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Thread: winter again, best ways to mine

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  1. #1
    us
    May 2011
    tujunga ca
    xlt mxt gmz whites
    962
    1006 times

    winter again, best ways to mine

    whats the best way to mine in the desert in the winter??i thinking about taking my sluice ,some tubs and a bucket.i dont think theres enough running to just sluice,i already miss going out.
    brad

  2. #2
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and /home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    1,939
    2813 times
    Prospecting
    Drywashing if the feed is dry or at least mostly loose. If it is sunny and the feed is damp then spread it to dry on a tarp or bare ground you can scoop from.
    Last edited by arizau; Feb 07, 2019 at 06:19 PM.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  3. #3
    us
    Aug 2015
    Montana
    etrac, GM 1000
    204
    683 times
    Metal Detecting
    nugget shoot with a detector if weather permits ...…… jmo It'll be at least 3 months before I can get out (sigh).
    Last edited by oneguy; Feb 07, 2019 at 04:45 PM.
    davin likes this.

  4. #4
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting
    With the amount of rainfall we've been getting here, detecting or recirculation power sluice / highbanker are about it for the time being.
    The desert tends to have lots of silt and clay, so you'll need several hundred gallons of water in your tubs in order to run anything over 1/2 a yard of material. The hardest part is clearing the tailings from your tubs....unless you build a dewatering trommel.


    But if you find a dry-ish patch definitely try aizau's method. If you play the weather forecast right, you can also spend one day digging and spreading out a stockpile, then come back a week or two later and run it after it has dried out.

    Pro Tip: Hide your stockpile in plain sight by pre-classifying with a large free-standing classifier, and your rich pay dirt will look like it has already been through a drywasher (coarse header pile sitting right next to a fine tailings pile)
    Last edited by Hamfist; Feb 10, 2019 at 08:47 AM.

  5. #5
    us
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, F19 and the Falcon
    889
    1245 times
    Prospecting
    I've tried just about every means i could think of to dry out damp material for drywashing. Spreading it out on tarps works ok but still too slow for me. Then one day I ran across this old timer working his claim and pre drying his damp paydirt using the hood off an old 1970"s station wagon. The hood was flipped upside down and he just shoveled right into it, and did that old steel hood get hot in the sun shine!. I was Impressed!

    This gave me an idea. The next week I went to the hardware store and bought some sheets of galvanized steel roof sheeting and cut it up into (12) 2'x6' lengths. At the work site I just lay 'em out over-lapping and it makes a large area for spreading out damp material, every so often I use an old broom to spread the material around some. Dries material twice as fast as the tarps I used before. When time comes to pack up and go home, one peace neatly stacks into another and fits nicely into the back of the truck. This is the best system I know of for drying out dirt, if someone's come up with a better way, I'd sure like to know.
    russau, N-Lionberger, 1637 and 3 others like this.

  6. #6
    us
    May 2011
    tujunga ca
    xlt mxt gmz whites
    962
    1006 times
    thanks,i forgot about having to deal with the clay and silt
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamfist View Post
    With the amount of rainfall we've been getting here, detecting or recirculation power sluice / highbanker are about it for the time being.
    The desert tends to have lots of silt and clay, so you'll need several hundred gallons of water in your tubs in order to run anything over 1/2 a yard of material. The hardest part is clearing the tailings from your tubs....unless you build a dewatering trommel.


    But if you find a dry-ish patch definitely try aizau's method. If you play the weather forecast right, you can also spend one day digging and spreading out a stockpile, then come back a week or two later and run it after it has dried out.

    Pro Tip: Hide your stockpile in plain sight by pre-classifying with a large free-standing classifier, and your rich pay dirt will look like it has already been through a drywasher (coarse header pile sitting right next to a fine tailings pile)
    Hamfist likes this.

  7. #7
    us
    May 2011
    tujunga ca
    xlt mxt gmz whites
    962
    1006 times
    well my plan is,i think it will be easier to make the dirt wetter than to dry it,so iam going to build a new machine that will be something that works like a motorized rockerbox-highbanker-sluice-.lots of trial and error,but its winter.
    brad

  8. #8
    us
    May 2011
    tujunga ca
    xlt mxt gmz whites
    962
    1006 times
    i think i will run the dirt over a screen after the box to save most of the water.just thinking out loud.
    brad

  9. #9
    us
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, F19 and the Falcon
    889
    1245 times
    Prospecting
    I tried running a wet operation in the desert years ago and it was a real pain in the a$$. Like Hamfist mentioned, the desert is full of clay which will turn your run water into a thick chocolate milk shake in no time. If you insist on running wet in the desert, I would use a small power sluice with at least 3 (pref. 5) settling stations. Tubs or even 5 gal. buckets connected in series, the more stations the longer your run water remains usable. Pre classifying to a 1/4" also helps as most desert gold is small anyway. Haul in all the water you can 'cause it will never be enough. No sense reinventing the wheel as Royal Mfg. makes some good power sluices........ Jet Dry is your friend.
    Last edited by Hard Prospector; Feb 13, 2019 at 11:20 PM.
    1637 and Hamfist like this.

  10. #10
    us
    May 2011
    tujunga ca
    xlt mxt gmz whites
    962
    1006 times
    well ,iam beginning to think you guys are right,if i try to run dirt though my blue spiral bowl ,with out running it though my drywasher first.it is turns into a mess fast.oh well
    i think you had the best idea with the steel siding.
    thanks guys. brad

  11. #11

    Mar 2016
    1,569
    2366 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I’ve built a self contained mini sluice from a plastic storage tub.
    Divided it with swamp cooler filter wrapped in hog wire to filter out the solids.
    Used one of those 12 volt sump pumps and a truck battery.

    I wet screened the material into a 5 gallon bucket to break up the clays.
    I could spoon feed 5 gallons of material in about 30 minutes. I used a piece of coorugated drain pipe screwed to a board as a sluice.

    Worked great. Probably 25 gallons of water max.
    Brought a 55 gallon drum with me.

    As long as you keep the solids out of the pump, it worked fine.
    Very cheap to build.
    I’ll post a picture of it on Monday.
    Last edited by IMAUDIGGER; Feb 23, 2019 at 08:16 PM.
    1637 likes this.
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  12. #12
    us
    May 2011
    tujunga ca
    xlt mxt gmz whites
    962
    1006 times
    sounds like fun.
    brad

  13. #13
    us
    May 2011
    tujunga ca
    xlt mxt gmz whites
    962
    1006 times
    okay,just woke up in the middle of the nite,wondering if i can i can use the exhaust from my truck to dry dirt some how.well here goes another nites sleep.
    brad

  14. #14
    us
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, F19 and the Falcon
    889
    1245 times
    Prospecting
    Exhaust usually contains some products of combustion like oily residue and water vapor, not what we want in our riffle tray..........nice idea though.
    KevinInColorado likes this.

 

 

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