First Foray into Processing Crushed Rock

N-Lionberger

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I never had much luck using my detectors to look for ore samples. I use them to look for nuggets and to search placer gravels for concentrations of iron be it natural or man made if it’s dropping out of stream flow there then gold may be nearby. A lot of ore contains other mineralization which can cause confusion with a detector. A good quality magnifying glass is handy, if you see an interesting rock you can smack a piece off with a hammer and inspect the less weathered inside. Crushing likely pieces with a little mortar and pestle and a quick test pan in a tub of water answers the question pretty fast. Label samples and keep notes.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Wellll, today was another bust when it comes to float below the hard rock mines. As I've said in another thread, our claim was first worked over 100 years ago by the old timers. Over the years, miners like myself have worked the washes, and hillsides n below these mines. They're pretty worked out.

My placer gold, for the most part, is a result of working these worked over washes. There's always a little fine gold still washing into the washes, but most of the significant gold has been found.

What this means is I'm basically wasting my time at the claim I always do my placer mining at.

My only alternative is another club claim, 20 acres, about another 10 miles into the desert. I believe the rock which produces my very fine gold was from this claim. I picked it up as a souvenir some 15 years ago.

This claim has a strange setup. The gold bearing rock are opposite each other by about 20 yards. From what I can tell, this lode wash slowly eroded in the middle over a very long time.

A river flows about 35 yards downhill from this hard rock outcrop. I think a lot of the material ended up in this river. So this seems my only other opportunity to look for gold bearing ore, without my going somewhere, and then finding out it is a current claim.

Claims in this area aren't always posted like they're supposed to be, so you can dig, and then have someone tell you to scoot. Hopefully this river isn't claimed. I've no way to determine where unposted claims are.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to get to the claim, as it's been over a decade since I was last there.
 
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desertgolddigger

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DGD , after you crushed your material , how did you process the results of this ? How did you crush this and for how long ?
I used the electric chain Crusher from K&M Crushers, so after it quit make noise, I stopped the motor, and unloaded it.

I classified (screened) at 50, 70 and 100 mesh. I always pan the 100 mesh and smaller, as it is the best indicator of gold, So far I've only found two pieces from the 70 mesh screening, and nothing larger. I use the panning technique shown in a Hard Rock University video.

If there's any gold below 400 mesh, I cannot see anything smaller.
 
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desertgolddigger

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I truly don't understand how some get into this 'Gold hunting thing' and give up so easily :icon_scratch:
I haven't given up, but I need to explore elsewhere, as Humbug claim is just worked to the nth degree by hard rock, placer, and detectorist miners.

Some of the roads in this mining district require a high clearance 4x4. My Frontier 4x4 isn't capable of traversing a lot of these roads to promising mines, so I'm limited to where I can search..
 
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desertgolddigger

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Here is a link I found pretty interesting…
Ed T
Good video. I've watched a couple other videos made by this guy. He's pretty good at explaining things. I've already been told to raise the front end of my table. It's from Royal, and the surface is a synthetic, so sandpapering it would probably ruin it. I've already recovered about a 10th of a gram on it.

But the gold I found in a rock is very tiny, on the edge of invisibility when looked at through a 10x loupe. So it is going to be a day of work setting up my table to run what I think is smaller than 400 mesh.
 

JohnWhite

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Good video. I've watched a couple other videos made by this guy. He's pretty good at explaining things. I've already been told to raise the front end of my table. It's from Royal, and the surface is a synthetic, so sandpapering it would probably ruin it. I've already recovered about a 10th of a gram on it.

But the gold I found in a rock is very tiny, on the edge of invisibility when looked at through a 10x loupe. So it is going to be a day of work setting up my table to run what I think is smaller than 400 mesh.
There are times prospecting can be a pain in the behind…When I was into it I used to use something similar to this in the field https://www.ebay.com/itm/3312275492...7hXh5xqIDWTJi+FM4mrNc6ehMDYO|tkp:BFBMuKmrkJhh …I have not been out in the hills for quite some time and I am rather rusty…So I will not try to give you any advice…

I have been to one deposit that has pushed me to the brink of insanity…I have not been to said site in over 30 years…It is a site that is the area mentioned in several treasure legends…But I don’t think I will be going back anytime soon…

I wish you all of the best in your quests…

Ed T
 

Reed Lukens

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Looks like you need to hit the recorders office -
 

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desertgolddigger

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Looks like you need to hit the recorders office -
Reed, I've seen that before. It looks like the whole area is claimed by either placer or hard rock miners.

I don't even know anything about recorders office. I do know that those townships list, sometimes more than one claim. And some just one. So the whole area isn't completely taken. Just the spots with possible gold.

I'd like to obtain a map of our area with detailed claim boundaries, but I doubt such a thing exists.

I went out today to find our other claim. The directions given leave something to be desired. Took me two hours just to find the proper road number, and then, our claim apparently isn't marked so a driver can see it. Did find another claim, one about half a mile long along that same road, but not ours.

So I went back to the main claim, and metal detected the tailings bench just below a vertical mine shaft. I got lots of hits; nails, bullets, and rusty metal, but nothing else. o I figured I would tote home anything that eve raised a peep from the detector. I really thought I might have gotten something. But the pan came out empty as usual.

BTW, I finally figured out why I get those little peeps from the detector. It's the cable the keeps moving as it is swung back and forth. The Velcro doesn't do a proper job of immobilizing the cable. I need to use tape of some kind, and secure it from coil to processor hookup. I also need to tape the shaft sections so they quit unscrewing themselves, which also causes those peeps due vibration, once the shaft sections loosen.

I frankly think the manufacturer could have done a better job with this detector to ensure things can't move. I wish I'd never old my mid 70's Whites detector. It picked up everything from the normal junk to gold.


Another thing I think I may've had a problem with is panning the die=rt out of the material. I believe I was agitating the water so much, I was losing everything except the larger material. Today I panned the material three times, finally keeping the smallest material, other than the dirt. Though it didn't make a difference today. Skunked again.
 

southfork

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Reed, I've seen that before. It looks like the whole area is claimed by either placer or hard rock miners.

I don't even know anything about recorders office. I do know that those townships list, sometimes more than one claim. And some just one. So the whole area isn't completely taken. Just the spots with possible gold.

I'd like to obtain a map of our area with detailed claim boundaries, but I doubt such a thing exists.

I went out today to find our other claim. The directions given leave something to be desired. Took me two hours just to find the proper road number, and then, our claim apparently isn't marked so a driver can see it. Did find another claim, one about half a mile long along that same road, but not ours.

So I went back to the main claim, and metal detected the tailings bench just below a vertical mine shaft. I got lots of hits; nails, bullets, and rusty metal, but nothing else. o I figured I would tote home anything that eve raised a peep from the detector. I really thought I might have gotten something. But the pan came out empty as usual.

BTW, I finally figured out why I get those little peeps from the detector. It's the cable the keeps moving as it is swung back and forth. The Velcro doesn't do a proper job of immobilizing the cable. I need to use tape of some kind, and secure it from coil to processor hookup. I also need to tape the shaft sections so they quit unscrewing themselves, which also causes those peeps due vibration, once the shaft sections loosen.

I frankly think the manufacturer could have done a better job with this detector to ensure things can't move. I wish I'd never old my mid 70's Whites detector. It picked up everything from the normal junk to gold.


Another thing I think I may've had a problem with is panning the die=rt out of the material. I believe I was agitating the water so much, I was losing everything except the larger material. Today I panned the material three times, finally keeping the smallest material, other than the dirt. Though it didn't make a difference today. Skunked again.
I've been using my recirculating ribbed sluice it catches micro gold nicely.
 
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desertgolddigger

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I've been using my recirculating ribbed sluice it catches micro gold nicely.
Thanks for the tip. I'll give my tiny sluice a try.

EDITED: @southfork, Your tip, both saved me time, and revealed three specks of Gold, as well as a few of those silver non-magnetic things. I didn't bother to try to pan anything out, as there's not enough to bother. So I added it to my collection of specks of gold and silvery things. Someday, maybe I'll have enough to actually try to clean out the debris, and leave the good stuff.

I'll be out at the claim trying to find rocks that'll make the detector squeal. At least I dream of finding one or two. I think I'll take the pickaxe and big shovel so I can clear more material to detect. Right now I'm using a plastic scoop and micro pickaxe.
 
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desertgolddigger

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I set up this morning to work the debris bench just below one of the vertical shafts. I actually pick axed about 10 square feet, and detectyed it. Absolute silence. I removed two layer, and got the same result.

I quit, feeling like this was a waste of time. I'd been told that the benches were actually waste dumped there, and basically contain nothing. Not sure how accurate that statement is.

So I explored with a hammer, and magnifying loupe, cracking rocks, and looking where it split. I'm not sure, but two rocks seemed to show a speck of gold. Could be fools gold, as some of these rocks were loaded with Pyrites.

I also detected some more on the claim, bur ended up with manmade junk as usual. I still think that the only way to find gold is to dig for it on this claim. Maybe dig below these OT mine shafts, and then detect the holes.

Anyway, I'll crush a couple rocks tonight, and see if anything good comes of it.

EDITED: I crushed four rocks I had little expectations of any gold. Well, I was wrong. I've no idea how much, but I know it's not much. Along with the micro gold there was plenty of the little non-magnetic silvery things. And there were a lot of the silvery and gold colored Pyrites.

It's such a mish mash, I haven't a clue as how I will make a final separation. So I just added all if it to my previous findings.

I ran it all again i n my mini sluice, but maybe too fast. So, tomorrow, I'll clean up the equipment of all the filth, and then run things a second time.. I'll also run my accumulation of 70-99 mesh to see if there's anything.

Maybe my giving up on the piles of debris, and just wandering, and breaking promising rocks here and there, and using a loupe might pay off better. There's all kinds of the debris that others have just tossed as worthless. Maybe some of it, though not having enough gold to set off a metal detector, might have enough to worthwhile processing.

It'll just be a while, while I accumulate enough for the next step in processing. And I will need your help there.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Ran my accumulated mesh 70-99. Got one speck of gold, and again, lots of the gold colored Pyrite. Nt much return for the effort, but I'm probably slowly building some skills for this type of endeavour.

EDITED: It seems that my panning of super fine gold leaves something to be desired. Thanks to Southfork's suggestion that I use my mini sluice for cleanup, each batch of crushed rock has produced some super fine gold, along with the mysterious non-magnetic silvery particles. It seems the size of both of these seems to be the same size. If I get slightly larger gold, then the silvery stuff also closely matches that size.

At the rate I'm going, I might get a gram of this stuff in a couple years. LOL!! t least it's another challenge for me, especially as I'm kind of burned out placer mining, at least for the present. I'm sure the urge to dig will soon return. Of course, some of my gold bearing rocks may be from the wash I placer mine in.

Things are going to be on hold as I will attend my Sister's funeral early next week. Don't be surprised if I don't make an entry for a week or so.
 
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Reed Lukens

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Are you still running the small coil?
I can see where the larger one could pick up vibration, you just ned to wrap one piece of velcro down by the coil with enough loup to angle it right. Wrap a few tight wraps of the cord to hold it in place, then run the cord up as far as you can with tight wide wraps. Then wrap the rest of the excess by the control box. I use velcro about every 6" up the shaft.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Are you still running the small coil?
I can see where the larger one could pick up vibration, you just ned to wrap one piece of velcro down by the coil with enough loup to angle it right. Wrap a few tight wraps of the cord to hold it in place, then run the cord up as far as you can with tight wide wraps. Then wrap the rest of the excess by the control box. I use velcro about every 6" up the shaft.
Reed, the problem with false signals is history. I ditched the Velcro, and used my pink duct tape. I wrapped the two joints where the shaft sections screw together, and then wrapped the cable in four places. There's no more problems with false signals. The fact is I'm not getting any signals but the normal trash on our claim. Last hit was a very rusty square nail.
 

Reed Lukens

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I'm sorry to hear about your sister, have a safe trip. Having the right gold pan for fines is also a big plus. Look for the Falcon finish pan while you're traveling. It's hands down, the best concentrating pan out there. I'll fix my video on it and get it posted the right way.

 
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desertgolddigger

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I'm sorry to hear about your sister, have a safe trip. Having the right gold pan for fines is also a big plus. Look for the Falcon finish pan while you're traveling. It's hands down, the best concentrating pan out there. I'll fix my video on it and get it posted the right way.

Thanks Reed, Not going far. It's a one day trip. But I'll just need time to recover.

For now, I have a Blue Bowl, Royal Miller Table, and a micro sluice for cleanup. The sluice is working great. I still have some of what is basically fine sand, but I think after I classify it further, and run the stuff either on the Table or in the Bowl, I'll have mostly gold left.

I finally worked out a modified system for cleaning out the dirt from the rock crushings. It's not perfect, and some dirt in suspension remains, but I keep everything for the sluice, except for that dirt.

I bet that dirt has extremely fine gold in it, but I'll never have a way of getting at it.

Some say not to say this, but I'm still a recreation al miner, and spending many thousands of dollars just to recover that micron gold isn't going to happen.
 
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desertgolddigger

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Ran another batch of ore this morning. After what I saw, I will rerun all the material several times to ensure I get the majority of this ultra fine gold. How ultra fine? The specks measure 7.5 microns and smaller. Yup, somehow the mini sluice is catching this small gold. And I thought my first success had small gold. Those were easily twice the size of todays batch. How do I know the size? I purchased a microscope with markings etched into the primary optic

And the rocks I crushed were the ones I thought might contain gold, based on what I've read, and videos I've watched online. Now I think I can go out, and pick up ore, and have occasional success. I'm sure that of the eight rocks I broke up, and crushed, only one was the one with this gold.

Of course, several hundred specks at 7.5 microns doesn't add up to a whole lot, but for our claim, it's a jackpot. :icon_cheers:
 

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