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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Placer Mining

Placer mining is one of the most common mining methods.  Placer mining is mostly done in the creek beds where there is lots of bedrock and crevices.  Panning would be really common when doing this method.  Most of your gold will be where the bedrock is, and usually where there is bedrock there will be crevices big, or small.  That is not all, there are still the rocks and boulders.  Gold will tend to stick around those rocks and boulders when there is water flowing through the creek.  You can dig any of these areas and there you will get your best bets on the finding that yellow gold.

Sluice box
Now using a sluice box is another commonly used tool when in search of the yellow gold.  This tool will consist of flares at the top of the sluice box, then as you work your way down it will have ripples, rubber matting, and miners moss.  This method is actually pretty simple, most sluice boxes are very easy to disassemble, and to clean out.  Also you will need a 2 1/2 to a 5 gallon bucket for this method.  These will be for when you do the cleanup.  Now to use the sluice box you need water.  It does not have to have the best flow, but a better flow will help get that unwanted material out of your sluice box. So you get your sands, mud or dirt, then you can either use your hand, shovel, trowel, or what ever you please, and simply take little shovel fulls of your sand, mud, or dirt and slowly add the dirt to your sluice box and give it a little time to run through before adding any more.  That will help you get better results!

This type of mining has been largely replaced by more modern methods.  This method is also commonly used by small-scale miners as they would be used suction dredges.  These suction machines usually float on the top of the water, and can either be operated by either one person or by more.  The suction dredge has a sluice box that is supported by pontoons, and is attached to the suction hose that is used by the man/woman that is operating the hose underneath the water.  Dredging permits are required in many of the united states dredging dredging areas, in which has a seasonal time frame, and is off limits in some areas to avoid conflicts betweed people who are dredging and the spawning time for the fish populations.  The smaller dredges are used more for sampling dirt underneath the water and around boulders, crevices and rocks.  In which it improves your chances of finding the gold that you are looking for.  Also those smaller dredges use the 2 to 4-inch or 100 mm suction hoses.