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  1. #1
    us
    Oct 2015
    Northern Nevada
    MineLab GPZ 7000 Garrett ATX Pro
    334
    495 times
    Prospecting

    Tunneling

    We are going to dig down about 12-15 feet to reach bedrock. Once hitting bedrock we’d like to dig horizontally to follow the paystreak.

    What is the stance of the BLM in regards to tunneling vs open pit mining? What about the State of Nevada? Yes we can search online for this information but would like to hear from someone with real-world experience.

    With today’s modern digging machinery it seems easier to open-pit than to tunnel since we aren’t digging into the side of a mountain but instead are following the wash. Not a vein.

    It’s taken us years to reach a point in prospecting where we aren’t going to hunt via metal-detecting but instead stick to one spot and dig. We know there can be serious money squandered working with heavy equipment. Is it best to invest in test drilling?

    Just curious what the pitfalls are in getting a permit to tunnel. With open-pit it seems more cut and dry. Dig a hole then reclaim as you move along. Trying to keep the mining at Notice level.

    Any suggestions and inputs are appreciated!

    Chuck

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Roger

    Nov 2017
    Smith Mt. Lake Va.
    Teknetics Liberator Falcon MD-20 *********** Blue Bowl Angus MacKirk sluice Miller Table
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    If I were to do it, I'd do an open pit.Much easier/quicker....Safer , good luck
    1637 and Rail Dawg like this.

  3. #3
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,132
    1561 times
    why "test drill" if only 12-15' ? just dig a series of pits to prove the economics
    then connect the pits
    a tunnel in alluvial soil - oh my
    read 'em and weep guys, we're whizzing on our feet
    Americans never want to go back to the way America used to be

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/...merica-used-be

  4. #4
    us
    Oct 2009
    8,917
    8098 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    recipe for death

  5. #5
    Grand Poobah

    Aug 2019
    Wisco
    Garrett AT Pro Bounty Hunter Discriminator RB5
    4
    16 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Yes, tunneling under/through an unconsolidated material would be sketchy at best and require way more tech, bracing, time, attention, and energy than just digging a larger pit. Especially if it is within just 12-15 feet.

  6. #6
    bug
    bug is offline

    Jun 2008
    Nor Cal
    212
    332 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Just do wide trenching in those washes like the guys did in section 17 some years back. That gold isnt in tight paystreaks from what I saw, its just scattered here and there, so a tunnel wouldnt pay for the work even if the ground was cemented. Plus the gold is in the mix there and not all on bedrock.
    Clay Diggins and Rail Dawg like this.

  7. #7
    us
    Oct 2015
    Northern Nevada
    MineLab GPZ 7000 Garrett ATX Pro
    334
    495 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks for the info guys. It's uncharted territory for us as you can tell.

    It's good to throw the ideas out and see where the faults lie (no pun intended lol). You guys pointed out that tunneling is not a smart idea.

    Still learning after many years of prospecting that's for sure. It's nice to finally be hitting the shiny stuff more than just the occasional nugget.

    Appreciate it.

    Chuck

  8. #8
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
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    just one ditch/Pit move it around the claim as needed

    I say pit same size every time. Relatively same run size each time. Consistent data.

    Also out there I imagine the layering and sorting could change from wash to was and within them.

    I like to open up a relatively wide area even just hand digging. Rather than punching down. When its time to move side ways
    you always run into big rock and crumbling faces. Pain in the butt.

    More fun to deal with from the top down.
    Rail Dawg likes this.

  9. #9
    us
    Oct 2015
    Northern Nevada
    MineLab GPZ 7000 Garrett ATX Pro
    334
    495 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Goldwasher View Post
    just one ditch/Pit move it around the claim as needed

    I say pit same size every time. Relatively same run size each time. Consistent data.

    Also out there I imagine the layering and sorting could change from wash to was and within them.

    I like to open up a relatively wide area even just hand digging. Rather than punching down. When its time to move side ways
    you always run into big rock and crumbling faces. Pain in the butt.

    More fun to deal with from the top down.

    This is an exciting time!

    Remember many of you are old hats with moving dirt and washing gravel. While my brother and I have sluiced since we were teenagers we’ve never filed a Notice nor put heavy machinery to work.

    We’ve spent the last 5 years combing the mountains north and west of I-80 with our metal detectors. Finally have getting claims the right way down to a science. Like you old-timers we are becoming comfortable with what used to be intimidating.

    Glad to know tunneling is off the table thanks to your inputs. Goldwasher and others are steering us to the best way to step up our game.

    I’m not afraid to lay out an idea with the chance it will be shot down in flames. Not going to learn anything without the input of those who’ve been doing this awhile.

    Will probably start a thread fairly soon about machinery. Thanks for being patient with a couple of miners moving to the next level of prospecting.

    Chuck
    et1955, russau and goldenmojo like this.

  10. #10
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,554
    12074 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Dawg View Post
    This is an exciting time!

    Remember many of you are old hats with moving dirt and washing gravel. While my brother and I have sluiced since we were teenagers we’ve never filed a Notice nor put heavy machinery to work.

    We’ve spent the last 5 years combing the mountains north and west of I-80 with our metal detectors. Finally have getting claims the right way down to a science. Like you old-timers we are becoming comfortable with what used to be intimidating.

    Glad to know tunneling is off the table thanks to your inputs. Goldwasher and others are steering us to the best way to step up our game.

    I’m not afraid to lay out an idea with the chance it will be shot down in flames. Not going to learn anything without the input of those who’ve been doing this awhile.

    Will probably start a thread fairly soon about machinery. Thanks for being patient with a couple of miners moving to the next level of prospecting.

    Chuck
    I super envy you I've been at a few small mech ops. Helped out. " biggest" equipment I've ran in Ca. is a 6" dredge. And a Mini ex for a few days in the desert.
    Got to source "paydirt" at a decent size mine near Fairbanks.. a loooong time ago.

    I do shovel a lot of gravel though!! In spots heavy equipment would be hard to bring in unfortunately.

    I do have a friend with a Dozer and Back hoe. Just no Trailer lol.

    He could drive The Hoe to my claim. For some hillside work. Really want to get the Dozer over there.

    My theory on digging/mine plan is apply the small simple principles no matter how much your scaling up.

    Baby steps. That way you can make the gold pay for itself...and YOU

    Oh yea at 42 I hardly consider myself an "Old Timer"
    Rail Dawg and Clay Diggins like this.

  11. #11
    us
    Oct 2015
    Northern Nevada
    MineLab GPZ 7000 Garrett ATX Pro
    334
    495 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Goldwasher View Post
    I super envy you I've been at a few small mech ops. Helped out. " biggest" equipment I've ran in Ca. is a 6" dredge. And a Mini ex for a few days in the desert.
    Got to source "paydirt" at a decent size mine near Fairbanks.. a loooong time ago.

    I do shovel a lot of gravel though!! In spots heavy equipment would be hard to bring in unfortunately.

    I do have a friend with a Dozer and Back hoe. Just no Trailer lol.

    He could drive The Hoe to my claim. For some hillside work. Really want to get the Dozer over there.

    My theory on digging/mine plan is apply the small simple principles no matter how much your scaling up.

    Baby steps. That way you can make the gold pay for itself...and YOU

    Oh yea at 42 I hardly consider myself an "Old Timer"

    Hey no worries lol. We are going to rent a backhoe and then a bulldozer to try each out. Not going to commit to a purchase until we can justify the expense.

    But we are excited. We know it’s easy to lose a lot of money chasing the Fever. Thankfully we are able to listen and approach this next step with caution.

    Again this forum has been instrumental in our prospecting success. Not only in the hands-on physical work but in the just-as-important legal end of prospecting, claim-staking and claim-maintenance end of things.

    Guys like Clay Diggins (and sites like mylandmatters.org) who freely share their knowledge have without question enabled us to reach this point in our search. My notebook is filled with information that has allowed us to obtain and maintain several claims successfully.

    The Pershing County Recorder (and Reno BLM) have commented that they enjoy seeing our claim paperwork cross their desks as we pay such close attention to detail. Clay and others here are the reason for that.

    We will within 6 months have our first heavy machine operating on a claim that is already paying off. With a little bit of luck and a lot of back-breaking labor perhaps we will pull in some serious metal.

    Thanks Goldwasher. Your taking the time to share your knowledge is appreciated.

    Chuck

  12. #12
    us
    Mar 2016
    Tahoe, CA
    Compadre, Gold Racer, White's TRX,Bazooka Gold Trap 24" Sniper,God Hog mats,Grizzly Gold Trap Motherload,MD App,Determination
    255
    267 times
    Prospecting
    I used to rent out heavy equipment. I would go to a rental yard and have them let you check out what they have for a backhoe loader. They have push buckets in front and can dig down too. You can then move piles away from the hole. If you can get one with a thumb, you can pick up rocks and move them easier. There's also a mini backhoe loader that I believe a 1 ton truck can haul on a car trailer. That would be ideal for getting started I would think. No delivery fee, cheaper by the week, less gas, etc. A smaller bucket is stronger for compacted soils. The bigger the bucket, the softer the soil must be.

    Terramite, Mini Backhoe


    Or a mini excavator with a bucket and thumb, if you are not driving it very far.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Rail Dawg likes this.

  13. #13
    us
    Oct 2015
    Northern Nevada
    MineLab GPZ 7000 Garrett ATX Pro
    334
    495 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Tahoegold View Post
    I used to rent out heavy equipment. I would go to a rental yard and have them let you check out what they have for a backhoe loader. They have push buckets in front and can dig down too. You can then move piles away from the hole. If you can get one with a thumb, you can pick up rocks and move them easier. There's also a mini backhoe loader that I believe a 1 ton truck can haul on a car trailer. That would be ideal for getting started I would think. No delivery fee, cheaper by the week, less gas, etc. A smaller bucket is stronger for compacted soils. The bigger the bucket, the softer the soil must be.

    Terramite, Mini Backhoe


    Or a mini excavator with a bucket and thumb, if you are not driving it very far.


    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	25 
Size:	28.3 KB 
ID:	1769408Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1769409

    Here I thought you had to have a bigger bucket in order to break through compacted soil.

    We are going to use Cashman Equipment in Winnemucca for our heavy machinery rental.

    Our mining truck is a 4x4 F150 with tires made for the desert. We went with the smaller truck because getting out to the claims entails going across steep washes. A longer truck has a much harder time.

    If we can rent a mini-excavator that would be wonderful because we can pull something that size out there on our own like you said.

    Thanks for the info on what to rent and perhaps purchase down the road. Any other information on what machine works best would be appreciated.

    Chuck

  14. #14
    us
    Mar 2016
    Tahoe, CA
    Compadre, Gold Racer, White's TRX,Bazooka Gold Trap 24" Sniper,God Hog mats,Grizzly Gold Trap Motherload,MD App,Determination
    255
    267 times
    Prospecting
    The F150 is too small. An F250 minimum is required to haul a car trailer. They wouldn't even be allowed to hook up an empty trailer. Do not use a pintail type hitch either, that puts the potential tow weight into the Class B liscence catagory. So, F250 or bigger, 2" ball hitch for you. You won't be taking it over steep dirt trails. Car trailers are low. You cant get them to deliver off road. In that case, you can have them deliver a full size backhoe/loader and drive it in. Bring a drum of deisel...
    Rail Dawg and Clay Diggins like this.

  15. #15
    us
    Oct 2015
    Northern Nevada
    MineLab GPZ 7000 Garrett ATX Pro
    334
    495 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Tahoegold View Post
    The F150 is too small. An F250 minimum is required to haul a car trailer. They wouldn't even be allowed to hook up an empty trailer. Do not use a pintail type hitch either, that puts the potential tow weight into the Class B liscence catagory. So, F250 or bigger, 2" ball hitch for you. You won't be taking it over steep dirt trails. Car trailers are low. You cant get them to deliver off road. In that case, you can have them deliver a full size backhoe/loader and drive it in. Bring a drum of deisel...

    Ok thanks for that. We have access to bigger trucks (F250) for hauling and can rent a bigger truck/trailer if necessary.

    This whole thing is going to be a learning experience. The first few times are going to be slow-going but to be honest we’ve both wanted to learn heavy machinery for a long time. We are finally in a position to pursue this level of commitment. I will even consider getting a Class B license. Lots of options to consider and I appreciate your laying down the obstacles we need to overcome.

    It’s not going to happen quickly but the only way to get experience is to simply break out of the comfort zone and do it.

    If lucky and we don’t do anything too stupid in life we have a good 20 years of productivity ahead of us. Plenty of time to learn.

    Thanks again for taking the time to instruct on this important part of mining.

    Chuck
    Tahoegold likes this.

 

 
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