nugget patch because of the nugget gold that was recovered. I held 100 ounces from one cleanup in my hands after it was weighed - mostly 8 mesh to 20 mesh gold.

The obvious problem with virgin ground is the strip ratio. A second issue is permafrost.

The Good News:

The cut was made because it was the site of extensive past hydrauliking and drift mining. It possibly represents the richest placer deposit on the mine. The last week of operation this year, I had a group of Chinese - representatives of a Chinese Exploration Company visit the mine. They were interested in finding the lode. One day while they were out walking the tundra, I decided to look over the fresh cut, broken shale bedrock in the nugget patch. I could see visible metal in the shale. I pocketed a few samples for later evaluation. The next morning, the group was discouraged having not found any "exposures".:confused:

I took one of the samples of solid shale,went to the kitchen picked up a new cast iron skillet and went outside. I took a sledge hammer to use for a pestle and milled the shale down to 200 to 300 mesh. Put the pulverized sample in a pan and by now the group was leaning over my shoulder. I panned the sample and in a few minutes - Gold!

- Geowizard

hoppingforpay
01:19:48 Fri
Nov 2 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Geo, All your ground sounds pretty promissing.Funny it comes out to about a 10 cent pan averaged out.The new pan same as the old pan just a little less yellow.I am staying a dredger and have my own ground to finish so it's someone elses show.And no not Tony and Squeeky they still need to fail more!

hoppingforpay
01:53:55 Fri
Nov 2 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
When I arrived at the middle fork Yuba in 1985 I was 23 and had been to the Yukon by myself and the Clearwater River with 2 of my highschool friends and our new 5" triple sluice. Within a few days of road camping I met the residents of the area. There was Vaughn and Debbie Groleau, Carl and Debbie Sherman and Kanaka Bill. Later there was Cliff Leach,Mark Fussel,Murphy,Crazy Joe,Emil,George,my dad and eventually Pennyweight Perkins. All of them were either bedrock scratchers or dredgers. Most of them had beards, were dirty and had very little money but would show anyone their small vials of gold. Vaughn and Debbie were staying in a bus with a van welded to the top of the bus for sleeping.
Fussel would talk about his father who had been dredging on the Delhi before all of us showed up. He pointed out a spot just above the Delhi where he said his dad had pulled 1000 ounces. I personnally didnt believe him at the time but later on Vaughn,Fussel and others found quite a bit of coarse gold there for at least 4 yrs.
I decided to take my dredge upstream where I found another resident laying on a gravel bar dead 1/4 mile upstream. I ran out and told Carl whom I had known for 2 or 3 days that there was a dead man upstream.Carl said maybe its old man Schmidty then reached into the bushes and retrieved a pistol. I was nervous about the gun so I kept well ahead of Carl when leading him to the body. It was Schmidty bloated and practically see through. Vaughn ,myself and 2 policeman carried out the body on a very steep narrow trail. Schmidty had been staying 2 miles upstream in a shack on a claim that Cliff, Kanaka Bill and I were to later dredge. He had apparently fell off the trail into the river somewhere. I never found out.
In time, all of us except for a few were able to work a deal to work the locally infamous Delhi.I walked to work past Vaughns bus almost every day with 5 gallons on my back to my dredge 1 to 2 miles down river. Many times I would stop by at Vaughn and Debbies for a couple beers after work. One time I left to go to my camp 4 switchbacks up the gravel road. When I arrived at Murphys cabover camper he had loaned me there was something making a trumpeting sound over and over like an elephant while running up a hill that I could not climb on all fours. My dog Bert was barking like crazy and I was thinking Bigfoot! I went back down to the bridge and told everyone I think I just heard Bigfoot up at my camp! I imitated the noise and told of hearing its feet in the oak leaves as it ran uphill. To this day I don't know what it was, I have never heard that elephant trumpetting noise again.
The next weird thing that happened that stands out above the many other weird events that accompany this neck of the woods was a trip home from a night at Doc Willy's. Kanaka Bill ,Vaughn,Debbie and myself in my 66 Chevy pickup see a truck parked dead center on the highway that leads to Graniteville. We stop and all get out and inspect it. There are no tires on both front wheels and the rims appear to be melted up to the hubs. The rims were the shape of a D. Flat side on the pavement.We inspected the road behind it to see if it was dragged but there were no scratches in the asphalt. It was Kanaka Bill who said let's get the F out of here. We did.
I played left field for the Twin Sisters Muckers we lost every softball game we entered. Dick at 2nd base with a beer on the ground and a cigarrette in his ungloved hand was not the reason nor Patty his wife and quite offensive cheerleader. Swede who created the Muckers softball team had reopened the Twin Sisters mine, quite an accomlishment for a family outfit to get an underground mine going again.There were constant problems with the mine itself, legal issues and weird neighbors. Randolf Hearst had owned this mine at one time.
Of all these characters who got into mining I think I am the only one still going. Vaughn and Debbie died in separate vehicle accidents. Carl died a year or so after a rattlesnake bit him. Debbie is still in a trailer close to the Delhi. Kanaka Bill lost some fingers setting chokers then became a jeweler. Mark Fussel died in the 16 to 1 mine.Cliff Leach who helped finance mining projects including the 2 helicopter projects I described died on the Fortymile when his 4 wheeler tipped over. Dick froze to death trying to make it home when his sno-go quit.Murphy who told tales of a perpetual motion machine he made and took to the White House and of his days as a take on all comers boxer and geothermal contractor died of old age. Emil one of the Czechs along with George are whereabouts unknown but the son of Emil might be in Nome looking to winter dredge.My dad hangs around Whitebird helping old guys find gold on the Salmon without much luck. Pennyweight Perkins and Crazy Joe...are thinking and talking gold and ready to fight if you call em Pennyweight Perkins or Crazy Joe. Neither one has a pennyweight.
South Forkers Doug ,Fran and Ross H. dredged till the closing by the Terminator and deserve honorable mention as part of my family in the beginning.



hoppingforpay
02:19:40 Fri
Nov 2 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Winter dredging Delhi 1988 had a 2 oz day near this spot.Fussel's dad had a huge and I mean Huge Hopto Excavator in besides the dragline of earlier years.Bars are on punchplate do to finding nugs in riffles after punchplate. One bar is worn off.Mitts are 3/8 inch thick.Welcome matt damper.First semi-self built dredge.



hoppingforpay
04:18:02 Fri
Nov 2 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I was a little off about Vaughn.He was a good dredger.Nice guy.




Print


Vaughn M. Groleau


Braintree—Vaughn M. Groleau, 55, died unexpectedly, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010 at his home.

He was born March 10, 1955 in Randolph; the son of Lawrence and Altha (Duclos) Groleau. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, and came to Braintree from California in 1997. He enjoyed gold mining while in California, making stained glass, his dog “Johnny,” his family, and playing guitar and harmonica at family get-togethers.

Survivors include his father, Lawrence Groleau of Columbia, S.C.; daughter, Janet Bacher of Florida; brothers, Ron Groleau of Webster, Mass., Alan Groleau of Hopkins, S.C., and Daryl Groleau of Dayville, Conn.; sister, Diane Lake of Braintree, and grandchildren.



Ote, You would of liked Cliff Leach career military guy. I remember him most in his white saggy choners winching rocks on the Middle Fork! Looked like Baby Huey!

geowizard
20:58:29 Fri
Nov 2 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
hoppingforpay,

You are a true windtalker. Hopefully, someday, others will mention that we once lived here.

- Geowizard

geowizard
00:58:50 Sat
Nov 3 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
One of the constants of placer mining is time. Time is not a variable!

I added three clocks to my cabin. One in my bedroom, one in the crew bedroom, and one in the dining area. The clocks are reminders that with each tick we come one tick closer to the end of the season.

I hear people exclaim that they are happy to get out in the bush where they don't have to worry about what time it is. :confused:

The clock is ticking.

In winter months, where I live in Arizona, time seems to stand still. Nothing moves... Except the sun.

My front door and two windows face to the east. The door window has a design on it. As the sun rises each day, the design appears on the opposite wall of the room near the big screen flat panel TV. Each day, as the sun rises farther to the south, the image appears at progressively different points on the wall. Early inhabitants of Mexico and the desert southwest noticed the sun changed with the seasons and would mark the position of a point of light on the wall or a table as each day went by and year after year, the seasons came and they went. Seasons coming and going are predictable. The time passes and ultimately, our time will pass.

Placer mining has a time element.:confused:

Time management:

Either you manage time or you don't.

If you manage production, you manage time.

If you manage fuel, you manage time.

If you placer mine, you manage time.

We can save time! We can to a certain degree borrow time. We have no choice in spending time.

Time can be used to add value. If we educate others that are in a position to improve our productivity or their own productivity, there is a return on the time we expended.

Spending time thinking of an efficient way to perform a task that saves time can actually work to put time in a savings account. If time is saved and that saved time is used in a manner that saves additional time, it's possible to get things done ahead of time!

- Geowizard


hoppingforpay
01:12:42 Sun
Nov 4 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I am curious if any of the people I mentioned will find out they are now immortalized on the internet. I would be surprized if they do, internet has not made it to them yet.I cruise by some years and see Doug and Fran to get the news if any. The rivers are empty now the trails no longer exist. Kanaka's cabin on a patented claim was given to the Sierra Club. Dredge parts sit under layers of oak leaves.All some of them have are TV shows to rant about.And that one hole they can't get at anymore.

I imagine guys show up on a summer weekend to take a pan or scratch a bedrock crack that was scratched out long ago.They have no idea what went on before them.Long gone.

hoppingforpay
01:18:25 Sun
Nov 4 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Virgin gravel hanging on a face. A scratcher has got to it. The good stuff is gone. Might be a nug in there but you are going to earn it. Delhi



hoppingforpay
01:28:11 Sun
Nov 4 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
The 16 to 1

Marks story is in it.

http://www.origsix.com/

geowizard
17:14:59 Tue
Nov 6 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
hoppingforpay,

Thanks again for that!

So, we have covered the dimension of human mortality as with respect to placer mining. We have a finite amount of time to do this!

The dimension of "time" was given earlier reference because when we ARE placer mining, the recovered gold is directly related to the grade of gold per cubic yard and the productivity is directly related to cubic yards per hour or per day.

What are the tools that are readily available that make it possible to make a living placer mining on avalable low grade placers? :confused:

- Geowizard

baub
19:03:23 Tue
Nov 6 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
There's a couple of techno goodies that pique my interest. The Gold Cube and Gold Exorcist are something to check on further.
There's other tech advances that may end up helping the bottom line. Better sluice media, additional choices of plastic sluices. The p/s sluice that I really like and which can be tailored to almost any size processing. The availability of small scale bowls like the Icon, and, I think someone said the Neff Bowl is back too.
The affordability of small crushers enable one to retire the ol' mortering pistol. Applause, applause !!
All these goodies, and many more, increase thruput AND efficiency. Dat be a win/win situation.

b

hoppingforpay
23:27:36 Sat
Nov 10 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I have Been stuck away from wifi do to snow and laziness. I don't worry about time, beings there is a lot of sun light in an Alaska summer.And I do not worry to much about gold loss either.If I find unacceptable losses in my tailings I will make a cheap fix in a handmade fashion.

I like to keep as small a camp as possible if I don't absolutely need it I delete it.Perhaps if I find a large deposit that will take a few years to finish I might go from 1" foam pad to 3" foam pad for sleeping.
I am pretty well used to it.

A dredger that mines low grade is called recreational. Sure if it is a large deposit that is salable I might claim it but it isn't really my game plan. I am into location,location,location.

In Alaska there are only a few roads and it is most likely that road gold is pretty much done with unless one finds a sleeper creek that was overlooked.

Instead of turning .01 to .012 through tech I just move from .01 to .05 by hopping. When I find it I chase it backwards,forwards and sideways. Of course you don't want to make the grand mistake of declaring .05 as .01 and leaving it for someone else.

Only the experience of actually seeing where gold lays being it fine or coarse, in a creek or river, fast or slow water,inside or outside bend,loose or hardpack gravel,virgin or previously worked ground will help out in making fewer unproductive moves. For most whom attempt to make a little dough placer mining a long period of spending awaits you. The ones who luck out and hit good gold on the get-go will inevitably dump some dough on the wrong horse and learn their lessons in the future.

geowizard
15:28:46 Mon
Nov 12 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortar_and_pestle :smile:

- Geowizard

geowizard
16:21:24 Mon
Nov 12 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Random chance:

Is placer mining done by random chance? :confused:

If it is, you may be better off to take your money to the nearest Casino.

Yes, experienced placer miners "know" where to find placer gold. Right? One of the rules: "Gold is always on the inside bend of the creek or river." What about meandering rivers? What about rivers that have no gold? There are more cases that don't apply or don't follow the rules!

Confused?

The laws of physics:

Example:

If I step in front of a speeding locomotive, the following laws of physics apply; 1. An object at rest will tend to remain at rest. 2. An object in motion will tend to remain in motion.

Do you believe in the laws of physics?

Metal has certain physical properties that make it special. One physical property is hardness. Ever take your fist and try to form steel plate? Why not?

Most metals are electrically conductive. Ever stick a fork into a toaster? Why not?

Is silica glass electrically conductive? Is rubber conductive? Is plastic conductive?

Is gold and magnetite, ilmenite, hematite, silver, platinum, titanium conductive?

Most of us know that many metals are conductive. Conductive metals have low resistance so they conduct electric current. Can we use certain physical properties of metal to detect metals in the earth?

Eliminating random chance:

Do you know anyone that owns a metal detector?

Why is a metal detector an efficient tool to use to detect metal... including gold?

A metal detector increases the probability of finding a gold nugget. Especially if the area is already known to contain gold nuggets.

Ophir Creek contains gold nuggets.




This is an image of the resistivity of Section 23 (K027S012E). More exactly, it is the surface resistivity given from a geophysical survey system that was flown over the area in late 2010.

Ophir Creek flows from the bottom of the image to the top and flows directly through the middle of the image. The darker colored area is lower resistivity - more conductive.

Where is the greater probability of finding gold?

- Geowizard

Image credit: Alaska DNR DGGS GPR-2011-2 Sheet 009a

hoppingforpay
00:32:08 Tue
Nov 13 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
The best place to look is where someone else found it.

7 bucks per foot equals 3 ounces to a bedrock linear yd.

They probably did not lose 50% but there may still be some gold on bedrock. Find that claim! Good luck!

Location: Ophir Creek has been mined for about 2 1/2 miles above its mouth, near the town of Ophir on the Innoko River. Mining also took place near its head. The coordinates are for the approximate midpoint of mine tailings marked on the U.S. Geological Survey Ophir A-2 topographic map (1954, minor revisions 1965). This point is on lower Ophir Creek, in sec. 26, T. 27 S., R. 12 E., Kateel River Meridian. Ophir Creek corresponds to localities 13 and 14 of Cobb (1972 [MF 367]). The location is accurate.
Geology: Bedrock in the vicinity of Ophir Creek consists of shale and siltstone (Chapman and others, 1985). The creek also drains small monzonite intrusive bodies, and igneous rock pebbles and cobbles are reported in the stream gravels (Mertie, 1936). Some vein quartz is also reported in the gravels (Mertie, 1936). Most of the gold on Ophir Creek is in crevices in the top 2 to 5 feet of bedrock (Maddren, 1910). The gold is coarse with many nuggets. It also occurs in bench and stream gravels (Maddren, 1910; Maddren, 1911). In 1933, one claim on Ophir Creek averaged $7 to 8 per square foot of bedrock. Nuggets as large as 14 ounces have been recovered (Mertie, 1936). The gold averages 898 fine (Smith, 1941). Heavy minerals in pan concentrates include magnetite, ilmenite, edenite, zircon, rutile, orthoferrosilite, and pyrite (Bundtzen and others, 1987). The likely source of the gold is nearby rhyolite dikes and monzonite plutons (Bundtzen and others, 1987). Gold was discovered on Ophir Creek in 1908, and mining occurred nearly continuously until 1940 (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-576]). In 1950, at least one person was mining along Ophir Creek (Williams, 1950). Mining is also reported during 1959, but the operator at that time planned to move to the Ruby district in 1960 (Saunders, 1960). More recent exploration or mining is probable but not documented. The estimated production from Ophir Creek from 1908 to1961 is 66,489 ounces of gold and 7,004 ounces of silver. Production figures for more recent mining from 1978 to 1985 are unknown (Bundtzen and others, 1987).
Workings: Gold was discovered on Ophir Creek in 1908, and mining occurred nearly continuously until 1940 (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-576]). By 1914, the creek was one of the chief gold-producing streams in the area, and 8 mines were operating (Eakin, 1914; Brooks, 1915). Drifting, draglines, and hydraulicking were all used to recover the gold. In 1950, at least one person was mining along Ophir Creek (Williams, 1950). Mining is also reported during 1959, but the operator at that time planned to move to the Ruby district in 1960 (Saunders, 1960). More recent exploration or mining is probable but not documented.
Age: Quaternary. The likely source of placer gold at Ophir Creek is nearby Cretaceous or Tertiary rhyolite dikes and monzonite plutons (Bundtzen and others, 1987).
Production: The estimated production from Ophir Creek from 1908 to1961 is 66,489 ounces of gold and 7,004 ounces of silver. Production figures for more recent mining from 1978 to 1985 are unknown (Bundtzen and others, 1987).


geowizard
15:36:24 Tue
Nov 13 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

"The best place to look is where someone else found it."

Someone found a twenty dollar bill out in the street. So, I go look for twenty dollar bills in the street. A geologist looked at a gold mine a hundred years ago and wrote a paper about it. Another geologist 50 years later read the paper, went and looked and wrote another paper. A few miners mined there and got rich. hundreds of other miners mined there and went broke.

What separates these people? :confused:

Today, another person named Geowizard comes along. He brings in geologists that look at the same rocks, read the same papers and come up with the same conclusions.

If we expect to solve the mystery of "Where" the gold is - we have to do something different.

- Geowizard

klondike_jake
04:23:23 Wed
Nov 14 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
ive never tried it but can you blast away the overburden with the 3in pressure hose on the 6in.

geowizard
16:19:13 Wed
Nov 14 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
kj,

Yes! That's a good idea.

Last year - before I could get the Bobcat loaders to the mine, I took the pump from the 3" Proline Highbanker and using about 300 feet of 2 1/2" hose pumped water uphill to an area that had been previously mined and produced good samples. The operation resembled a small scale hydraulicking operation. Water was pumped from a beaver pond to wash material through a sluice box. The sluice box was from the new Keene Mini Six suction dredge. The sluice box had been removed from the dredge and placed on the ground at a point that provided the required slope. It worked good for this application because it has a top screen that covers the sluice so that oversize blows across the top. The oversize is shoveled when necessary to keep the screen clear.

A helper thought it would be a good idea to use the pressure hose to flush off the oversize! I promptly explaned that we didn't want to flush the sluice box! This method requires care in feeding the sluice.

The process is inherently intermittent in terms of feeding the sluice.

- Geowizard

hoppingforpay
20:26:42 Wed
Nov 14 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Geo,

It was you who said draglines lose 50%. It was you who determined your ground was .01 to .025 and then later said it was closer to averaging .025 and that you were just low balling with the .01 to be safe. Now you are saying through abstract analogy (20 dollar bill theory) that the miners are taking 100% of the gold. :confused:

That magnetometer stuff is still going to put you in worked ground where you now allude that all the 20 dollar bills are gone.

I have 30 years and perhaps 10,000 hours looking at gravel, staying in the black for 25 years. Those types of maps are more useful on unknown drainages as a precursor to sampling.They might be useful at choosing a bench. But I still believe history is more useful. It's the reason you chose this creek right? Some of the operators are still alive,no?

Usually when ground is rich the pay is wider.Usually when ground is rich there is a greater chance of more gold left because miners get greedy and leave lower grades they would mine otherwise. But hey do what you want it's your show.

hoppingforpay
22:05:58 Wed
Nov 14 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
When I was a kid in California our family would go to the beach on warm weekends. There was a snack shop very close to a pier. Right at the beginning of the pier underneath it was a rich deposit. Quarters by the dozen. All you had to do was run your fingers through the sand and you didn't have to ask mommy for money to buy a popcicle.

It was rich because this is where many persons reached into their pockets to see how there snack funds looked. And oops...

In most cases in placer mining you are competing with the past. The past gives up clues if you pay attention and learn to read them. Things happen. An old timer maybe tearing up bedrock to the extent of several feet then all of a sudden he is gone.Who knows why? Could of been his mom is sick in Pennsyvania.Could be he is off to Nome on a bicycle.Could be Soapy Smith has the deed to his claim somehow and showed up brandishing a gun.Lots and lots of scenarios, not just one that covers the overall history of worked gold deposits.

Scrub
16:01:36 Thu
Nov 15 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I've been reading these threads (up to 4 pages now) and asked a few questions, earlier. Got some good answers too. Here are a couple of questions related to "where to find gold" that I have. First let me "line out" the background ...

In the 70's I worked as a wildland firefighter in the Interior (Fortymile country). I spend two summers in Eagle and got to know several people there. I got interested in their stories. One had mined on his own and with a partner in the 30's on the Seventymile River & it's tributaries. Recently I did a literature research on the area, reading old USGS reports and ran into an interview in which a miner and a pilot buddy of mine were thanked (USGS Bulletin 1315, 1971). The miner was Barney Hansen. The pilot was Ronald Warbellow. Barney died long ago. Ron still lives in the interior & operates a flight service in Fairbanks. Barney told me of some of his exploits and now that I'm retired, decided to try investigating the area.

Last summer, now that I'm retired and have time, me and a friend spent about a week on the Fortymile River, learning a little about operating dredges & highbankers from a miner in Chicken. We didn't expect to get rich and we met out expectations! (ie, we're still not rich.) However, we've another story to tell of the north country.

O.K. Now for our future plans leading to a question. We plan to buy equipment and operate on a shallow creek that produced good gold back in the early 1900's. I'm dealing with Doyon on the permit, and the Doyon representative said that besides Doyon's permit for subsurface minerals, I'll also need a surface permit from a village tribe. The Doyon guy said the area has had problems with trespass, so I may have trouble with the permit (I presume he means exercising my rights if/when I get the permit's.) My questions:
1) What "rights" do I have, if I may expect trespass?
2) And what equipment will work best on this creek?

I'll ask the Doyon rep to address the first question.

To address the second question, you'll need to know a little about the geology/geography of the creek I plan to work. I did some TRULY recreational panning/sluicing on this creek in the 70's in my spare time. I still have the little bit of gold I found back then and compared it was the very little bit of gold I brought back last summer. The 70's gold is larger and was easier to get. Weighing the two samples (the 70's sample v.s. last summer's sample, & comparing my labor & recovery rates) leads me to believe I MAY recover as much as an ounce/day using a highbanker on a "second bench", if it hasn't been discovered and heavily worked since I was there. The bench was composed of small, serpentine-colored shale, mixed with a bit of clay and gold. This second bench is less than 50' from the creek and approximately 3 feet high. The creek is ankle to knee deep and about 20 to 30' wide.

I don't know if this is enough info to answer my second question (above) regarding equipment, but I'm wondering how deep the stream is to bedrock and whether it was ever commerically "dredged" back in the early 1900's. I've found no records that it was, and those who might know are likely dead. It doesn't APPEAR to have been dredged, but it's hard to tell for sure.

My specific question about what equipment to use is whether I'll be satisfied with a highbanker on the second bench above the creek, or whether I'd be better off with a dredge in the creek, itself. Because of it's shallow nature, I'm not sure a dredge would be able to float. I know I could build a small pond, but that'd take at least a day or two by hand, as I have no "cat" or front-end loader and can't legally use it by the terms of the permit anyway. How much water would a smaller (2 to 4") dredge displace? One or two feet? I can get it there fairly easily, but may have to level it on rocks instead of floating it. Then, because of it's small size (and related inefficiency of small dredges) and not even knowing how far it is to bedrock, I may be better off not even going to the expense of a dredge and sticking to the less expensive and possibly less productive highbanker on the second bench. Any thoughts on this?

I know you'll have to guess whether the highbanker or the dredge would be better, but even an educated guess may be better than my guess. If nobody out there has an opinion on what equipment (highbanker or dredge) will work best, how about ideas for a literature search on whether the creek has ever been commercially dredged by the HUGE dredges that plied the area back in the early to mid-1900's. (I don't mean I want to commerically dredge it, but I'd like to determine if the creek was commercially dredged back then.) I've done what I can through computer searches. What about library searches? Is there a fairly extensive section on mining history at the UofA in Fairbanks? Is there another library or an agency I should consult? :confused:

Thanks for any input you guys can provide!
/s/Scrub

overtheedge
19:41:59 Thu
Nov 15 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Without knowing what creek, pretty hard to answer on dredging history. However there is a sort of work-around. A natural deposit has the material laid down shingle fashion with the upstream side of the rock lower than the downstream side. Dredged material tends to be just piled in the stream-bed like it was dumped out of a truck.

The long interval since possible dredging may have this jumbled mess buried under a layer of material that has shingled over the decades.

The width of the valley can give an indication of potential to have been dredged by a bucket-line. Bucket-line dredges are fairly larger and need some room as well as depth of material. You need to float the boat and you need lots of material to process. Those old dredges were expensive, so it took lots of gold to pay them off at $15-16/ounce.

Any hills or ridges of gravel in the valley bottoms is a good indicator of past bucket-line dredging activity.

Depth of gravel is determined by digging. You might get some idea from the bedrock along the sides of the valley, might.

Possible sources of info:

http://www.dggs.dnr.state.ak.us/index.php?menu_link=publications&link=publications_search

http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/minerals/mineral_rpts/usbm_reports_unpublished.html

Equipment selection needs to be carefully considered.

You are in your 60's at least. So weight and bulk is an important consideration.

Shale presents its own set of problems especially when dredging. Some sort of restrictor is almost mandatory to prevent hose plugs. Some just use their fingers. Ankle to knee deep almost forces a suction jet rather than a log.

That you might get as much as an ounce a day working the bench means 5 yard gravel. Very rich indeed. This calls for a high-banker.

Were it me, I would use a 2" combo dredge/high-banker on a stand. No floats. I'd include at least 100-150' of lay-flat hose. I am a bit curious as to why you think a high-banker is less productive than a dredge in the same size class? My 2" dredge can average close to 1/2 yard³ per hour. When I shovel in to the high-banker portion, I can average 1 yard³ per hour for at least 2-3 hours. Usually about 4.5 yards³ per 6.5 hour day. Hey, I'm old too and retire in a few months.
-----------------------------
Before you spend any money on this, better make sure you have all the permits in hand: Doyon, village, state (dredging/high-banking), etc. Have you got a way to transport your equipment and all the support stuff to the site?
--------------------------------
I won't gamble much money on the tattered remnants of a 40 year old memory. There is no substitute for boots on the ground. Any literature is 50-70-100 years out of date. It is interesting from the historical context, but it IS HISTORY. Generalissimo Fransisco Franco is still dead.(from SNL)

But, how much would you pay for a grand adventure lasting a month or two? Especially if it is on your bucket list? Maybe combine it with a visit to a pay-to-mine operation.

Hope this helps.
eric

Scrub
10:46:29 Fri
Nov 16 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Thanks Eric for your quick response. I'll try to answer some of your comments and questions.

My productivity comment came from my lack of knowledge of depth-to-bedrock. Since I don't know that, I can't make too many presumptions. And I was relating my knowledge of a known load up on the bank to my lack of knowledge about depth-to-bedrock in the stream-bed and whether the creek has been dredged in the early-to-mid 1900's. If not, and if I'm close to bedrock, a little 2"- to 4"-dredge might be more productive if I don't constantly have to fuss with leveling it due to the issue of it not floating. (I'm not sure how stable a stand would be, but it might be worth a try.)

Time was my constraint (isn't it always?) when I was in the area last summer. If we'd had more time, I'd have poked around to see if I could relocate the spot I remember from the 70's. It's not far upstream where I can see what I think is bedrock projecting from the stream-bed, so fairly sure (but can't be certain) it's not more than two or three feet below the creek bottom where I remember being.

Regarding costs, I've got an agreement from a Keene vendor that I trust to buy my two highbankers & pump, hose & gated-Y back when I leave next season for half-price. I may lease a dredge from him if bedrock's not too deep and the deposit is large enough to warrant the investment, but that's uncertain as he won't know whether he needs his own equipment in Chicken until next summer. However, he's got a 6" dredge and the permit only allows up to a 5"-er.

The permits will be in order as much as possible before I leave. I think I mentioned Doyon stated that they've had some problems with trespass in the area. I believe they're telling me that they cannot or will not protect a permit and/or that it's not an exclusive-use permit. I intend to call them soon to determine that. It's been over two months since I mailed a letter to the village President, with no response. Doyon says they can grant the below-surface mineral rights, but that I must deal with the village for surface rights. I don't know whether they're referring to camping, or to shoveling from the bank. I used to know men from the village when I was a firefighter there, but doubt I can recall their names anymore. There will be that uncertainty, unless I can elicit a response from my letter/s to them or unless Doyon can help me further. (I don't think I'll have any problem with the state permit, as I acquired one last year in about a month for the same area from the Fish & Wildlife folks.)

The "second bench" I referred to, may be tailing from an old dredging operation, but I don't think so, due to its semi-rich nature. I don't think I'd have found the concentration of gold I sluiced in the 70's if it was processed tailings.

I'll be 62 next summer and just passed the required interagency arduous-level pack-test, so can continue to fight fire next summer. (I was on a fire in Idaho last summer for a couple weeks.) I'm no spring chicken and know my limits, but can still work hard for several hours at a time, as long as I pace myself. My attitude is that I'm thankful for the experience regardless of whether the return fully covers the expense. But there's some probability that it will, it which case I'd be doubly happy.

Hopefully these responses and my observations help you address my question further. Thanks again for your previous response and estimates. If I can process as much material as you suggest, I believe it would warrant my expenses in time and money.

Take care & best wishes,
Scrub

hoppingforpay
00:52:41 Sat
Nov 17 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Scrub,

I think I know the creek you are describing. There has not been any bucket dredges on this creek but there has been suction dredges (mostly recreational). The depth to bedrock is 1 ft to 15 ft. almost all the gold being on bedrock. More often than not holes come up empty do to a thorough job by previous miners.This doesn't mean the gold is all gone but that many holes may be required to find a hole that has some gold. A little dredge is not going to get you to bedrock in most places. In the serpentine area boulders abound and will prevent a dredger from getting to bedrock unless the hole is thoroughly thought out.In fact in many places it cannot be done without a winch.

The benches I think you have described have been dug into since the 70s but they don't look cleaned out. I doubt you will run into any ounce per day but if you're a real hard worker the possibility exists somewhere.

Trespassers are not a problem their are native watchers and a constable to take care of it.

I don't know how you will fare with the local native's
on getting their permission to occupy and mine,they don't seem to be into gold themselves but might be averse to... well you know.

Have you thought of Barney Creek? Some guy just got it but I don't think he's doing anything with it. I believe there is an airstrip there. Good luck.

Scrub
12:03:18 Sat
Nov 17 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Thanks hoppingforpay. Yea, I figured someone would figure out which stream, and your statement bucket dredges weren't here, but small recreational dredgers have been, rings true. I don't see the extensive tailings commonly associated with bucket dredges. I saw a rec. dredge in the area last summer, but no one was working there at the time. (The Alaska Mapper currently shows no one has the area claimed, though I'm guessing it may not always be complete; & I some claims may be contested.)

Regarding my estimate of up to an oz/day, this is just based on an extrapolation of the one area I found. It could be just a small pocket, may have been thoroughly worked out since I was there in the 70's, etc, etc. Alternately, however, it may be more extensive and it might not have been thoroughly worked since the 70's. Glad to hear trespassers are not a problem. What's the name of the constable you mention and where's he/she live? If I go there, I may want to talk to the person first for local, current info. I may even know them, but I doubt it. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I know someone who knows them. I'll try that route if you don't know.

I've read about Barney Ck, but never been there. (I wonder if it was named for Barney Hansen.) Flying in to the landing strip with gear is an added expense & complicates logistics in the event of an emergency, so doubt I'll go that route. And I've been told the old trail to the 70-mile from Eagle hasn't been cleared in years, so makes overland travel problematic for a 4-wheeler. You say you don't know if the claim is being worked? Who has/has it and how do I contact that person, in the event I change my mind? Thanks again for the response and info!

Regards,
Scrub

geowizard
18:53:43 Sat
Nov 17 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
ote,

I have a placer mine on Doyon domain, it may be in conflict and I need some free advice since I can't afford to spend any money. You will need to guess where it is because it's a secret location. There may be trespassers because they don't have permission to use the surface. I don't have permission either. The trespassers shouldn't be a problem. Can I expect to do as well mining gold there as I did 40 years ago? :confused:

Any help would be appreciated. :smile:

One other question... How deep is bedrock?

- Geowizard



overtheedge
21:25:58 Sat
Nov 17 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Quote: geowizard

Can I expect to do as well mining gold there as I did 40 years ago? ...

One other question... How deep is bedrock?


Question 1 No, you will do better or worse.

Question 2 Goes all the way down to the mantle.

I'm assuming you meant to be sarcastic in a humorous way.

In most cases, the answer is "boots on the ground." Know what you are dealing with. To know is to have knowledge and knowledge is tested by application. The results are quite predictable. Beliefs and opinions are NOT knowledge so if it doesn't say Chiquita® (sp?) on the outside, you don't know what you are getting.

I suggested a 2" HB/dredge combo w/stand for several reasons:

#1 It has been my observation that most eschew a pan for sampling. From the bazillion postings on the forums, it appears that many, if not most, will do anything to keep from panning even the concentrates from high-banking, dredging or sluicing. I admit that my pan clean-ups still have a little bit of non-magnetic darks in the -100 mesh.

#2 Transportability: quick and easy to move and get operational. Relatively lightweight. 62 years old.

#3 Price: Don't spend gobs without knowing what you are dealing with. It is easier to sell a used 2" combo than a 6-8" dredge on floats. Fairly low operational costs.

#4 Can still process a few yards a day. This covers the phony bulk-sampling thingy. Taking 100 yards from one hole is NOT sampling; it is either pre-production production or testing the recovery device. One hole samples (however many yards) only represents that specific location, not the entire claim.

#5 Easier and quicker permitting process. Like it or not, we have to consider the environmental footprint as interpreted by the ignorant masses.

#6 Shallow water for floating a dredge.
eric

Scrub
13:38:07 Sun
Nov 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Geowizard, Eric presumes your remarks were aimed at him. When I read them, I at first thought they were aimed at me. I realize I cannot expect anyone to be prescient, but I was in good faith disclosing what I do know except the exact location. The dance through the permitting process combined with a 35-year-old memory have led me to ask several questions. Please don't criticize me for asking or Eric for trying to help. I appreciated your earlier help on this website, but don't see how criticizing either Eric or me furthers the objectives of this website.

Eric, Geowizard's (presumedly humorous?) remarks do have some merit in that he correctly points out I am asking questions that have no answers without further disclosure or knowledge. However, as I explained, I'd done all the library research I knew how to do & have run into apparent conflicts & he points them out. He's also right that there's no substitute for "boots on the ground". I would add that's no reason not to research or ask questions. Thanks again for your attempt to help me out.

Sincerely,
/s/Scrub



geowizard
15:42:19 Sun
Nov 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

I'm not going to reply to scrub's inuendo. Frankly, I'm disgusted with (adults) that apparently wish to persue an endeavor that they obviously aren't prepared for and either have not or cannot decide what to do to prepare for it.

The very first consideration when you walk out the front door of your home is WHERE you intend to go.

In this thread there has been little discussion on the subject of DOMAIN.

DOMAIN:

Every square foot of Alaska and the rest of the free world is owned by someone. I see people almost everyday that think for some reason they may enter onto property that they don't own and pick flowers, haul off antiques, cut wood, cut down a Christmas tree, collect rocks, load a truck full of gravel etc. etc.

Plain and simple - it's theft.

Second situation;

A man arrives in McGrath. Gets off the plane with his backpack and walks off into the bush. He sets up camp along the Kuskokwim river with the intent of living there indefinitely. A tribal elder notices the extended stay and asks the "intruder" what his intentions are. The elder asks for and receives payment for an "extended camping permit". Another elder comes by a year later and requests another fee. The "settler" doesn't pay. The situation worsens when the settlers boat disappears and he is stranded on the wrong side of the river. He is on native land without any form of permit. Pretty soon he's airlifted out by the troopers to McGrath. He complains bitterly about his unfair treatment to the local elders. The more he talks about this is America and I have rights, the more PO'd the natives get. The situation escalated to the point of physical confrontation.

When I decided to operate a mine near McGrath, I spent two years learning the culture. I am still involved in an on-going process of learning about the customs and courtesies.

WHO OWNS THE DOMAIN?

Everyone, no matter where you are or where you plan to go, needs to ask that question.

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

No matter who's DOMAIN you are on, there are rules!

YOU DON'T find the RULES on a FORUM!

Alaska is a land of two cultures. You don't have to spend more than 10 minutes in Alaska to realize that fact. Most Anglo-Americans (which includes anglo and other origins for purposes of discussion) are aware of the fact that much of the DOMAIN is divided between PRIVATE, STATE, and FEDERAL ownership.

ALL of these domains have rules and regulations that control everything that happens on them.

NOW, how about NATIVE LANDS?

In Alaska, Native lands are controlled by Native Corporations. The lands are often divided between Surface ownership and subsurface ownership. There are privately held lands within the boundaries that are under private native ownership too. During the process of PATENTING the lands from the FEDERAL DOMAIN, to the NATIVE CORPORATIONS, certain rights of way are reserved for public entry, access and through-fare.

Every Native Corporation is controlled by a select group of native officials. Some are more formal than others. Native Corporations write their own rules and are able to re-write, change, revise the rules at will. Because rule-making is based on native beliefs, customs, and in many cases - native ritual, their system is much different than the anglo system.

- Geowizard

geowizard
16:44:19 Sun
Nov 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
With reference to Native Corporations:

Three years ago, on an Alaska Airlines flight to Nome, weather was bad at Nome and the flight was diverted to Kotzebue. I engaged the gentleman sitting next to me in polite conversation. He introduced himself as the President of the Shishmaref Corporation. The man pointed out that he was mixed Eskimo and Scandinavian and that having served as an officer in the US Marines, the people of his tribe felt he was the most qualified. After discussing many of the social problems associated with growing up in an area like Nome and the surrounding villages, I asked about his position on mining on Shishmaref lands.

Ed. Note: Mining policy is different in every Native corporation.

The view of his corporation is that every mining project has been the source of more problems than solutions. He completely rejected the notion of recreational mining. He expressed a very reverved position on Commercial mining.

Why should a native corporation allow an inexperienced (or experienced) recreational miner to come onto their land with the purpose of digging holes, polluting the water, destroying vegetation, extracting the gold and leaving?

It is difficult for a professional, bonded, commercial mining company with million dollar backing to get a mining lease on Native Corporation lands.

WHY?

First of all, there is conflict. An agreement has to be drawn up that protects the interest of the native corporation at the expense of the mining company. The native corporation has to go through all of "the channels" to obtain the "buy-in" required of those individuals that are in political control. Usually, educational grants are in the fore-front. Thousands of dollars are spent by mining companies on leaflets, newspaper advertisement, mailings, meetings as part of a PR campaign. There is a lot of "social participation" in the process of permit approval. All of that adds to the cost of time and money invested before a shovel hits the dirt.

The right to renege:

Native Corporations have an expectation. Sometimes the expectation is material in the form of cash bonding and educational or road paving projects. There have unfortunately been recent cases where after the expenses have been made that commercial mining agreements were terminated without cause. Whether through ritual, custom, or other system related to the direction of the wind, it happens. Unilateral renegotiation takes many forms that include immediate shutdown, mine closure and eviction.

One last edit:

Here's a reference to the division of Lands in Alaska:

http://nrm.salrm.uaf.edu/~stodd/AlaskaPlanningDirectory/landOwnership.html

- Geowizard



overtheedge
17:43:33 Sun
Nov 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Ah, now I understand where you are coming from. You are right.

In the Copper River Basin, ownership looks like a tossed green salad. This is further complicated by selected lands, native and state. The state recognizes federal claims most of the time, but the native corporations usually don't unless there is money and jobs.

It helps to know folks in the village corporation. But you better figure any permits by the village are one shot only. The regional corporations tend to make longer term contracts if you can get the permit.

Some of Doyon's village corporations are easy to work with, some or almost impossible. Try talking about opening ANWR in Venetie or Arctic Village. There are similar situations here with Ahtna Regional village corporations. Chitina is 20 miles away. The village corporate headquarters is in Anchorage last I heard. Chitina is easier to work with on some things than Cantwell.

I won't even begin with federal land management actions such as the "wild and scenic river" nonsense. Then there is Park/preserve management schemes. Toss in garbage such as Area Plans done by inter-agency public/private partnership ... .

You are right geowizard. Boots on the ground including at village/regional corporate headquarters. When dealing with the complex land ownership issues here in Alaska, some research/permitting can be done by mail/internet but often it takes a personal visit with the land manager.

Good rule of thumb; village owns surface rights, regional holds sub-surface. You need both. Sometimes the villages authorize regional to manage surface, sometimes not.

Oh and politics within the native corporations can change things almost overnight. Unfortunately most of my contacts have died of old age and now I would have to deal with after-born that inherited. Talk about wild swings in management.
eric





hoppingforpay
22:14:32 Sun
Nov 18 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Scrub,

I was present for the last four leases on that property. One was my ex-girlfriend, the only one who found any gold.She also harassed the last leasee so much he just took off. Yes, there is probably some potential conflict due to a resource close to town that could be removed by outsiders and become locked up if something is found. This was my ex-girlfriends thoughts but she is now in Tok and has lost the fever.

I think Doyon leases this ground thinking an outsider is not going to harm the resource and they get a few bucks for leasing. But I really don't know.

It is not an easy creek to find gold especially for a beginner. A 2 inch dredge could take all summer to just reach bedrock on 1 hole. You would also need a full set up for diving as one would for Nome.

If you only got a few pennyweight on the 40 for a summer you probably won't do much better on this creek.The 40 is much easier to get consistent gold on a few claims.

I do not know who claimed Barney Creek but there has been no noise in town about some guy going out there so he must be real sneaky...

You can find out his name on the internet. I ain't doing it for you, it is something you have to learn to play the game.

Tag teams turn!



hoppingforpay
03:11:18 Mon
Nov 19 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Constable is Tim Beaucage he is mostly in charge of town affairs although...

geowizard
15:05:19 Mon
Nov 19 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
SELECTED OR T/A'D?

During the process of converting ownership of the FEDERAL DOMAIN to STATE OWNERSHIP, lands are first, "SELECTED".

When lands are selected, the State of Alaska allows mining claims to be located. The caveat is that the mining claims cannot be mined! So, you pay a one-time fee and... wait.

The next step is when the land is conveyed through a formal patent issued by the Secretary of the Interior. The land is then classified as "Tentatively Approved" or T/A'd.

Looking at the claims on Barney Creek, it appears the land is "Selected" but not T/A'd.

The second issue is that during the process of "selection", the lands are open for ANICLA selection. Some of this land has been selected for patent to ANICLA. So, a mining claimant may find that he/she has a group of mining claims that fall under THREE jurisdictions.

1. State of Alaska.
2. Native surface ownership.
3. Native subsurface ownership.

- Geowizard

P.S. The patent will specify rights-of-way. IF... the trail to the claims crosses Native owned surface, and NO right-of-way is specified on the patent, then access along the trail will need permission of the surface owner.

hoppingforpay
22:10:46 Mon
Nov 19 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Oops, your right Geo I just assumed that that land was t/ad because some other land out there was just recently t/ad. Very Tough trip out there by anything except a plane,I just know that a hunter lands out there so it is probably a very marginal strip.

No claims can be had on the other creek except for the ones that are grandfathered in.

Many Creeks in Ak cannot be adequitely sampled efficiently with small holes. It is imperative that the sampler get sample from the gut on a coarse gold creek. It is extremely taxing work. If it turns out as it does on this creek an average depth to bedrock is 8 ft. This requires atleast a 15 yd hole to get a sample. If it is no good you then have to throw your cobbles back into your hole take apart your dredge into managable pieces to carry and then put it back together again in a new spot. The new spot may require a dam to float your dredge. This dam needs to have an opening to allow fish through. You may have to repeat this 10 to 20 times. Just one time will physically wipe out your average recreationalist. Carrying a 8 hp motor through the bush with a zillion mosquitos attacking you is not many peoples idea of recreation.

Most likely in choosing your next location you end up writing off a spot rather than finding a good spot.Old timers can and do get almost everywhere moving the creek to one side and then to the other side.And boulders? Beginners seem to gravitate to behind big boulders and pools. Neither one holds much interest to me.If an old timer was following gold he figures out away to deal with the biggest of boulders. In fact I have seen huge boulders propped up with spruce poles, the poles still there 100 yrs. later.

On creeks where old timers have been a prospective dredger is not so much looking at the flow to judge a low pressure area but for signs of no presence of them. Yet you don't want to stray to far from them either. These visuals are earned by experience and not given away to the casual gold explorer. If you took apart your dredge 100s of times and moved it miles on your shoulders are you going to go "hey look there!" to some fellow whos only moved his dredge from his truck to the creek and then back again?

So you wanna be a placer mine?
You really really have to want to.
It's a very very small crowd.


Prospect09er
04:11:24 Thu
Nov 22 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Scrub
The searches I've done on UofA-Fairbanks library in the past, were just out of curiosity. I'm not sure if there is a way to view anything online or not. I figured it was all hard copy and never pursued it. At any rate, the results I did get, though few, were quite unique one of a kind items. From what I can see, very few of the results can be found on the internet in either digital or hard copy form. UofA-F could be a great source of info.
When searching for mining info, try google, too. Enter the mining district and maybe the river or creek name, then on the google header, click “More” ...scroll down and click “Books” ...click “Search Tools” ...click “Any Books” then scroll down to “Google eBooks”. There you can preview quite a few of the older bulletins and publications. When I find something I want, I'll search it (publication title) on DGGS and download it from there. The scans on DGGS are a good deal better than google's, and they have the maps (Plates) that go with the publications as well. The one advantage google has on DGGS, is the ability to search keywords within the publication.

From what I see, the land there (at Barney creek) is both state selected and native selected. The case is still pending. Until the allotment is surveyed, and all the conflicts are resolved, it will probably stay that way. I believe the state selection is still active from the ANILCA top filling. The native selection is actually in interim conveyance with Doyon. I'm sure the state claims will disappear from the mapper one of these days.

Here's the general land status in that area.


Purple = Native Patented / Interim Conveyance – Light Purple = Selected
Light Blue = State Patented / Tentatively Approved – Blue = Selected
Yellow = Bureau of Land Management
Green = National Preserve / Park Service
White Line = RS2477 / 17(b) Easement
Green Pin = Barney Creek

hoppingforpay
01:12:32 Sun
Nov 25 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I don't think that the Stewart River has ever been talked about on this forum when it is possibly one of the best highbanking rivers in the Northland.

Some really good skim diggins were found on it in the early days.Yet I hear nothing about anyone taking a look see.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/32030570/STEWART-RIVER-PLACER

hoppingforpay
22:33:52 Tue
Nov 27 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Here is a test on some claims on the Stewart River which is south of Dawson in the Yukon. I have held an interest in it for a longtime but since you can't suction dredge in the Yukon I never made the visit. I remember reading of the early miners having better than 1 oz days on the Stewart using a rocker which is a really slow process.

http://emrlibrary.gov.yk.ca/ygs/YMIP_YEIP/1994/94-019.pdf

This report shows 1 color at .21 cents at a $380 gold price. Now this same color is worth almost 1 cent. This would make 100 colors to the dollar. I would not doubt that 100 color pans could be found on this river right on top.

hoppingforpay
23:07:03 Tue
Nov 27 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
And you cannot beat this. The Yukon Government will reimburse your expenses for prospecting work up to 15,000 dollars.

http://www.geology.gov.yk.ca/ymip.html#YMIP_Guidebook

kaveman
06:43:01 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I don't know. I skimmed the paper you posted,

http://emrlibrary.gov.yk.ca/ygs/YMIP_YEIP/1994/94-019.pdf

and it didn't look too encouraging to me. Thin layer of fine gold under a bunch of muck, lying on top a bunch more valueless gravel, with bedrock 100 feet below. I understand you like skimming the clean bars, but that method didn't appear to be practical where they did their testing due to the overburden. Also noted several questionable calculations in the report with this one glaring miscalculation at the end,........

"VOLUME OF EXCAVATIONS

There are 11 pits dug by excavator which are an average of 20' in diameter and 16 feet deep, or 242 cubic yards each.

11 x 242 = 2,662 cubic yds"

Except 20' dia x 16' depth gives,

(3.14 x 10 x 10 x 16) / 27 = 186yd each.

186 x 11 = 2046yds


If their simple calculations are off by 30%, you kinda gotta wonder about the rest.

LipCa
06:52:54 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Looks like they divided by 20.7, not 27....

Nobody checked their math:smile:

overtheedge
08:11:05 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Nice cylindrical holes dug by an excavator 20 feet in diameter all the way down to 16 feet.

It ain't just a math error.
eric

kaveman
15:18:48 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Quote: LipCa at 06:52:54 Wed Nov 28 2012

Looks like they divided by 20.7, not 27....

Nobody checked their math:smile:


What'a ya mean? I thought we just did.



kaveman
15:58:26 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Quote: overtheedge at 08:11:05 Wed Nov 28 2012

Nice cylindrical holes dug by an excavator 20 feet in diameter all the way down to 16 feet.

It ain't just a math error.
eric


And perhaps they used the 240" auger on the excavator and just failed to mention it.

That's what first caused me to 'do the math'. I've been digging test pits with the ex(rectangular ones btw), roughly 6'w x 15'l x 16'd and I was wagging them @50yd each. I just couldn't imagine 242 cubic yards coming out of a 16 foot deep test pit. And then to take a pan sample out of all of that?!? Normally we'll screen 5 buckets from the pay layer and run it over the highbanker, but occasionally we'll roll in the washplant and take a 10-20yd sample.

One of the nice things about a bulk sample like that is that it can actually pay for itself. Last bulk sample we dug logged 2hrs on the hoe digging, feeding, backfilling the hole, but it paid 3/4oz. It's also easier and quicker to dig a 16' deep pit with a hoe as compared to a shovel,...........not to mention the fact that I don't even like to BE at the bottom of a pit like that.

More nice things,.........if it takes you an hour to dig, set aside your sample, and backfill your hole, you're much less likely to be tempted to leave those holes open. I hate the thought of leaving open testpits on the ground. We've once or twice left one open overnite to see how the groundwater would fill or whatever, but I've always left the bucket and boom down in the pit so it's not quite so dangerous. (I know; if the ground had caved we'd have had a good time digging it back out) Something tells me that when you spend a week hand-digging a pit, you're sorely tempted to NOT cover that work back in, even if you had a dozer to do the work. The thought of re-digging that pit to verify some info is just too much to bear. I've had to re-dig a pit or two, but all it meant was an hour in the seat and a few gallons of diesel,............small price to pay to keep a safe work area.

Oh, another nice thing(geeze, the excavator is indispensable,........). We occasionally have done a 'complete' bulk sample, running the top 40yds across the washplant separate from the pay layer and doing a cleanup to verify that we're not missing a layer further up in the material. Even those test have more or less paid for themselves at 1gr/yd. Not really worth mining, but worth proving that it's not worth mining!

Sorry, this should probably be it's own thread,.............

LipCa
16:26:57 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Kave... I meant nobody that did the origional calcs checked it. I know you did:smile:

OTE... using 20.7 calcs to 242.7 cy. I think it was a math error in the calcs. But, you're right, 20' dia. cylindical holes dug with an excavator? be easier to dig rectangular or square holes to get the bottom sections clean.

geowizard
16:43:51 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
What really happened?

Be careful... :smile:

Look at map 3. The hand dug holes are round holes. There are 15 hand dug holes 20' in diameter and 16 feet deep!

Hand dug holes volumetric calculation:

20' diameter/2 = 10' radius. (still with me?)

Remember pie are squared?

Radius exp 2 = 100 (did it in my head):welcome:

pie = 3.14159 from High School...

Hand dug hole volume = 3.14159 x 100 = 314.159 x 16 ft deep = 5026.544/27 = 186.168 cubic yards per hole x 15 holes = 2792.52 (approx) cubic yards.

Excavator dug volumetric calculation:

volume = 3' x 5' x 8' = 120/27 = 4.44 cubic yards per hole.

Total volume of excavator dug holes = 4.44 x 11 holes = 48.84 cubic yards.

- Geowizard

Jim_Alaska
16:54:19 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Hey Wiz, I not good at math at all, but one thing I do know. You said: "Remember pie are squared?"

The one thing I know is that pie are round.

geowizard
17:00:48 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Jim,

You are so correct! I am reminded... again! :smile:

The academic part of placer mining represents a good test for us all. (note: It took me four tries and ote hasn't checked my answers)

Thanks!



molecule_counter
17:38:33 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Jim, you are correct. Pie are round, cornbread are square.

hoppingforpay
18:41:16 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
What I was thinking but I haven't looked into it again was that the gold was less than -80 mesh yet one color was worth .21 of a cent that doesn't seem right to me either...


Long time ago when I was reading books on the early prospectors in the North I came across some that mentioned the Stewart. It was the first place the early prospectors worked in the Yukon before the 40mile. Some of the books mentioned some good finds.

Their is a guy in Eagle who did some highbanking on the Stewart and says he did well. He also mentioned some guy who told him not to stop and mine till he found atleast 50 colors...

Leslie Chapman and Bill Claxton who worked on this report use a New Zealand dredge on the 40mile. I was their nearest neighbor for many years but I haven't met them.

I am thinking maybe they may have changed numbers on purpose?

Has anyone checked the map for this area for whats missing...

Seems to me if you go big it doesn't look too good but if you go small, don't dig too deep and stay away from the muck covered ground it looks good to me.Perhaps the McQueston also.

Here is a story of of a couple starting as mushroom pickers and making it a long way into the prospecting business using the government grant.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/magazine/mag-15Gold-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

hoppingforpay
19:18:25 Wed
Nov 28 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Look at this! New rich ground found in the Yukon fairly recently.

Remember:

.01 = 100 yds to the ounce or 5 grns a yd

.025 = 40yds to the ounce or 12 grns a yd

.05 = 20 yds to the ounce or 1 pennyweight a yd

.1 = 10 yds to the ounce or 2 pennyweight a yd


A prospector can find new ground, it just takes a ton of effort and a belief that it is there.

http://yma.gov.yk.ca/120156.pdf

P.S. Stewart report update. 486 grns to the ounce!!!????????

Scrub
16:07:53 Thu
Nov 29 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Jim_Alaska, Our pies are no longer round. We've eaten a good bit, creating other geometric patterns. Our pecan's almost gone & our pumpkin pie is still golden. I hope everyone elso out there in Alaska Gold Forum is, too! (Golden)

Grins,
Scrub

overtheedge
18:27:41 Thu
Nov 29 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
geowizard, your math is close enough for gov't work. I mean crikey, they accepted this piece of fairy tale nonsense.
------------------
page 2: 14 pits hand-dug 5-11' deep
page 3: 11 pits excavator dug 8x12' and 8-22' deep

page 3: gunpowder scale that measures to 0.01 grains
Powder scales measure to 0.1 grains

page 4: -80 mesh and 21 cents per particle Canadian at $380 and exchange rate of 0.72

page 15: hand dug holes 56 yards total
excavator dug 20'dia x 16'deep for total of 2662 yards.
-------------------------------
Now you know why Canada requires NI43-101.

Calculated weight of 80 mesh gold sphere with CSF=1.0 is about 60 micrograms or 518,000 per ounce. At the above price and exchange rate this equals 0.05 cents Canadian per particle. Lest anyone misread this, it is 1/20th of a penny. Or 1/400th of what stated on page 4.

Calculations based upon MIRL #76. With 50 mesh CSF=1.0 weighs 269 micrograms and 100 mesh CSF=1.0 weighing 31 micrograms. 100/80=1.25 ergo 80 mesh is 1.25^3 times the mass of 100 mesh (2X).

How did the pits dug by excavator on page 3 morph into what is stated on page 15?
_____________________
This is not a math mistake. Mark Twain called it right.
eric

hoppingforpay
23:47:40 Thu
Nov 29 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Anyone can ask whats up with that report through here:

http://www.dulacmining.com/claims-for-sale-lease/40-mile-placers---new

If you take a gander at my last links a person should if he wants a shot at some ground be loading up for a tough trip...yer welcome.

kaveman
02:47:26 Sat
Dec 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I think the report states that the -80 mesh partical is worth 0.21 cents, or five to a pennyC at the then current rate of exchange. Not quite so bad.

Yeah, I saw the reloading scale measuring to 0.01gr and lumped that in with the many other errors. I mean,............what's a decimal place amoungst friends?

overtheedge
05:23:40 Sat
Dec 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Quote:

Lest anyone misread this, it is 1/20th of a penny. Or 1/400th of what stated on page 4.


Well don't I look the fool? I misread .21¢C as 21¢C . For lack of a 0 (zero) ahead of the decimal point.

Their figures on the value of -80 mesh are off by 4X. Well, 4X for just the 80 mesh; even more for 100, 150, etc.

Yukon T. reimbursed for this report.
eric

Scrub
12:11:56 Sat
Dec 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I'm back again with another question. Does anyone "out there" know who to contact to request a permit from Hungwitchin? I wrote the purported President, April Frank, (or as I was told by a Lands Specialist in Fairbanks) in early Sept & haven't heard a word. Doyon will take my money for a minerals permit, but says I will also need a for surface from Hungwitchin. Tough to do with no response.

And to Jim_Alaska,
I've stated before "pie are neither square nor round". At the time, is was a quarter of a pie (pumpkin & pecan) but now they're GONE!

/s/Scrub

kaveman
15:56:13 Sat
Dec 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
I'll bet that floating decimal point has killed more ventures than it has saved. Why does it always work that way? Such a small error,...........

Now if the two decimal errors stack,..........? You figure the value at 21 cents instead of 0.21 cents and you weigh the gold at 0.01gr instead of 0.1gr,........you can be off by a factor of 1000. You could lose brazillions of dollars!

Fortunately for us the gov't can just print more money and bail us out, so in the end the errors don't really matter. :devil:

I'm certain the people running this country don't recognise the difference between a million, a billion, or a trillion, so why should we worry about it?

geowizard
15:56:55 Sat
Dec 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Scrub,

I spent about 15 seconds doing a search and got their phone number. It's a published number 907- seven seven eight - 2231. Why not give them a call?

You can read my earlier post on the reality of recreational mining and the Native corporations in Alaska and for most of the rest of the world for that matter. Each one of these corporations has a unique management style based on the leadership appointed to control and administer their domain.

Frankly, they aren't running a theme park. They understand the liability involved in permitting "outsiders" with little or no financial backing and little or no contribution to them as a corporation entering onto their (sometimes sacred) lands.

Early pioneers set the stage for us later pioneers.

Early pioneers treated the natives as savages if they defended themselves or as an expendable inconvenience to be mistreated, abused and enslaved if they were passive. There is a lot of well established history of mistrust of outsiders.

Outsiders come with one reason in mind... To extract the resources that the natives have.

Turning the tables...

Suppose a small group of Athabascan Natives sent you a letter and wanted to dredge for gold in your front yard.:confused:

- Geowizard

growler
19:02:46 Sat
Dec 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Video of placer op. on Anvil crk near Ophir Ak http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLToXbiOgTA Jim

geowizard
23:51:03 Sat
Dec 1 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
growler,

That's one of my favorites too. Here's another; Doug Clark at Ganes with cleanup:

http://www.clark-wiltz.com/images/imagerepository/doug.jpg

-Geowizard

Scrub
15:32:13 Tue
Dec 4 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Geowizard,
I've tried BLM Lands, State Lands, Doyon & directory assistance, and I'm still unable to contact Hungwitchin. I tried the # you had, & it was not April Frank or Hungwitchin. In fact, the party I reached said they did not know either. The only # directory assistance had close to April Frank was an A. Frank, but that wasn't it either.

I called Doyon back to check the address I had on my letter original letter that I mailed on Sept. 7th in which I originally requested permit consideration. They had the same P.O. Box that I used. Since it was not returned, it's apparently a good P.O. Box, but I have no way of knowing if anyone from Hungwitchin got the letter.

Drilling further, I called Doyon back & asked if they had contact info for Hungwitchin in Eagle. They had a phone number which I dialed, but all I got was a recording stating it was not a working #. Doyon could find no other ph #'s or an address for them other than what I've tried.

So I'm still at an impasse in my attempt to get a surface permit which I'm told I need in addition to the Doyon minerals permit. (Doyon charges $1,000.) At this point, I've tried everything I've thought of. I've emailed all to Doyon's resource manager. He is out for two weeks. He was forwarding my emails to their minerals guy; but he's out for an unknown length of time. I'm still "Hung"-witchin up!

I've spent more than 15sec's of research. I doubt if anyone thinks I'm interested in a theme park pass or that I'd treat natives like savages. I have too much respect for their land & people to do that. (You might try pulling someone else's chain if you hoped to get "a rise" from me.)

geowizard
17:18:32 Tue
Dec 4 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
scrub,

My comments are not directed at anyone in person. The reply was in response to your question(s). Not directed at you personally, but in reply to the social concepts involved in the business of mining on native owned lands.

How can anyone "make" a business relationship happen when the other party is not reponsive? If the other party is unable or unwilling to respond, then what are the chances of negotiating or communicating or corresponding? It's awkward for an interested party, myself, or any other mining company to send a "letter of interest" to another person or business entity to begin with.

It's an unfortunate part of business that we all face from time to time that has to have a consequence. How many "deals" do we miss out on because the deal maker cannot find us. We missed the call?

Responsibility: Repronounced: "Response ability".

IF Hungwitchin or anyone else is unable, or unwilling to have a common channel for communication, they have cut off the world at large from the ability to correspond with them. That's their choice.

Added information:

TWO resources in Alaska are DNR Recorder and Alaska Department of Commerce.

Alaska Department of Commerce has the job of registering all corporations and business entities in Alaska.

Hungwitchin is a registered corporation.

Send a letter by certified mail, return receipt.

http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/CBP/TempPDF/ac72c9b3-98c1-4669-9335-98ad45ced8d5.pdf

There is a physical address too.

- Geowizard

Scrub
15:03:21 Wed
Dec 5 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine
Geowizard,
Geowizard,
Thanks for the positive input. Sorry if I was a bit defensive. I'll give your most recent suggestion a try.

I have to pose a rhetorical question in a case of an unresponsive party. It indicates they no longer cares one way or the other. In that case, if I get the proper permits except for the unresponsive party, wouldn't I have a case for exercising the rights I've been afforded by the other parties?

However, I just want to spend a few weeks working hard, enjoying life for the time I've got left and maybe paying for the trip with anything I find.

Thanks again!

geowizard
16:39:46 Wed
Dec 5 2012
Re: So you wanna placer mine

Placer mining is unique in a way because we have to do it on someone elses land. I would add... we don't have to do this.

Because it is something we WANT to do, but don't NEED to do, success, one way or the other isn't of importance. If it's just a bucket-list item, then the question becomes a matter of what the COST of satisfying the WANT is.

With reference to non responsive agencies;

Corporations have a motive. Many are socially oriented and philanthropic. They give money away. What are the motives behind creation of a Native corporation? The motives are dependent on the members of the corporation and the ability of the leaders of that corporation to satisfy the wants and needs of the members. Because many needs are satisfied by currency, there is a universal need for currency. The Native Corporations have been given a piece of the Alaskan pie in the sense that the parcels of land that have been negotiated and agreed upon through ANICLA will contain the resources that they have available to get done the things they need to get done NOW and in the FUTURE.

Placer mining on Native lands will only happen when the miner or mining company can provide an INCENTIVE". That incentive must be sufficient to satisfy the needs of the corporation. Keeping that in mind provides the appropriate mind set for entering into negotiation.

IF anyone should decide that the buy-in of two parties without the buy-in of the third party is sufficient, then you can expect that i.e in this case, Hungwitchin may exercise their option to prosecute.

IF IT WERE ME;

I would look for an abandoned placer gold mine on state of Alaska domain. Go, look, discover, stake, record, enjoy.

- Geowizard



So you wanna placer mine
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