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Any hard rock recreational miners out there? I'm curious as to how the hard rock pays out versus placer. I don't know much about it, but would be interested in whatever anyone has to say!

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One thing for sure is you have very little competition......You can see a short paper I wrote very quickly for someone years ago at goldplacer.com,under hardrock sampling.Any questions I can answer,I'll try to fill you in.

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I have pulled many oz's from my mine and i have just been casual use keep it under 10 hp and not too much disturbance. All rock was hand sorted ore in piles that made for good gold. (how the hard rock pays out versus placer) if you can find a free milling vain running about 1 oz to the ton that is only 34 five gallon buckets and there is your 1oz. How long does it take amd how much do you have to move to get 1oz from placer. I think hardrock gold is the way to go.

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Looking for high grade seems to come naturally when one has been nugget hunting for a while. We all see the old, abandoned mines and dumps out there. I havent had much luck trying to detect dump piles due to the trash in them. I like to carry a 10 power loupe with me and inspect the sort piles, if I can find them. There may be a few pieces of ore lying on the ground just outside the adit if they hand sacked the ore. If I see visible gold, or think there is a high chance of it being free-milling, I take some home. Here in Az, any showing of copper minerals has a good chance of actually being gold ore. I have found the same apply all over the Southwest as well... not to say that gold ore has to contain copper mineralization.

After a few years of this, I had enough ore to warrant purchasing small milling equipment (3x3 jaw crusher, small impact mill) as well as an inexpensive clean up sluice. You can start with just a hand mill (mortor and pestle) and a pan.

I have melted a few, small buttons from milling high grade gold ore, but have made more gold from placering so far. I can see how one would be able to make more consistent and good quantities of gold from hard rock if you had your own claim you were working and all the equipment necessary. On a larger scale, the equipment gets pricey, however.

Taking some ore home and crushing it and panning colors may be the first step in getting into hard rock. I have found it to be really fun.

As a side note, I stopped using the term "recreational" when referring to my mining. The mining laws weren't written and offer no protection for recreational mining or hobby-level prospecting/mining. Small-scale mining might be a better way of describing what we do.

Have fun out there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Im just getting started and need to learn a lot about it . I orderd a rock crusher two days ago and have started making a small wash plant , I got this crazy idea in my head . I found this nice peace of ore that for reason did not set off my medal dector . but it looked so good I took a hammer to it half the day and panned it out . And there's the gold . A lot of gold In fact . So I got a jewelers loop and started opening up more rocks that looked good , and I'm finding more gold . So that's just great there's gold in my rocks I'm pitching off to the side . Life would not be so good if I didn't keep finding new things I just need to do . My kids are are freaking out about this whole hard rock mining thing but atleast they will never say Dad dint keep them going on some thing . What better family time could there be

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I found this nice peace of ore that for reason did not set off my medal dector .

Hey Pesky, if it's genuine yellow metal (Au), you should have gotten some kind of signal from yer MD, and I mean just the slightest whisper of tone and if not that, at the least, a disturbance in yer threshold. What MD are you useing and how long have you had it?
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It's a mine lab gold search 1000 . I got it like 4 or 5 years ago . I never have liked it . It could be I don't know how to work it to

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Not recreational, but there is a huge gold mine in my county. I've seen the gold in the rock and when they first opened years ago, some of this rock was floating around in my area. They have pulled millions and millions of dollars of gold out of the mine. So, the potential is there, if you can find it.

I have recently learned that some detectors do not detect so well on some rock/gold specimens...something about the way the gold is dispersed in the rock.

Jim

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Still haven't got the rock crusher yet but the rock pile is growing nicely . The kids are starting to have fun with it as well . Still need to get some kinda smelter as well and some kinda flex . I think when i tryed to smelt the powered gold dust last time with my torch not adding flex to it could have been the problem . Need to find someone that sells flexes and a smelter ect . If noticed that it looks like I'm finding more rocks with silver than gold . I also have found some nice black looking rocks that have gold as well . I did some study on gold and silver ores that are found just north of me and I finger that's what is around me from the glaciers coming down . Some very rich ore comes from just north of me thats forsure . Having fun with me kids and yes I will protect us all from the dust . It's hard to say what's in some of them rocks

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Here's some of the ore we have been finding around .the pic with my oldest digging is my two sons little spot they found right by the house out in the woods , years ago they dug this deep big pond and that's all gravel that's got flour gold all threw it . If they need something to do they go get a bucket and bring it home to work it out . I need to run a water line out there so they can really go at it . Also lots of iron looking ore around

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