Gold Ore

southfork

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A little sample that was found with a metal detector. Crushed by hand then panned to wash away some of the dirt and clay? The photo is macro so real small particles, but the quartz shows and what looks like iron and free gold. I think we need a small smelter to retrieve the values trying to speed up the recovery what's your thoughts ?
 

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desertgolddigger

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What I was getting at is not all clay is the same the blue clay on our place is down on bedrock. But I don't know if it's from decomposing material or wash from ground sluicing. But I have found a lot of pickers and small nuggets scrubbing the clay with a stiff brush on a rainy day. The pink mud / clay down on the river was always loaded with gold down on bedrock. What I do know is that there was a lot of placer mining and hard rock all over this place and they didn't get it all. Happy mining
Yes, you got it about clay on bedrock. Even the wash on or claim has brownish clay, or is it just another form of caliche. I try very hard to get this covering off the bedrock, then break it up/crush it. What success at removing and pulverizing this material has given me some gold. Not sure why the previous miners failed to do what I'm doing, unless they figured it was too much effort, or that they felt nothing was there. But in one of the washes on our claim, which I call dead, is completely devoid of any kind of clay/mineralization. Looking around that wash I see what looks like what might have covered the bedrock. Seems someone really scoured that wash.
 
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southfork

southfork

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Today I decided to smelt the latest crush and I had a slight failure no gold was hurt lol. I had all the gold in a large cupel with a little borax after about an hour I shut the furnace off so I could take a peek. The cupel had cracked and some of the gold leaked down through the crack and the furnace plate was cracked the gold kept going down onto the fireproof fiber in the bottom. 12.5 grams in the bottom and a lot still in the slag after it all cools, I'll break the slag and remelt it all together again. Another 5 grams out of the loose slag I'll break and grind the cupel it still has a little gold stuck to the bottom.
 

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Tesorodeoro

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Today I decided to smelt the latest crush and I had a slight failure no gold was hurt lol. I had all the gold in a large cupel with a little borax after about an hour I shut the furnace off so I could take a peek. The cupel had cracked and some of the gold leaked down through the crack and the furnace plate was cracked the gold kept going down onto the fireproof fiber in the bottom. 12.5 grams in the bottom and a lot still in the slag after it all cools, I'll break the slag and remelt it all together again. Another 5 grams out of the loose slag I'll break and grind the cupel it still has a little gold stuck to the bottom.
There must be a certain number of burns you can do before it’s just cheaper to toss the cupule? Too bad you can’t use manzanita for fuel to smelt with in the winter! I’ve seen some impressive fires using a turbo and an air compressor tank..kind of a dangerous chain reaction reaction that generates A LOT of heat. ;) if you dig a pit in the ground and make charcoal out of it, a blacksmiths forge would do the trick for sure.
 
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southfork

southfork

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There must be a certain number of burns you can do before it’s just cheaper to toss the cupule? Too bad you can’t use manzanita for fuel to smelt with in the winter! I’ve seen some impressive fires using a turbo and an air compressor tank..kind of a dangerous chain reaction reaction that generates A LOT of heat. ;) if you dig a pit in the ground and make charcoal out of it, a blacksmiths forge would do the trick for sure.
That was the first burn and propane is cheap and clean. The trick would be to just find big clean nuggets.
 

pepperj

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Today I decided to smelt the latest crush and I had a slight failure no gold was hurt lol. I had all the gold in a large cupel with a little borax after about an hour I shut the furnace off so I could take a peek. The cupel had cracked and some of the gold leaked down through the crack and the furnace plate was cracked the gold kept going down onto the fireproof fiber in the bottom. 12.5 grams in the bottom and a lot still in the slag after it all cools, I'll break the slag and remelt it all together again. Another 5 grams out of the loose slag I'll break and grind the cupel it still has a little gold stuck to the bottom.
What was the reason for the cupel to crack?
 

Clay Diggins

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Maybe too much moisture in the cupel.
Bingo!

Are you using bone ash or calmix cupels?

For bone ash I have always preheated the cupel when I start up the furnace. Pull it before it gets much above 800 F and let it cool a little near the furnace before you use it.

Calmix doesn't require drying but costs more. It's also a lot softer than bone ash when at temperature so easier to break.

I don't have much experience with magnesia cupels. They also need to be dried before use. I think those are all made in China now?

Cupels are less than a buck apiece in volume. I never saw any sense in reusing them and risking contamination. If you can get more than one smelt from them more power to you. :thumbsup:

Heavy Pans
 
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southfork

southfork

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Bingo!

Are you using bone ash or calmix cupels?

For bone ash I have always preheated the cupel when I start up the furnace. Pull it before it gets much above 800 F and let it cool a little near the furnace before you use it.

Calmix doesn't require drying but costs more. It's also a lot softer than bone ash when at temperature so easier to break.

I don't have much experience with magnesia cupels. They also need to be dried before use. I think those are all made in China now?

Cupels are less than a buck apiece in volume. I never saw any sense in reusing them and risking contamination. If you can get more than one smelt from them more power to you. :thumbsup:

Heavy Pans
Advertised as bone ash I preheat also normally melt a little borax then load and place back in furnace, Yesterday I lifted out of furnace with tongs to add more flux maybe I squeezed too hard when hot.
 
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southfork

southfork

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I smelted/ melted my failed attempt ran all the slag using a new cupel. Preheated then added borax and the gold/slag that ran through the crack's success. I have a nice button 17.5 grams seems like all the rocks off the new pile have small amounts of gold. We have been milling test batches and doing better than shoveling all day on the river.
 

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southfork

southfork

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My son ran a sandwich baggie of hot rocks off the old pile though the crusher. Washed through the #30 screen and panned the fines are still waiting in the blue bowl the pump died new one on the way. But nice clean gold so far 8 grams on top of the 30-mesh screen. It will pay for the slightly used Nox he just bought the old one had a short every time you bumped something it sounded off. Seth is on the way down the hill to test new machine.
 

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Tesorodeoro

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My son ran a sandwich baggie of hot rocks off the old pile though the crusher. Washed through the #30 screen and panned the fines are still waiting in the blue bowl the pump died new one on the way. But nice clean gold so far 8 grams on top of the 30-mesh screen. It will pay for the slightly used Nox he just bought the old one had a short every time you bumped something it sounded off. Seth is on the way down the hill to test new machine.
Usually the false signals when bumped is just a bad coil in my experience. Annoying as can be.
 
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southfork

southfork

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My son Seth bought a slightly used NOX 800 to replace one with a short. Seth ran a test on it last night for an hour on mine tailings $400 bucks for the detector might have paid for itself first hour. Crushed four or five little bits he found last night not weighed yet but looks healthy.
 

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Tesorodeoro

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My son Seth bought a slightly used NOX 800 to replace one with a short. Seth ran a test on it last night for an hour on mine tailings $400 bucks for the detector might have paid for itself first hour. Crushed four or five little bits he found last night not weighed yet but looks healthy.
Good deal!
 
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southfork

southfork

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I made it down to the diggings today on my quad a lot of low hanging branches and brush. A couple of spots where you lift a wheel or two off the ground slow and easy no problem for me. The spot my son and a friend were working looked like the remains of an old ore shoot rake and detect my son had six little pieces with gold showing. His friend was working the bottom of a ravine/ seasonal drainage with his detector and showed me a few placer pickers after a short hunt. My son gave me some lessons on the NOX and I managed to find a little bit with gold showing. I like the milling and smelting part the digging and raking part is too much work. I split a few rocks and hauled some big samples up to crush my son has a pile waiting for me to haul up. Forgot my camera so no boring photos of gold ore.
 

desertgolddigger

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Question? You crush your rocks. I looked at a drum type which comes in two sizes with 2.5 and 3 inch feed openings. Just how do you deal with rock larger than your crusher opening? I've tried breaking rocks with a sledge hammer, and the experience nearly broke me. :-)
 
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southfork

southfork

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Question? You crush your rocks. I looked at a drum type which comes in two sizes with 2.5 and 3 inch feed openings. Just how do you deal with rock larger than your crusher opening? I've tried breaking rocks with a sledge hammer, and the experience nearly broke me. :-)
We use the sledge also place rock on top of a thick steel plate in a wheelbarrow tub to catch the pieces. Then they go into the chain mill I wish we had a jaw crusher to deal with the big pieces. Half the size of the feed opening seems to work good to big and it will jam. We feed slow and let run until it's all dust and fine sand Hard rock mining is hard work
 

desertgolddigger

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We use the sledge also place rock on top of a thick steel plate in a wheelbarrow tub to catch the pieces. Then they go into the chain mill I wish we had a jaw crusher to deal with the big pieces. Half the size of the feed opening seems to work good to big and it will jam. We feed slow and let run until it's all dust and fine sand Hard rock mining is hard work
Thanks, I'm starting to burn out Placer mining, and maybe I need to explore the possibility of doing what you're doing, going through the Old Timers tailings. The big problem is the initial investment.
 
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southfork

southfork

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My son crushed his finds from yesterday another great day for Seth and his friends. I'm falling behind on my part because of other never-ending projects but I stop long enough to crush and wash rocks for my gold fix.
 

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desertgolddigger

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My son crushed his finds from yesterday another great day for Seth and his friends. I'm falling behind on my part because of other never-ending projects but I stop long enough to crush and wash rocks for my gold fix.
Fantastic!! Glad you have help. I know about having that gold fix. You're fortunate to live so close to a mine. Do you own the mine? I would go everyday if I lived closer. Gas is way too expensive right now. I really need to learn just what is needed to do what you're doing. I keep thinking what you're doing is the smarter way to go, over Placer mining.
 

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