A visit to a Commercial Operation page 2

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The waste conveyors

On the left side is the large boulder conveyor. On the lower right is the outlet of two of the sluices. You can see several of the riffles. Just past the overhead pipe you may be able to detect an across the channel dark area. There is another on the left side of the seam in  the large rock conveyor. These are scalpers. They are covered with a punch plate grate with approximately 1/8" holes in it. Any fine gold that makes it through the sluice boxes should be traveling on the bottom of the sluice and will drop through the holes and then travel to one of 2 centrifugal bowl separators. One of them is directly under the electric motor sitting on the square. The round opening is the top of the bowl. The waste material then travels into the auger box and is then raised up to the final conveyor. Coming across left to right is the outlet of the other 2 sluices.

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The settling ponds

Water exiting the process then travels to the waste ponds. Here the solids are given a chance to settle out and it slowly works it's way counter-clockwise back into the pond in the lower left of the picture. There it is pumped back up to the sprayers and sluices to begin it's round trip again. The water level in the ponds is lower than normal operational levels as they haven't been filled after the winter. They are filled from a small creek back where the trees are in the picture.

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Now this is a real man sized foot-valve

This is the last settling pond. By the time the water cycles back here, most of the solids have settled out. This is the main pump's suction pick up. The water is sucked back up into the pump and sent out to the sluice boxes for another round trip. The complete operation is a closed loop. No dirty water or solids are discharged back into running water.

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The magic gold color source

This is the source of all the excitement. The front loader digs the material to process from the bank in the background. Many, many, years ago a glacier pushed gold bearing material through this valley and deposited fine gold in the cracks and crevices of the valley. Some of this fine gold found it's way down the small streams into the Arkansas River and was redeposited into gold placers. This is the gold I'm hunting when I dredge about 15 miles downstream from here on Vista Mining's claims.

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