Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mining Town Landlocked by Land Slide

Imagine living in an old mining town with only one road in and out (no through roads).
Now how would you feel when a tremendous land slide blocks the road and you have no way in or out of town. It happened in Elk City Idaho last week. A hand full of locals are using their snow machines to ferry mail and medicines on old Forest Service roads. The local stores are quickly running out of food. My mining claims (now sold) were located on the Elk City side of this slide. This is not the first time a slide has happend at this location. The last one was about 4 years ago but this one is three times the size. I think the Idaho Department of Transportation should get together with the Forest Service for an easement to place a bridge across the South Fork Clearwater River before and after this slide area. An IDT road crew was on site clearing a few small rocks off the road and one crew member was filming the upslope area when suddenly all hell broke loose. A Facebook page has been established and you can view pics and the video HERE
This photo shows the slow progress of cleaning up, one week later. I can see dynamite being used to reduce the size of some of those larger boulders.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bazooka Power Sluice Conversion


For all you Bazooka Gold Trap Sluice owners who would like to run pay gravel outside of the creek, I am offering a step-by-step How-To Booklet with drawings and photos, showing you how to create this Power Sluice/Highbanker modification on your own Bazooka Gold Trap Sluice. All items are readily available at Home Depot, Lowes or your local hardware store.

My wife and I used my 36" Prospector model last summer on our Idaho placer claim and pulled 1½ troy ounces of coarse gold.

A week after we got home from our summer home (the claim), I suffered a stroke. This forced the postponement of my prostate cancer surgery and left me with double vision. Now, 4 months later, my vision is improving and I spend more time in my shop looking at all my mining equipment. The Bazooka sluice got most of my attention as I've been waiting for the Bazooka Gold Trap Company to come out with their version of a highbanker conversion for their gold trap sluices. After a year of waiting I decided to design something that would allow me to process raw paydirt outside of the creek.

I don't own any of the smaller (Mini, Sniper) or larger (Miner) gold trap sluices so my design is based on the Prospector series.

It is highly recommended that a gas powered water pump with a minimum of 72 GPM be used to power this unit. Battery powered bilge pumps (even 3700 GPH) will not work. Battery powered pumps are only 60-70% efficient, so even a 3700GPH is only pumping roughly 2400 GPH at minimum lift.

Honda makes a good 1½" gas powered pump and they also make a 2".
You can easily reduce the 2" to 1½" at the pump housing.
These booklets have pictures,detailed drawings and precise step-by-step instructions. A thorough Bill of Material list covers everything you need to buy at the hardware store. When you get back from the hardware store, you'll have this unit built in short order.

To download an electronic copy of my How-To Booklet, just click  HERE


US Army Pacific 1969-1971

Friday, December 25, 2015

Gold Ore Stamp Mills

Here is a scale model of a twenty stamp gold mill located in the history room at the Elk City Hotel in Elk City, Idaho. A local resident built this battery powered operating mill and the one pictured below.
The detail is quite good and it's fun to hear the stamps clicking and clacking. If you're in the Elk City - Dixie Idaho area, stop at the hotel and check out these historical models of days gone bye.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chunky Gold

Our 2015 mining season is in the books with a total of 45 grams. The photo above is about 9 grams of the chunky monkey gold. My buddy 'Chance' from Spokane Valley purchased my gold and took photos of the most interesting pieces under a USB microscope camera. Here are just a few.
Click on the pics to get a larger image.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mellow Yellow

I'm home for a doctor's appointment so I thought I'd throw a jar of gold in a pan for a little 'show & tell'.
We're pulling a lot of quartz / gold pieces this year. One piece has quartz, a manganese coating and hole through the middle. Some others have an iron oxide tint. Fun stuff to look at under a 10X glass. I'll do a further update on the gold when we pull out of camp.
Due to the extremely low water levels, I had to retire my Bazooka Gold Trap Sluice in favor of my Rockin' Gold Grabber. We have heavy concentrations of black sand in our pay gravel so we do a cleanup of the top collection trays after a few buckets and the bottom sluice after 4 or 5 buckets. It's cool to pull the classifier off and see gold laying among the expanded metal on the 1st collection tray. My wife will call them out..."there's one, there's another one and another one, oh, look at that chunky monkey".
I'm not sure how many more weeks of mining I have left this summer. I'll find out after my doctor's appointment. Hopefully it's another month as we are in a fantastic spot and we're averaging close to 2 grams a day over the last week. Our work day on the claim averages between 3½ and 4½ hours due to the side effects of my treatment, so close to 2 grams a day is pretty good.
(Right click>Open in New Tab to view the gold pic up close.)

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Watchman

A few weeks ago I took my viewing box for some upstream prospecting. My method is to use the viewing box to view the creek bottom while I use my gloved hand to whisk away the gravels to expose the bedrock.
One spot showed exposed bedrock with no overburden to whisk away. The bedrock showed some interesting cracks and crevices so I dropped anchor on the viewing box and had my wife come upstream to help me work this new spot. She worked the middle section of the creek and I worked bank side. We would compare sample pans to see where the best pay was coming from. She had the better sample pans so we focused all our attention on her location. Now two people working in close proximity will occasionally bump butts so she moved closer to the opposite bank. Again, we compared sample pans and she was into the color big time. So far, we've pulled ¾ ounce from this location and it's still paying like virgin ground.

While taking a break I noticed this formation just up the creek bank from our location. What caught my eye was the extreme iron staining and then I saw "The Watchman" (circled in yellow). He seemed to be watching over our new location and coaxing us on. If he could hear me, I would tell him "We're not going anywhere any time soon". No pics of gold will be posted until later.
(Right click>Open in New Tab to view larger pics)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Modified 2015 Mining Season

My plans for the 2015 mining season took a detour a month ago when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I've started the first course of treatment and will meet with the doctor again in early July. That leaves me some time to get to the claim for a little while. If the doctor determines that my prostate isn't ready for the next treatment, I'll get an additional month on the claim. Needless to say, I have to make the most of my time on the claim and I plan on putting my Bazooka Prospector into overdrive. My plan is to accumulate buckets of sluice concentrates to bring home. Then, when I'm going through external beam radiation treatment (5 days a week for 5 weeks), I'll have buckets of cons to work. I'll try to post updates when I can and maybe show a good lick of gold later in the fall.
A note about prostate cancer: I had no symptoms. The only way I knew was through yearly blood tests. Last year my PSA numbers were 4.3. I went to a Urologist and he had me schedule another blood test about 10 months later. The PSA numbers went to 9.1. We scheduled a biopsy and the results were prostate cancer. I had a full body scan and a pelvic scan and the cancer is confined to the prostate. The first treatment is a hormone shot and a 10 day series of pills to shut down the production of testosterone. Once the prostate shrinks to a sufficient size, the next treatment is to implant radioactive seeds directly into the prostate. A month after that treatment, we start external beam radiation treatment.
All you males 50+ years of age should get a blood test on a yearly basis.
Don't fear the unknown - meet it head on.