Jump to content

A Word Or Two (actually Much More) On Gold Mining Trommels, Exploration, & Gold Mining


GhostMiner

Recommended Posts

   Am I a miner? Part time yes. I have done projects on & off for 11 yrs. I have always come out to the good and not lost money which is more than I can say for some miners I know. A few yrs ago I got more into the exploration and leasing end of it. I prove there is gold with hard numbers & lease ground. I always make sure to explain to people that there are no guarantees in mining and tell them it is high risk. They also are encouraged to do their own testing. I've seen a lot of prospectors with gold fever that make poor decisions. Gold does that to people. I have a few projects I want to work myself with a small crew eventually and do it more as a treasure hunt. Jed's dig site is one of them. I have done short term leases with good people for next to nothing as far as return because the claims are not tested yet. They get to have fun prospecting & all I ask is they tell me what they find and where they found it. That's how I found a good mining partner one day. He found good gold and we ended up mining some of it together.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites


A great write up. I had a small scale claim in Australia nearly 40 years ago. The procedure to get it was full of red tape with BulllSh!t regulations that made the whole process a nightmare. Never again. How do you cope with the RED TAPE.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

   On the permitting process & regulations - Our claims are on national Forest Service ground. They are subject to regulation by the U.S. government, the state of California, & the county they are located in. When I started out with my first mining claim 11 years ago I was told by some people that it was impossible to get a permit to run heavy equipment on a claim in California. Being dumb and not up on any of the process I called the Forest Service. They told me what steps to use and there was a form online that could be used or to submit the plan using my own form as long as all the questions were addressed. So I used their form. It is free including the environmental people who go out to view the ground and look at the plan. The Plan of Operation form is fairly easy to use but you must limit disturbance to 1000 cubic yards for each plan. If you go over that level you trigger SMARA whichis the SURFACE MINING and REGULATION ACT of 1975. That requires much more permitting & can take a year or longer. I found that if you have enough ground you are able to put in several Plans of Operation at once. You can run them all at once with seperate reclamation bonds if you have enough crew or do them one at a time. You finish one plan, do the reclamation, move the bond to the next plan, and keep going. I have done 3 plans at a time. We actually have 3 plans in the process waiting for approval as I write this. The time frame depends on how busy all the various people are that need to come to the claim. It usually takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to get them approved. If there is a problem with the plan they will notify you of any changes needed. So far we have not run into any issues. Our bond is based on equipment used and disturbance needed to reclaim. We have used a mid size excavator, skid steer, small rock truck, pumps, generator, & various other items. We live off grid in tents, trucks, & occasional RV. All that must be in the plan. Our bond has been under $6000 & gets refunded after they check your reclamation & sign off on it. Happy to assist any future miners with a dream.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, geof_junk said:

A great write up. I had a small scale claim in Australia nearly 40 years ago. The procedure to get it was full of red tape with BulllSh!t regulations that made the whole process a nightmare. Never again. How do you cope with the RED TAPE.

It's just paperwork LOL. We have a lady that works for the Forest Service as a minerals agent. She is fairly easy to work with if you are up front with your plans and follow the rules & regulations. Where people get into trouble is doing things not listed in the plan. I have learned to include everything you think you "may" do as long as what you will definately do. That gives you some space to change your strategy if needed. I always try to think way ahead when I write up a plan. That has kept me out of trouble so far. Alaska is the easiest place to mine from what I hear. California is strict but not impossible. And the gold is there as well.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

   A little more on my experiences with permits. I knew a guy who was permitted on a claim in northern California. He decided to be a cowboy and go off the one acre that contained his plan. To his bad luck his minerals agent decided to visit his operation and caught him. He was given a cease & desist order and was told to do reclamation on the area he disturbed. When he completed the work he got back to mining on his permitted area. Lesson learned. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, WesD said:

Thanks for the tips GM!  Ive been wanting to file a plan for a long time, but I just hate paperwork and the thought of dealing with the agency people.  I need to just go forward in confidence though.

Start with contacting the local Ranger District. They will want you to file a Notice of Intent. Then, depending on the plan, you will follow that up with filing a Plan of operation. The forms are online. You can mail them in or take them to the Ranger's office in person. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/22/2022 at 1:41 PM, WesD said:

Thanks for the tips GM!  Ive been wanting to file a plan for a long time, but I just hate paperwork and the thought of dealing with the agency people.  I need to just go forward in confidence though.

Make sure your plan takes water runoff into account. The creeks are sacred and they will want them protected. You'll need to have an approved settling area for tailings water. We have been able to pump directly out of the creeks depending on the plan. They want you at least 50 ft from the creek. Or you may need to dig ponds. One for fresh water & one for tailings runoff. Then recirculate everything. Every situation is unique. Your water usage comes in the form of a water license from the state water board. They will send out a hydrologist to look at your area and plan. Then plant and wildlife people will make a visit. Archaeologist from the state as well. If there are no issues you will get approved and a bond will be calculated. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...