Product Review: Goldfield GoldTron (videos)

One of our best upgrades in recent years want the addition of this shaker table to our gold cleanup room. We had been using a batch centrifugal concentrator, which worked very well, but could only hold about 70ozt per batch, and had quite a bit of mob/demob time per batch. So we only used it for larger runs, and never for sample processing.

With the GoldTron, we can quickly and easily run a one gallon of concentrate from a sample area up to and beyond hundreds of gallons of material. We can breakout the batches quickly or blend them all together. It’s as easy as letting the hopper clear and swapping the collection buckets.

Continuous cleanup is the way to go if you have a lot of concentrates, and if you want to go through them quickly and keep track of many batches.

This table is very easy to use. It does require more tweaks, attention, and maintenance than the batch bowl we had been using, but the processing speed is so much faster and doing the adjustments while is actually enjoyable most of the time.

Major drawbacks include the requirement for very clean water and a constant water pressure. This is not a challenge for everyone, but for us who get our cleanup water from a pond with biomass, it has been an issue. We managed to hobble together a fine enough filter (20 micron is plenty) with enough flow to not bog down our pump. Next year we will bring up a large pool or spa filer and housing, which should solve this issue. Without clean water, little stuff would clog all the little jets, which we would clear by quickly turning up then down the flow on that jet.

The table likes a consistent flow of material, no surging. This is accomplished by the hopper and screw, with careful monitoring by the operator. With clean water, we found that one person could both feed the machine and keep the jets adjusted properly.

Like all tables, there are differing strategies on how clean to get the top, middle, and bottom outputs. We always try to keep all gold out of the bottom. Sometimes we run the top dirty, so there is little to no gold in the middle. Sometimes we run the top clean (and the GoldTron gets it very clean); and leave the middle dirty, then rerun it later, with different jet settings.

We always screen our material to 1/8″ before feeding it in, the gold we get from the Bering Sea is small and rarely has pieces over this size. The plus 1/8″ is easy to pan, especially if we screen off the 1/4″ and pan that separate. The table cuts the material into three sizes, and there are different options for which sizes these are. One size goes to the right side of the table, another to the left side. The larger size goes across a mini sluice. We were skeptical about this sluice at first, but are happy with the outcome. The water bar for the sluice could use some improvement, the water flow is uneven.

All in all, we are very pleased with this shaker table. It’s not for everyone. First, you need to actually get enough gold for the $15k to $18k price tag, plus shipping. Don’t spend more than 5% of your annual production on cleanup. If you have more time than gold, then use a $100 cleanup sluice, $200 in screens, and $50 in pans; then work almost as well, but take a lot more time and skill. But if you have a large amount of concentrates that you need to work through frequently and quickly, without needing panning skills and strenuous/tedious panning, then maybe the GoldTron is for you.

We should have bought one sooner.

Ad Critique: Invest with West

Check out this very exciting opportunity someone posted on an angel investor website for an offshore Nome, Bering Sea Gold, mining operation:

Looking for investors in up and coming JR Mining company with claims in Nome Alaska, can see more details on Discovery Channels hit TV show “Bering Sea Gold”. Great returns, project potential is in the Billions. Can anyone help out? Seeking investors for Gold Mining Operation in the Bering Sea, off the coast of Nome, Alaska. My company is 1 of 30 that control the gold rights, where there is est. 10 Million ounces of reserves off shore. Finished up the sampling, and raising the money for our first heavy lift mining vessel. We know for a fact we can run 40-80 ounces a day, we will give all of our investors the collateral in the equipment, and 70% of the gold until payout, then 50% for the life of the mine and equipment. This vessel can produce enough gold per season to pay partners a 50% return on their investment for the next 20-30 years. Nome Alaska is home of the most successful gold rush in american history, and the price of gold finally met with the technology needed to extract the reserves offshore as low as 350 per ounce. This is a very unique position, and very low risk with the exit strategies we have already put together. Message me for details. #Gold Mining #Precious Metals #Joint Venture #PrivatePlacement #Gold #Commodities #AngelInvestment
West B.

Now here are some of the things wrong with this ad:

His estimate of gold reserves offshore is high, and that is before the BIMA pulled it’s 45,000 ozt out, and the fleet of suction and excavator dredges have worked the area over for 20 years. The high grade stuff is almost all gone.

Now there is a large amount of medium grade gold offshore Nome, but the larger an operation the weaker the grade is that you can count on. This is because the smaller a rig, say a 8″ to 10″ diver operated suction dredge, will follow the narrow trails of gold much better and not waste time on the weaker stuff. For large operation, like the one I run, it’s not economical to skip over that weak ground, the cost determining grade and moving is too high. The grade we run is much lower, but the overall gold amount is higher.

I have dredged on the leases this company owns. Prior to the 2011 lease sale most of these new leases were held under lease from the 1999 lease sale or previous. The specific ones held by this company, I did not find enough gold on to keep my interest enough to bid very much on them. There are vast areas of leased and claimed ground around Nome that are very weak. Yes, there is gold everywhere, but a commercial operation needs to produce paying quantities. And counting on gold going to $10000 per ounce is not a sound business strategy.

It’s basic math that 70% of a small number is a small number. I’ve mentioned West Budreau’s operation in a few of my posts. Over $2,000,000 spent and over 2 seasons with large crews and they still have gotten less gold in total than I’ve done in a month with an 8″ I built for $60,000. As with anything, INVESTOR BEWARE!!!

The size of vessel and scale of operation that would be able to produce their 40 to 80 ounces per day estimate on their ground would be larger than the BIMA, and would cost a great deal more than $350 per ozt to operate.

So this is the third year of a “sampling operation” that is surprising. They don’t even have their second dredge in the water this year and I don’t think their main dredge has worked even 30 days yet this year. Their crew has never indicated that they were on a sampling mission. Last year they spent a large amount of what little dredging time they actually did on a lease owned by someone else.

People can always contact me for the inside scoop and background info on potential Nome deals. If you are someone with a large amount of money and interested more in having a great adventure than you are in reaping a large return on investment, I can also help you out with that, and help you avoid the bad schemes out there.

-Andrew C. Lee

PO Box1370, Nome, AK, 99762

Ad Critique: Surf Crawler/Off Shore Dredge with equipment

Here is a first year crew that looks like they overestimated the amount of gold they could get. Now they are overestimating the amount of money they can get for their homemade contraption. Word is that these guys were getting less gold than a good 6″ dredge with a skilled dredger, at 10 times the cost. At least they brought up some nice support equipment. Surf crawlers sound like a good idea, but very few places are good like Jess Creek, where the Christine Rose has been getting it’s gold. Most of those other places are restricted to after September 15 every year (fish streams); no one is going to make a million dollar operation pay in three to five weeks a year. People have a hard enough time making a $30k operation break even after two years, and that is when they don’t have to pay to operate on a lease. For this type of money I could go a long ways toward putting together a serious and successful operation, instead of trying to resurrect another person’s failure.

[NA] Surf Crawler/Off Shore Dredge with equipment
Wed Sep 4 08:53:18 AKDT 2013
Surf crawler/dredge for sale with John Deere excavator has only 5800 hours
on it. Water pump and hydraulic pump only have 250 hours on each along with
a gold watch project sluice with three trays on it. Sits 10 feet tall with
ability to track into water up to that depth. Also included would be two
containers one 20 ft and one 40 ft as well as a 2005 polaris ranger with
4×4, 1984 lifted suburban with 4×4, an ambulance (4×4) with everything
working including power inverter and lincoln welder in the back of it.
Includes wide assortment of tools, parts, and fittings, including a
hydraulic line maker, air compressor, one 130 gal fuel tank, one 180 gal
fuel tank (on machine for fuel ups), clean out tubs, spiral separator gold
wheel and trammel. Asking $900,000 OBO

Ad Critique: Diver/dredgers wanted

An ad looking for people to work on his dredges. I’m guessing most of his people figured out they were not making enough money to be worth it, cut their losses, and went back home.

[NA] Diver/dredgers
Sun Sep 1 12:45:07 AKDT 2013
Looking for experienced dredgers to finish out the season on proven rigs.
Vernon Adkison