Archive for the ‘Prospecting Equipment’ Category

I just had to share this video. This video is from a television program out of Washington D.C. that airs weekly and it highlights the best green practices from around the World. This program is called The Inside Scoop Emerald Planet and if you go to the 30 minute mark on the video you will see that in this segment which aired on March 12, 2017 highlights small scale suction dredging as a best green practice and interviews Joseph Greene. Enjoy and please share. The entire video is great!

If you like reading about our adventures you may want to see us in action. Keep in mind we are not videographers by any means, shooting video while we are prospecting is a real challenge. We started out with antiquated video equipment, we have been challenged with editing software problems, and audio issues, but we are learning as we go and we are getting better equipment to film and edit with.

Please check out our channel here: Appalachian Prospectors Channel.

We will be posting more videos in the future of our adventures, and you can see how equipment works and so on.

Thank You.

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That’s right, dowsing for gold. I know that many people have heard of dowsing for water. I can’t remember the first time that I had heard about dowsing for gold but I had often thought how does that work. I had worked as a plumber for a period in my life and I knew of plumbers or public works utility workers locating metal pipe buried under ground by means of dowsing. I had worked with a guy that would dowse for water and he located many wells, I had asked him if he had ever heard of dowsing for gold and the reply from him was no. I had seen videos of prospectors dowsing for gold and they claimed that they found gold using this method. I spoke with prospectors that I knew about this and  swear by it. My curiosity was peaked, I was skeptical but I didn’t necessarily doubt it after all it is working for them.

Last year I figured I had to try it, I simply took  two 7018 welding rods and bent them at 90 degrees so that they fit my hands, the width of my palm. I had them in my backpack and when I got down to the river I took them out and just started walking around holding them loosely pointing straight out in front of me and they started to move. I came to a spot where they crossed, I stopped then I backed up a little and the went straight out again, I walked forward, they crossed. I walked beyond the spot and they straightened again, I backed over the spot and they crossed. This is it, dig here! I dug, and panned the material and nothing. I went over the location again with the dowsing rods and they still crossed, well it is hitting on something I thought so I dug and panned a few more times, and I got a very little bit of gold, dust. Well, not very much, did it really work I wondered. Let me try another spot, I waded out into the river with my dowsing rods pointed straight out and not only did they cross but they spun all the way around slowly, I marked the spot with several rocks piled up and I continued this until I had a line about 8 feet long. Here it is I yelled to Hillbilly John, this is the location we are going to dredge. We set up the dredge and we worked that location all day, we worked it down to the clay which was only about 2 feet down. Time to do a clean up, we lifted up the rubber mat in the sluice box and behold we had several pickers. We cleaned out the box, took it back to the camp and we ran it through the spiral wheel there was a lot of fine gold and it was one of our best cleanouts we ever had. It could be a coincidence, I used the dowsing rods for the rest of the season and every time put me on the gold and it seemed that we kept getting more gold each time. I can’t tell how deep the gold is, if it is an inch or 5 feet.

How does it work? Some folks think that it is some mystical power. I have my own theory and it is thus: the earth is like an enormous generator emitting power, electricity from deep within the core, this power emanates through the crust as a magnetic field as it passes through different elements in the earth it causes the dowsing rods to move.

Dowsing is working for me so I will continue to use this method in locating gold. What are your thoughts, please share.

Recently Hillbilly John and I where on a gold prospecting adventure where the gold is often times very small micron, we needed something that was more efficient to recover this gold. We had seen the Gold Cube on the market for several years and we had seen it’s appearance on the Discovery Channel show Gold Rush. We had seen Dakota Fred using it to clean his gold and he may have been the one who coined the phrase Cube It, if not he made the phrase famous.
Hillbilly John ordered a gold cube.  We used it and I must say that I like when a product lives up to its claims of how it performs. For clean up it performed excellent. It is fast, we ran our material for a days worth of dredging in a matter of minutes, approximately 8 minutes. We let it run for a while to wash away excess lighter material. At the end we had about a cup of super concentrated material that we panned, I was absolutely amazed at the fine gold we recovered, which in the past we were losing a lot of this fine gold. The Gold Cube is easy to set up and just as easy to clean up. I could see that this piece of equipment would not only be good for clean up but also for processing material right on the stream bed. You could screen your material down to 1/4 of an inch and run it right through. There are attachments that you can get to use it like a high banker. If you are thinking about getting the Gold Cube I would say do it, you will not regret it. If you are looking for something to clean your concentrates this is it.

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You can find the link to purchase a gold cube on our home page: http://www.appalachianprospectors.com/

After panning my concentrates down or running them through a spiral wheel I have always tossed out the concentrates, knowing that there was fine gold still in them. I knew that this fine gold can be separated from the material. One method I had heard of was with the use of mercury, but we know the dangers of mercury. I didn’t want my hair and teeth to fall out, lose my mind or my life. Nor do I want to take a chance at damaging the environment. I knew that there is a safe method to use mercury with a retort but I still didn’t want to chance it. I did some research and found some other methods that did not use mercury or chemicals such as the shaker table but that piece of equipment was much more than I wanted to spend, these were more for commercial operations.  I found an article on miller tables, these are not some new technology I found that these date back to the 1800’s. A miller table works on a similar principle as a sluice box in that water flows through the box washing away the lighter material. The miller table does not have riffles like a sluice box but it has a slate bottom. You run the water very slowly so that it looks as smooth as glass and you have a mild pitch.  I found some that sell on the market for around $150.00 which I think is very affordable but I thought that one would be easy enough to build myself. So with that in mind I had been saving some of my black sand concentrates over the past couple of years. I finally found the time to build one, it is nothing fancy, I used some scrap wood that was lying around the house, a piece of plywood and a couple of pressure treated spindles from deck railings. I used chalk board paint for the bottom. I bought a Pacifichydrostar submersible fountain pump from Harbor Freight Tools with a rate of 264 gallons per hour for around $12. I used 1 inch pvc for the plumbing with a ball valve to control the flow of water. I drilled holes in the pvc pipe for the spray bar. I used a 3/4″ hose from the pump to the plumbing. I sanded the plywood as smooth as possible then painted and then sanded and painted, I repeated this about 7 times. I assembled the plywood with the deck rails and sealed the joints with silicon. I assembled the plumbing and hooked up the pump with the 3/4 hose. I was ready to try it out. I plugged it in and I adjusted the water flow, I had the table sitting at a very mild slope I would have to say around 5 degrees. I had some black sand concentrates that I had been saving, I dumped them into the flow and it worked like a charm. It washed away the magnetite and the gold was left behind and I picked it up with my snuffer bottle.

It's not pretty but it is functional.

It’s not pretty but it is functional.

It’s length is 3 feet by 8 inches wide, I have found that I could have made it shorter, 2 feet long would have been plenty. I find that it catches the gold in the first 6 inches.

You want the flow to be very slow so that the water looks like a sheet of glass.

You want the flow to be very slow so that the water looks like a sheet of glass.

The concentrates that I am running have already been processed through a spiral wheel and then classified through a fine mesh strainer. I have run the concentrates both wet and dry, either way works but I prefer running them dry just because of the way it lays down on the miller table as I feed the material.

Running concentratesNotice not much of a pitch, I have it sitting on two buckets that are different heights, the valve I have almost closed, I could have used a smaller cheaper pump if I wanted to. I feed the material slowly like I am sprinkling sugar on cereal.

Getting the fine gold.I am very pleased with the performance of the miller table, I will no longer be tossing out my fine gold. The next one I build will be made of aluminum, this one is my prototype. I would prefer to use real slate but the chalkboard paint works fine. Very easy to build anyone can do it.

We are holding our summer Drawing at www.appalachianprospectors.com. We have 3 prizes to give away and they are: 1. A Keene A52 Sluicebox 2. A Gold Panning Starter Kit By Garrett 3. A Book: Gold Mining In The 21st Century by Dave McCracken. To enter all you have to do is join our forum and post something about your own prospecting adventures and you must have a mailing address within the Continental United States. We will only ship prizes within the Continental United States. The drawing will be held on September 15th. It cost nothing to enter, so come and enter and good luck.

Gold in the pan

Gold in the pan (Photo credit: anglerp1)

It’s the end of February and cabin fever has you stir crazy, you can’t wait to get out and find some of that elusive gold, the 2012 gold season is almost upon us for some it is already here. Now is the time to make preparations for your prospecting or small-scale mining adventures. It’s time to check your equipment and make sure it’s in good working order and make sure you have everything you need. I know for myself I need to pick up another crowbar I forgot mine in the river on our last dredging trip. Now is a good time to plan your prospecting adventure and this will determine your needs as far as equipment needed.

Some things you want to make sure you have for prospecting:

  • Gold pan
  • Shovels: a long-handled spade is good, a folding military entrenching tool works great, you can fold it at 90 degrees and it also doubles as a pick, I love mine. You should also have a garden trowel.
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • classifiers: a spaghetti strainer will work fine for test panning. Other wise you can buy various size classifiers that fit your 5 gallon bucket I find that these are a must for production.
  • Crevicing tools to scratch out the cracks in ledge rock, these can produce some nice gold so don’t overlook them. You can make your own or you can buy them.
  • Crowbar for prying rocks loose and breaking up that hard pack.
  • Gold Vials
  • Tweezers
  • Snuffer Bottle for the flour gold.
  • magnifying glass
  • Backpack

You have found yourself a spot that contains a fair amount of gold already and you have decided that you would like to go into the production mode this would be more of a small-scale mining venture. A gold pan is just not practical for this type of venture, it is to time-consuming.

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Image via Wikipedia

There is some really great equipment on the market today some equipment to consider:

  • Sluice box
  • Rocker box
  • Highbanker
  • Dredge
  • Trommel

Where you plan on setting up operation, how much you are willing to spend will determine what you should get. Many states require a permit to use these items and permit cost vary from state to state as do regulations.

You may already have a lot of these items in your tool shed,  use them. Hit those yard sales and flea markets for the hand tools that you don’t have.The local hardware store is a good spot as well, some items you may be able to make yourself use your imagination. You could try Ebay but beware that you are not buying someone elses junk. We have just about everything a prospector or small-scale miner would ever need on our website at: http://www.appalachianprospectors.com