What equipment is needed to extract gold on a small scale for a mine?
I am interested in the equipment, the processes and the cost needed to build a low tech / semi-industrial mining operation to extract gold in West Africa.
West African mining is quite different to the Western type of mining for reasons of:
under developed infrastructure, so even if you arrange the electricity lines, they may not be reliable, and you don’t want your mining production to stop. So you should always think on how to produce your own energy.
reasons of inaccessibility and ground that may not be stable enough to put the modern equipment, such as Knelson concentrator. There are many various methods on extracting smallest gold from lode ores, and few of them more efficient than Knelson. You do not want to depend on one machine and its maintenance, do you? Also the expense of Knelson is not necessarily to justify the investment.
You need to decide and know if your mining relates to alluvial, eluvial deposits, or lode deposits. Majority of mines in West Africa exploit alluvial deposits. That means you need good prospecting equipment for alluvial to be able to follow the path in case of ancient rivers or paths along the current rivers. Apart from digging equipment, you need plumbing, piping, water sources, pumps, and professional wash plant that is to capture gold from 5 microns up to centimeter and larger, it means you need variety of gold capturing wash plant devices. Some of best wash plants are provided in the program Start Your Own Gold Mine
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