How to start your own gold mine
- Chapati preparation on streets of Busia, Uganda
This is how Ugandan chapati is being prepared directly on the street. It is very tasty food especially when hungry and there is nothing else around.
- Truck moving the ores to mineral processing place
This is how it looks like, the road is dusty, trucks are bringing ores to mineral processing places.
- Driving through Busia city in Uganda
This is Busia city and we are driving along the road.
- Truck full of ore on its way to processing
This is small truck full of ore, we think it is loaded with about 2 tonnes of ore. It is called "one trip". One trip may contain from 0.50-1 grams to 4-5 grams of ore, if the ore have been taken from surface or represents overburden. If it is primary ore, it may contain 5-20 grams of gold and more.
- Popular Mining Encyclopedia of Action Mining arrived to Uganda
The Popular Mining Encyclopedia as issued by Action Mining, finally arrived to Uganda. I had to push the postman to go by motorcycle to Tororo city, and come to Busia, so that I can get the encyclopedia into my hands. It contains such powerful information and plans for gold mining and recovery equipment.
- Jean Louis in Busia
I am fetching money from the ATM machine in Busia, that was nice hot day before my departure to Europe.
- Your best weapon against terrorism
Your eyes are your best weapon against terrorism. Watch out, if you see anything suspicious report to authorities in Uganda.
- The warning issued in Busia, Uganda
This is one of the warnings that we can find in offices in Busia, Uganda where authorities are warning against bombs.
- Visit to SAMA Syanyonja Artisan Miners' Association in Busia, Uganda
This picture have been made few days after my visit to SAMA Syanyonja Artisan Miners' Alliance and demonstration mine promoting fairtrade gold, in association with EWAD and Fairtrade, where they state that they do not employ children in their mine.
- Fancy insect passing over
This is nice fancy insect passing over. Is it going to convert to butterfly? We do not know. I just know I like it.
- Children in Uganda
These children we met playing on the mining site. That sounds dangerous and it is. Yet we cannot control families and their children and mining site was not under our control. We did warn them to take care and be careful. They liked our visit.
- The excavated open pit
This is excavated open pit that was explored by artisanal miners some years before. Small number of miners are still working in this area and recovering gold every day. Majority of them abandoned the sites and went to new gold rush locations.
- Mr. Louis in front of the open pit
The open pit behind me is possible gold mining opportunity that we may explore in soonest future.
- Previous mining locations
On these locations many artisanal miners have previously recovered gold and lived from it. Today many are still there even though the majority of miners abandoned the place and went somewhere else. So is the gold rush in Uganda.
- Dirty feet
Those are my dirty feet and shoes in Uganda.
- Travel to prospecting location in Uganda
This is picture of our travel today on 15th January 2018 to the new prospecting and prospective location. On such new location we have gold mining opportunity to obtain new ores and process it. The location was occupied by artisanal miners before some years.
- Preparation of rudimentary sluice for ore processing in Uganda
This is rudimentary sluice that is being prepared by our neighboring miners. In my opinion this type of the sluice is way to wide, not evenly balanced, with too steep slopes, and too high to load it with the ores. We cannot recommend small scaler miners and artisanal miners to make this type of sluices. That is inefficient as it requires much energy, material will not be evenly spread and gold would be lost.
- Mr. Okedi collecting concentrates from looped carpets
Looped carpets or miners' moss or 3M Nomad type of a carpets are used to efficiently recover gold larger than 50 mesh, gold nuggets, flakes and larger gold. On the end of the day and multiple times of day, concentrates are collected from such carpets.
- Mr. Louis doing practical field assay of gold
Mr. Louis is doing here practical field assay of gold content in some soil. Similar method may be used to concentrate gold from the operation and to determine how much was recovered.
- Magnified flat gold nugget in the gold pan
This is magnified and flat gold nugget in the pan. It is probably flat due to the previous ball mill processing, it was smashed and became flat.
- Small nuggets recovered
Small flat nuggets are also found in concentrates and recovered by using super-concentration and simple gold panning methods.
- Mercury gold and mercury ball in the gold pan
This is how it looks like when many gold particles are connected or amalgamated together with mercury. Miners used mercury in recovery of gold, and lost it in heaps of tailings. We are recovering both the mercury and the gold from such tailings, without using new mercury or introducing new mercury in the process.
- The mercury gold once again
This is mercury gold once again shown in the gold pan after fine gold concentration process. We do not use mercury, we recover it as side effect.
- Mercury recovered from concentrates
Instead of nice yellow gold, our gold looks as silver like, as it is mixed with mercury. Heaps of tailings are polluted with mercury and our recovery is such that we cannot see it yellow any more unless it is either microscopic, as such could not be connected to mercury or too large as nugget, as such also did not connect to mercury.
- The fine gold recovery system
This is fine gold recovery system that helps us concentrate all the gold smaller than 50 mesh.
- Gold is recovered in form of mercury
Heaps of tailings are polluted by mercury from previous mining operation. We are recovering mercury as well with the gold, and later dispose safely with the pollutant. Mercury is not used in our operation. We recover mercury from nature.
- Fine gold recovery system
This is fine gold recovery systems, we are using the genious methods invented by smart microscopist from Oregon for purposes of mercury free gold recovery.
- Concentrate is being processed
Mr. Louis is processing the remaining concentrates and process is fast. It is possible to process multiple buckets of concentrates after work, and to get to the fine gold within 15 minutes.
- The gold recovery system
This is view from my working place on the gold recovery system for all gold smaller than 50 mesh, down to 5 microns. This fine gold can be recovered, totally without using mercury and by using simplest set theory in mathematics applied practically. Many people make a question how a set theory may be applied practically, and that is exactly how our gold recovery system works, by using the set theory and by removing those parts of material not containing or containing gold.
- Buckets of concentrate are today processed for gold
The buckets of concentrate are today processed for gold. In general, our bulk of concentrate is not large. These many buckets contain various particle sizes and types of gold, and help in sorting out what we were doing. We can then determine which heap of tailing was better productive.
- Children panning for gold on mining site
These children are panning for gold on mining site in a dangerous and polluted environment. Each heap of tailings is polluted with mercury. Children are in constant contact with mercury while playing and working on the mining site. We do not endorse such activities. This is report from neighboring sites where we do not have control.
- Heaps of tailings being milled again and processed
These heaps of tailings are being milled again with the rudimentary locally made hammer crusher that runs in wet mode. The material is then processed on small looped carpet sluices. The hammer crusher is spending about 25,000 Ugs. per day on hammers alone, which is about US $6.95.
- Buckets of concentrate on the end of the day
The buckets of concentrates are collected on the end of the day. The picture is dark for that reason that it was evening without light.
- Mercury coated gold have silver color
This is mercury coated gold, and it has a shiny silver color.
- Gold nuggets magnified in the gold pan
These gold nuggets are magnified 10x in the gold pan.
- Types of gold nuggets recovered
Here are small gold nuggets recovered in concentrate of today.
- Type of small gold nuggets we are recovering
This is one type of small gold nuggets we are recovering from heaps of tailings in Uganda.
- Coarse gold or smallest gold nuggets are found
In the previous concentrate we found multiple nuggets of 1-4 millimeter mostly of flake shape due to ball hammering them flat in ball mills.
- Dish wash to settle finest gold particles down from the surface of water
The dish wash is used to settle finest gold particles down into the water as they may float and go out during the gold panning verification.
- Mr. Louis filling the drum of water
The drum is filled with water for the verification of gold collection in 2 hours of work. We are making scientific yet practical and field measurements of gold recovery.
- Purchasing manager verifying gold particles on the sluice
Purchasing manager is verifying the gold particles on the sluice.
- Mr. Louis in front of the heap of tailings
This heap of tailings was processed as of the day of publishing of this picture.
- Small heap of tailings
This heap of tailings is being processed as of the day of publishing this image.
- Mr. Louis with tailings heaps in background
Tailings are visible in background, heaps of tailings to be processed with our fine gold recovery sluices.
- Tailings in background
One may see many tailings heaps in background. Each of them contains fine gold.
- Tailings heaps in background on mineral processing site
One may see people working on this mineral processing site with tailings heaps in background. Well, those are ours. We process those heaps.
- Mr. Okedi feeding the sluice
Mr. Okedi is feeding the sluice here, few cubic meters have been handled within 5 hours of work.
- The nugget in comparison to my finger
This gold nugget is small and may be seen here in comparison to my finger. It was recovered by using special matting. Multiple nuggets were recovered, many of them coated with mercury in silver color and many of them as pure gold.
- Gold nugget of 2-3 mm under magnification
This small gold nugget has size of 2-3 millimeter, and is magnified for 10x by using the jeweler's loupe and a simple mobile phone camera. It was recovered by using special matting on our sluice in Uganda.
- Fine gold particles
These fine gold particles appear silver like color on this picture, but they were in fact yellow. When magnified under the lack of the light, the mobile phone is giving somehow distorted image.
- Preparing the sluice for work
Mr. Louis is here preparing the sluice for work. Some key details are not shown on the picture, and are rather revealed to clients in the Start Your Own Gold Mine program. This is testing sluice whereby we are testing the capability to recover gold by at least 98% and where we are determining what else need to be improved for the actual sluice to be constructed.
- The sluice setup on January 11th 2018
This is our sluice setup on January 11th 2018. We are definitely able to recover gold nuggets and fine gold particles.
- Administration before the daily work
We always have administrative tasks to do, before, during and after the work. We record, measure, notify, obtain receipts, demand signatures, and do whatever necessary administration tasks.
- Concentrate collection
On the end of the day, concentrate is collected and retained for further concentration and final gold recovery.
- Miners working on the sluice
Miners are handling the first tailings heaps on this mining site.
- Women and people panning for gold nearby our tailings heaps
These women and men are panning for gold just nearby our tailings heaps. They may obtain per day of panning from 0.1 to 0.3 grams of gold, or sometimes more. It helps them live the life.
- Mining and mineral processing site
This is our mining and mineral processing site where we have agreement to process all the tailings heaps.
- Miners feeding the sluice
Sluice is fed by miners by the rate of 132 shovels per hour where average shovel is about 8 kilograms, amounting to little bit more than one tonne per hour. In the first stage, slow water pressure and low slope is applied to review how much of gold is retained and what gold is eventually being lost. Once capability have been attained, the slope is increasing up to the tolerated degree, and water pressure is increased. Up to 6-8 tonnes per hour may then be handled in the second stage.
- Concentrate on the vortex matting
This is vortex matting, enlarged. Concentrate is under the surface of these particles, including several small gold nuggets.
- Mr. Louis by the sluice
This is Mr. Louis, preparing small details for the fine gold recovery sluice. Gold particles are so small that cannot be seen by naked eyes.
- Water pump is debugged
The water pump could not pull the water on 2-3 meters. We found out that pressure was disturbed too weak connection of the suction hose. Within few minutes it was repaired and water pump engaged.
- Our purchasing manager on the site
This is our purchasing manager in Uganda, she handles a lot of accounting, facilitates with suppliers, makes sure that things are running smoothly.
- Quick and improvized sluice ready for work
This is quick and improvized sluice ready for work and handling of the tailings heaps.
- Preparing the elevation for sluices
Mr. Okedi is preparing the elevation for the sluice hopper.
- Old welding clamps used for carpentry
This type of welding clamps may be used for carpentry and are generally useful to clamp the prospecting equipment, such as sluices together.
- Using welding clamps for carpentry
These welding clamps may be used for simple carpentry as one can see it.
- Preparation of the HDPE pipes
The HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) pipe is prepared on the mining site for the sluice run.
- Gold particles on the rock
This magnification of 10x shows gold particles of 3-4 millimeter on the rock that also contains some iron or black sand.
- Repairing the wooden goat
Those wooden goats were made of low quality timber. Not made to last, but to be light and to endure the improvization stage. We had to repair this one.
- The old abandoned rudimentary ball mill drum
This is old and abandoned rudimentary ball mill drum on the mining site. One may see how it was repaired multiple times. We suspect gold inside, left for those who know where to search for it.
- Black sand after classification
Black sand has been classified and is now in the bucket.
- Classification of black sand
The classifiers are mounted onto buckets and black sand is separated in various particle size groups. Same procedure may be used in mercury free gold recovery.
- Black sand preparation and separation
On this picture one may see the simple tools used to prepare the black sand, to separate it, or better say classify it into various sizes. This preparation was necessary in the area which lacks the black sand and where much of eluvial gold is found. Contrary to what majority of prospectors are saying that black sand is disturbing them in gold separation and recovery, we are using it directly to capture the fine gold particles.
- Separation of black sand
Black sand, what it is? One may see on this picture that it appears actually black. Not always so. Sometimes it is redish or dusty orange or simple dusty. Most of times it appears darker than other types of sand. It is magnetic and one may see magnet on picture lifting and separating black sand from the rest. Its specific gravity is higher than usual silica sand or quartz sand for 3-4 times. It consists of magnetite and hematite and other heavier minerals. Not all of them have same magnetic attraction.
- Final result of few hours of work
The bench and the improvized table is ready on the mining site for beans and posho (Lugandan language for polenta).
- Preparing the open air table
The open air table is being prepared.
- Workers preparing the improvized wooden table
These workers are preparing the improvized wooden table. The expense of the table is over the expense of the simple plastic table as available in the shops.
- Black sand separation in Garrett gold pan Super Sluice
Here on this picture one may see the black sand being actually black when separated by magnet in the Garrett gold pan Super Sluice.
- Workers preparing bench and desks as open-air furniture
These workers are making outside furniture, or open-air furniture, the improvized benches, desks, and kitchen furniture. The mining camp requires such.
- Collecting black sand with neodymium magnet
This neodymium magnet is used to collect the black sand from the gold pan and separate it from other non-magnetic type of sand, including gold. But gold was not there on this picture. Mysterious?…
- Collecting and separating the black sand
We are using properly our technology to collect and separate black sand, that is what these boys are doing. They are classifying and collecting black sand.
- Prospecting for fine gold on the river Malaba in Uganda
On this river Malaba there were particles of very fine gold, yet, the tests did not show any workable results.
- Collecting black sand
This neodymium magnet is used to collect particles of black sand. As you can see the magnetite and hematite are attracted to magnet. Hematite may be collected with neodymium magnets, but not with any type of magnets.
- The rock crusher, rudimentary batch ball mill
This is the rock crusher. In Swahili in Tanzania, this crusher is known as calasher. It is a rudimentary ball mill made in Uganda. But we are in Uganda now, and this rock crusher has 33 rotations per minute and may crush about 100 kilograms per hour. Handling it and operation is dangerous. Injuries happen. And the crusher itself may run out of its stand, and start rotating on the mining site. And kill somebody. That happened already. But not on our mining site. Thus crusher is used in Uganda on the…
- Mineral sample on the mining site
This is gold bearing rock that is crushed, milled and processed on this mining site.
- Mr. Louis nearby the tailings heap
This is the tailings heap in background, and Mr. Louis is watching what? Birds? We don't know.
- The mercury coated or amalgamated gold in the gold pan
This is the enlargement of the mercury coated or amalgamated gold in the gold pan.
- Mercury gold and small gold particles recovered
Mercury gold is seen in the gold pan and represents the result from one portion of the concentrates that were collected on the sluice. Mercury collects small particles of gold together, and we recovery mercury and dispose of it. We do not use mercury in recovery of the gold. We recover both gold and mercury accidentally due to previous mercury pollution.
- Sluice handling
People are handling the sluice for fine gold recovery. We are using 4 important pieces of technology necessary to capture small gold. The test stage allows a lot of mistakes to happen, so that next sluice may be built with all the small improvements necessary for better gold recovery.
- Feeding the sluice
The sluice is fed during the first half an hour of testing. Clay material was much harder to handle, while all the sand was handled pretty well, mercury and gold particles could be recovered, together with the oxide coated gold particles.
- Laminar water flow
Laminar water flow on the sluice is important factor in gold recovery. Turbulences and bubbles or air spaces under the water flow shall by all means be avoided.
- Gold particles are separated on the sluice
Sluice and the slick plates on the first part of the sluice are being separated from each other and gold particles are running to be captured. Water flow is carefully observed, the level of the sluice, bubbles and turbulences.
- So many hoses, pipe, which one is ours?
There are so many hoses and pipes on the ground, many of them are neglected. Miners do their best. Due to expenses, light blue hoses are used to bring water. But they are also breaking all the time and are more liability than an asset. We are using the HDPE pipe of two inch as it is durable and gives least resistant to water in comparison to those other soft hoses.
- The HDPE pipe is being moved for easier water supply
The HDPE pipe is moved by our people for easier water supply. That way we did not need to cut the expensive suction hose which we use to bring water from the HDPE pipe. HDPE means high density polyethylene. Polyethylene is a lightweight thermoplastic used in insulation, plumbing and similar applications.
- The sluice ready for the tailings heap test
The sluice is setup on the mining site on 1st January 2018 and is ready for the tailings test. Larger gold particles were found and much of the smaller particles of black, brown and dark red gold. Maybe you wonder what is black, brown and dark red gold? Those gold particles are coated with other minerals and do not appear as yellow and shiny as larger gold particles.
- Injury on the mining site
Fingers were cut on the sluice on the attempt to remove some small rocks. But small rocks were made of quartz. Sharp quartz.
- The empty mining site on 26th December 2017
This is the empty mining and mineral processing site on 27th December 2017 in Uganda. People went for Christmas, we remained with few people for work. There was plenty of time to field assay the tailings heap that was first in the row out of many.
- Gold flake in the gold pan
Small gold flake was found in the gold pan during the gold panning on the materials from tailings.
- Prospecting in the tailings after the sluice
Local miners remain with tailings after the sluice. Here I am verifying their tailings and losses. Such material was tested by using Garrett Super Sluice to quickly determine what is being lost. Several flakes of gold of 1 millimeter have been found, and one nugget of 2 millimeter. Multiple small particles of gold including mercury have been found as well. It proved again the losses of artisanal miners and gave us assurance of profitability of the tailings.
- Conducting the field assay on the tailing heap
It was 26th December 2017. I was conducting the more proper field assay on the tailings heap to determine the number of gold particles and to get a feeling of what it is inside. When I say "more proper" it means that there may be various factors influencing the analysis of the tailings heap. The result was fantastic in the sense that I could recover all the smallest particles of gold, even hardly visible under the magnifier, including the mercury particles. Thus we may determine on the spot and within…
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