Poor Placer/Mineral Prospectors DIY Plans


Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2015
British Columbia
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Compass Magnum
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
As a prospector who happens to have a mineral claim, but also likes to placer mine and just pan at times, I thought I'd gather my thoughts here and spell out what I plan to do.

Keeping in mind that a person past 50 living on a very modest fixed income doesn't have a big budget for the "toys" that others have. And usually lacks the funds for some of the basics. So this is my list of DIY and improvised alternative prospecting equipment I expect to need.

1) A scaled down 12 volt DC continuous feed and discharge, rod mill. Based on the one that is discussed elsewhere on this forum and developed by a Mr. Clarkson in the Yukon.

2) A scaled down 12 volt DC jaw crusher for small test applications. (I'm thinking that a windshield wiper motor would be the best suited type to use for my needs and budget.)

I do have some other equipment but I'll focus on the diy versions of these first in this thread as time and funds allow. I started discussing my version of the rod mill in another thread, but i think it sort of detracted from the objective of the thread, which was aimed at letting people know about the innovative development of a rod mill designed to separate gold from black sand concentrates.

More later.

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I'm in the same demo. I've placer mined/ prospected on and off for years. Always said that hard rock mining is not for me. But I'm looking at it differently now.

Real close to my area is a creek with some history. I always believed it's been a placer mining operation. I revisited an article I've seen before, but picked out one word I guess I glossed over in the past.


"Mr. Xxxx worked his Quartz mine along Xxxxxx creek with some success. "

I had always thought the ancient riverbed held the gold in its gravels.

It could be the old article was wrong. Or maybe there is an old Quartz ledge just over the ridge. A little Google map prospecting later I'm convinced there was/is a ledge of quartz running through about a third of the way down.

Sitting out there one afternoon I looked at what would be the opposite side of the ridge between the two drainages. Did I see something? A ledge of quartz running through about a third of the way down is what I see in my minds eye.

Some hiking and collecting is in my future. It appears there is some ground disturbance in just that spot so I've got to get some boots on the ground and see for myself.

As I mentioned in my first post, there is a new method of separating gold from black sand concentrates by using a rod mill. Unfortunately, the design is expensive to reproduce without using used parts and materials. It is also intended for use in an area where miners run very large quantities of material through their equipment on a daily basis, resulting in considerable amounts of concentrates.


For the small scale miner who may have a few pounds of concentrates per day, a scaled down version seems to make more sense to me. (And it would seem, for others who posted in response to mention of a smaller rod mill.) So that will be one objective. To build an affordable small rod mill.

There is another item that I will need.
3) A heating unit that can be used to get material to approximately 1000° Fahrenheit and maintain that temperature for up to 10 minutes at least. For this, I plan to build a small heating unit based on what is commonly referred to as the "rocket stove".

Before any of the cult like following of these types of stoves come here to hype their books and DVD's on this, you can save your breath. I know all about them and how there are real wood stove heaters that are less problematic and just as efficient. My only reason for wanting to use that type of heater, is due to the short time needed to get heat out of them, the high temperature that they generate and the fact that they need very little fuel, (both figuratively and literally).

My reasoning for the need of these particular items is based on the fact that there are materials/minerals in this area that require heat, (and salt), to separate the gold. The use of the jaw mill would be for samples taken from larger rock that is suspected of being telluride, (which is known to exist in this area). Once crushed to an appropriate size and heated, then cooled, (shocked in cool water), the rod mill would be used for final gold separation. At least that's my plan. Others can do as they choose.

More to come....

I have one claim I took to use as a base camp. When I'm there I pull out the binoculars and spend an hour or more looking at the mountain a mile away. Lots of quartz and signs of old and recent tailings piles. But your right, boots on the ground, (or tires for those that have quads). I'm trying to fix an old lawn tractor, (poor mans ATV), so I get up the mountain with equipment. Health isn't what it was. Good thing I don't have a boss.

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