Tag Archives: kubota

The Fix

We had visitors while we were at home trying to fix our broken tractor.  This was found down by the river were we pump water.

You will remember in our last update we decided to go home and try to fix the tractor. Our normal welder extraordinaire is out of state, but we gave it a go anyway.  We couldn’t have been happier with the result.

broken piecefixingfinished

We felt there just may have been time to save the last day this week of mining.  We rushed right back up to the claim and got to work.  We managed to get the paydirt we had stockpiled run and got a little gold to show for it.  On the way home, we almost hit a brown bear with our truck.  The sow bolted right out in front of us and the cub right behind our bumper.  Wonder if it was the same bear that visited?

A few days ago we won an auction for a little skid steer bobcat that we are hoping may be able to take over for this poor old Kubota.  It needs work, but we won it for the unbelievable price of 5600 from a local oilfield surplus company.  We may have much less down time next season.

Going back up next week to mine some more, stay tuned.

 

The End of the Rainbow

Fall is in the air.  The kid is back in school.  With grandma watching the kid for the week, we decided to work like dogs and try to squeeze as much out what was left of the season as we could.  We spotted this rainbow, unfortunately, the end is located on a neighboring claim, but hey, gold washes downstream right?

We decided to try a little experiment.  Normally, we clean out the sluice every time we stop the pump, for lunch, or for the night.  Since we were working with a reduced crew, we decided to leave the sluice alone for a few days.  Normally, we see nothing on top of the mats when we stop, but after a few days, we started to see some color.  The yellow matting we use is discarded pipeline insulation material, works great for miners moss.  However its hard to see the gold since it is the same color as the mat.  Look closely, the gold is slightly more orange.

gold in sluiceEverything was going great, equipment working fine, gold in the sluice.  We had uncovered some large rocks in the dig site, always a good sign.  We were disappointed in the rainy weather, but with a full set of rain gear on, we managed to stay warm.  Then minutes into the last run on the second day, we heard a loud   “snap” from the little Kubota tractor we use for loading the trommel.  We had broken the loader for what seemed like the 100th time this year.  This is a great tractor, but not really built for what we are asking it to do.

broken kubota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resigned, we cleaned the sluice.  We ran the cons though the mini highbanker.  There was so much black sand and the entire black mat was covered with gold.  At this point we were navigating by flashlight, so held the panning until daylight and toasted the end of our season by the light of the fire.  We got somewhat toasted ourselves I might add…

payout

The next morning we panned the concentrates and were pleased by the results.  We called around trying to locate a replacement loader, but Alaska is a hard place to find parts, especially for an early 90’s model Kubota.  We decided to head for home and see if we could fix it ourselves and maybe salvage a day or two of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mov’in on Up

Gold mining, high banker, digging, dirt, quartz creekGold mining, high banker, digging, dirt, quartz creek

This is how we started out.  The first picture was our first piece of home built equipment for the mine.  It worked well, my wife and mother-in-law are working the equipment in that picture.  This little unit is how we found the first little glory hole that inspired us to upgrade to a larger KEENE HI-Banker(Second Picture), which worked out very well, we went from shovels full to 5 gallon buckets full.  Then to Kubota buckets, and hopefully next year we will be loading dirt with the 480D Backhoe.

Have you seen our tools?

 Here is a good front back and side view of our wash plant.  Antonio did an excellent job constructing this gold finding monster, he also made our trommel, bunk-house and he wrote another book(which is available on amazon) called “Talking Ice.”  All this he did last winter so we were ready for the next season of mining as soon as the ground had thawed.  We did not want to break it so we loaded the gravel very slowly most of the summer, till we found out that it can handle a full loader bucket from the Kubota.  After that we flat moved some dirt, Very useful tool!