Each month I try and write a "news and views" post to fill you in on the latest gold mining-related happenings and provide you with a personal view or two. That lead in established, here's what's what for February 2014.
Like a junkie who pledges he's going to break the habit, I swore to myself some time ago that I'd forgo commenting on or otherwise mentioning any of the TV gold prospecting or mining dramas currently in vogue. Still, it's quite a revelation to learn that one crew in particular is now mining for diamonds in South America. Diamonds??? Hmmmm...is it just me, or did they really NOT KNOW much about gold after all (as I suggested in the distant past)? Seems to me that once the milk-laden teat of established diggings was yanked from their mouths and they had to prospect for gold all by themselves in a truly remote environment that their lack of real prospecting and mining knowledge/experience finally hit the fan. Then again, I may be missing the point here...it's probably just another melodramatic ploy by the master creators of phony baloney masquerading as reality TV these days.
I Like the Idea
Fellow gold miner and New Mexico resident "Rattlesnake Jim" is as loyal as the day is long and never forgets to keep me abreast of the latest developments in mining discoveries, gear, and general info. Recently Jim sent me an interesting promo piece from Keene Engineering on a new piece of gold prospecting gear that will work in water but has greater potential for taking the drudgery and inefficiency out of dry panning those waterless desert or dry placers many of you frequent. At least that's my perspective.
Called the "Cyclone Wet or Dry Gold Pan and Mining Kit" this interesting combo includes three different sieving screens (classifiers), including a #2 mesh as well as a number #4 and #12. The Cyclone Kit also contains a 14-inch 5-riffled gold pan equipped with a...get this...blower tip attached to a foot pump (like those you use for blowing up that air bed your uninvited guests sleep on). In other words, the foot pump acts like a bellows on a dry washer! I don't know how the Cyclone Kit actually works in the field but I do know this...I like the idea. It's simple and ingenious and retails for around $80.00 (USD).
(Keene Engineering's "Cyclone Wet or Dry Gold Pan and Mining Kit.")
I've been using Keene sluices, suction dredges, and highbankers (sorry, my dry washers were custom made) for 35 years and I have nothing bad to say about the company or the gold prospecting and mining equipment Keene manufactures. I'm telling you straight here and not working as a company shill. Anyhoo, here's more about Keen's Cyclone Kit.
Struggle Continues in California
You might as well figure the title of this section could be re-written time and time again for my news and views posts. It goes without saying that small-scale prospectors and gold miners continue fighting in the courts against the rabid environmentalists who want to shut them (and us) all down completely...that's where this anti-dredging thing is going ultimately in my opinion.
Right now the BIG discussion is about little green froggies and the devastating impact that suction dredging and motorized mining has on these slimy amphibians. Meanwhile, as the Western Mining Alliance (WMA) recently pointed out, bulldozers are busy day-after-day pushing un-Godly amounts of rock, dirt, and gravel into California's American River on some sort of government-sanctioned mission that totally misses the hypocrisy of what THEY'RE doing as opposed to the negligible impacts of a few miners' suction dredges. It's the same old tune..."do as we say, not as we do." After all, the Dear Leader always knows what's best for you unwashed masses out there.
("That's right kids! It's all about little green froggies.")
Placer Gold Finds
Sporadic rumors and a bit of hearsay evidence still keep coming my way as of late concerning additional interesting placer gold finds here in the western and southwestern United States. Despite the fact that everything's supposed to be "worked out" here in the Lower 48 some miners are making things happen, as well as enjoying a bit of luck too, I suspect. When I learn more details I'll pass that info your way.
That's it for now. Be safe out there and don't let the bastards grind ya down.
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2014
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