QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. Where on this planet can you locate gold paying an ounce to the yard or more?There are thousands of locations from 30 feet to several thousand feet just below the surface. There is more gold below the surface than all that has been mined on the surface …(read more).
2. Why have these rich deposits not been mined?Some have been mined with open pits, hydraulic cannons, drifting, borehole mining; but, most have not due to environmental issues, permitting, and exorbitant costs, …(read more).
3. So, how do you mine these deposits?To mine these virgin deposits and more, a new patented drill/mining process called Hydro-Scopic™ mining will be used. It is eco-friendly, with minimal permitting, predictable costs, uses franchise management, is operated from the surface and has many highlights of interest …(read more).
4. In detail – what is Hydro-Scopic™ mining?Hydro-Scopic™ mining is an in situ “green mining” process that mines in place – meaning most of the mining takes place underground with little environmental disturbance … (read more).
5. The core component of this process is the sonic drill. How is this different from using other drills?To begin with the sonic drill is extremely fast. It has attributes using acoustic energy that reduces resistance in fluid flow and is much more adaptable to mining verses just drilling… (read more).
Full Text Below
1. Where on this planet can you locate gold paying an ounce to the yard or more?
There are thousands of locations from 30 feet to several thousand feet just below the surface. There is more gold below the surface than all that has been mined on the surface.
A few years ago an advertisement was placed in the California Mining Journal asking for difficult lode and placer deposits to test a new drill/mining process called Hydro-Scopic™ mining. The advertisement was answered from all over the country including Bolivia in South America.
Just in Alaska the prospects are many to say the least. Some more notable prospects are on the Seward Peninsula including:
- The subterranean beach sands of Nome.
- Six sections of paying placer beginning at 20 feet below a frozen ice cap that is currently using hydraulic cannons, heavy equipment, and massive settling ponds.
- Eight miles of drifted and patented claims paying at least half of ounce a yard at 100+ feet.
- Coastal gold channels on the Bluffs (reality TV fame) at 60+ feet with gold expected to be more than substantial.
- Mud Creek with moving mud requiring mining a rich gold channel only accessible during the frozen winter. You can pan gold with a shovel in this channel.
- Lava caps covering ancient gold channels could easily be mined with this new process.
It should also be noted that the dredges of Alaska rarely dredged into bedrock and were chasing their gold down to bedrock. That gold could pay big results under the dredged tailings encompassing hundreds of square miles – just in Nome itself there were 85 dredges working at one time and these dredge fields are all over Alaska and in other states.
Moving more inland and just south of Fairbanks is the famous Valdez Creek. It is rumored that gold is paying 10 to 40 ounces per yard at 125 feet. Open pit mining is the current mining process with substantial restrictions and permitting requirements. It has taken ten years to mine ½ mile on one claim. Hydro-Scopic™ mining could have done this in a month or two. There are several other claim owners on Valdez Creek that are very interested in this mining process.
Similkameen in Washington is another fabulous prospect with the deposit running under the Canadian border. Open pit mining is not permitted on these claims because of environmental concerns expressed by the BLM; however, on discussing the Hydro-Scopic™ mining process with the BLM, they seemed to agree that Hydro-Scopic™ mining would be an acceptable mining process for this area.
Northeastern Oregon around the Eagle Cap Wilderness area has many sites that will qualify for Hydro-Scopic™ mining including identified prospects north of Halfway and others south of Baker. The Sumpter dredging fields are also located in this area where the dredge rarely got into bedrock and was operating around 35 feet. Southern Oregon and Northern California has many other prospects. As an example, California’s Death Valley has indicated hotspots for gold by drilled core samples. These spots are too small for a junior mining company because of costs but ideal prospects for Hydro-Scopic™ mining.
Information from all the Western States and some of the Eastern States has possible leads for Hydro-Scopic™ mining notwithstanding Canada and Mexico or the rest of the world for that matter. Of course these are inferred, indicated and a few measured resources. It seems that anyone interested in gold mining knows of a possible glory hole somewhere that cannot be mined due to depth of deposit and the problems associated with mining at depths.
Gold is not the only resource that can be mined with Hydro-Scopic™ mining. Any valuable resource that can be accessed by sonic drilling could be mined with Hydro-Scopic™ mining – most notably the heavy resources like gold, platinum, rare earths, gem stones and even diamonds. Hydro-Scopic™ mining is the key to a vast new industry that is capable of recovering these valuables without sacrificing the environment. Also, do not forget the use of stable platforms for Hydro-Scopic™ mining lakes and the ocean beds while preserving the marine life.
2. Why have these rich deposits not been mined?
Some have been mined with open pits, hydraulic cannons, drifting, borehole mining; but, most have not due to environmental issues, permitting, and exorbitant costs.
Borehole mining has been the best bet for decades to recover these rich deposits but failed to do so on almost every level because of its inability to economically recover heavy resources – gold, rare earths, platinum, and more – at depths. Borehole mining is a drill/mining process that used a patent in 1932 where a water jet fragmented rock next to a borehole and then lifted the broken ore to the surface with a slurry pump. Subsequent patents in the 1960’s achieved water jet fragmentation of sandstone, limestone and shale at a rate of one cubic yard per second at depths to 350 feet creating 30 foot diameter cavities; but, still failed to economically lift “heavy” resources to the surface. (Please see “Dr. George Savanick’s; CHAPTER 22.4” menu button on this website for a history of borehole mining and its accomplishments for the last 80 years). To this day, mining companies are still testing to solve the problem of recovering heavy resources with borehole mining. After all, if it could be done, most problems with environmental issues and permitting would be solved and a new profitable industry would emerge. Well, patenting by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) helps to vindicate that it can be done. Welcome to Hydro-Scopic™ mining!
3. So, how do you mine these deposits?
To mine these virgin deposits and more, a new patented drill/mining process called Hydro-Scopic™ mining will be used. It is eco-friendly, with minimal permitting, predictable costs, uses franchise management, is operated from the surface and has many highlights of interest.
Hydro-Scopic™ Mining — Other Highlights of Interest
- a proposed new and more efficient type of borehole mining process using ‘acoustic’ energy,
- allows for seismic data and core sampling analyses for short lead-time to precision mining,
- uses proven ” sonic/acoustic” technology for increasing efficiency of subsurface jet mining,
- “proof of concept” demonstrates sonic/acoustic flow augmentation with ‘existing’ equipment,
- borehole mining uses at least 90% less water than comparable surface placer mining operation,
- Hydro-Scopic™ mining filters and recycles water helping to remove natural and site toxic substances,
- higher recovery rate probability using sonically-energized pulsed jets in excavation/ recovery,
- Hydro-Scopic™ mining requires no chemicals be added and no ‘fracking’ in the mining site,
- borehole mining produces minimal surface disturbance — environmentally responsible,
- small-scale mobile operation with both small (hi-grade) and large reserve mining capability,
- Hydro-Scopic™ mining is borehole-mining capable with extreme weather and varied terrain conditions,
- Hydro-Scopic™ mining has no mining dust problem to mitigate and has modern processing adaptability,
- minimal reclamation cost, e.g. refilling and sealing mining cavity, access road remediation,
- 2 USPTO patents — 8 Method’s claims (~40 pages); 18 System’s claims (~45 page document).
4. In detail – what is Hydro-Scopic™ mining?
Hydro-Scopic™ mining is an in situ “green mining” process that mines in place – meaning most of the mining takes place underground with little environmental disturbance.
Until just recently the mining of gold and other valuable minerals has not presented any impressive advancement since heap leaching became profitable in the 1970’s. Heap leaching was special since it targeted micron gold with a new chemical recovery method that exposed vast new gold reserves for mining – although at great cost on multiple levels. But now another special advancement in mining, called Hydro-Mining (because it manages the efficient use of intensively jetted recycled water), has been designed to also target vast untapped reserves, including gold, rare earths, and other placer elements (called “heavies”). Hydro-Scopic™ mining is a new and unique green mining process that integrates modern technology using acoustically pulsed energy, best mining practices and processes while minimizing environmental impact and costs.
Two extensive patents (26 claims in total) that describe Hydro-Scopic™ mining’s ‘attachable’ modern apparatus designs and methods using acoustically pulsed energy to mine valuable subsurface reserves — have been allowed, even without a working prototype. Having been completely documented with decisive evidence, including proof of concept, and having been exhaustively cross-referenced (2.5 million hits) by the USPTO, the Hydro-Scopic™ mining’s system and methods are now credibly established as being new, having a useful purpose, and having operativeness. As such, this new green mining process can be the ‘key’ that opens the gateway to vast untouched mineral resources with massive financial potential in both vertical and horizontal markets.
Hydro-Scopic™ mining fundamentally transforms a sonic core-drilling rig into a sonic jet-mining rig by integrating hi-tech specialized mining attachments, processing equipment and other mining innovations, new and established. Sonically pulsed water jets create an underground cavity while lifting up suspended lighter slurry to the surface (process #1) while simultaneously vortexing down larger heavies (e.g. gold nuggets as big as 8 inches wide) into a sump gold trap that is recovered (process #2) using a sonic core barrel. With mining finished the cavity is backfilled. Essentially, this process works to recycle clean water, has a high recovery rate, with no chemicals required and minimal surface disturbance.
More specifically, Hydro-Scopic™ mining is an *efficient type of borehole mining process that can both discover and recover deep gold placer deposits, using “wave energy” technology. This ‘green mining’ process can amplify acoustically pulsed high-pressure water jets and other innovations through a sonic drill rod delivery system that can mine a mineral deposit hundreds of feet deep through a small (e.g. 9 inch) borehole. Hydro-Scopic™ mining can fracture, wash, disaggregate and agitate slurry (i.e. water/gravel mix) creating a deep underground biscuit-shaped cavity (e.g. 30 feet wide by 3 feet high), excavating an estimated 20 cubic yards/hour or more. “Light” slurry, including suspended flake gold, is forced up to the surface and separated with de-watering while heavier nugget-laden slurry gravitates into a floor-centered “gold trap” sump that is recovered as a concentrated core, containing heavies including gold, to the surface using a sonic core barrel. This occurs with a hydraulically-stabilized mining site.
As an empirical borehole mining example — a subsurface mining cavity is created by jetting in a gold-bearing placer deposit, 50 meters deep in water-infused placer with boulders on bedrock, 1 meter in height, 10 meters in diameter, during one 10 hour shift, and with three operators. This equates to mining about 78.5 cubic meters of virgin ground in 10 hours with minimal environmental impact. If each cubic meter pays 4.0 grams of gold, more than 10 ounces would feasibly be recovered in one 10 hour shift. That’s $10,000 per shift at $1,000 per ounce gold. If the ground pays 1 ounce per cubic meter – $78,500 per one shift which is almost $2m per month.
The profit expectations are staggering in many known sites, including sites in Alaska, Washington and other states. But can this really work? An expert at the United States Patent & Trademark Office, in approving all claims for two patents, seems to relate, yes! Not only can this work, but it can create good sustainable jobs, directly and indirectly, and it can provide needed valuable resources for American industry. Economic reserves are available for recovery in known deposits, never before touched because of danger, regulation, economics and lack of an appropriate mining technology, which we now have.
Hydro-Scopic™ mining, which is a non-leaching non-fracking process, is designed to use multiple innovative concepts to achieve high production rates in difficult sites. It employs an innovative 2-stage recovery system to increase production probabilities. Production is a function of “jet-panning” sub-surface gold deposits in place, i.e. in situ, with slurry being stratified underground using sonic wave and hydraulic energies to generate vortex agitation, degrading slurry into density layers that are separately recovered. Density layers are more efficiently recovered in Hydro-Scopic™ mining’s two separate steps, using a core barrel and surface processor, as compared to the usual one step that tries to completely empty a site. One new Hydro-Scopic™ mining concept that facilitates surface processor recovery is a patented eductor coupling that helps extract lighter slurry up and out of deep deposits to the surface processor amplifying hydraulic lift within the “rod space”. As compared to other types of borehole mining/eductor system designs — the Hydro-Scopic™ mining system should use less energy and/or less water to operate because its system augments moving suspended slurry up by integrating eductor coupling jetting and hydraulic differential forces.
As a further concept and extended benefit of Hydro-Scopic™ mining’s attachable apparatus, the Hydro-Scopic™ mining process combines the abilities of two complimentary sonic drill rig configurations, a **Beta Unit and **Alpha Unit to better ensure mining profitability and short lead time. Initially an underground rich gold deposit is identified and assessed for mining by a Beta Unit, including application of ***seismic mapping and core sampling capabilities. The deposit can then be recovered using a mining-dedicated Alpha Unit configuration. Once a site has been mined the Alpha Unit backfills the subsurface mining cavity with cleaned “light” slurry gravel, which has been stockpiled and analyzed for data-banking. Backfill-gravel is pumped back into the underground mining cavity stabilizing the mining site and is sealed, while leaving minimal surface evidence that mining has even occurred. Toxic material, (e.g. mercury, arsenic, lead), filtered from the site will be disposed as hazardous waste per regulatory policy, leaving ground water potentially cleaner after mining a site than before.
Hydro-Scopic™ mining is designed to provide quick recovery of deep natural treasure chests of gold from rich mining sites using an eco-friendly process that is the next evolving step in technologically-advanced green mining. In its essence Hydro-Scopic™ mining simply presents a scaled-up better version of the tried-n-true traditional hand-held panning technique with added benefits, including commercial production from a small-scale operation. As a result many known but untouched rich mineral deposits of gold, platinum and other precious elements will soon become available for quick recovery using Hydro-Scopic™ mining, providing a safe, environmentally-friendly and effective way to mine — like never before.
*Note: just one example demonstrating Hydro-Scopic™ mining’s increased efficiency potential involves reducing water’s motive stream resistance to the nozzles by decreasing friction between the rod’s internal surface and the water column using “sonic/acoustic” resonance. The effect is considered similar to what occurs externally to the sonic rod where decreased ground resistance allows for faster drilling penetration. Thus, greater efficiency may be achieved (i.e. flow augmentation demonstrated in proof of concept) by generating less resistance to water flow internally allowing more net-energy to be transferred to the nozzle jet stream flux as compared to using a non-resonated jetting system.
**Note: regarding the Beta Unit configuration, it is an exploration-dedicated Hydro-Scopic™ mining configuration of a sonic core drilling rig, whereas the Alpha Unit is a jet-mining/processing plant configuration of a sonic core drilling rig. Configuration apparatus, which designate unit type, are adaptable and attachable to a sonic core drilling rig having a site-complimentary processor. A dedicated Beta Unit crew can be assigned to assess recoverable resource cost/benefit, including local community response, at multiple potential mining sites to facilitate Alpha Unit distribution.
***Note: regarding seismic mapping application of the Hydro-Scopic™ mining’s exploratory Beta Unit– the Beta Unit’s proposed sonic mining system’s geophysical mapping ability will improve “level of confidence” in a mining site’s potential to a higher level of timely and economic reliability – augmenting site logistics and planning for subsequent Alpha Unit subsurface mining.
Empirical site investigation will initially use the sonic head as a hydraulic actuator of a seismic wave source. A working unit will result in a low-frequency energy wave being emitted from the sonic underground assembly positioned hundreds of feet apart in relation to three or more other boreholes (i.e. a receiver array containing hydrophones) and a data receiver. Resultant refractory, reflective and other wave data will be recorded, analyzed and correlated with a core sampling profile analysis using existing technology to provide a 3-D subsurface geographic and geophysical representation for optimized subsurface target acquisition and logistical planning. This seismic tool, along with other Hydro-Scopic™ mining sonic innovations, will result in modern mining operations trending towards new boundaries of mining evolution and profit.
5. The core component of this process is the sonic drill. How is this different from using other drills?
To begin with the sonic drill is extremely fast. It has attributes using acoustic energy that can reduce resistance in fluid flow and is much more adaptable to mining verses just drilling.
Certain aspects of Hydro-Scopic™ mining may seem to involve problems and limitations of “direct circulation drilling” (DCD) and “reverse circulation drilling” (RCD) systems, but these systems are considerably different from the fundamental aspects of sonic drilling, and even more so when considering that these drilling systems at best can only be superficially compared to a mining system — some points for consideration:
Hydro-Scopic™ mining, using a sonic drill rig, is more extensive in potential scope as a drilling/mining system when compared to (DCD), and (RCD) systems and methods, but it obviously does have a few items in common with both drilling processes. The proposed Hydro-Scopic™ mining process introduces a new concept with new benefits regarding discovery/drilling/excavation and extraction. Like DCD, Hydro-Scopic™ mining injects fluid down the inner rod and extracts slurry through the adjacent annulus as a result of a pressure differential, but Hydro-Scopic™ mining also uses eductor coupling jetting (creating pressure [Bernoulli principle] pulses using acoustic energy) to create accelerated slurry lift. RCD can also produce additional lift (e.g. 100 feet/min) using compressed air to suspend cuttings with upward extraction, but through the rod. Hydro-Scopic™ mining can extract slurry (in addition to its hydraulic head’s pressure differential) using the innovative eductor coupling ‘manifold’ within the sonic rod string providing a multi-pronged approach to slurry extraction, while also providing additional slurry cleaning using localized vortex wave pressures generated by the eductors within the annulus, while helping to prevent annulus bridging/blockage. For additional mining efficacy, Hydro-Scopic™ mining’s design transforms the proven sonic core barrel drilling component into a mining implement that quickly extracts heavier, larger materials from a sump trap. The sonic drilling has been proven to be very accurate, as will its associated mining capability, having other proven abilities such as using warm water, which can help erode clay clumps in the mining cavity and annulus, and working successfully in Arctic conditions within a tent structure (Parson’s Lake).
Hydro-Scopic™ mining recycles water through a mining/processor de-watering circuit, which uses proportionate water filtration prior to reintroducing water to the jet pump, so that the water that recycles for jetting and re-enters an aquifer or water-table during mining can be cleaner than prior to mining. Neither DCD nor RCD does this. An effective and inexpensive innovative filter has been designed for complimentary Hydro-Scopic™ mining use at the processor. Further, Hydro-Scopic™ mining recovers a deposit using a sonic core barrel in addition to jetting excavation, thereby debris build-up with excavation beneath the borehole casing is by design and should consist of high-grade valuable concentrate layered deep within a debris pile (including a sump trap); such debris would usually block DCDs — but not a sonic core barrel. Hydro-Scopic™ mining efficiency produces recovery results (in part) as a function of removing suspended slurry from the cavity quickly, while gravity concentrates the heavies in the sump. Interfering boulders can be fractured, drilled, moved (jet pushed) and/or left in the mining chamber, but the area around them is agitated by vortex flux, jetting and inter-particulate contact forces on a centrally-directed sloping surface. There should be no need to remove boulders from a mining cavity with Hydro-Scopic™ mining. However, boulder removal should present little challenge given that chamber inspection reveals embedded visible gold or another reason to do so.
Another item for consideration, describes a benefit of Hydro-Scopic™ mining where it should provide access to placer gold deposits in proximity to ‘slum’ layers (i.e. an unstable fine sand and silt layer that moves like quicksand when its vacuum seal is broken). Such layers can ‘blast out’ or ‘run out’ of a subterranean domain causing associated dangerous subsidence, a distinct and possibly deadly reality when multiple unsealed core-sampling boreholes penetrate a slum layer. With Hydro-Scopic™ mining using one borehole, filled with water, a slum-associated placer deposit should remain stable (consistent to Pascal’s principle) and the deposit should be excavated and extracted without difficulty. In BC’s Caribou district an expensive (~$20m) slum freezing method is being developed to solve this problem – Hydro-Scopic™ mining should logically be much more profitable, relatively cheaper, safer and faster.
Rich deposits too small for the wealthy corporations and too complicated or dangerous for the small operation, are now potentially available to recover — untouched valuable natural resources, (and not just beneath slum) — because Hydro-Scopic™ mining presents a technologically-advanced, evidence-based and a potentially more strategic mining approach when compared to other available mining/drilling processes.