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09-16-2012, 05:21 PM
Here's a geophysical map showing over 3 miles of conductive bedrock mineralization along strike southwest of the camp at Moore Creek.

Moore Creek runs parallel along the anomaly.

Image courtesy Alaska DNR DGGS GPR 2011-2

The lower the numbers, the lower the resistivity and higher the conductivity.

Note also, the yellow/green circles represent non-conductive (possibly monzonite) intrusions.

09-17-2012, 06:31 AM
How does it work?

The short answer is; electromagnetic induction. It's the same concept used in metal detectors.

There are many companies that perform this service.

How it works:

A transmitter coil is energized with an AC current. The transmitter coil radiates an electromagnetic field. In the case where conductive minerals are present, a secondary eddy current is generated. The eddy current creates a "secondary electromagnetic field".

The secondary electromagnetic field combines with the primary electromagnetic field.

The result is a "measurable change" in the resulting electromagnetic field when compared to the primary electromagnetic field.

The measurable change is directly related to the conductivity of the earth.

So, the measurable change is measured in a receiver and that data is stored in a computer along with GPS position.

This equipment uses several different frequencies. The lower frequencies can measure deeper. The higher frequencies measure surface (surficial) conductive mineralization. So, the equipment can differentiate between surficial and bedrock measurements and provide important information about the source of the conductivity.

The map shown above was produced from low frequency (900 Hz) and therefore shows deep bedrock mineralization at Moore Creek. The other frequencies as shown on other maps also show the mineralization near the surface.

It was postulated by Buntzen and others that the source of the gold at Moore Creek was "in the benches to the southwest" along Moore Creek. This proves that was true.

Link: http://www.fugroairborne.com/services/geophysicalservices/bysurvey/electromagnetics/helicopter-electromagnetic/resolve

09-17-2012, 06:55 AM
Another version with overlay on the topographic map:

Image courtesy of Alaska DNR DGGS GPR 2011-2

09-17-2012, 09:01 AM
At the frequencies being used, I assume induction balance. The receiver coil then sends the degree of unbalance (voltage) to the recorder (A/D card in a computer).

Then the transmitter is airborne too as well as the receiver? It would seem that the aircraft must fly at pretty low altitude in order to get a meaningful energy deposit induced in the ground. Even then, the transmitter must be fairly high powered (several watts or 10's of watts). Then once again because of the low frequency, the coils must be fairly large just to have some degree of efficiency requiring the use of a bird suspended under/behind the aircraft rather than the coils in a stinger design.

Is this correct?

I understand how things work on the ground, it is the airborne aspects that challenge my thinking due to the stinking inverse square law especially considering it is round trip distance with poor coupling involved at the half way point.

Is it a reasonable assumption that the frequency control must be stable as a rock so the bandwidth can be real tight (a few Hertz at most) in order to filter out the noise digitally (do I see a use for a sound card)?

Oops, probably better read what is on the link you posted. The bird versus stinger question is answered.

09-17-2012, 09:53 AM

You have the basic idea.

The technology has been around for years. For examples from all over the world: http://explorationgeophysics.info/?cat=7

I provided a link earlier for you on another thread to the Alaska DGGS explanation;

http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/pubs/id/1829#0 (REF: Swift Creek Anomaly Map)

The Iditarod GPR 2011-2 survey was done recently. The interpretation has not yet been officially released.

Things work the same way in the air. The electromagnetic dipole "moment" in Newtons is calculated by NIA. Number of turns in coil x I (amps of current) x Area in square meters exp 2.

Also... Note; It's a T-R system, not a balanced bridge.

- Geowizard

09-17-2012, 11:34 AM

Bill Bohan
09-17-2012, 01:11 PM
An overlayed fault map would pull some of the slop out of your interpretation. Saline solutions migrate along permiable fault zones. Also many of your near surface bedrock ridges will shadow as high conductives. I think Steve H. posted targets for this location a couple years back.

09-17-2012, 02:02 PM
This is on the Iditarod-Nixon Fork Fault line. Using the process of elimination, all of the other areas around Moore Creek were eliminated several years ago. Full Metals apparently thought the source of the gold was a hill (monzonite intrusive) north-west of the camp. This area to the southwest was not drilled.

Steve Herschbach
09-17-2012, 03:25 PM
"It was postulated by Buntzen and others that the source of the gold at Moore Creek was "in the benches to the southwest" along Moore Creek. This proves that was true."

Say what? From Geology of the Iditarod C-3 Quadrangle, Alaska (http://wwwdggs.dnr.state.ak.us/scan1/pr/text/PR096.PDF) - T.K. Bundtzen, G.M. Laird, and M.S. Lockwood., 1988 - A summary of the geology and mineral resources along a 32 km (20 mi) segment of the Nixon-Iditarod fault in the central Kuskokwim Mountains of western Alaska. Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Professional Report 96, 13 pages.

"The source of the Moore Creek placers is probably the deeply dissected monzonite plug that crops out on the hillside 2.5 km northwest of Moore Creek placer camp. The monzonite plug hosts numerous crosscutting, mineralized sulfide-quartz veins, including the Broken Shovel silver-gold lode previously described. During earlier years, the modern streams draining the monzonite were mined for placer gold."

The benches on the north have the gold, the tributaries draining the north side have gold. Nothing to the south. There is little doubt where the Moore Creek gold came from. I am not saying there is no gold to the south, but it did not end up in Moore Creek.

09-17-2012, 07:04 PM

I agree. I wasn't clear about what I said. As you stated, the gold is coming in from the north bench of Moore Creek. My reference for the southwest directionality is from of2004-1311 pg 170:


All anyone can do is postulate on the source of the "golden oreos". This geophysical survey was conducted in 2011, after the earlier statements and studies. As new information is obtained, the earlier studies will may be revised. It's a process of elimination. As more data eliminates certain ground from consideration and new ground having greater levels of mineralization becomes the next prospect.

- Geowizard

10-05-2012, 07:36 PM
Here's a fault map. It's a map of geologic structure SW of the runway at Moore Creek with fault lines drawn in black.

Image courtesy Alaska State DNR DGGS GPR 2011-2 sh003b.pdf

The area in the circle is supposed to be the source of the gold at Moore Creek.

- Geowizard

10-08-2012, 12:20 PM
I'm trying to learn more about how to interpret electromagnetic surveys. Unfortunately, the pictures you post don't load for me. Regardless, I have a question. Is it possible to tell from surveys alone if an area has a deposit of valuable minerals? You compare the electromagnetic surveys to metal detecting. With metal detecting you get many signals, but you could easily have 100 junk targets to every good one. Even with discrimination you cannot be 100% sure you have a chunk of gold until you dig. Isn't it the same with electromagnetic surveys? What do you look for in a survey that makes you think the area has a valuable deposit?

10-08-2012, 12:42 PM

Excellent question!

What's a pop can tab worth, anyway? Do you know how many used AA batteries I have dug up? :)

Imagine, for a moment, a rusty nail? Not worth much. Right?

Now, imagine, for a moment, finding a magnetite deposit that covers 100 square miles!


I have been told by seasoned geophysicists... "Well, you know, it's probably just a graphite deposit."

Who would want a multi-million dollar graphite deposit?

ANY metalliferous deposit is valuable.

To answer your question... Look at the neighbors. IF the neighbors are gold deposits, there's a high probability, you have a gold deposit. Mining districts are consistently predictable. The metallogenic systems are consistent. The mineralogy is consistent.

BTW, I just made a MAJOR discovery at Moore Creek! Interested?

The images are all jpg's.

- Geowizard

10-21-2012, 10:59 AM
The Iditarod - Nixon Fork Fault (INF) runs 113 miles from Iditarod through Moore Creek to The Nixon Fork mine. The fault is responsible for much of the mineralization in the region. As shown in previous posts on this thread, a region of conductive mineralization extending southwest and northeast of Moore Creek was discovered. From the data, I have determined the most conductive mineralization within and near the INF fault zone. The most conductive mineralization within 25 miles of Moore Creek is within 1.2 miles of the runway and camp. I'm looking forward to exposing this deposit during the 2013 season. A final report is due within days from a consultant that is a registered geophysicist (qualified person) for NI 43-101 purposes.

I will publish more information in coming days!

- Geowizard

Reno Chris
10-21-2012, 09:53 PM
ANY metalliferous deposit is valuable.

Well, maybe or maybe not - depends on product value. If you have 50 million worth of graphite or gold or whatever, but its costs 80 million to mine, process and get that product to market, then the deposit has a negative present value which does not make it valuable.

Geologists exposed some high grade mineralization along the I-N fault in that area near Moore Creek about 5 years ago (more or less) with a backhoe, so some gold is already known to exist there. I suppose a small but very high grade, near surface deposit might be workable on a small scale with equipment that could be easily flown in, but any larger sized more moderate grade deposit would require a large scale deposit (like multi-million ounces) to make it work economically because of the remoteness of Moore Creek. The fact that deposits exist there is hard to argue based on available knowledge, but is it a 5 million ounce deposit? Well, that is a bit more uncertain.

Donlin is a great example of this - it continues to swirl and produce nothing because of issues directly or indirectly related to its remoteness (though I do think Donlin will eventually get into production in the coming years). If Donlin were located in central Nevada, it would have been in production years ago because all the infrastructure is already here and available. On the other hand, if it were in remote parts of Mali, Africa it would probably be sub-economic because of both high costs and political risks from revolutions, civil wars, etc. All the issues of infrastructure are a big deal to a large scale mining operation and can make the difference in whether a deposit has a positive net present value (ie., the product of a deposit is worth significantly more than cost of mining , extraction and bringing it to market) or not.

10-22-2012, 05:08 AM
Why couldn’t you go in with small equipment if you found a rich deposit? I know it would take longer to work it but if the operating costs were lower you would have more profit.

10-22-2012, 07:52 AM
There's always the question of feasibility. It is understood that the problem with much of the interior of Alaska is access. One of the pieces of good news is the Western Alaska Access Corridor that is under construction. A road system will eventually connect Fairbanks with Nome. The Road will branch at Ruby and using the existing road that goes down to Poorman, will extend down to Ophir. Ophir is already connected to the Kuskokwin River. Next, another road will connect from Ophir to Aniak. That road will probably be aligned with the winter trail that goes from Takotna to Moore Creek and down to Donlin then to Aniak.

Thinkers today must think beyond their noses. New infrastructure will make mining possible tommorrow that is not feasible today. Case in point is the Kinross/Fairbanks Gold staking of 20 square miles of ground adjoining the Ophir Creek mine. Ophir probably represents another large, low grade bulk mineable resource similar to Fort Knox. The Fort Knox deposit is experiencing declining grade and they are now producing gold from low grade stockpiles. You can read all about it in the Kinross MD&A on their website.

Where are the next big gold plays in Alaska?

- Geowizard

Steve Herschbach
10-22-2012, 09:06 AM
"A road system will eventually connect Fairbanks with Nome"

Heard that since I was a child. The environmentalists will fight it, and the villagers that do not want the masses driving in and hunting "their" game will fight it. It will probably happen when the Susitna Dam and Knik Crossing gets built.

Reno Chris
10-22-2012, 10:18 AM
Why couldn’t you go in with small equipment if you found a rich deposit?
Generally speaking, extremely rich deposits tend to be small. Its a function of the geologic processes which form naturally occurring deposits (This is a general rule of thumb, not a hard and fast law with no exceptions).
Second, large scale process in general work more cheaply than small. Think Tesla Motors vs GM and making cars. Same concept - its cheaper per ton to process 1000 tons per day than it is to process 10 tons per day. Smaller scale does not mean lower cost, it means higher costs per ton processed.
So if you found 200 tons of rock that ran 2 ounces per ton or better of mostly free gold, you'd want to set up a small scale plant and process it probably using gravity only type methods. You are not going to find 2 million tons of rock that runs 2 ounces or better, its just geologically very unlikely. If you find 50 million tons of rock that runs 0.1 ounces, you would not be able to process that at a profit using small scale techniques because of the high costs of mining in Alaska. you could probably mine and process it using large scale, lower cost methods.

It will probably happen when the Susitna Dam and Knik Crossing gets built.
I heard construction begins on those two projects a week after dredging is restored to California by the CA legislature. :D

11-24-2012, 08:33 PM

I would be happy to show you a model that demonstrates .01 troy ounce per yard - mining 30 yards per hour (300 yards per day) at $200 per ounce cost. I have 10 million cubic yards of dragline tailings right next to the road. Water is actually above the mine site. I'm pumping down-hill. Visit www.ophir-alaska.com. :)

- Geowizard

Reno Chris
11-25-2012, 02:01 PM
This is part of the problem with a thread that sits dormant for a long time - the actual topic of discussion gets forgotten. We were talking about hard rock deposits at Moore Creek, not placer deposits next to a road. Placer deposit processing costs are nearly always much less than hard rock costs because no crushing is needed - but placers are not what we were talking about. Locations next to roads with access to power and other supplies also have reduced costs, but that also is not what we were talking about.

Using a small crusher and processing 50 tons a day at a really remote location like Moore Creek, I think you'd be hard pressed to process 0.1 oz / ton hard rock ore at a profit, given the high cost of flying in fuel, food for the men, labor, other supplies, equipment and camp maintenance, etc. That even though 0.1 is pretty decent hard rock ore. I do think if you were processing 1000 tons per day and getting the economies of scale that go with that increased production, you would have no problem getting that grade of ore to be profitable.

11-25-2012, 03:09 PM
Can't argue with RC. I tend to be a bit of a pessimist, ergo my almost perpetual state of functional poverty. So ... ,

I think that RC's figures of running 1000ypd and turning a profit is a bit optimistic and depends on the deposit holding grade for at least 15-20 years. I am probably the least qualified to comment on some aspects of prospecting and mining, but I can crunch numbers.

1000ypd will need somewhere around a 1 MW power-plant. Think of just the fuel costs delivered per day/week. Then there is man-power costs. Remember, remote location so you are feeding and quartering 3 shifts. Then the day to day logistics for camp and maintenance.

So now can we figure in the capital costs? There's that pesky permit thingy too. Aw crap, this means lawyers.

Maybe at the 5000ypd level over 15-20 years is do-able at that location.
Now the alternate.

Lately I've been reading as much early mining history as possible. Not the big mines, but rather the prospector who got lucky and got upgraded to Miner 1.6 beta version.

One aspect that caught my interest was pocket mining of high-grade. There are a few modern books that mention this. Now where this really piques my interest is that not all lode mines that went into large-scale mining were financed by deep pocket investors. Many had to have been started as pocket mines.

So with this in mind, if the deposit has high-grade pockets the possibility to make some money would exist. The key would be to mine it the hard way. Mine it as a partnership and live hard-scrabble. No frills. Maintain minimal power requirements. Most of all, hand sort. High-grade gets crushed, low grade to a low-grade dump. This will solve your mental anguish over discarding ore that doesn't quite make grade. It is just set aside.

But, I'm speculating. I do intend to start prospecting for pockets in the Chugach. The ARDF has logged many occurrences that were mined on a small-scale. But recovery data is kinda scarce.

I think pocket-mining at a profit might be possible if the gold occurs in nice chunkies.

Reno Chris
11-25-2012, 04:02 PM
Just to clarify, in commercial gold mining when we talk yards per day production - its placer mining that we are talking about. When we talk about tons per day, that's hard rock mining. A ton is much smaller than a yard. Usually most hard rock surface ores are more or less in the ballpark of 1.5 tons per cubic yard.

Just in crunching numbers, remember that a 1000 ton per day operation running 0.1 (one tenth, not one hundreth) is throwing off $170,000 a day gross output. That covers a lot of cost.

Of all the really big mines in Nevada, one has had some time as a rich pocket mine. However it was not a bootstrap up to big scale. The round mountain properties were operated as placers and small high grade hard rock mines, and these all shut down. Decades later, the properties were consolidated and big money brought in and a large low grade operation started (which does occasionally still hit hot spots of rich material).

11-26-2012, 09:29 AM
Yep, you're right. I did type ypd rather than the tpd I meant.

$170K looks like a lot of daily gross, but expenses at that locale would run high. Looks to be 60-70 miles as a crow flies from the Kuskokwim River (seasonal barging), so flying in fuel becomes mandatory. The amount of fuel daily pretty much demands a Hercules-class aircraft on contract just for fuel. Still have to figure on-site fuel storage to last a couple-three weeks due to inclement weather in the winter.

Upgrading the airstrip to C-130 class is not a problem. Been there, done that and this one wouldn't require a Sky-Crane (CH-54) to haul in equipment.

The need for the deposit to hold grade for 15-20 years would be a big decider on the probable profitability to go into production.

Perhaps with more exploration, additional reserves could be added.

But like I said, I'm not an optimist. The biggest question is,"Will a deposit like this get investors excited?" It really is about location, location, location. Investors like cheap start-up costs. Except for institutional investors, most don't think long-term anyway beyond where the stock price will be in a year. Anyone have any "good" buzz?
Then it appears that the many of the mines only bootstrapped enough to run a high-grade mine. At least they were successful enough historically to get noticed later by an exploration geologist.

Still as this relates to Moore Creek and profitable lode potential, profits are in the billfold of the beholding. $250/day might seem like a nice profit to Joe Snuffy, but be daily photocopier costs to a major. Hand sorting profitable ore from low-grade can make a big difference in daily expenses and tonnage milled. Crushing/milling is the big expense. Figures I have on put it at 15KWh/ton.

So if you can pull 1 ounce out of a 70# rock or 1.2 oz out of a ton, ... . Crush the rock, leave the rest of the ton.

Still the larger question, "Does the potential exist for profitable pocket mining in the Moore Creek area?"


11-26-2012, 10:43 AM
Here's the business model:

Objective: Mine, crush, mill, concentrate 50 tons per day processing capacity to 100 mesh and concentrate on wave table.

Mining method: Mining by incline shaft to vein deposit. Drift mining on vein.

Process: Loader - hopper - jaw crusher to impact mill. Sceen and concentrate gold on wave table. Ship cons to Oxford in Anchorage.


$25,000 Bobcat
$25,000 Jaw crusher
$3,000 (2) impact mills.
$25,000 255? MSI Xtruder wave table.
$10,000 4-wheeler
$10,000 Tent camp.
$5,000 Food, wifi, etc.
$103,000 capital cost

Revenue: @ .1 opt, 50 tpd, = 5 troy ounces per day @ 100 percent recovery refined gold = .70 x raw = $6125/day.

Less cost including 3 man labor, fuel, ($1000 per day) =

Net $5000 per day x 100 days = $500,000 per 100 day season.

Note: Hardrock mining can operate year-round - even in Alaska.

Comment: Jaw crusher includes 10KW power plant which would run small recirculating pumps for wave table. Everything is FOB Moore Creek. Mills are as advertised on AMDS.

Oversize reports back to the impact mills until it passes 100 mesh.

- Geowizard

11-26-2012, 03:32 PM
Geo ,
I would venture to say your start up costs are off by at least 50-100% minimal

My labor costs for 3 "Good" men would exceed the 1,000 a day mark not including the overtime , with the benefits ... A "Good" worker with various skills and sound mind employed in Ak. is going to range between 25-50 an hour ...

Wouldn't you need some type of office support : book-keeping/payroll/accounting , unless you plan to run everything under the table ???

What is your thoughts on fuel usage per day ???

Maintenance costs to keep all equipment up and running

Transportation vehicle and fuel/maintenance at mine and costs to/from mine site to/from town ???

Seems like your Camp investment is Quite low as well ; refrigeration , water purification , hot water , power , etc...

A bull-cook/camp person I believe would be greatly needed as well

What does an Insurance policy cost for all the liabilities in the hard-rock mining realm (underground) sounds really costly to me

Equipment to erect , safety equipment , and shoring materials for the shaft/drift supporting tunnel/drift

Wouldn't you need equipment to break loose the hard-rock : drill , blasting , etc ...

Wouldn't you need equipment to get hard-rock out of shaft/drift and transported to milling site

This is just a start into what I think is/has been forgotten

Just really curious ....

Reno Chris
11-26-2012, 04:05 PM
Geowizard -

Don't try to sell that business model to an investor, you'd be in real trouble. I'd guestimate your $103,000 wouldn't cover hardly 1/4 of what you'd actually need capital wise. I've actually set up and run small hard rock operations and know how very expensive they can be.
Notes - 3 men is nowhere near enough to mine and process 50 TPD. To get 50 TPD out of a small underground mine, you'd probably need 3 crews of two guys and a supervisor. If you run a shaft you need a hoist operator. Plus two men to run the mill, one mechanic for the whole operation and figure the mine supervisor covers the whole operation, so that's 11 men total.
10 KW as a power plant wouldn't do it. Your jaw crusher would draw more than 10 KW on start up. You wont be running that thing with a 2 horsepower motor. In addition to the jaw, the impacts would need motor power too. Impacts are lower cost capital wise, but much higher maintenance and down time. I am also curious on the 25 tpd impact mill that only costs $3000. The wave table has pumps, but has a motor itself. Better figure 200KW to run the mill and camp. The mine will need power too, not just lights, underground mines need ventilation and vent fans are big power burners. Better figure another 200 KW for the underground mine. Plus in the mine you need an air compressor (drills are run off compressed air) and some form of motive power to move the ore around.
Just in operating costs I figure you'd need 100 gallons per day at $10 per gallon delivered, 11 guys at average $350 per day (wages plus social security and unemployment insurance, etc). Camp room and board cost of $50 per man per day (got to spend the fuel to let these guys have hot showers as well as hot meals). Plus a $500 hundred a day in maintenance, parts and supplies costs including blasting materials. You end with an operating cost in the ballpark of around $6000 per day.

The mine will need a head frame, ore bin and hoist over your inclined shaft - you forgot those. The headframe, mill and hoist as well as sinking the shaft will require several months of non-productive prep and construction time. Anyway, my point is that hard rock mining is expensive, which is why few people really do it.

11-26-2012, 05:03 PM

What would it take to get something like this off the ground the first year ???

Sounds like a Cool Million to Me : for start-up , expenses , and a reserve fund ...

11-26-2012, 05:29 PM
Yah, I keep carping about logistics.

Wouldn't you need some type of office support : book-keeping/payroll/accounting , unless you plan to run everything under the table ???

If that person stays in town, perhaps they can handle logistics too.

Many years ago I handled the logistics for a remote airfield complex on the Little Delta out of Ft. Greely. Everything went in by air. Crew on site was about 30 as I recall with D-5, grader, 3 - 2.5ton dumps, compactor, pumps, radio van and separate crew of 3, etc. Took 3 months to pull off.

I had 2 helpers and Ft. Greely for logistical support. Facilities engineers at Ft. Wainwright did plumbing fabrication work for us. National Guard provided the UH-1 or UH-58 for daily logistics runs and the CH-54 for heavy sling-loads.

Although I didn't have to pay the bills, we had a real tight budget ($2 million in '82) that I had to deal with and just the logistics was almost overwhelming in manpower requirements.

The job did cinch an Arcom for me. My only beef was that I was a combat engineer, not a logistics geek. Which brings me to the next to final comment.

I became a logistics geek because some missions require that the person handling logistics has intimate knowledge of what specialized supplies, equipment or whatever is needed to accomplish the mission. That level of specialization costs more. Any interruptions in the deliveries runs expenses up fast.

Last comment and then I'm bailing out on this thread due to my lack of mining knowledge. I'll keep reading.
It might be a real good idea to have some money socked away for possible MSHA fines.
Thanks RC for all the info. I have a lot to learn on the mine development end.

11-26-2012, 05:31 PM
Good points and good questions.

This model has a $500K net profit using the above numbers.

So, let's spend an additional $200K on a winch, head frame, water heater, a couple of maids. Now, we're down to a mere $300K net profit for 100 days work (year one). :)

I started managing hardrock mines in 1990. As an owner-operator, I know how to do the book-keeping. Been doing it for years. In recent years, I hand it off to an accountant. I have been operating the Ophir mine and have two Bobcats there, with all of the required support equipment. I fly miners up from Arizona and the northwest. The pay rate is considered base pay. I provide a production bonus for production over a predetermined benchmark. Miners work and live at the mine.

Because of the on-going issues with having employees - I am planning to secure contract mining companies and have already been using contract blasting companies. My winter mining projects in Arizona have provided the basis for costing. I have always ran a three man crew. Yes, all of the required safety equipment is provided and used as the situation requires.

With reference to power, I presently own the jaw crusher and operate it with a 5KW power plant. A 5KW plant will run up to 5HP 220 volt motors (4000 watts). I operated the largest privately owned underground mine in Arizona. I ran power on three lines 2000 feet into the Chiricahua mountains. One line was for lights. One for power tools and a third line for auxilliary power. All of the power was ran from one 5KW power plant.

I buy fuel from Remote Fuels in Wasilla. They can operate into shorter fields with their 185. The fuel runs about $8.00 depending on prices in town. The Bobcat burns 10 gallons per day and the power plant is about the same. If a second power plant is needed, I can get another one flown in from Anchorage on NAC to McGrath and delivered to the mine for $2000.

Initial mining will be on the enriched supergene portion of the vein.

What next? :)

- Geowizard

Production is planned for 2014. I have defined a 4,000 ft x 20,000 ft target. The depth to mineralization is 3 to 4 meters.

11-26-2012, 06:50 PM
Geo ,

So what is the realistic start-up costs : capital & reserve numbers

What is the man hour cost using mining contract labor

How much fuel can the 185 carry a trip

What kind of fuel storage facility is needed

Can mother-nature effect hard-rock mining in any way

How difficult is the permitting process to get through

Could this type of operation operate through the Alaskan winter at/near the projected daily costs

Can you explain "Supergene portion of the Vein"

What are the state royalties %wise on the hard-rock

How much material can the wave table handle a day

Bill Bohan
11-26-2012, 08:34 PM

It is not about flying 3 miners up from Arizona for a season. It is about whether or not they return willfully for the second season.

Even flying bulk fuel out to Ophir is way more than 8 dollars per gallon. I apraise fuel at eight dollars snow machining it in 17 miles from mile 44 Chena hot springs road.

How can you make cost estimates and bank money on a geophysical target that you have not field checked yet?

The miner out on Kokomo Creek (fbks district) rents a D-8 every spring to prep strip his ground for the summer mining season. It cost costs him $100,000 overhead to clear overburden to pay gravel.

How can you estimate the gold in your tail piles when the inside of of most tail piles is no- grade over burden?

Your estimates have totally spaced monies for a maintenance package for your equipment.

Where is your Canada national Instrument 43-101? Supergene intepretation from a rainbow map?

Are you packing a chute to jump into the jungles of Indonesia?

11-27-2012, 06:31 AM

Great questions.

In terms of human resources, everyone has a choice to make. I pay everyone to join in to a morning chat session to discuss issues and solutions as well as to layout the daily "work plan". I get emails everyday from people that are applying for a mining position. I have one primary requirement - that's cooperation. In a mining camp, there is no room for discontent. As Steve has mentioned in other threads, i.e. Doug Clark has flown people out that were "voted off the island". If someone decides they don't want to return, that's certainly their option. I have one example of a miner that calls me regularly "checking in" to let me know he's excited and can't wait to get back up to Alaska. "return willfully for the second season"?

The prior lessee at Ophir flew in 3000 gallons at a time on a DC4 from Fairbanks. He had 5000 gallon storage capacity. The tanks are still at the Ophir runway. This year Everts Fuel Flew in 2000 gallon loads to Ophir. I used Remote fuels out of Wasilla. They fly in smaller loads of a couple hundred gallons at about $8.00 a gallon. it's a 907 number of course 887-1735. Talk to Brian - the owner. He can give you a quote. I have used a figure of $10.00 a gallon for unleaded and diesel for purposes of budgeting.

Exploration companies bank money all of the time based on geophysical anomalies. It's the standard practice for exploration. Like metal detecting - you swing the detector and you dig where you get hits instead of digging holes everywhere without any particular reason. Because alaska is mostly covered by alluvium, it's the most practical way.

- Geowizard

11-27-2012, 06:44 AM

With reference to your question of interpretation of supergene enrichment from geophysical measurements; the electromagnetic DIGHEM system uses three frequencies. The low frequency 900 Hz penetrates deeper. The 7200 Hz penetrates less and measures intermediate depth. The 56,000 Hz penetrates the least and measures surficial mineralization. It is also "discriminating" to eliminate ferrous targets. You need to have the CD that DNR sells and look at the actual geophysical data to make an accurate interpretation.

I have already covered the issue of dragline tailing piles. I mentioned previously that the core of the tailings pile represents the overburden. The piles are an up-side down remnant of what was mined.

I am the investor, so I have responsibility for doing my own due diligence. I have hired a professional "Qualified Person" to perform the final interp on the geophysical targets. I received his formal report last month.

I really don't see the humor implied in you question about jumping into the indonesian forest. I have tried to answer your questions and prefer that you refrain from childish inuendo. Thank you.

- Geowizard

11-27-2012, 07:10 AM

Sound management of financial resources dictate that minimum expenditures are at risk during the initial start-up of mining. That way, physical resources can be removed from the site and placed into other locations. In order to execute on that type of plan, it is a two-fold task for management; 1. insertion of men, machines, materials and... 2. being prepared for the immediate extraction. It's like landing on an aircraft carrier. You have to prepared to land, take-off and go swimming all at the same time!

The nice thing about contract mining is that the contractor provides the human resources. I have a company in Idaho that is willing to work the 100 day season for $50K per man. This company has a complete portfolio of the mines they have worked, the references are available. They are all qualified experienced underground miners.

I store fuel in DOT certified 55 gallon drums. The drums are plentiful.

Hardrock mining is handled through the APMA process. The permitting usually is done in less than 60 days. Alaska is a mining friendly state. Permitting is approved along strict guide-lines. One of my specialties happens to be permitting. http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/apmathru.pdf

The wave table would operate on an almost continuous basis. I used the 100 mesh as an example only. The actual crush-mill requirement will vary according to the type of mineralization. Course gold gets crushed and the nuggets recovered after the crush. My expectation is a monzonite vein with central gold - silver mineralization.

Supergene enrichment is common where temperatures of solutions are such that precipitation of metals occur near the surface. This project has mineralization that ranges from shallow to deep from the geophysical data. I am planning ground geophysics and shallow drilling to explore the shallow subsurface on the target.

- Geowizard

11-27-2012, 09:38 AM
By using contract miners they already have the required MSHA Basic training when they show up?
How do you handle the on site requirement of the MSHA code?
On open pit for the Supergene Enrichment basic MSHA will work right? How about once you go underground, another set of requirements. Also if I remember correctly once underground starts then you need a Rescue Crew on hand or within range. Do you have a current Rescue crew anywhere near? Any pictures of your ore? Keep after it and you'll get there.

11-27-2012, 10:24 AM

Good questions. I have lots of pictures of ore.

Back to MSHA. I have been in numerous debates with MSHA "experts" on almost every forum. Part of the reason for limiting my crew to three is that I fall under the Small Mining Operation (SMO) rules. Three miners can self rescue or can get help in the case where one miner is down, one miner stays to provide assistance and third miner goes for help. I conduct frequent rescue extractions simulating a miner down scenario and extraction from the mine to safety. At the Ophir Mine, I have complete Triage First-Aid facilities at the Airport and at the mine site. The reason for wifi is that I can use Broadband internet wifi to go online and connect using Skype communications with Alaska State Troopers or MSHA in keeping with the 15 minute reporting rule.

Added information: My MSHA trainers tell me that the mine owner provides onsite training related to safety aspects of a specific work site/mine site. Everyone has current pinks in the pocket. Everyone wears appropriate PPE. They receive training on its use etc. etc.

SMO Fact Sheet:


- Geowizard

11-27-2012, 11:11 AM

Replies to your other questions:

The Cessna 185 has about a 1700 pound useful load. Brian hauls 170 gallons on each trip. I usually call for two trips; one unleaded and one diesel.

Crushed and milled material can be ran through a sluice for gold recovery too. The wave table works good but has much more limited capacity. It's also possible to design a recovery system that uses both sluice and wave table for cons as is the usual practice.

The xtruder 255 will process 255 pounds of cons an hour.


This thread is about geophysical prospecting. There is a good educational resource on geophysics at UC Berkeley:

http://appliedgeophysics.lbl.gov/em/index.html Don't be intimidated by the math - it works! :)

- Geowizard

Reno Chris
11-27-2012, 09:12 PM
All I can say is 3 guys to run an underground mine and mill that produces and processes 50 Tons per day and all facilities powered with a 10KW generator and a total operating cost of $1000 per day is fantasy and any supposed profit numbers generated on that basis are utterly meaningless.

Best one of these I heard in the past was a similar plan using prison industry convicts as miners to save labor costs. This one is almost as outrageous, a close second.

Best of luck, I wont offer any further comment.

11-28-2012, 05:21 AM
I received a call from a friend in Globe, Arizona a couple of days ago. He wanted to tell me about his new job at Pinto Valley Copper Company, a mid range copper producer. His starting pay as an experienced equipment operator is $23.00 an hour.

They don't provide room and board.

Chris failed to read the replies to the issue of labor above.

My experience in operating the Hilltop Mine, here in Arizona was using one Bobcat initially. It was a 453. The 453 is the smallest Bobcat available and was chosen for underground operations because the width of the bucket allowed it to traverse the mine. One 453 Bobcat cannot produce 50 tons per day. I worked out a Bobcat train using three Bobcats to obtain a 20 ton per day production. The bobcats followed the leader into the mine. turned around, loaded and exited the mine together. The Hilltop mine was initially a "clean out" operation. Although much of the material cleaned out was ore grade material. The operation used three miners and they were paid $20.00 an hour. I ran two shifts, three miners on each shift. It was possible to run three shifts. Underground mining has the advantage that it doesn't really matter if it's dark outside.

The Bobcats were equipped with approved diesel cat converters for underground operation. The Hilltop mine is also ventilated because the mine runs through the Chiricahua Mountains, pressure differentials from one side of the mountain to the other creates a constant air flow through the mine. Carbon monoxide sensors were placed at 100 ft stations inside the mine at floor level.

I can provide an exact breakdown of costs including air compressor, air hose, jack hammers, etc. Yes, there is initial time spent on installation of power cables, drilling holes for the cable anchors, hanging the power cables. I had previously been contracted to clean out 2000 feet of victaulic pipe and rail track with cars from the Gold Prince mine as it was being closed.

- Geowizard

The issue at Moore Creek is related to the type of mineralization in the vein system. Feasibility of mining cannot be predicted on a hypothetical business model at this time.

11-28-2012, 05:49 AM

You are always on top of the issue of keeping on topic yet, you prefer to drive a thread off topic without providing relevant or material facts - only opinion based on no relevant facts with no positive contribution to the central theme of the topic.

I object to that.

I try to present fact based informational discussion on the relevant facts as directed toward this thread.

If you wish to provide no further comment - You are excused. Others may find the subject of prospecting using geophysical methods interesting and worthy of discussion. Moore Creek represents a currently prospective, important gold resource that has recently been surveyed by the State of Alaska through DNR and DGGS. The survey data has significance to Alaska, Alaskans, Alaskan prospectors, other prospectors. The results obtained from further exploration at Moore Creek could possibly reveal new sources of gold and other minerals there.

- Geowizard

Reno Chris
11-28-2012, 10:50 AM
I dismissed myself saying I would not comment further. However I will comment that I had let this topic go month ago, and it was you who brought up costs of running a placer operation next to a road - something that had absolutely nothing to do with the original topic. Since then you have focused the comments of this thread onto the hypothetical costs of working a hard rock deposit at the Moore Creek location.

On the topic of gold deposits along the I-N fault at Moore Creek, I have said previously in this thread that I agree with you that there is a deposit there - some gold has already been found in place. How big the deposit will turn out to be can only be determined by further exploration. However the land position is currently controlled by Full Metals Mining and a JV partner. Wont that effect any efforts you might make to explore there?

11-28-2012, 11:42 AM
Welcome back Chris. :)

It shouldn't affect me. I won't be working on their claims.

Thanks for the advice!

- Geowizard

11-28-2012, 12:22 PM
The following statement is a little confusing "The operation used three miners and they were paid $20.00 an hour. I ran two shifts, three miners on each shift." Did you start with 3 then upgrade to 6 miners?

Also I don't know of very many capable operators in Alaska willing to work for $20/hour especially without room and board. Was that pay under the table/cash?

11-28-2012, 01:13 PM

I started with 3 miners on one shift and decided to run two shifts.

I explained earlier. The miners I employed in Alaska are not from Alaska. I pay for their flights from their home base to and from Alaska. Miners were hired as temporary employees. Often times, mining jobs are subject to variables that affect the ability for a company to provide guaranteed extended periods of employment. Because mining can be suspended for regulatory, financial, equipment and or other resource shortages, as well as the seasonal issues in Alaska, the jobs are temporary in nature.

I pay everyone with company check unless cash is requested and that is receipted. Employees receive 1099 forms for tax purposes. As was explained earlier, room and board are included. Surprisingly, I get lots of offers from people that are willing to come up and work for free in order to learn the skills required for mining. Mining offers opportunities for learning but there are certain sklls that are expected in order to be functional. For example, an equipment operator may not know the skills required to perform a clean-up. Sometimes, time is spent to discuss the objectives involved in moving tailings so that working faces remain open and waste rock is placed in the appropriate location. My open-pit silver mine, in Arizona required sorting of ore in a stockpile and dumping of the non-ore grade waste rock. Training operator to learn to go in the right direction takes explanation and understanding outside the scope of a sand and gravel operation.

- Geowizard

Steve Herschbach
11-28-2012, 02:55 PM
OK, I for one have pretty much lost track of what this thread is even about.

I am interested in the idea that although the source of the Moore Creek placers is known and under claim how you propose Chuck to explore for said source of the placer? Or are you just looking for other potential lodes in the area that are unrelated to the placer?

Bill Bohan
11-28-2012, 05:31 PM
The child in me thinks that the cost of your fuel at Ophir in bulk is as you say correct. What your not telling us is that your not factoring the cost of a round trip flight to the McGrath landing strip. Your not putting the flight round trip on the cost per gallon. The pilot is running in your fuel for free?

The geophysical target you once had posted is a good target in appearance however no bank funds without ground truthing. If you say you have ore samples then post pictures of them.

So what about your htz. induction frequencies. Show us the assays for your soil grid going across your target. If it is in the report , post the whole report here. No one will finance you a drill program without a soil grid.

11-28-2012, 06:02 PM

I posted the contact information twice above for the fuel. He flies it from Wasilla to Ophir.

I mentioned before that I don't publish specific details of live exploration activities online. Sorry! :)

Steve, I will PM my contact info.

- Geowizard

Bill Bohan
11-28-2012, 07:36 PM
You mean you won't post your activities cause you lack confidence that you have the deposit contained :o

And you won't post the rock as you don't have the rocks to back up your physics :confused:

And your pilot is flying for free.....and that is a good price.

Steve Herschbach
11-29-2012, 06:02 AM
Seems like a good place to stop.