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Crushing Old Gold Mine Tailings - Need Advise


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Have a lot of old gold mine tailings on farm from 1800-1900's was wondering if it might be profitable to haul some to local rock crusher ? If anyone has experience would like to hear from you. How small would it need to be crushed, etc. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Located in Western North Carolina Gold Belt. Some would be easily accessible and some I would have to remove trees to get to.

Thanks,

Buckshot

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Buckshot-

You need to sample your tailing piles for an assay before you do anything. No doubt you have some gold in there but no sense going through a lot of work if it may not be profitable. Grab some RANDOM samples to send out. Sampling is critical in order to get a true idea of what may be in those tailing piles.

Here's a link to some assayers. You also mention rare earth minerals like monazite on your property so you might want an assayer that can cover those too.

http://www.icmj.com/...ywords=Assayers

All of those firms are in the western part of the country so I included a geologist from Virginia who may be more familiar with your area. Don't know if he assays or not but he might be able to give you some advice.

Geologist George Hamilton

P.O. Box 5381

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23455 USA

Ph: 1-757-363-8093 or fax: 1-801-991-3134

Contact: George Hamilton

E-Mail: amchitka@rocketmail.com, amchitka@mailexcite.com

I would contact some of these firms and tell them what you have on your property and go with what you feel most comfortable with...

Good luck,

Steve

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All hardrock mines were sorted into piles. Most of your "tailings" (which is actually not "tailings" but the "dump") are country rock and worthless. The ore is generally a specific zone that holds the minerals and is usually less than the width of a slice of bread or a cracker.

Look for the sorted piles and get the historic info on the area. The ore will be described in that publication. Then identify your ore within the piles of country rock. Crush and pan pieces of the ore until you learn what produces color. Then by eye you can collect the good stuff and figure out what to do with it.

A 20X and 30X triplet is handy to examine the ore. You can actually see the particles of gold if the ore is very rich.

Ore must be crushed to the fineness of flour to free the gold. Dont even bother trying to do a qualntity. It has been my experience that you either find a very limited amount of actual ore and can do it with an old axle as a "pestle" and use an old hub for a "mortar". If it is more ore than you can do like that you are stuck sending it off or trying to make one of the junk prospecting crushers work. I have seen several and none were worth a crap. You can make your own much cheaper and easier if you are handy. And if your ore is worth more than $5-$6 a ton and you have a hundred tons or so it may be worth renting a loader and a dump truck to haul it somewhere for processing. The trouble is that we are in the same predicament now as before the civil war...NO SMELTERS. SO transportation costs to haul ore genetrally make good ore worthless unless you can treat it by hand.

Hope that helps. I haver a big bucket of very high grade hematite ore that I was going to crush and pan and take some photos for the group but I never have gotten around to it. It is a fairly simple process but a lot of work.

Good luck Bucksot! Learn to identify the ore in your area and you can pick up lots of good chispas (float) when you are out and you will rarely come home skunked!

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I disagree all hardrock mines were sorted into piles. Sure, under ideal circumstances, that's the way to do it but a lot of these guys didn't follow proper mining techiniques. I have come across many tailing piles where the richer ores were mixed in with the host rock. Some guys in Nevada were taking bulldozers and knocking down piles to find good ores they could recover and in some cases they did quite well. Even today there's plenty of piles that are just waiting to be processed when the metal prices are right.

I am familiar with Buckshot's property from Joe D. I really doubt there's anything in those piles and even if there were,the cost of processing would probably eat away any potential profit. Still think the easiest way to find out is to do some random sampling and send out to be assayed, then discuss the results with a knowledgable person. An assay would also uncover any possible REE's that you wouldn't normally be able to see.

Steve

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Sure. Sometimes the country rock on the dump has value. I thought the poster's question was about crushing hand samples for precioius metals and not evaluating a quantity of low grade weaste rock. Now I re-read it and I see he wants to haul deletrious rock for values.

I have never heard of a man who would dig a hole in solid rock and not sort out the best ore, but maybe they do that back east. And in the dump the specimens of interest are usually the ones that show vein mineralization, so you can visually reject most of what is on the dump unless it is very high grade. My break even point for hauling rock to the Morenci smelter 10 years ago was $3 per yard. Diesel fuel is a lot more expensive these days so I am saying $6 would probably be minimal with a smelter 250 miles away.

When you do your "assays" be prepared to get the full spectrum ICP with AA and GC/MS on all those "random" samples to find your REE's. Bring a checkbook! If I were shelling out the sheckles for lab work I would darn sure compare a few "random" samples to those I visually selected as being mineralized...You know, just in case you can recognize the ore from the crap.

I would not spend for analysis for REE on anything except monazite crystals until those came back positive. You could easily concentrate them if they were in the sand but you could never extract them from the rock at a profit. REE's that an individiual can tackle are ALWAYS in sand. And no smellter in the US will smelt rock for REE's. You must make a refineable product from wehatever you have. The monazite sands are the only real possibility to fiddle with.

Most miners followed a mineralized vein. Recognizing, exploring and analyzing that vein is how a miner proceeds. Finding pieces of that vein on the mine dump is how a prospector takes advantage of the situation. If you can sort it a bit and lessen the tonnage and increase the value you will be light years ahead.

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Buckshot: If you have access to a Fisher GB2 or comparable metal detector, then you may consider raking down some of those piles to run the detector over. Out here in California the small scale hard rockers typically hand sorted what they mucked out [cuz it was a long way for a skinny burro to haul ore, so only the richest stuff got shipped]. Thus, there are piles of discards here and there. But even the old timers missed a few. A detector that can detect very tiny gold is a much easier method than jaw crushing. Such a technique, of course, will not be useful if the gold is running minus 20 or smaller [unless you use a Falcon]. But it is a quickie way to get interested in the rest of the pile if you succeed initially in popping a few out. Plus, it doesn't take much effort. Keep us posted...

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Golden has been around for many years and indeed construction is golden. Will require multiple runs to get'r done but price is fantastic for that unit. Please remember that in dayz of old ,when miners were bold,and environutz were not invented, they need a oz per ton, to get'r done, and nowadayz thats a REAL tidy sum---tons a au 2 u 2 -John :thumbsupanim:brows:

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With the info you have shared with me, I think you are headed in the right direction. Also need to add, The dust from those crushers is DEADLY, take all the appropriate precautions

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Use to own a glass shop so very familar with silica dust, another reason I am looking at the jaw crusher instead of the flailing chain crusher, that and sound.

Appreciate all the advise guys.

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Bob & All: Was not considering crushing rock for REE's only for possibility of gold, all monazite that I've found, which was not been a lot was in the sands of the stream. Have been told by a amateur geologist who is familiar with the property that there had also been some Xenotime found on it in the past. Back to the rock crushing, I don't think the local rock crusher can get the rock small enough to release the gold, I have a good size John Deere tractor with front end loader and a small 4-wheel drive Ford F-350 v-8 460 cu inch dump truck with a 8' X 8' bed on it which does come in handy from time to time and is small enough to get into some pretty tight places. The gold mine tailing are old and have overgrown, some even have small trees in them so it's not like you can look and pick without digging and uncovering pretty much manually without cutting some trees to get a machine to the tailings. May put this on hold also for the time being and possibly save some sands this spring to have analyzed here locally if they are familiar with REE's. Thanks

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