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Small Scale Hardrock (Lode) Mining


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I posted this before but for new members or those that may have missed it-

Pocket Mining post on Canadian Prospectors Forum


This is an excellent treatise on pocket mining from 1893.

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Does anyone have any experience ripping a vein with a dozer? Like if you find a large surface exposure dipping basically vertical, just driving on top of it and plowing through it with the ripper or pushing through it with the blade?


I'm just curious what the smallest size dozer is that could do that on like a 1ft wide vein? Is there anything useful in between a jackhammer by hand and a dozer? Seems like a mini excavator wouldn't really make much headway into solid rock unless it had a jackhammer on the end of the arm or something...?

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It all depends on the rock in a soft rotten vein it is possible but most of these veins get harder as you go down. A large excavator would be a better tool for the job. Less dirt moved and you can shelf off to go deeper.

As for soild rock it would be hard for even a large D-8 to get enough traction to push or rip anything. It would not work with a excavator eather.You must first blast the ground. If you don't your going to be breaking your equipment. Large Jack hammers on excavators also tear up the equipment. Never buy a excavator that has been used with a jackhammer!

When I do this I use a excavator I take the rock away from the footwall side first then come back and removed the vein. I take a bit of the hanging wall too. Gold likes to deposit between the hanging wall and the vein at times. The same with the footwall. This makes for a cleaner product no need to mix it with the waste and lower the grade of the ore. I hope this answers your question but without seeing what you are going to be mining it is hard to make a assumption.

Have a heavy equipment operator look at it he will know the best way to tackle the job.


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My rough estimate of gold per ton.

I take 4oz.of quartz,crush it to 30 or 40 mesh minus. Pan it until all you have is the concentrate left. If all the gold adds up to about the size of a sesame seed I figure it is running 1oz.to the ton. Just remember this is a rough estamate. The best way to confirm this is to mill a ton of it or better yet 10 or 20 ton of it.

I also always send the con off to get checked to see if there is anything else of vaule in it. By sending the con you won't know how much per ton it will be. If something looks good. I do more tests on it.

Also look at the minerals that are in the con with a 10x loop. You might find a mineral that is running with the gold that is easier to follow than the gold because there is more of it or it is bigger.


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Only just spotted this one , great thread Root. Its amazing how a lot of the indicators you use are the same as we use in Australia.

I agree large samples are the way to go. I stick 1/2 ton through my impact mill then into a knudsen bowl when sampling.

Best option over here for open pits is to get yourself a small drill rig and then pay a powder monkey to blast it. Ive tried lots of other ways to get it out but usually just end up breaking gear.

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I have a lode claim that I might open.

This picture of the paying vein is taken where the 25' tunnel(I know, wrong term) ended. The top of the tunnel is still down about 4'. All has collapsed.

66 ozs were taken out of the 25' by the previous owner. It was a "pick and shovel" operation and it got too hard to pick for a 90 year old guy! Didn't stop because of the lack of gold.

I crushed 45 lbs of the vein and it came out 1.8 ozs to the ton.

Just posting this for discussion....... not looking for a partner...grin



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Great Thread Root, was just thinking all night about Pocket Gold mines in Oregon. Didn't Bearcat say the deposit at Gold Hill in Oregon was a pocket gold mine?

Wonder how they discovered it way back when?


Not sure what a Knudsen Bowl is exactly? A industrial size motorized gold pan of sorts?


Do you have some photos you could post of these various contact zone types to look for ?

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