Word Mining - Extraction Methods
When first starting, crevice mining offers an easy
and inexpensive way to get started. Gold is heavy. It finds its
way into the nooks and crannies of the bedrock. Therefore, these
are good places to look.
To mine crevices you will need:
1) long tablespoon
2) long teaspoon
3) old flathead screwdriver with the tip bent at a ninety degree
angle 2" to 3" from the end
4) tweezers - to pick out the gold flakes and nuggets
5) wide mouth plastic jar or bottle - to put gold in
6) small magnet - to separate gold from black sands
7) small shovel - I prefer a folding army style shovel which can
act as a pick or shovel
8) small hand pick
9) garden trowel
11) small metal bucket - to carry tools to the site, to sit on if
need be, to carry rock to nearby stream
12) gold pan
Find a crevice in area you think has gold. For ideas
on locations go to where the gold is. Dig out the crevice using
your small shovel, trowel, and spoons. You may need to loose the
dirt or enlarge the crevice with the bent screwdriver or hand pick.
REMEMBER, gold is heavy and likes to gravitate to the bottom of
the crevice, so don't give up too easily. Place all of the extracted
material (rocks, plants, clay, etc) in your pan or bucket and carry
it to the nearest stream. Now, you are ready to pan for gold!
Describe a prospecting or extraction method that
you have discovered works quite well here in the word mine.
The Balfour Memorial Mining Method
You will need:
1) A large amount of chewing gum
2) Cheap slippers
3) One extra large Baggie
4) Miner’s hat with built in flashlight
Start with six large packs of Doublemint
gum. No, better make it twelve. Doublemint is the gum of choice
because it’s chewed consistency is perfect. It is also my favorite.
Begin chewing, two sticks at a time. Chew until the gum starts to
taste of repetition and you find yourself snapping it; gum that
snaps has lost the excess sugar and reached the correct stage of
stickiness. As soon as the pieces in your mouth are appropriately
desugared, take them out and park them, then start in on two more.
If you happen to be a lawyer, Mick Jagger or Stephen Tyler, you
can probably handle more than two sticks at a time and thus speed
up the process considerably.
Once you have all the gum suitably desugared
and softened, take off your shoes and begin to spread the parked
gum across the bottom of your soles. You want to press down enough
that the gum isn’t going to fall off the shoe, but still leave quite
a bit of loose gum. It is an art, at which you will grow more proficient
This is where the cheap slippers come
in. You will need to wear them until you reach the floor of the
mine where you will be working. Once the bottoms of your shoes are
quite covered with gum, you are ready to go. Wearing slippers, carrying
shoes, descend into the mine and go directly toward a site that
someone else is actively mining.
Just before arriving at the claim, switch
your slippers for your shoes, stash the slippers in some deep dark
crack and proceed into the claim area.
There are several, obvious, advantages
to this method of mining. The most obvious and most important is
that you don’t need to discover gold by yourself. You don’t need
to make guesses at where that gold might be, mine false leads or
empty rock. You don’t need to stake a claim or hammer rock or chisel
stone or shovel slag. All you need to do is wear your miner’s hat,
with the built in flashlight, and wander around a site where someone
else has already been mining. Pretend to be interested in their
work. Make appropriate noises and say positive things.
“This was one tough vein! You must be in great shape to have been
able to move this amount of rock!”
“It must have taken a lot of muscles to get that all that gold out
of the mountain and then out of the mine!”
“How did you EVER know to drill right here? You are completely brilliant!”
Miners are far less likely question
what you are doing if you are giving them compliments all the while.
It’s the way miners are. It’s the way everyone is.
Now all you have to do is hand out compliments
and stroll around. After a fair amount of time, definitely before
the miner starts to wonder what they heck you are doing, say good-bye
and head topside. Switch back into your slippers and put your shoes
in the extra large Baggie which you are carrying in your pocket.
Now there remains only to extract the
gold flakes you picked up off the floor from the gum. This can be
done effectively with tweezers and a magnet. The ideal scenario
is to make this a family operation and make your brother do this
A system very similar to this mining
method was evidently carried out for years in the Balfour Jewelry
plant near where I lived in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Balfour
makes all kinds of jewelry, but is best know for being the world’s
leading manufacturer of school rings. It seems that this method
of obtaining gold was quietly going on for what amounted to generations
before Balfour finally figured it out. Nowadays the employees of
the Balfour plant have to strip down to nothing and change into
paper suits to do their work. They wear paper slippers on their
feet which they must turn in at the end of each shift. They are
not allowed to chew gum.
One of the most entertaining things about
this story is that when the Balfour plant finally got wise, there
was, simultaneously, a substantial jump in the number of people
who applied for state and county services. Under the section of
the application which asked why they needed the aid, people stated
that they just could not make ends meet since they had been forced
to stop pilfering from Balfour. The employees were really quite
miffed. One, quoted in the local newspaper, said: “It’s been a source
of income for my family for three generations. We don’t know what
we’ll do now, it is practically impossible to live on just the salary
©Edwina Peterson Cross