Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hiding Behind a Rock Riffle...continued

Third trip this week to the river. Got to hit it before it freezes solid. I brought my Pyramid Pro Pan with me this time so I could carry only super concentrates back to the truck. The area in the pic marked in yellow is what I processed. Six buckets concentrated down to 3 gallons.
This is my clean up sluice. Notice the plexiglass baffle. It's mounted with a gap at the bottom. I achieve this gap by placing a piece of deep vee mat upside down and setting the plexi on it. I then just tape it in place and pull the deep vee out.
Here's what it looks like running cons. Even though I have over 1½" of water in the dump chamber it's impossible to over feed it. The small gap under the plexi controls the feed to the sluice.
Here's the entire system. Notice the water surface...perfect! There's deep vee mat, 3/8" expanded over carpet and then ¾" expanded over carpet at the end. Sluice is only 6" wide at the discharge end.
When I see this, it's time for a clean up.
Speaking of clean ups...
Twice the weight of Wednesday's take. If only this gold had some thickness to it then maybe it would weight more than .26 gram ;^)
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hiding Behind A Rock Riffle

A short walk downstream from Mother Nature's Sluicebox put me on some interesting looking structure. The bedrock formed a vertical wall on the downstream side forming a perfect place for gold to hide. I pulled a sample from the material laying on the surface and stopped at about the 6" deep mark.
 The sample looked pretty good so I filled a bucket and then took another sample. The red colored material is always a good sign when working Mother Nature's Sluicebox and this spot was full of it. This second sample looked better than the last so I filled another bucket from the material laying on bedrock.
Here's the cavity after removing two buckets of material. I neglected to rinse the cavity to get the remaining gold that you just can't remove by scraping with a spoon but I'll be back to this spot on my next trip.
Here's the money shot ! 
I'd love to bring my Rockin Gold Grabber down to this spot and really run some yardage but the walk down and back several times hauling equipment would kick my azz.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Basalt Riffles aka Mother Nature's Sluicebox

If you drive past this area of Highway 12 between April - Sept 15th, you won't see this nearly one acre sluice box made up of basalt riffles.
Here's a close up of the high water mark. There is a bit of a back eddy on this end of the point that protrudes out into the river. During high water, the gold starts to accumulate among the basalt riffles here.
Walking among the basalt, there are multiple discoveries of black sand / garnet exposures. I scraped up a pan full of material from this spot and headed to the river's edge.
Not a bad looking sample pan. This is what I like to see before I work an area. If I only get 5-10 pieces, I move on to find better ground. Since this area had good potential, I dug 4 partial buckets of unclassified material and headed home.
Here's the money shot after processing through my clean up sluice. Lots of tiny gold that won't get me rich at just 1/10 gram but it's always nice to see color in the pan. Next trip will have me exploring new ground further downstream. (Right click >Open in New Tab to view larger pics)

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Bottom Feeder

Another winter arrives and it's time for another project.
This one started with the idea of  an old dynamite 
magneto plunger. I opened my design software and 
started putting my thoughts together. I started with a 
2" PVC pump body. 
The piston rod is 1" PVC with a 2" plumber's 
adjustable rubber test plug as a piston.The cap at 
the top of the pump body has 4 holes drilled into 
it to allow air to vent on the upstroke.
From the 2" PVC Tee, I placed a 2-1½" reducer 
on each end. Into these reducers, I added the 
1½" True Union Swing Check Valves.
These valves have screw on / off ends for easy 
cleaning so I secured the 1½" suction and
discharge hoses to each end.
At the discharge end, I fabricated a header / spreader
from 2" PVC. I cut and glued two 4" pieces of PVC pipe into 
a 2" PVC Tee. That gave me 12" total width.
I cut an 1½" wide x 10" slot into PVC then glued the end 
caps in place.This header spreader is supported over 
the sluice with aluminum brackets screwed into each end cap.
Into the other end of the 2" Tee, I placed a 2-1½" reducer.
I did not glue this in, since there is no pressure. I then glued 
a 45 in place. With the reducer not glued, I can swing it into
any position. In the picture, I have it set up in one 
of my clean up sluices.I won't be using this sluice. 
Instead, I'll be using a Bazooka 36" Prospector. I think this sluice 
will be the perfect setup for the 1"+ material that the Bottom 
Feeder will be delivering. A quick test with some ¼" to 1"
tailings I had around the garage proved my design idea.
The header / spreader dumped material across the entire
10" wide slot. The pump volume is right around .4 gallon.
All I need now is the Bazooka 36" Prospector
and the month of July to hurry up and get here so that
I can start pumping pay through the Bottom Feeder.
This is a two person on the pump and the
other on the suction hose. Perfect for my mining partner
wife and I.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Back on the Clearwater

Mother Nature's Sluicebox is now available and I concentrated my efforts on pulling basalt bedrock chunks. I located a likely looking place just a few feet downstream of a previous spot I named 'Fort Knox'. Took almost half an hour to finally get several pieces free. If you look at my classifier/pan in the picture, the material was a soupy mix of black sand, garnet and clay. I headed for the river's edge and started washing the gumbo.
Here's what came from that pan of material...several hundred pieces of tiny gold. Patience is a virtue when it comes to panning this size gold.
After removing all the material from the void and using a paintbrush and turkey baster to polish the bottom, I took home about 1/3 bucket of classified material. This cleanup pan is the total. Lots of tiny pieces but only a few tenths of a gram in weight. If only each piece was as big as the gold from my claim !!!
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blood Nuggets

In my previous post, I showed some pieces with host rock still attached.
My buddy (Ebuyc on the Canadian Forum) purchased the whole lot and was kind enough to send me some close up pics.
I copied them onto a black background. Right click > Open in New Tab to view the large pics.
Here are some of those "Blood Nuggets".

Here's a real good close up.

If anyone has any idea what the red mineral is, shoot me an email at:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Season Finale

Drunk on a Claim
Dirks Bentley has a country song titled 'Drunk on a Plane'. Every time we heard his tune on the radio, we just substituted 'Claim' for 'Plane' and sang along.

Large Bedrock Exposure
The lower end of the claim has some massive bedrock shoveling of overburden necessary. I tried to open the cracks to the left and under the viewing box with a steel splitting wedge but it's going to take at least 4 wedges to get the one inch wide cracks to open up...maybe next year.

Pickers on Bedrock
After a half dozen times of seeing gold laying on the bedrock, I finally decided to break out the camera.

Gold in a Crack

Direct Injection
My mining partner and wife of 43 years likes nothing better than to suck gold off bedrock with her sucker bottle...why waste time panning !!!

Five Hour Day
Since we can't use any motorized equipment, our efforts are focused on bedrock sniping. Here's a 1.4 gram, 5 hour day's results.

Chance's Gold
My friend Chance from Spokane worked just a few yards downstream and pulled 1 gram in the same 5 hour day.

Show Me The Color
Here's our take from our bedrock sniping.
Next picture will be a closeup of the larger pieces that show host rock.

Gold & Host Rock
It was a good summer and we're both looking forward to next year. In the meanwhile, I'll be back on the Clearwater to gather that tiny flood gold.

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