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#1

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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02 January 2019 11:03 am

Has anyone had success core drilling quartzite? (spelling correction).My portable diamond core drill fInds it tough going.

#2

grumpygold
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Joined: 31 October 2018
Posts: 346
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02 January 2019 11:25 am

what sort is it mate, those cheap electric ones that run off a genny are useless, have burnt out 2 over the years, just cheaply put together, a metabo or aeg should do the trick, if not a petrol powered one would be the next bet. there a few vids on youtube of portable ones being made from old chainsaws which seem to work very well. heres a link to one lots of vids there...... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1Ns-D7L_ww. thumbsup


gpx 4000 / qed / nokta fors gold /garret carrot / field lab kit / hand core drill kit / auger drill machine / field crushers and dolly pots / sieves to 500 mesh /pans ect.

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#3

grumpygold
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02 January 2019 11:40 am

one video i seen just had the drill bit connected to chain saw with no water swivel, instead they just used a pressure garden sprayer to supply drill fluid, worked a treat they were drilling in pilbara region too, had a quick look cant find it , have it book marked will try find it later this arvo for you. thumbsup


gpx 4000 / qed / nokta fors gold /garret carrot / field lab kit / hand core drill kit / auger drill machine / field crushers and dolly pots / sieves to 500 mesh /pans ect.

#4

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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02 January 2019 11:47 am

The drill is a Shaw Backpack diamond core drill - petrol powered. I know that quartzite is extremely hard but I expected it to handle the quartzite easily but that was not the case.

#5

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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02 January 2019 11:49 am

Thanks for the advice grumpy gold I'll check out your suggestions.

#6

grubstake
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From: Perth, WA
Joined: 20 October 2014
Posts: 1,864
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02 January 2019 02:03 pm

Harlequin wrote:

The drill is a Shaw Backpack diamond core drill - petrol powered. I know that quartzite is extremely hard but I expected it to handle the quartzite easily but that was not the case.

Looks like you've got a nice piece of gear there: http://www.backpackdrill.com/

Shaw's Field Experiences page shows their drill even being used successfully in jade boulders, which I thought were hard as the hobs of hell, so your difficulties with quartzite are surprising. What sort of penetration rate are you achieving?


Where it is, there it is.

1 user likes this post: grumpygold

#7

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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02 January 2019 02:55 pm

My Prospect is mostly surface and we are just beginning a drill programme - hopefully within the next month or so. In the meantime I tried out the drill on a slab of quartzite from the site. It ground away but very slowly and used a lot of water. (We have to cart our own water to the site- a huge problem). The core sample was small and in pieces. The drill will go down about 50 feet but I estimate the depth at around 25-30. I use an auger attachmentt ill I reach hard rock, then change to the diamond head. I'm hoping the overburden will be about 3-6 ft.
You're right grubstake, it's a great bit of gear!
You are right again about hardness. Jade is between 6 and 7 and quartzite is 7 so they are roughly the same - bloody hard!

Last edited by Harlequin (02 January 2019 03:25 pm)

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#8

grumpygold
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02 January 2019 08:32 pm

same here id expect the shaw drill to do the job, maybe a better dearer core bit may help buddy.


gpx 4000 / qed / nokta fors gold /garret carrot / field lab kit / hand core drill kit / auger drill machine / field crushers and dolly pots / sieves to 500 mesh /pans ect.

#9

grumpygold
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Joined: 31 October 2018
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02 January 2019 08:34 pm

also are you using a proper drill fluid or just water, this will make a big difference, better lube less heat better cutting. thumbsup


gpx 4000 / qed / nokta fors gold /garret carrot / field lab kit / hand core drill kit / auger drill machine / field crushers and dolly pots / sieves to 500 mesh /pans ect.

#10

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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03 January 2019 10:05 am

Thanks for that. When I bought the drill I did not get the advice you give re dill fluid and lubrication but from now on I will follow your advice .Thanks again.

#11

grumpygold
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03 January 2019 02:22 pm

Harlequin wrote:

Thanks for that. When I bought the drill I did not get the advice you give re dill fluid and lubrication but from now on I will follow your advice .Thanks again.

no problems mate anything else just ask, we are also starting an auger program through autum , same problem no water have to cart it in, all the best thumbsup


gpx 4000 / qed / nokta fors gold /garret carrot / field lab kit / hand core drill kit / auger drill machine / field crushers and dolly pots / sieves to 500 mesh /pans ect.

#12

goldierocks
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Joined: 10 January 2015
Posts: 1,501
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04 January 2019 12:23 pm

grumpygold wrote:

also are you using a proper drill fluid or just water, this will make a big difference, better lube less heat better cutting. thumbsup

And longer bit life, better lifting of ground rock sludge. If it is a real problem and you have a lot of holes to drill, have you considered pre-collaring to above core depth with cheap percussion drilling?


Robert Benchley...
I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it.

#13

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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08 January 2019 02:11 pm

No - I'm a total novice when it comes to drilling.I spent 2 years researching a particular site,assayed some specimens (2-3g/t) and decided to get a licence and get stuck in. Decided on the Shaw Backpack diamond core drill because it is light, portable and from those who know, the best on the market. But it's not enough to have the site sorted and a top drill to see what's under- you have to know how the ins and outs of drilling. I'm working on it.

#14

Goldtalk Leonora
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Joined: 15 July 2015
Posts: 56
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29 May 2019 08:54 am

I had a shaw drill many years ago....do you have a new head?...if it aint cutting I would say your drill bit/head has passed it's used by date.

#15

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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29 May 2019 11:04 am

Thanks for the suggestion. I do have 3 spare diamond bits so that's not the problem. I didn't realise that quartzite is so hard that is smoothes and polishes the diamonds with the result that they can no longer cut. The solution is to continuously "dress" the bit by rotating it at speed in a bucket of coarse sand. This cleans out the gunk between the diamond edges. The sand I was using was ordinary concrete mix sand. When I return to the site I will be taking 50grit garnet (sandblast grit). I will be also taking a bag of Bentonite to stabilise the drill hole walls. I'm living and learning.

#16

Digga
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From: Melbourne , VIC
Joined: 29 July 2014
Posts: 5
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31 May 2019 03:44 pm

What bit are you running and rod size,

I’m thinking been a back pack drill it’s not going to have a lot of weight behind it.

You will need a bit around 12-14 to cut quarts, smaller diamonds soft matrix and easy to expose and strip ur bit,

Water is also a big thing. To much and you will polish ur bit , to little and you will weld it to the rock.

Bentonite will be a waste of time for you unless ur in sands and shitty surface clays and gravels,

If ur going right into hard rock all you need is a short chain liquid polymer.
(Maxi drill from mudex) bloody good stuff,

Don’t get bogged ??

#17

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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01 June 2019 12:23 pm

Thanks Newbie - great practical advice from one who obviously knows. We're going to the site next week so we'll give it a test. You correctly identify the ground- "shitty surface clays and gravel. " I was researching Bentonite and read it was used extensively to stabilise dam walls. I wonder if that disastrous mine dam collapse in South America was the result of poor local contractors saving money?
I'll let you know how we get on.

#18

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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02 June 2019 02:05 pm

Things have changed: we're not going to the site next week after all. My driller has had a motor bike accident and is in hospital with multiple fractures etc. It's an 8 hour drive from Melbourne, then setting up camp again etc etc. I can't do it alone so a change of plans is called for. I was born in the year of the Berlin Olympics and everyone tells me I'm too old to be out in all weathers digging, scrambling around hills, prospecting. And yet in the same breath I'm told to keep my brain and body active! I'd rather wear out than rust out. I've had a varied and interesting life but a few years in retirement I was bored silly. The crunch came when gardening was becoming the rule of the day. For 20 years before retirement I owned and operated an opal mine in Lightning Ridge. Mining is in my blood. At 12 I was helping my dad mine feldspar near Broken Hill. So I decided I had to do something with mining . My options were limited - gardening,(!) shopping, daytime TV, baby sitting, dishes ......
So I sat down at the computer and started to do research on gold. It was a bit slow going because my lack of computer skills slowed me down ( my technical assistant who often helped out in these situations was only available on weekends because he's started school this year) but after a while I got there. I discovered that back in the late 1800's in western NSW there was a gold rush that petered out because of distance and lack of water. I dug deeper and found a comment - "the Geological Survey Survey Department was of the opinion that an auriferous belt extends right across this arid district where the want of water has hitherto largely prevented prospecting being carried out." Until now! I reasoned that for such a comment to be made they had to know things that we didn't.
I'm sorry I've prattled on so. This post was a cry for help from someone not too proud to ask for it. Listening to my driller apologising from the Emergency Ward of a big hospital because he couldn't make it to the site unhinged me a bit resulting in this waste of your time.
But then again you might like to hear what I learned about simple geology which lead to my finding gold, about how to go about getting an Exploration Licence, about the pitfalls and mistakes to avoid, about how to start an Exploration business cheaply

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#19

Mackka
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From: Brisbane
Joined: 18 February 2014
Posts: 4,231
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02 June 2019 02:29 pm

Great story H and I await the next instalment.
Mackka

#20

jethro
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From: North East , VIC
Joined: 06 September 2013
Posts: 544
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02 June 2019 02:44 pm

Yeah Id love to learn a bit from one who's been there and is still doing it.

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#21

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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02 June 2019 04:14 pm

Thanks Macca and Jethro for your vote of confidence.
A bit of alluvial gold was not what I was looking for. I wanted to find enough to justify a mine. A bit ambitious you think? My Dad used you to say, "If you aim at nothing you'll always hit it."
Some years ago I was invited to speak to a group of gold prospectors in LA. I was used to speaking to groups in California on Opals but never gold so this was something new. I turned up at what seemed to be a church hall expecting about 10 - 20 people max. The place was packed - standing room only! What to do? Instead of a lecture I tore into it like a wild dog!
My opening sentence: " I saw on your notice board as I walked in that there's a trip planned for next weekend. You are warned not to forget your small glass phials to keep all that gold in you're going to find. Ha! Ha!" In Australia you are warned to go in a car or ute with decent springs. We often find big ones. "Aussie bullshit".This from a huge bloke sitting in the front row. Long hair, tattoos , a nose ring and I reckon, hairs on his teeth.. In the deadly silence that followed , I ignored him, turned and put in my first slide. Behind me there was a growing mutter. The first slide hit the screen and there was an audible gasp. They were staring gobsmacked at a couple standing in the backyard of a house. The husband was holding an enormous lump of gold : the Hand of Faith. I rubbed it in. Young blokes, old blokes, kids all staggering under the weight of fair dinkum Aussie nuggets. The Welcome Stranger, the Holtermann Nugget taller than the chap steadying it.
I switched off and turned. It started slowly at first then built up until the entire hall has on its feet clapping and cheering!
I told them about the WA goldfields, about the miners at Hill End smashing huge lumps from a collapsed wall because they were too heavy to get to the surface.
Those blokes had gold fever. I've gold fever and I'll bet you do too.
I decided to get some science. A mate suggested Radiometric data. I looked it up. Data collected by planes with high tech gear measuring the natural variations if the gamma rays which result from the natural radioactive decay of potassium uranium and thorium. I was about to give up. But I remembered my Dad and decided to keep going.
I'm glad I did.

Last edited by Harlequin (02 June 2019 04:20 pm)

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#22

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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05 June 2019 12:58 pm

The Geophysics department in each state can help track down the data for the area you're interested in. The NSW department was both helpful and friendly. I found the pages I was looking for but they were filled with squiggly lines and they meant nothing. But at the end was a summary of the data: Quaternary Alluvium Deposit. This applied to my area and not to areas 20 kms on either side.Here's a summary.
1. The area is likely to contain gold, platinum and precious stones. The result of Hydro Thermal Activity. In other words, Hot Water.
2. If a stream of hot water smashed into sandstone it would slow down and drop gold into the cracks and fissures, sandstone being Porous. This changes the nature of the sandstone and it becomes Quartzite.
3. The soil colour of the area is a light brown and not the red/orange colour of the soil on either side.
4. Deposits are usually shallow. Often likened to the soil or overburden covering an ore body like a blanket. Placer Deposits means metal detecting.
I read somewhere that over 50% of all gold recovered is from quartzite.
Next Step: seek permission from the landowner to prospect. If you're up front, honest and transparent you'll get friendly co-operation. A lot of landowners have had negative experiences from mining companies so they will be wary. The first thing to get clear is that all minerals found under their land belongs, not to them, but to the Crown. This usually upsets them as it seems so unfair. I point out that I have to gain Government permission to prospect which is costly and the Exploration Licence includes a refundable Bond of $10,000 should I damage and road , fence etc. I have printed a Permission to Enter form which lists the things I won't do e.g. bring a dog, or a firearm. I will respect all roads and leave all gates as I find them etc. Drill holes will be filled or capped. I will seek their permission to light a fire. I will notify them of my comings and goings. The Exploration Licence gives me total rights to a designated area (mine was 27 sq. kms) and can be for up to to 6 years. Mine is for 2 years but I have the right to extend that and also to change the designated area. If I find anything, I'll sit down with him and negotiate an agreement.
My first landowner recounted family stories from the Depression era of a lone cyclist prospecting on numerous occasions. They never saw him but saw the tyre tracks and signs of digging.
Everything was falling into place.

Last edited by Harlequin (05 June 2019 01:06 pm)

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#23

Keitzy
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Joined: 20 December 2017
Posts: 204
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05 June 2019 04:00 pm

Next installment please smile.....

#24

Harlequin
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Joined: 26 October 2013
Posts: 27
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08 June 2019 01:23 pm

And finally. Never mention the word "gold" in the local pub or anywhere else. The locals know or suspect you're prospectors so don't make things harder for yourself. Have an answer ready: gypsum, magnesium, arsenic ( a good indicator of gold but they're not to know that), or simply," we're just sniffing around to see what might be a possibility."
Never take for granted that the prospect you've worked so hard for is secret. A magnetic tracker takes only seconds to attach to a vehicle.
Check out the NSW Dept. of Planning and Environment for costs associated with an Exploration Licence. If you're nervous about applying for a Licence you can always use a Mining Agent. But be careful. Get a quote and make sure they stick to it. I used an Agent because I wasn't confident to work through Native Title regulations. They sorted it out quickly. But really, if you take your time and are not too proud to ask for help you'll get there. No sweat. -
Here are some well known mines that manage to make money on low ore grades: Cadia Valley(Newcrest Mining) - 1.22G/T, Ravenswood
(Resolute Mining) - 2.09 g/t, Kalgoolie (Newmont/Barric) - 2.13 g/t, Super Pit (Newmont /Barrick) - 1.56 g/t, St Ives (Goldfields) 1.8/gt

Mineral Exploration is a crazy business. All you do is spend and work in freezing cold or hot dusty conditions putting up with snakes, flies and dust. You might find gold but that's not the point. You have to find enough gold bearing ore to justify a mine. You might work for 3 or 4 years at the same prospect and still not succeed. But if you do - then the reward is in millions when you sell your licence to a big miner.
But don't be deceived. It's the biggest gamble you'll ever face.
But it's a lot of fun.

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