Placer Mining Technology
A Placer miner's primer that explains how and where gold placers are deposited
as a result of glacial action. Drawing from a variety of sources, and providing
excellent diagrams, Alex reviews both classic placer situations and more
complex deposits, and covers the fundamentals and principles of locating
gold bearing placer deposits.
Alex Burton is an engineer for his own consulting company in
Vancouver, Burton Consulting Inc., since 1975. He graduated from the University
of British Columbia in 1954. Alex has managed exploration efforts for mining
companies in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Africa.
A step by step summary of how to approach evaluating and managing a test
program. Provides a review of crucial concerns of placer sampling, such
as sampling tools, and other factors both operational and non-operational
that must be considered during a test program.
Mike Philpott graduated from the University of British Columbia
in geology in 1987, and from City University in 1985 with an M.B.A. Mike
worked primarily in the Yukon operations of Queenstake Resources. Mike
has specialized as a consultant in gravity concentration, and placer evaluation
primarily through CGR and MDP Management Services.
Does gold grow in creeks and soil? Slides, graphs, micrographs and spectral
analysis are used to examine various theories about the growth of gold,
and practical applications are explained that can improve evaluation of
placer sites and increased gold recovery.
Mr. Milner has extensive experience in placer mining, exploration
and development. He has been involved in exploration for lode gold particularly
with the ability to determine the distance of transport of the gold particles
from the lode source as well as the type of source.
Structural mapping and indirect detection techniques are shown to be useful
methods for locating placer deposits thus reducing the amount of digging
required and to save money. Case studies are detailed, showing equipment
and methods used for seismic analysis on both land and water, and data
transferred to graphs clearly, indicating deposits underground.
Dennis Woods is a professional engineer, member, and contributor
to many geophysical and geological societies.
Explains the unique features of the Barbar Dual Rotary Drill that provides
uniform samples in all situations and gives a very accurate picture of
what is underground.
Owen Barrett was educated in Cranbrook where he was trained as
an electrician, and developed his own electrical contracting company. During
that time he developed a special placer drill bit and has now been a drilling
contractor for over 15 years.
Important factors to be considered when seeking capital to develop projects
are revealed, the sources of capital itemized and compared, with emphasis
on the costs and problems involved in going public with a placer project.
Also included is a discussion in broader terms of financing gold properties,
and recent changes in venture capital markets that make going public with
a placer project more difficult.
Doug Reason currently sits on the Board of Directors of two mining
companies. Previously Doug was the Executive Director of Listings with
the Toronto Stock Exchange. Over a four year period he was instrumental
in the introduction of new policies to promote and facilitate the funding
of junior companies in Canada.
Using slides, graphs, and diagrams to detail a technique using radio tracers
to evaluate gravity concentration processes, this research intensive presentation
shows how to simplify sampling and increased confidence in statistical
data by reducing sampling error.
Dan Walsh, is an instructor at the University of Alaska with
a B.Sc. in Mining, Engineering and a M.Sc. in Mineral Processing Engineering,
and extensive research experience in recovery in placer mining.
A unique look into China, providing an overview of methods of processing
and analysis of the recovery of gold, focusing on the internal development
of mining methods and equipment and the importation and use of foreign
technology. Includes problems and solutions encountered concentrating gold
on site, and a brief look at recovery systems from around the world.
Wang Wen-Qian is a University Professor in China, and author
of over 100 papers, specializing in concentration systems.
Provides background on mineral deposits' (MDL) design and manufacture of
equipment and milling plants, and focuses on equipment used in the operation
of a dredge, and touches briefly on the usefulness of the Gemeni Table.
Kelly Dolphin is president of the Mines Company and has extensive
knowledge of gold recovery in placer fields in Alaska and the Yukon. Kelly
is now vice-president of Free Gold Recoveries in Alberta.
A slide presentation and discussion summarizing problems and costs associated
with operating a successful pit mine year-round in Alaska. An evaluation
of local geology and sampling methods and results are related to phase
planning and eventual gold recovery, citing numerous examples of innovative
methods used to increase pay, enable gravel recovery, and conform to environmental
Lawrence Jackson is an expert in placer situations where overburden
and waste poses major removal problems.
Slides, graphics and schematics step through the mill operations at a hard
rock mine, focusing on the gravity circuit, and methods used to increase
Bill Muir is a Metallurgist with experience in mines in B.C.
and the N.W.T. He is currently Mill Superintendent at the Blackdome Mine.
Slides and diagrams summarize milling operations at Placer Dome's Campbell
Mine, a classic hard rock mine in Western Manitoba. Highlights methods
tailored to the particular requirements of the mill and describes modernization
of the process and how changes impacted the operations.
John Frostiak is a metallurgist, with a B.Sc. in Mineral Processing
with experience in mines operations around the world.
Focuses on efforts to increase recovery of gold utilizing a gravity circuit
in a mill previously unequipped to capture free gold. Provides proof positive
that retrofits of gravity circuits to mills doing custom processing can
have a very short payback period.
Doug Corsen started his after school career in 1978 as an equipment
operator for Jack Cewe Ltd., where he remained until 1983 when he was promoted
to project foreman, still with Jack Cewe Ltd. In 1987 he left to join Knelson
International Sales, where he is the Sales and Technical Representative.
Ron Stokes discusses do's and don'ts, focusing on evaluating testing methods.
The relation of specific gravity and weigh scales, statistical patterns
in assays, the importance of monitoring sluice feed, production measuring,
stripping ratios, boulder factors, etc.
Ron Stokes is a consulting engineer, who has specialized in exploration
in Canada, Australia, Latin America and other parts of the world. He has
mined gold, tin and diamonds in Australia, placer gold in Costa Rica, gold
and diamonds in Guyana, Brazil and Liberia. Ron is the designated specialist
in placer mining for the Professional Engineers Association of British
Columbia and Chairman of the B.C. and Yukon Chamber of Mines' Placer Committee.
Results of visits to 40 sites in Caribou mining district. Work included
detailing stratigraphic and sedimentalogic characteristics of exposed sediments.
How to find deeply buried placers and provide information for exploration
and geologic evaluation.
Vic Levson has a M.Sc. in Geology from University of Alberta.
His graduate research was on the sedimentology, stratigraphy and depositional
history of alluvial fan and glacial deposits in the Jasper region of the
Canadian Rockies. His work experience includes the Geological Survey of
Canada, the Yukon Exploration and Geological Services Division, and geological
Illustrations of types of information used in merging remote sensing data
and the types of geological data used.
Ted Reimchen graduated with a M.Sc. in geology from University
of Alberta in 1968. He has authored and co-authored 29 publications ranging
from geology maps for governments to papers on the detection of minerals
by remote sensing techniques. He has developed placer prospects in the
Caribou, Indian River in the Yukon and southern Costa Rica.
An overview and history of gold deposits, their characteristics and - most
importantly - methods of extraction, in South Africa. The presentation
includes types of equipment used, such as the McKelvey concentrator, the
Johnson drum, and the plane table.
Bernard Barlin was born and educated in South Africa, receiving
his B.Sc. in engineering from the University of Witwatersrand. "Bunny"
Barlin has been published regularly in major mining periodicals since 1953.
He was employed for 31 years with the Anglo American Corporation and 9
years with Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting.
What do we have to do to get decent analyses of gold deposits? Illustration
of how the variation of particle size and abundance is related to sample
representation. How large a sample do we need to get a decent assay? Charts
G. Poling holds a B.Sc., a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in mineral processing.
He has had experience in research for Texaco in N.Y., in the uranium industry
in Eldorado and in the copper industry in Zambia. He was head of the mining
department at the University of British Columbia from 1978-1986.
Discussion and illustration of two aspects of the machine's application:
(1) hardrock and placer and (2) tailings reclamation. Developed 10 years
ago, the concentrator is presently exported to 39 countries. It received
Canadas' 1987 Export Award of Excellence.
Doug Corsan started his after school career in 1978 as an equipment
operator and later project foreman for Jack Cewe Ltd. In 1987, he became
Sales and Technical Representative for Knelson International Sales Inc.
A personal account of a successful jig operation recovering 70% of 60-mesh
gold. Discusses variables of water flow and feed speed, volume, gauge settings,
clay vs. gravel, etc. "If it works, don't change it."
Description of a refining method, using a chlorination technique with 4
reactors to extract 4/9 pure gold and silver bullion from jewelry scrap.
K.C. Marsden is a professional engineer and former president
of Lien Metals Inc., a company devoted to developing a metallurgical extraction
and purification process for various forms of tantalum and niobium. Currently,
he is Manager of Dakota International Inc., building an ilmenite benefication
plant in Madras, India.
Results of two years of testing 6 placer mines using conventional tailings
sampling technology and 11 mines using nuclear activated gold particles.
Demonstrates why sluice boxes are still the most cost-efficient recovery
devices. Analysis of the workings of a sluice box, examining the effects
of tilting and spacing riffles to increase recovery as well as the effects
of screening on radio tracing.
Randy Clarkson, a registered Professional Mining Engineer, has
over 12 years of diversified experience in mining engineering and hydraulics
at several locations in western Canada. He has been involved in many phases
of the industry from a deep hole placer drilling and sampling program to
supervision of the Yukon Placer Materials Handling and Waste Water Treatment
program. He is currently president of New Era Engineering Corp., a consulting
firm specializing in placer and underground mining and small scale hydro-electric
An overview of AFT, its history (started up by Gulf & Western in the late 70s'), the basis of the technology, a description of the recovery system patented in 1981.
Francis Roberts, has fifteen years of experience in the technical, marketing and administrative areas of the mining industry of North America and England. He has been the Project Manager for AFT Inc., for non-coal mineral activities and the primary technical director for the British Columbia placer operation.
Discussion (no visuals) of the advantages and limitations of gravity over seismic surveying, sampling for grade, drilling, analyzing dimensions of deposits and claim boundaries.
David Genn, has over 30 years of successful experience in the placer mining industry.