First Foray into Processing Crushed Rock

desertgolddigger

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As I'm a newbie, with zero knowledge about hard rock mining, I will be asking for help now and then.

I recently purchased an electric 11 inch K&M Crusher. I've run some rock, and now would like to know how to process the crushed stuff

Based on my experimenting with classifying it, I know the size ranges from 25 mesh on down. I've also found a few specks of gold just panning the material.

But panning super fine gold is very time consuming and difficult. And it creates a big headache of a mess, and bad waste water.

I'm wondering if the only recourse is Mercury, and a Retort. I'm not quite sure how you go about the whole process of capturing the super fine gold in mercury, so I need some help there.

As for using a Retort, I would have to go out to our Claim to use one. I live in a residential area, so not possible here.

So now I need help on the first step, processing all that crushed stuff the most efficient way possible, without creating a big mess.
 

russau

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My advice to you is get with someone that is already using a process that involves a retort to learn it's in's & out's BEFORE you jump into this . then when your comfortable / knowledgeable handling this process ,proceed ! There's always tips another guy can give that will help you along in this !
 
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desertgolddigger

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My advice to you is get with someone that is already using a process that involves a retort to learn it's in's & out's BEFORE you jump into this . then when your comfortable / knowledgeable handling this process ,proceed ! There's always tips another guy can give that will help you along in this !
I wish there were someone living near me. If there's a non-mercury/retort method, I'd like to know about it. Right now I'm just asking for some kind of help before jumping into anything other than crushing rock..

Is there a YouTube video showing how to pan such fine gold. I'd rather try that first, before I go into chemicals, and dangerous substances. If I can learn how to pan the material properly, then I can use my Miller Table, or Blue bowl.

EDITED: I finally found a good video
 
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Reed Lukens

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Screening is the key to fast micro gold panning. Once it's sorted by size, the gold goes to the bottom and the light stuff basically floats off. I've got a video on it also but I need to reload it again for the new youtube format. Be sure to use Jet Dry in the water, screen it down to 50/ 75/ 100 mmesh, then just pan it or set up your table.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Screening is the key to fast micro gold panning. Once it's sorted by size, the gold goes to the bottom and the light stuff basically floats off. I've got a video on it also but I need to reload it again for the new youtube format. Be sure to use Jet Dry in the water, screen it down to 50/ 75/ 100 mmesh, then just pan it or set up your table.
Reed, I purchased some classifiers from 26 mesh, all the way down to 300 mesh. These are really scientific type sieves, and are only four inches in diameter, but so far they have done the job up to 100 mesh. The sizes are in 25 mesh increments, so I figure the material will be similar enough in size to work.
 
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desertgolddigger

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After some consideration, I will not be using either mercury, or a retort.

Instead, after watching the panning video, I posted the link to, I will use part of the panning lesson given to remove all the extremely fine stuff that is responsible for clouding the water, and then run that on my Miller Table.

I think this is the best, and safest way to see if I have gold in the stuff I crushed. I sifted material between 100-119 mesh for my first try.
 

southfork

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After some consideration, I will not be using either mercury, or a retort.

Instead, after watching the panning video, I posted the link to, I will use part of the panning lesson given to remove all the extremely fine stuff that is responsible for clouding the water, and then run that on my Miller Table.

I think this is the best, and safest way to see if I have gold in the stuff I crushed. I sifted material between 100-119 mesh for my first try.
It's best to stay away from mercury if you can't safely clean the amalgam.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Today I only ran about 5 tablespoons of mesh 100-119 material on my Miller Table. It's a tedious process.

Results were two specks of gold, and a few pieces of the Crusher chain galvanizing. I actually thought there wouldn't be any gold until I got to the smaller meshes

I would imagine some of you might think the return is small, but I was pleased to see those two specks.

Now I just need to run the rest of the material, about 1/6 gallon worth.
 
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desertgolddigger

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As long as you use jet dry or something similar in your panning tub or recirc system, you will be fine. But do not try it without because the fines will float.
I'm using Jet Dry in both my cleaning tubs, and my Miller Table water reservoir.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Here's even a better video explaining how to pan micro fine gold.


I'm going to give this method a try, and do that 1/6th gallon of material. I'll take each pan down until I have the heavies, then put those in another pan for processing on the Miller Table.

Running things the way I initially started was going to take days. This should be over in a few hours.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Weeeelllll, today was a bust on the 100-119 mesh material. I panned things down to a manageable level, then ran those concentrates. Zippo, Zilch, Nada. So I went ahead and ran everything on the Table, and got one whole speck. So, it wasn't my panning.

I'm hoping the 120 mesh and smaller gives me at least a few specks.
 
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desertgolddigger

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I'm back at it today. I got one failure, which is the fact my Miller Table cannot handle the ultra fine flake gold. It just scoots down the table.

I cannot seem to coordinate my hands for the tapping the the gentleman of Hard Rock U used.

So I went back to conventional panning. I did use the swirling flat pan motion used in the video to settle the heavies, then tilt the pan while shaking side-to-side. I then let a tongue of material creep towards the edge of the pan, and nipped the end with water, tilting the pan back, while shaking side-to-side.

I repeated until I had about a teaspoon of material. What I have isn't rich ore, but I discovered oodles of ultra fine gold along the edge.

I still have lots of panning to do. I keep dumping those teaspoons of gold bearing material into another pan, and when done with round one, will carefully pan all those concentrates.

I'll just have to put what remains in a container until I have sufficient quantity to again try to pan out the junk. Eventually, maybe I'll have enough gold to take a photo.

Too bad the Miller Table didn't work. I wonder how a Blue Bowl does with ultra fine flake gold? I guess I'll have to give it a try if I want mostly gold.

EDITED: I kept playing with the gold bearing material, and discovered I could do the tapping thing, but differently. I had to hold the pan with my left hand, and put the edge against my body. I hen rapidly tapped the edge with my right hand right next to my left. I then carefully swirled the lighter material to the opposite side the pan. I basically was making that lighter material flow straight down the pan to the opposite side. I then rapidly tapped the pan again to gather the gold in the upper corner, then again carefully swirled the water to remove the last of the non gold. Mr. Snuffer Bottle then sucked up that yellow stuff.

This gold is so fine, you can't see it with the naked eye. You need a 10x loupe to see it. But it looks like hundreds of tiny specks, though the weight probably isn't even a 1000th of a gram.

I learned a lot today about panning. It proves a mediocre panner like myself can actually manage such fine gold.

I'll go back through the gold bearing material one more time to check how I did, and then dry the material out to take back into the desert.

Now I need to crush my next batch.

Oh, yes, and I will run the material larger than mesh 99 through my dry washer. I remember someone recommending that.
 
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HeavyMetalThunder

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Add a couple of ounces of magnetic black sands to your pan to put that fine gold to "sleep".

remember to stratify often...load pan with about a cup of your ground material...pan the light material off...then add more material (stratify, stratify, stratify..) keep repeating...and after a large coffee can amount of material has been panned...then pull the magnetics...
 
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desertgolddigger

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Add a couple of ounces of magnetic black sands to your pan to put that fine gold to "sleep".

remember to stratify often...load pan with about a cup of your ground material...pan the light material off...then add more material (stratify, stratify, stratify..) keep repeating...and after a large coffee can amount of material has been panned...then pull the magnetics...
Thanks for the tip. But for now, I don't want to introduce another factor until I'm comfortable with the panning techniques I've already learned. Like I said, I'll redo the material a second time to see how much gold I missed. Of course, I always miss gold when panning. One reason I never throw away my panning tailings until I've done them twice. For now, I'm delighted to have done so well for my first try with ultra fine gold.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Panned the material one more time, being more careful at stratifying it more often. I'm guessing I got about 90 percent on the first go around. I'm sure there's more in that material, but I probably need something else to get it. I don't have thousands of dollars for a shaker table, nor do I want to use mercury. So, I am happy to learn another way to extract most of this ultra fine gold

HMT, I don't think I'll try the black sand thing for now. I really need a video about that method to watch, and hear how much more efficient it might be.
 

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I'm back at it today. I got one failure, which is the fact my Miller Table cannot handle the ultra fine flake gold. It just scoots down the table.

I cannot seem to coordinate my hands for the tapping the the gentleman of Hard Rock U used.

So I went back to conventional panning. I did use the swirling flat pan motion used in the video to settle the heavies, then tilt the pan while shaking side-to-side. I then let a tongue of material creep towards the edge of the pan, and nipped the end with water, tilting the pan back, while shaking side-to-side.

I repeated until I had about a teaspoon of material. What I have isn't rich ore, but I discovered oodles of ultra fine gold along the edge.

I still have lots of panning to do. I keep dumping those teaspoons of gold bearing material into another pan, and when done with round one, will carefully pan all those concentrates.

I'll just have to put what remains in a container until I have sufficient quantity to again try to pan out the junk. Eventually, maybe I'll have enough gold to take a photo.

Too bad the Miller Table didn't work. I wonder how a Blue Bowl does with ultra fine flake gold? I guess I'll have to give it a try if I want mostly gold.

EDITED: I kept playing with the gold bearing material, and discovered I could do the tapping thing, but differently. I had to hold the pan with my left hand, and put the edge against my body. I hen rapidly tapped the edge with my right hand right next to my left. I then carefully swirled the lighter material to the opposite side the pan. I basically was making that lighter material flow straight down the pan to the opposite side. I then rapidly tapped the pan again to gather the gold in the upper corner, then again carefully swirled the water to remove the last of the non gold. Mr. Snuffer Bottle then sucked up that yellow stuff.

This gold is so fine, you can't see it with the naked eye. You need a 10x loupe to see it. But it looks like hundreds of tiny specks, though the weight probably isn't even a 1000th of a gram.

I learned a lot today about panning. It proves a mediocre panner like myself can actually manage such fine gold.

I'll go back through the gold bearing material one more time to check how I did, and then dry the material out to take back into the desert.

Now I need to crush my next batch.

Oh, yes, and I will run the material larger than mesh 99 through my dry washer. I remember someone recommending that.
Try adjusting water flow on that Miller & or angle of table.These magnified specs (ultra fine) are so small they
005.JPG
float on water. caught by my Miller :):icon_thumright:My homemade Miller is 4ft long with an overall (end to end) drop of 4 inches and it catches it all :) Good luck.
010.JPG
 
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russau

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Every time you screen that material ,try pulling the magnetics out as yo0u go and SAVE those magnetics for later refining ! Redo the removal of the magnetics several times and the fine gold will show up the more times you do this and , THEN try out the Miller Table and as had been previously said , alternate the water flow (SMOOTH AS GLASS ) to barley running for the REAL FINE stuff ... and then try changing the angle of the table and don't toss any of them undetectable fines that's left over !! It all adds up ! you will see the fine unseen gold when you put it in the kiln as a small bead of gold ! Good Luck and Happy Thanks Giving to all !
 
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desertgolddigger

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Try adjusting water flow on that Miller & or angle of table.These magnified specs (ultra fine) are so small they View attachment 2056653 float on water. caught by my Miller :):icon_thumright:My homemade Miller is 4ft long with an overall (end to end) drop of 4 inches and it catches it all :) Good luck. View attachment 2056654
Actually, that gold in the photo is huge, compared to what I've found. Some of the gold is so small, it's barely visible with a 10X loupe, and all I've found isn't visible to the naked eye. Not saying what you show in the photo isn't small, but it just doesn't look as small as I describe the gold I've panned.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Every time you screen that material ,try pulling the magnetics out as yo0u go and SAVE those magnetics for later refining ! Redo the removal of the magnetics several times and the fine gold will show up the more times you do this and , THEN try out the Miller Table and as had been previously said , alternate the water flow (SMOOTH AS GLASS ) to barley running for the REAL FINE stuff ... and then try changing the angle of the table and don't toss any of them undetectable fines that's left over !! It all adds up ! you will see the fine unseen gold when you put it in the kiln as a small bead of gold ! Good Luck and Happy Thanks Giving to all !
I'll probably have to prop up the front end of the Miller Table in order to level out the table to a shallower angle. I've basically run out of adjustment with the thumb screws Royal provides.

When I reduced the flow of water quite substantially, all I got was flow on the sides. I'm beginning to think the center is warped slightly upward.

I'm not getting any magnetics in the 100 mesh and smaller. Magnetics and Pyrite are only found in larger than 100 mesh, at least so far.

What do you mean by saving the magnetics for later refining?
 

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