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Gold mining equipment for lead shot?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by jalu, Mar 25, 2008.

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  1. jalu

    jalu Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    This came up today while we were in between 16's and handicap. Has anyone ever tried using gold mining (sluice box)type of gear for removing used shot from a sandy/gravel type of trap field?
    One of the guys was watching a gold prospecting television show and they talked about how the heavy weight that gold has is used to separate it from the over burden.
    Now I've watched Gold Fever and other gold paning/mining shows myself but never gave it any thought that it could remove lead shot. If its been done or even considered it would have been brought up here on TS.com but we couldn't find anything in the search page.
    Could it work? Would it work? Anybody you know of ever tried it? It's midnight here on the west coast and I'm beat, I'll see ya'll in the morning and we'll take it up from there.
    jalu...
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    It would work, but there are easier ways. A small shovel, a broom, some five gallon plastic containers and a few screens will work fairly well. First, at most clubs, sweeping/scraping the surface of the ground will get you a pile of stuff that is over 50% lead. This can be cleaned by using different sizes of home made sifting screens into about 95% lead shot. This material then can be melted and used to make new shot or can be cleaned by dropping in front of a large fan followed by soap and water. It is a lot of work, you will get incredibly dirty and exposed to large amounts of toxic lead dust.

    One organ the lead dust can damage is the brain. I have gathered lead a few times this way. Does it show?

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    It works fine. Our lake was mined 3 times since 1992 with a gold dredge made by Keene Mining Engineering out of CA.

    It's a fair size dredge, with a 10 or 12 inch pickup tube, and a rotary cutter head on the end.

    But that's in water.

    On land some gold techique works too. One such is a "dry washer".

    A coal chute on an angle with the product passing over a slot is the deal. under the slot is a duct to a furnace blower. Air blowing through the slot rmoves lighter material and the lead rolls down the chute, passing right over the slot.

    For your application you would need to import huge quantities of water, and suffer a disposal problem of same. Long ago there was a plan to dig a pond in an area of Upper Michigan thought to contain gold. They were going to put a dredge in the pond and have it move across the area, with the dredge continually removing material from one side, in effect moving the pond.

    I believe the dredge is stored in St. Ignace.

    That's your trivia for today.

    HM
     
  4. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't work out too well. When mining for gold a few ounces will give you a nice profit. With lead you need a few tons. Add the weight of the water to the weight of the lead and the machines break down in a short period of time. A company tried that method at my club and could not keep their machines up and running for very long. HMB
     
  5. jalu

    jalu Member

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    Pat; you do know that some of the greatest minds that our country has ever had were a little "contaminated" dont you?

    Half; thanks, the trivia part was interesting. So is the gold still there?

    I got a couple if emails this morning about using gold mining equipment for lead shot, now I need to go brush up on gold mining lingo...

    jalu
     
  6. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    jalu, the Yellow Dog plains has a layer of black sand about 40 ft down.

    Black sand is usually in the same areas as gold. The gold in the U. P. was scooped out of the Lake Superior area and dropped when they melted. There were hard rock mines around Negaunee and Ishpeming. They did produce gold. The Michigan Gold mine was closed when the miners tunneled under a lake and the water came in and drowned them.

    the tailing pile is still there, and the mine head. You can see the quarts vein if you crwl uup to the hole and look at the sidewall.

    The Ropes gold mine has fences around the mine head area becaus of cave in danger.

    My pal Vinny and I were going to buy a small dredge and work the Yellow Dog River, spent most of a summer researching.

    I preferred racing. I think it would be viable now.

    HM
     
  7. omahasportingsupply

    omahasportingsupply TS Member

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    There was a guy that dredged ranges especially with large lakes. He was doing a club near the airport in Chicago. One of the nice posters from TS.com offered to show me the operation if I came to O'Hare airport. It took two barges and lots of water, but the reclaimed shot was clean and ready to go. I guess he had taken it to Alaska and had brought it back to Chicago area with him. Maybe some of the Chicago area posters can fill in the voids. If not, I have been sniffing the same lead dust that Neil has. And my plane landed under sniper fire too! Omaha
     
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