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GhostMiner

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  1. How risky is gold mining? That depends. You should have lots of info on a claim before you start mining. Hopefully you know the history of what has happebed there in the past. Who mined there previously? How did they do? Why did they leave? Then comes the exploration phase. I wouldn't commit to a mining project unless you have prospected the likely ground. By hand & hopefully with heavy equipment. Bulk samples. I prefer trenching. Possibly 20 - 50 yards at each trench and moving across a possible permit area. Then crunch the numbers. keep all emotion out of it & never fall in love with a property. I once personally witness a guy lose $300K in one short season because he didn't do his homework and relied on info from someone selling the claim. Nothing wrong with getting info from a claim owner but do independant research as well. And TEST THE CLAIM BEFORE MAKING A COMMITMENT. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule.
  2. The Fed has just hiked rates by 3/4% and will do another most likely in November. We can expect gold to slide a bit lower for now but by early next yr I would think it starts to rise again. I'm thinking $1500 an oz or so is a new bottom.
  3. So another question people ask is what does it cost to go mining. That is pretty open ended and dependant on scale of an operation. Up in northern California you can rent a new or nearly new mid size excavator & skid steer for around $10K / month. You'll need some good pumps and water line. Lay flat is fairly cheap and will do the job well. You'll need a generator. The other item is the wash plant/trommel. Buying a new one is expensive. For a 15 yard trommel you'll pay around $40 - $50K. They go up from there. I wouldn't waste money on a 15 yard an hour trommel because it's not enough processing capacity to make money and you aren't utilizing your other equipment's capability. You may be able to do a deal for gold or rent one. If you're flush with cash or have great credit you could just go out and buy a larger trommel. Plan on spending over $100K. Or, find a good used trommel somewhere or make your own. If you've got ground that pays an ounce per 100 yds & you process 300 yds/day that comes out to 3 ounces of gold a day. You'll need a minimum of 2 people but most likely 4 or 5 people. A good mechanic is an absolute must because they are the most important person on a mine. If you are a good mechanic then you already have a jump on the process. Also, you must have a welder on site as well. Usually the mechanic & welder are the same guy. Then subtract other expenses such as payroll unless everyone works for gold and also fuel. That's why a 15 yard per hour trommel isn't enough. It would barely pay the bills.
  4. This would be a good size trommel to match up with a mid sized excavator and skid steer being used as a feeder. You could count on 35 - 40 yds per hour production. https://www.savonaequipment.com/en/new-savona-equipment-st70-trommel-p111383
  5. Here is an example of the Gold Claimer Pioneer 30 with a shaker hopper feeder. If I were mining full time I would want a larger trommel able to process more yardage. http://www.goldclaimerbrand.com/Pioneer30Shaker.html
  6. One of the main reasons id Fed tightening with higher interest rates and removing liquidity from markets. This will end early next year & gold will march higher. Each low in gold is a higher low now. Mining ETF's are horrible because miners constantly dilute shares to raise capital. They have been cut in half just in the last few years. I will take gold long term over anything else. Period.
  7. In this example we were actually runnubg the Heckler 2410V and feeding it with a custom built Gold Claimer hopper feeder to keep a staedy feed pace.
  8. From time to time I like to take things back to reality and talk about what I love - mining & exploration with the emphasis on exploration. I know this is a metal detecting and prospecting site but exploration using heavy equipment could qualify as prospecting on a larger scale. Maybe there are some people out there who have an interest in scaling up their efforts. So I thought i'd share what I have learned from 11 yrs of work on mining claims. I have used several trommels. One was a large home made job that processed about 40 cubic yds of gravel per hour. The last two I used were a Gold Claimer Pioneer 30 & a brand new Heckler Fabrication 2410V. The Pioneer 30 was very easy to use and did it's job withot any real issues even though it was an older unit. The sluice box was very easy to set up. After we constructed a pad to set it on we had it ready for water in less than two hours. It is towable as it comes mounted on an off road trailer. Very mobile and I liked it. It is rated for 15 - 30 yards/hr. We never processed more than the lower end of the range. One thing I have learned about the yardage ratings on most trommels is to cut them in half and if you know that going in you won't be disappointed. The Heckler Fabrication trommel was a beast. Everything on it is heavy duty. It is also mounted on a triler. The 2410V gives you a shaker hopper / feeder as well as the trommel. It is built to last but we had a few issues with jam ups as material entered the trommel from the shaker. it required us to keep a man on the back end dedicated to watching for rock & gravel jam ups because if you don't catch them quickly be prepared for an hour or more of shoveling out the hopper & sometimes even crawling into the barrel with a hammer. Not fun as the barrel is tight. Once again the rated yardage was about double what we achieved which was around 14 yards/hr. The yardage of each trommel matches up pretty close but the Heckler is cheaper and gives you a shaker if you buy the V series. The capture was better on the heckler. I think this was due to the shaker which had a pre-wash and a superior sluice box. Speaking of the sluice box on the heckler, it's a royal pain to set up. It has a short rubber sleeve that the box attaches to and a lousy hose clamp to hold it in place. Forget it. It wouldn't hold and it is very hard to get the box level while keeping the stubby rubber sleeve attached. We ended up chaining it in place. The first time we set up the Heckler it took an entire day because of the sluice box which drove us crazy and caused tempers to flare. The other lesson i learned about the mining aspect of trommels as opposed to exploration is that more yardage is almost always better. If your digging with a mid sized excavator and loading with a skid steer you are very capable of processing 30 - 50 cubic yards of pay gravel per hour. Skid steers work really good as pay loaders. They are fast and much cheaper to operate than a loader. If you're going over the 50 yard per hour range you may need to go to a loader. So it becomes very frustrating when you limit yourself to a 15 yard per hour trommel. When we processed gravels on one of our good locations we had to pump water nearly 2000 ft across a mountain. We used two three inch pumps in series to get enough lift to get over a 100 ft rise. One pump couldn't do it. Things never go as expected and it's rare to run all day withou stopping for something giving you an issue. Our last test run was at a location where hydraulic mining had stopped in 1860 & we were the first ones back in. We were able to run 50 - 60 yards per day and were averaging about an ounce a day. That's with a 15 yard per hour trommel. So you can do the math on a larger trommel. We leased that project out to a group in Nevada. Anyway, that's a little bit of what I have learned over the years. Living off grid on a mining claim & making gold is a feeling like no other. I think they call it freedom.
  9. Fiat currency backed only by the the issuer's word & promise. Before 1971 The U.S. Dollar was backed by gold. Nixon took us off that standard in order to issue the beginning of massive debt which is now beyond belief. It will never be paid. As the attempt to raise rates continues in order to conatin inflation the system will begin to collapse as it always does & the Fed will be forced to cut rates to zero once again and the dolar will continue to buy less and less evry year. A very bad scenario is beginning to set up for the coming years.
  10. May 25 1937 Part Three I looked closely and estimated each chest to be about five feet in length. The width was around three feet and we dug around the sides to determine the depth. After about an hour we determined the depth to be about two feet on one and close to three feet on the other. I told John I was going to round up everyone and to wait for us before he opened them. It took nearly another half hour to get everyone gathered around the trench. No one could believe their eyes. John and I attempted to lift the smaller of the two but it was real heavy and we were afraid the bottom would fall out so John knocked the lock off with a hammer and chisel. The lid creaked as we pried it open. I couldn’t quite make out the contents so I shined the lantern close to the top of the chest. There appeared to be some kind of red and yellow fabric covering the contents. It was old and slightly rotted but John said it was an old flag of some sort. We carefully lifted it out of the chest and there was a second cloth just like the first. We removed that one and our eyes fell upon the contents. Some of the crew started to laugh and some just gasped. John spoke slowly and said this couldn’t possibly be happening to a little rag tag crew like us. I just smiled and started to lift out some of the treasure. TO BE CONTINUED ..................
  11. On Saturday, September 24, I will be posting the real info on how I came to write the journal on Jed Stevens & crew. I will divulge the true story behind the journal. It will tell you what the journal was based on including what Jed really got in the way of gold and how he got it. It will contain information from the actual government report that started this entire journey including how he died and where he is buried. There will be lots of info in this entry for all to read. I am doing this because I feel I owe it to all the faithful readers who have stuck with me on this incredible ride as the journal approaches 200,000 views. This will put to rest some of the speculation but I also must warn you that it opens the door to more mystery. The quest for gold & treasure continues. To the readers here, I thank you.
  12. May 25 1937 Part Two We continued down another five feet without finding treasure or clues. It was mid afternoon now and we decided to take a break and have some lunch. Our camp here was set up just forty feet from the rock so we could keep an eye on the spot. I took some lunch over to Will and Hudson and Sarge and Ben as well. We all felt like we were sitting on something big here. John and I eventually got back to digging and worked up a good head of steam. We had only dug for about twenty minutes when we hit another stone. This one was double marked with two crosses and two X’s in circles. We set the stone on the ground just outside the trench and kept working. Three feet further down was once again the gruesome sight of human remains. Six skeletons. At this point we slowed the work and began to carefully excavate the bones. We worked at this for two hours and took another break. We had removed everything we could find. After a short break we started to dig down again. We dug until the light began to fade and set up some lanterns for light. Then we heard the familiar sound of the thud of a shovel against dense wood. It was nearly dark now and we tried to widen out the trench a bit to completely uncover the lid. The chest seemed to be much larger than the previous chests we had found. Then John said to have a close look. I held a lantern close to the lid. When I did I could see there was a second lid next to the first. Two treasure chests. John and I were standing on top of the lids. Most likely we were standing on top of a massive fortune of untold wealth. TO BE CONTINUED ....................
  13. May 25 1937 Part One Last night got really cold. I kept hearing branches breaking all around the outside of camp. I got up a few times and shined a light into the trees but saw nothing. We had breakfast and John and I went to work. He took the west side of the rock and I took the east side. The plan was for each of us to dig a trench around the rock and join them making a closed loop. We would go down fifteen feet if need be and then widen the trench from there. We were hoping to find something by the second or third day but there were no guarantees in treasure hunting. Now Will and Hudson were acting as guards along with Sarge and Ben. They watched all directions just outside of camp so we could dig without constantly watching our backs. John and I also had our rifles close by. The morning was cold with a north wind and it felt good to be digging. About three feet down I hit a flat stone and bent over to lift it out of the trench. I brushed away the dirt and saw a Spanish cross carved into it. I showed John. He got excited and said we are on top of it. So we both started digging on my side of the rock. About three feet further down we hit another flat stone and it also had a cross carved into the face. The two of us were now digging as fast as we could. About two feet further down was yet again another flat stone. This one had a cross as well as an X inside a circle carved into the face. John said he thought we were getting close. TO BE CONTINUED .....................
  14. May 24 1937 Yesterday John and I dug to a depth of nearly thirteen feet. It was a large trench with nothing to show. We decided to stop all work at this site. We had amassed a great fortune in treasure but had paid a heavy price. The crew was beaten up and stressed out but no one had quit. Before we left the treasure site I made a speech to the crew. I told them how proud I was of every one of them and we now had riches beyond our wildest dreams. Once again I told them that anyone who wanted to leave could do so and there would be no hard feelings. Again no one wanted to quit the crew. We were a tough bunch of men and were willing to do what few men are, and that is to die for what we believe in. That put us a step above all the scoundrels and rif raf we had dealt with out here. Will and Hudson were coming along good and mending up. I left them to guard camp with Ben. John, Sarge, and I went up the mountain on the hunt for the treasure X. By late afternoon we had found it. It was very obvious because of the map and the way the big rocks were sitting. The problem would be finding the exact location of a buried treasure. The X was marked between the large rocks and the base of the mountain to the west. There was about 100 feet of ground between the rocks and mountain. There were no further clues. John let out a curse and said we might be digging up here for a month of Sundays and we didn’t even know for sure if there was anything in the ground. The new site was about a half mile higher up the mountain and very remote. I suggested to John and Sarge that we kind of walk the ground carefully to see if there might be any clues. After about 15 minutes Sarge hollered for us to come over to his location and have a look. There was a good sized stone about five feet high and by itself. On the west side was a faint X that was nearly worn away. I told Sarge he had a good eye and he had found the location. Now we just needed to move camp up here and start digging. John and I just looked at each other knowing this might be something even more historic than the previous site. We set about moving camp and by the time we were done it was nearly dark. I cooked up some beans and bacon and we broke out a bottle of whisky and some Lucky’s to ward off the cold night air. It was real quiet. Almost too quiet. TO BE CONTINUED ..................
  15. May 23 1937 This morning the camp is uneasy to say the least. Last night John and I saw some kind of figure in what appeared to be armor appear just at the edge of camp. Then it was gone. As I got up to find Sarge we heard a scream. It had come from Ben’s post. John and I headed over there with rifles in hand. Ben was on his knees. He said he had been slashed by someone with a sword. His Thompson was lying by his side. We immediately got him to his feet and brought him to camp. We made sure to get his Thompson as well. By then Sarge was in camp. He was stunned. Ben was bleeding and had been cut across the upper right arm. Lucky for him it was a cold night and he had a coat on. The wound was not too deep and we dressed it with a bandage. Hudson asked me what in the hell was happening to us. I couldn’t give him a good answer. Will said it was the curse. He remembered that the Indian Shaman had warned us we were walking dead men. He began to shake. Sarge and John told everyone to calm down. They said there was no such thing as a curse. Ben was shaken but told us he was ready to resume guard duty. John and I had one more day of digging to do at the rocks. I was willing to die for the treasure. I wasn’t sure about the rest of the crew. I knew that if Jed was here he’d tell everyone that nobody runs him off his claim. And they might die trying. If only my brother was here with us now. TO BE CONTINUED ...................
  16. May 22 1937 Yesterday John and I dug the last side of the rocks. We got a good long trench started and ended our day at a depth of about six feet. We found nothing. We decided that we would spend one more day there and try to get down to ten feet or maybe a bit deeper. Then we will try to find the next X on the map. After supper we all sat around discussing our fortunes. Sarge said he was going to start up a big cattle ranch. Ben was going to retire and move to Mexico. Will and Hudson said they were building new houses and planned to start some new businesses where they lived. They asked me what I was going to do with my new found wealth. I told them I was going to continue on as a gold miner next year. I asked them if they would be returning to mine for gold with me. They were a bit vague with their answers and I figured this might be our last season together as a crew. This made me wish we had never made this discovery because our team was family to me. It was all Jed and I had last year and I didn’t want to lose them. John told me he was expanding his farm and hiring some help and would probably stick with me for a few more years if I kept going. That made me feel a lot better. Once again Hudson and Will turned in early while Sarge and Ben took night watch. We hadn’t heard any more gunfire up on the mountain lately. It was getting cold and all the stars were out. I stoked the fire some and brought out a bottle and John and I filled our cups. Then it happened. There was a sudden cold blast of wind that came through camp and chilled us to the bone. What I saw next I couldn’t believe. Then what happened next made me rethink even staying here another day. TO BE CONTINUED .................
  17. About 20 years after my grandfather passed away years ago my father retired. I asked him if he would be interested in searching for the lost gold shipment. He said no, he wasn't interested. I asked him why. He told me that this was just an old yarn my grandfather had been telling certain people in the family for years. He said that as a young boy he had remembered a night when the family was together and my great grandfather was talking about the missing gold shipment. He said he couldn't remember much about the conversation but told me that he seemed to be serious. However, no one in the family believed it other than my grandfather. My father said that treasure hunting was a big waste of time that could be used for something more productive. He told me that every man is given a finite amount of time to live on this earth and that he should not waste it chasing rainbows. That was his opinion and I suppose he was entitled to it. My father passed away years ago and we never discussed the gold shipment again. Now I have a 3 year old grandson that I will eventually pass down this story to. That is, if I haven't found it by the time he is old enough to understand it. I am hopeful that someday the two of us could spend some time together searching for this treasure. That would actually be the real treasure.
  18. May 21 1937 Last night we sat around the fire at our temporary camp and talked over the day’s findings. The contents of the old chest were quite shocking. When we opened the lid we were staring at four human skulls that were partially mummified. There was still some skin on them as well as hair. We couldn’t make out enough of the features to guess the origin. The skulls had been placed on top of more treasure. Gold bars and something new, 100 gold coins which were all blank. The gold had a slight reddish tint to it as well. Then at the very bottom of the chest was a gold plate with a stamping. It was a crude H C. Immediately John shouted out Cortez. Hernan Cortez had raided Mexico and stolen vast amounts of gold. John said it is rumored that some was taken to America and buried by slaves. Then the slaves were executed. John said the Aztec gold had a red tint because it wasn’t pure and contained copper. He also told us that from what he had read on the subject the treasures were cursed. Those that discovered it were doomed to die. I took a long drink of whiskey as he continued to speak. John said that he didn’t believe in curses and wasn’t one hundred percent sure this was Cortez loot but it made sense to the rest of us. Sarge said that if anyone tried to get his take he would cut them down curse or no curse. Hudson and Will told us they were beginning to feel better and wanted to help act as guards along with Ben and Sarge until they could work again. I agreed to let them see if they were able. So with four guards in place John and I went back to digging. I figured one or two more days here before we went on the next search for buried treasure indicated by the map. Now we all figured we were on to something even bigger than any of us had imagined. I feel like I am selling my soul for treasure. TO BE CONTINUED ...................
  19. May 20 1937 I woke up early while everyone was still sleeping. Sarge had come into camp for a fresh cup of coffee and I joined him. I asked him what his thoughts were on our situation. He told me that he and Ben were not afraid to stay and fight for gold and treasure. He said they actually enjoyed it at times. Sarge told me he and his BAR had killed many men during the Great War and death was no stranger to him or Ben who had also done his share of fighting in the Army. Sarge said that he wanted to stay to the end and find every last bit of buried treasure and get all the gold from our mine as well. When John got up and moving we had a good breakfast and headed for the rocks to start digging. This was a routine I was very used to doing. Did, dig, dig. There was no end to it. At a depth of around nine feet we once again hit the unthinkable. This time there were three skeletons. It gave John and I the creeps but we lifted them out of their resting place and gently laid the bones just outside the trench. Then we dug deeper. Sure enough, about three feet further down we hit a wooden box. It was about four feet by two feet and maybe two feet in depth. I busted off the lock and we pried the lid open. John and I looked at each other in horror. TO BE CONTINUED ................
  20. One last thing I should mention - this person claims to be in possession of an actual piece of the gold shipment. He refuses to tell me how he got it. He is willing to show it to me at some point. I guess this is to convince me that he holds the last piece of the puzzle needed for me to solve the mystery.
  21. This is a rather humorous standoff between me and this person claiming to have solid info on a general location. It seems he needs me as much or more than I need him. He tells me I probably have inside information passed down by my grandfather that he needs to complete the puzzle. I have not given out any good information to anyone on any of this and would be hesitant to do so. At this point in time the two of us are in what I would call an uneasy standoff - neither party willing to give up info to the other but wanting info from the other if some trusting relationship or business partnership could be established. Oh well, if there is such a treasure, it isn't going anywhere.
  22. I have recieved some new and mysterious information concerning this gold shipment and where it may be hidden. It seems my grandfather knew what he was talking about and the scope for a possible search may have been narrowed. The person who contacted me is willing to share more info but wants to be a part of the search crew if we form one. He also wants a large cut. I am wary of his offer though. This is an interesting time for me as I am preparing to leave society as I know it next year. I am selling my home and bought a 5th wheel to live out of. My goal is to not only search for treasure but also work my company's unleased areas where I believe large amounts of gold still remain to be dug. I have good reason to believe there is still several million dollars of gold yet to be found at Jed's dig site.
  23. May 19 1937 Yesterday John and I dug until nearly dark. We found nothing deeper at the last treasure location and moved to the next untouched area near the rocks. By the time we stopped we were a good seven feet deep and had a trench twice as long. We were dog tired and ready for our supper. We had hoover stew and crackers and it never tasted better as we stoked the campfire. I broke out a bottle of Bushmills and some cold Lucky’s and we all sat around the fire. It was a cold and clear night and every star in the sky was visible. Once again our peace and quiet was disturbed by gunfire far up on the mountain. It lasted on and off for over an hour. We couldn’t figure out who these hooligans were or what they were up to. John suggested that they may be what was left of the gang we had just dealt with. He said they were probably conducting night raids on various miners and prospectors up on the higher and remote locations of the mountain. All I could think was those poor prospectors who were probably being robbed and killed. There was little or no law out here and it was up to every man to take care of himself or pay the consequences. I wanted to kill every last one of those thugs. After the gunfire had stopped it was close to midnight. Will and Hudson were asleep in their tents and Sarge and Ben were on guard duty as usual. John and I had a few more drinks and talked about everything that had happened so far this year. John said he hated this place but there was something that wouldn’t allow him to leave. The mountain had a hold on him. I agreed. Most sane men would have taken their treasure and gotten the hell out of here yet none of us was willing to leave. I secretly hoped we weren’t making a big mistake. TO BE CONTINUED ...........................
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