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Thread: Phyromining

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  1. #31
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    442
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    If this could pay mining companies would have been doing it years ago. At best this is a joke on regulatory agencies to show there is ongoing heavy metal remediation on already mined properties. These exciting tales of a "new" technology to recover gold from plants makes the rounds in the amateur science mags every few years. It's an easy sell to lead people to believe they can recover gold from the ground without actually digging and processing.
    Honestly, and respectfully Clay Diggins, that is the oldest, and weakest argument in the existence of the world.

    Physics alone states that "a body in motion wants to stay in motion", which is a fancy way of saying "people do not like change." I understand that, trust me I do.

    But doing what everyone else does is BORING, and I do not live my life that way. With great risk comes greater rewards, and I have been able to capitalize on that.

    What I have found in life is, out of 20 people, 19 will say it cannot possibly be done, and give a list of reasons as to why. There is a lot of merit in that, and it serves a very vital role, but ultimately a person has to chose whether to be stopped by those statements, or move on. "Paralysis by Analysis" I call it.

    Myself, I am a doer, and have found the hardest thing to do is start something. That is the secret to life; JUST START. Once the project gets rolling, then there is a synergy that just keeps it rolling along, with changes, and rabbit trails, but it plods along. Then...finish strong.

    Almost three years ago I retired at 42 years old . My investment broker was telling me all the resources I supposedly needed, and finally I just looked at him and asked, "then if you know what to do, how come you are not retired?" The guy was twenty years older than me, he should be living in Tahiti not telling me what I should be doing with my little pile of cash.

    What I have done is not some big deal; anyone can do it. It was like being in high school when as a Freshman I figured out if I did not take a study hall, and took extra classes, in my senior year I could take (2) vocation school classes; Diesel technology and Welding; a career that served me well. As a senior, other kids said it was "not fair", but that was not the case at all, they wanted to toss spit balls and talk to other kids during study hall while I was taking the required classes first. I put the time in up front, so I could reap the rewards later. They did not want to do that.

    Myself, I do not think this has been tried because there are not a lot of locations where fertile soil lies above gold. Arizona and Nevada is a desert, and British Columbia is pretty darn steep to be disc harrowing with the ole 9684 New Holland. But here...here I can try it. What will it hurt? If it does not pull the gold, then I will take my excavator and go dig it up conventionally. It is no big deal...I am out NOTHING.
    Last edited by OreCart; Apr 19, 2019 at 06:20 AM.
    winners58 likes this.

  2. #32
    us
    Aug 2010
    Maine USA
    329
    307 times
    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    Honestly, and respectfully Clay Diggins, that is the oldest, and weakest argument in the existence of the world.

    Physics alone states that "a body in motion wants to stay in motion", which is a fancy way of saying "people do not like change." I understand that, trust me I do.

    But doing what everyone else does is BORING, and I do not live my life that way. With great risk comes greater rewards, and I have been able to capitalize on that.

    What I have found in life is, out of 20 people, 19 will say it cannot possibly be done, and give a list of reasons as to why. There is a lot of merit in that, and it serves a very vital role, but ultimately a person has to chose whether to be stopped by those statements, or move on. "Paralysis by Analysis" I call it.

    Myself, I am a doer, and have found the hardest thing to do is start something. That is the secret to life; JUST START. Once the project gets rolling, then there is a synergy that just keeps it rolling along, with changes, and rabbit trails, but it plods along. Then...finish strong.

    Almost three years ago I retired at 42 years old . My investment broker was telling me all the resources I supposedly needed, and finally I just looked at him and asked, "then if you know what to do, how come you are not retired?" The guy was twenty years older than me, he should be living in Tahiti not telling me what I should be doing with my little pile of cash.

    What I have done is not some big deal; anyone can do it. It was like being in high school when as a Freshman I figured out if I did not take a study hall, and took extra classes, in my senior year I could take (2) vocation school classes; Diesel technology and Welding; a career that served me well. As a senior, other kids said it was "not fair", but that was not the case at all, they wanted to toss spit balls and talk to other kids during study hall while I was taking the required classes first. I put the time in up front, so I could reap the rewards later. They did not want to do that.

    Myself, I do not think this has been tried because there are not a lot of locations where fertile soil lies above gold. Arizona and Nevada is a desert, and British Columbia is pretty darn steep to be disc harrowing with the ole 9684 New Holland. But here...here I can try it. What will it hurt? If it does not pull the gold, then I will take my excavator and go dig it up conventionally. It is no big deal...I am out NOTHING.
    I live in central Maine and have 77 acres, about 25 hayfield and the rest overgrown white pine, quaking aspen, and mixed softwood/hardwood. Much of the land is marine blue clay varying 6 to 20 feet to bedrock with many glacial erratics of varying origin. I have found trace amounts of gold all around the property and suspect this was dropped into certain areas from meltwater runs and distributed by plowing and harrowing over the past 200 years or so. I agree, if you don't try, you will never know.

  3. #33
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,461
    10053 times
    Prospecting
    If you wish to experiment with your land I have no problem with that. I never said you shouldn't do it I merely stated the simple fact that no one has every successfully accomplished phytomining of gold - or any other metal.

    If you really want to conduct this as an experiment I suggest you establish a baseline of the gold and other metals in your planting area. The actual odds are there will be no appreciable gold worth recovering. Much better to know whether there is something to mine before you begin mining by any method. We call that prospecting and it naturally always precedes successful mining.

    In a more recent published paper by those New Zealand Scientists who believed this would eventually be possible they appear to find the reality to be much less encouraging. Here's their conclusion:
    Our analyses show that phytoextraction for the clean-up of TE-contaminated soils is not “ an emerging technology that can be used for the low-cost clean-up of contaminated land ” and that phytomining is inefficient and likely to have a larger ecological footprint than conventional mining. However, it is not our intention to discourage research in this area. The best rebuttal to this analysis would be publication of TE mass balances in full-scale field operations. That said, scientific articles investigating new plants/soils/soil conditioner combinations should at least demonstrate how phytoextraction could work by providing basic mass balance calculations. Continuing to tout phytoextraction as a low-cost alternative for soil clean-up when, clearly it is not, tarnishes all “ phyto ” technologies.
    Here's a PDF of the paper:
    Phytoextraction: Where’s the action?
    B.H. Robinson, C.W.N. Anderson, N.M. Dickinson

    Potential for an idea to work is much different that the idea actually working in real life. The details are the hard part.

    I wish you luck with your experiment. I like adventures. I look forward to seeing the results.

    Heavy Pans
    dave wiseman, arizau and winners58 like this.

  4. #34
    us
    Jul 2004
    Angels Camp,Ca.
    758
    715 times
    Sample,sample sample...not one or two holes like is shown on the Goldrush TV show.Field work is everything..it's where you make your bones or not and actually learn by your mistakes...hopefully.
    Clay Diggins and winners58 like this.

  5. #35
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    442
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by dave wiseman View Post
    Sample,sample sample...not one or two holes like is shown on the Goldrush TV show.Field work is everything..it's where you make your bones or not and actually learn by your mistakes...hopefully.
    Oh yeah I have done that because for me, the hunt is more interesting then the kill.

    The heart of this area seems to be limited to about 2000 usa acres, but placer, lode and eluvial. I keep track of each sample site by computer, and map have each sample location numbered and scored, with my computer keeping a running tally on the best location to mine, to date.

    Like yesterday when I found gold in my gravel pit, due to the proximity to an all weather road, grid-based electricity, and water, the site scored 81%. But there are more places to check, and subsequently, score.

    It is hard to get any sort of average on the placer and eluvial deposits, but the lode deposits are running medium grade for gold, and low grade for silver. I am also finding quite a bit of PGM's, so far, limited to the Northeast Section of my farm granted, but it is difficult to get a handle on what that value is. Platinum, Palladium and Iridium have vastly different values, and I can only determine if it is a pgm's, and not what kind it is.
    winners58 likes this.

  6. #36
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,461
    10053 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    Oh yeah I have done that because for me, the hunt is more interesting then the kill.

    It is hard to get any sort of average on the placer and eluvial deposits, but the lode deposits are running medium grade for gold, and low grade for silver.
    Placers aren't that difficult to assess, in fact they are easier than lode deposits if you are methodical. Here are a couple of good publications to get you started on a placer assessment program:

    Cost Estimation Handbook for Small Placer Mines

    Placer Examination, Principles and Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    I am also finding quite a bit of PGM's, so far, limited to the Northeast Section of my farm granted, but it is difficult to get a handle on what that value is. Platinum, Palladium and Iridium have vastly different values, and I can only determine if it is a pgm's, and not what kind it is.
    Platinum group metals are never found in isolation. There is always a mix of PGMs in any mineralization. The market is very volatile for these metals due to fluctuating industrial demand so a PGM deposit has to be a pretty good size to remain profitable from month to month.

    A small PGM deposit is rarely worth mining and a large PGM deposit is beyond the abilities of a small miner. Since you don't intend to sell your family's land the PGMs would be an additional receipt at the refiners, at best.

    Enjoy your hunt.

    Heavy Pans
    winners58 and arizau like this.

  7. #37
    us
    Aug 2010
    Maine USA
    329
    307 times
    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    Oh yeah I have done that because for me, the hunt is more interesting then the kill.

    The heart of this area seems to be limited to about 2000 usa acres, but placer, lode and eluvial. I keep track of each sample site by computer, and map have each sample location numbered and scored, with my computer keeping a running tally on the best location to mine, to date.

    Like yesterday when I found gold in my gravel pit, due to the proximity to an all weather road, grid-based electricity, and water, the site scored 81%. But there are more places to check, and subsequently, score.

    It is hard to get any sort of average on the placer and eluvial deposits, but the lode deposits are running medium grade for gold, and low grade for silver. I am also finding quite a bit of PGM's, so far, limited to the Northeast Section of my farm granted, but it is difficult to get a handle on what that value is. Platinum, Palladium and Iridium have vastly different values, and I can only determine if it is a pgm's, and not what kind it is.
    I have long said that if you set up a small operation to process sub-1/4" material in nearly every gravel pit in Maine you would come out with an amazing amount of gold. Again, it would be a by-product and not the main use of the pits. The Laurentide Ice Sheet was not river of ice as most people visualize a glacier, but a complete covering of ice up to two miles thick. While the boulders and gravel did migrate to the bottom of the flow, what appears to be the low points today may not have been the low points 12,000 plus years ago. This is why gold is all over Maine.

  8. #38
    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.
    1,974
    2853 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    Placers aren't that difficult to assess, in fact they are easier than lode deposits if you are methodical. Here are a couple of good publications to get you started on a placer assessment program:

    Cost Estimation Handbook for Small Placer Mines

    Placer Examination, Principles and Practice



    Platinum group metals are never found in isolation. There is always a mix of PGMs in any mineralization. The market is very volatile for these metals due to fluctuating industrial demand so a PGM deposit has to be a pretty good size to remain profitable from month to month.

    A small PGM deposit is rarely worth mining and a large PGM deposit is beyond the abilities of a small miner. Since you don't intend to sell your family's land the PGMs would be an additional receipt at the refiners, at best.

    Enjoy your hunt.

    Heavy Pans
    I agree. Unless the concentrates contain enough PGMs to exceed their handling and refining costs then they are not economical enough to be paid for. Case in point: It was my job to track the smelter receipts for the concentrates our company shipped for smelting (1 or more million tons per year). The settlement assay for each individual smelter lot reported Cu, Ag and Au and we were paid accordingly except for Au. The assay for gold usually was less than 0.002 OPT. The same type of scenario may be/is likely your case too.
    Last edited by arizau; Apr 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM.
    Clay Diggins likes this.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  9. #39
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    442
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by placertogo View Post
    I have long said that if you set up a small operation to process sub-1/4" material in nearly every gravel pit in Maine you would come out with an amazing amount of gold. Again, it would be a by-product and not the main use of the pits. The Laurentide Ice Sheet was not river of ice as most people visualize a glacier, but a complete covering of ice up to two miles thick. While the boulders and gravel did migrate to the bottom of the flow, what appears to be the low points today may not have been the low points 12,000 plus years ago. This is why gold is all over Maine.
    There is a lot of truth to that!

    I cannot get much information from the geologists on my gravel pit, it is this small little island of gravel, but no idea on far it migrated, or where it came from.

    I know a lot of earth came off this mountain, and while I know where it ended up, sadly most of it has been carted away and used on various construction projects.

    My gravel has been used some, but there really is not a lot of it, so we have not really sold much off. Mostly I use it for my own use for use around the barnyard, or building heavy haul roads. I was asked today if I would sell some, as a guy is doing a job nearby, but generally we use it just for ourselves.

  10. #40
    us
    Aug 2010
    Maine USA
    329
    307 times

    Phyromining

    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    There is a lot of truth to that!

    I cannot get much information from the geologists on my gravel pit, it is this small little island of gravel, but no idea on far it migrated, or where it came from.

    I know a lot of earth came off this mountain, and while I know where it ended up, sadly most of it has been carted away and used on various construction projects.

    My gravel has been used some, but there really is not a lot of it, so we have not really sold much off. Mostly I use it for my own use for use around the barnyard, or building heavy haul roads. I was asked today if I would sell some, as a guy is doing a job nearby, but generally we use it just for ourselves.
    You may have heard of this before: https://www.seacoastonline.com/artic...5/LIFE/4150341

  11. #41
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    442
    396 times
    Prospecting
    There is kind of a funny story about this gravel pit...

    Quite a few years ago when I was married to my second wife (not to be confused with wife #1 or #3), she got all bent in the head because I went down to the pit, and there was a pretty good sized hole opened up. I would say 150 cubic yards or so. So not a huge amount, but obviously someone had been serious about taking it too. Well the wife was all cranked up because she wanted the money for it, and I was not sure who had taken it.


    "Oh a check will be right along", I said. So a month goes by, and she is getting upset...

    "Oh a check will be right along", I said. So another month goes by, and she is getting really steamed.

    "Oh a check will be right along", I said. So another month goes by, and then another...

    And just as I said, when they got good and ready, they sent a check, for just the amount they took, for the value of the gravel taken. No sense to get all wound up about it, nor try and figure out who took it; somewhere they will square up in the end...and they did. I think my ex-wife was more upset that I was right, and there was no need to get all excited over someone "stealing" from us, then she was in them taking the gravel.

    (There father was really good friends with my Grandfather, so he had given them permission years and years before to take the gravel if they needed it, so they had permission, even if my grandfather and their father were both dead at this point. If my Grandfather made an agreement, and I know of it, then as his Grandson, I feel duty-bound to honor it.)
    Last edited by OreCart; Apr 20, 2019 at 12:49 PM.
    et1955 and KevinInColorado like this.

  12. #42
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    442
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    Placers aren't that difficult to assess, in fact they are easier than lode deposits if you are methodical. Here are a couple of good publications to get you started on a placer assessment program:

    Cost Estimation Handbook for Small Placer Mines

    Placer Examination, Principles and Practice



    Platinum group metals are never found in isolation. There is always a mix of PGMs in any mineralization. The market is very volatile for these metals due to fluctuating industrial demand so a PGM deposit has to be a pretty good size to remain profitable from month to month.

    A small PGM deposit is rarely worth mining and a large PGM deposit is beyond the abilities of a small miner. Since you don't intend to sell your family's land the PGMs would be an additional receipt at the refiners, at best.

    Enjoy your hunt.

    Heavy Pans
    Hey thanks for the links; I have not had time on this busy holiday weekend to check them out, but I will.

    I have been concentrating my time on the gravel pit ever since finding out it had gold because I have the right to mine it, the equipment to dig, and have extensive test borings on the area so I know where things lie.

    It has its challenges though because it is very sandy. It has the occasional big rock, but screening down to 1/4 inch will still mean putting 75-50 percent through whatever I use for gold separation.

    The Extec is expensive to operate, so I do not see using that, and the finest I can get is 1/2 inch minus anyway. I will probably run a small dedicated trammel, then go into a concentrator, because I do not see anyway a sluice will get me the fine gold I have here. As I said, it is a real challenge; fine gold in fine sand/gravel.

    The other big challenge will be water. I live on a pretty big hill, so no matter what I do, I will have to build a tank or retainment pond of some kind, and recirculate. I am actually thinking about just putting the wash plant in my barnyard, and hauling the gravel up here (1/4 mile) rather than processing it in the gravel pit, just because it would be a challenge to get any high volume of water.

    The PGM's...Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    I am too cheap NOT to do something with them, but what?

    I am thinking for now I will try and find a way to separate and collect them, and then just hold onto them for future use. The PGM's are pretty new to the scene, so hopefully in the future something small scale can be done to separate them out. They have value, so inevitably there will be interest down the road in devising something small scale that can part out thePGM's...no sense ignoring them now, and in a decade wishing I had them.

  13. #43
    us
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
    6,722
    10446 times
    Prospecting
    Reed Lukens (is on here), saved up his PGMs and sold several ounces all at once. There is a market!
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  14. #44

    Mar 2014
    324
    437 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Nemo View Post
    Hemp is a good bio-accumulator for PM's and mercury. The resinous leaves can also be used to capture fine gold.

    Hmmm...Might explain some of the craziness of the libs out in CA.
    Yeah. Just plant an acre of the Devils Lettuce then you can make money on that end too!
    Using Tapatalk

  15. #45
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    442
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Madmox View Post
    Yeah. Just plant an acre of the Devils Lettuce then you can make money on that end too!
    Oh my, I don't have to plant it, for some reason the people from the southern part of the state think us landowners know nothing about what is going on here, and plant crops on us every year.

    I got a good relationship with the police, which is good. One year they flew helicopters overhead and found a big patch on us, and every law enforcement agency in Maine showed up. This one state trooper was yelling in my face, "we got you. We got you big time," and the local game warden laughed and said, "I am not sure who is growing this, but I know it is not the landowners."

    Typically if I see plots of it now, I just smash it with the skidder.

    I will say though, that prospecting has been good because it has got me out all over the farm. For instance I saw a neighbor is getting ready to do something with their land...probably log it, and the surveyor's marks were way off. I would have missed it if I had not been going to that particular stream. It is in everyone's interest to keep the lines in the right place.
    KevinInColorado likes this.

 

 
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