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 Post subject: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:17 pm 
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Location: Central Queensland, Australia
Tried out a new piece of equipment to assist in the search for shiny stuff? Give it a review here. Anything at all related to mining and prospecting, doesn't have to be a machine. Could be any manual device, stuff for your vehicle, clothing and footwear - anything you have found to be helpful as you chase them sparkly rocks or precious metals.

I'm pre-empting this because I don't have it yet (should arrive this week in time for weekend prospecting) so I'll hopefully be able to review it by the end of the weekend.

Ice vests

This struck me as a perfect piece of equipment to help extend the digging season here. While it has actually been unseasonally mild so far, temperatures here late and early in the year can be pretty savage. It isn't just uncomfortable to physically labour in such conditions - it is extremely draining on the body and can even pose a serious health risk. The human body is not really meant to function at temperatures close to or exceeding normal body temperature and the only really sensible thing to do is sit down in the shade. I've also noticed it seems to hit me a bit harder now I'm in my 40's.

I've tried various products that had little or no effect because they rely on evaporative cooling. Evaporative cooling works brilliantly in conditions of dry heat. However, east of the ranges here - between the ranges and the Pacific - whenever the temperatures are high, so is the humidity. Under such conditions, evaporative cooling simply doesn't work as the air is already saturated with moisture. Ice vests do have an evaporative cooling component but mainly they work by being put in the freezer and freezing the gel in pockets sewn across the vest so that you have a chunk of ice wrapped around you, keeping the body temperature down.

Here's an example.....

Image

How long does it last? That's what I'm going to find out when I put it to the test. I imagine it will vary with the ambient temperature and how hard you're slogging away, whether you are in the direct sun or just the hot, humid shade etc. I guess I'll probably take an esky (cooler bin) with an ice slurry to refresh the vest as needed.

It's own separate esky of course - food and drink and stinky sweat don't mix :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Location: Central Queensland, Australia
Vest arrived yesterday afternoon. Damn lucky wife measured me before I ordered - it's a good, comfortable fit but if it were much smaller I wouldn't be able to work in it. My mid-section appears to have grown more generous these last few years :)

Soaked it in water for 15 minutes and the crystal-filled piping swelled up significantly. Wearing it makes you feel like a xenomorph, you look like you're made of tubes. Even that was surprisingly cool in the humid air. Placed it in the freezer for a while, took it out before the thing had actually frozen, put it on - and near froze to death! Holy crap this thing is cold!

I'm getting the impression that this thing will be quite effective at keeping the body temperature down in the heat. Refreshing it once it warms requires only dropping in an ice slurry for about 90 seconds. If I have to do that every 30 minutes or so, that's ok - digging holes is hard work and a few minutes break every half hour is good.

Will have to wear a long-sleeved work shirt over top to keep it clean and protected from dirt and abrasive sand.

Was going digging on Sunday, unfortunately the forecast is for rain on Sunday, might have to try and bring it forward to tomorrow. Still not much heat in the air - La Nina is keeping the temps a little lower than usual. It also brings above-average rain to the east coast which will hamper my prospecting activities but at least the farmers will be happy.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:39 pm 
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Well it looks like if I make it digging at all tomorrow I won't be needing the vest - a maximum of 21c. That's crazy for this time of year, it's normally stinking hot by now, in the 30s with high humidity making it worse again. Not that I'm complaining.

Possible rain though, might scuttle tomorrow's dig. Fossicking partner would have just finished night shift about half an hour ago, didn't want to call him to bring it forward a day, poor bugger would be shattered after a 12 hour shift and then straight into digging all day.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:16 pm 
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I'd VERY much like to hear more about your experience with this vest.

I was drilling, sledging, and hauling amethyst last summer for 3 weeks.

29 degrees Celsius, extremely humid; and 5 types of biting flies didn't help.

I've heard that athletes and trainers are testing cooling gloves, but they wouldn't work for the stuff we do.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:37 pm 
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Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
My prolem is the opposite, I am working in glacier runoff streams that are cold. My original setup needed me to pull larger rocks out of the feed box, (or do a prescreen). I modified my feedbox to a grizzley bar setup, and now I do not need to get my hands wet (at lest not very often)

I have had a lot of luck with products from “GOLD HOG”. I have one of their mini sluices and made an extension to add in several other mats. I found that the matts are very effective for my setup. But to be honest I have only tried it 4 or 5 times. I am getting fine flower from public mining areas in Alaska. I did do a slight modification and made a grizzly bar for the feed box, this keeps the box clear without having to get my hands in the water. I do not prescreen the material at all, so there are rocks as big as my fist that go through it. I fill 5 gallon buckets half full and dump them through.

I want to make a setup for reprocessing the concentrates at home, to make the final finishing easier. He had a new matt for that that I want to try. It is designed for a lower volume flow that you would get from a bilge pump.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:54 pm 
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I've heard good things about the gold cube for finish concentrates. Haven't seen one at work yet though.

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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:07 am 
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We had a whole heap ordered for work in a smelter, and they banned them because of issues with actually over heating yourself! Here is small snippet of a paper about cool vests.


Because the cooling vest reduced the athletes' perceptions of how hot they were, the researchers hypothesized the athletes could be unaware that their core temperatures, which are unaffected by the cooling vest, might be raising to dangerous highs. This might make heat-induced illness even more likely in athletes using a vest, despite the intention to keep body temperature lower.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:09 pm 
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jaseee wrote:
We had a whole heap ordered for work in a smelter, and they banned them because of issues with actually over heating yourself! Here is small snippet of a paper about cool vests.


Because the cooling vest reduced the athletes' perceptions of how hot they were, the researchers hypothesized the athletes could be unaware that their core temperatures, which are unaffected by the cooling vest, might be raising to dangerous highs. This might make heat-induced illness even more likely in athletes using a vest, despite the intention to keep body temperature lower.


That sounds quite extrordinary - if i pack myself in ice I'm risking dying of heat stroke?

I'm not a doctor so I can't comment on the science but as someone who has suffered heat stoke too many times over the years doing manual labour in extreme heat, I can definately say that it's difficulties to reconcile the notion that my positive experiences with this vest have been all in my head and that I"ve actually been killing myself. Anyone who has ever suffered heat stroke knows what the after-effects feel like - you are quite ill the next day. I have yet to experience any.ill.effects either during or after use, leading me to convlude that the vest.is actually doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

I'll now have to do some more looking j to this but off the cuff I'd suggest.that the smelter simply didn't want to spend.the money!


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:38 pm 
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No the money has already been spent 100's of vest sitting idle. Banned only after people got sick from heat stoke. The vest actually cool the skin and not the core. Think it said it was more effective to sit in the shade and sip water. By all means keep wearing the vest just keep in mine your core isn't actually coolong down.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:31 pm 
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Ok, back home to a real computer with internet (teenage son almost perished without it :) )

To clarify, I have no affiliation with any company that makes any such products, nor with anyone in any way involved :) - just giving an honest review based on personal experience.

It sounds like the study referred to is probably not applicable to the general population since it appears they did not use "normal" test subjects but rather they used "extreme" test subjects. It's a little like testing a new vehicle cooling system by attaching it to a Formula-1 racecar and monitoring it's performance under race conditions. The results may be applicable to racecars - but are unlikely to be applicable to all cars broadly. Most ordinary cars don't have the capacity to go nearly as hard as a Formula-1 and few people would be inclined to even attempt it (with the exception of young guys under about 25, big on testosterone and short on forethought).

Athletes are the Formula-1 racecars of human beings. They are innately driven to push their bodies far beyond the point where most non-athletes would have already called it quits since this is what is required in order to win. I'm sure the guys at the smelter work hard but it's difficult to see them sprinting through the front gate every morning and pushing their body like a marathon runner all day long.

So fossicking is not a race - when you start to feel a bit fatigued, it's time to slow down or have a break. The chances of suffering an internal organ meltdown like an athlete who is deliberately ignoring the pain and fatigue as they give absolutely everything they've got, pushing their body to "redline" in order to be the first across the finish line seem pretty minimal at best to me.

As mentioned previously, I am well acquainted with the symptoms of overheating and even heatstroke, having foolishly pushed it couple of times close to being hospitalized. I can say that wearing the ice vest while doing (steady) manual labour in very hot conditions (and still drinking plenty of water regardless!) completely prevented the symptoms with which I have been too familiar with over the years. If you wake up the next morning with a headache, nausea and a feeling of weakness and fatigue, you know you got "cooked" the day before. I have never experienced any such symptoms after using the vest the previous day and feel perfectly fine so I assume that the vest was successful in keeping my body temperature around where it's supposed to be.

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My prolem is the opposite, I am working in glacier runoff streams that are cold. My original setup needed me to pull larger rocks out of the feed box, (or do a prescreen). I modified my feedbox to a grizzley bar setup, and now I do not need to get my hands wet (at lest not very often)


Ted, the vests can apparently be used as a heat pack equally as well but I haven't tried.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Quote:
I have had a lot of luck with products from “GOLD HOG”. I have one of their mini sluices and made an extension to add in several other mats. I found that the matts are very effective for my setup. But to be honest I have only tried it 4 or 5 times. I am getting fine flower from public mining areas in Alaska. I did do a slight modification and made a grizzly bar for the feed box, this keeps the box clear without having to get my hands in the water. I do not prescreen the material at all, so there are rocks as big as my fist that go through it. I fill 5 gallon buckets half full and dump them through.



Quote:
I've heard good things about the gold cube for finish concentrates. Haven't seen one at work yet though.
I've heard good things about the gold cube for finish concentrates. Haven't seen one at work yet though.


I'll have to check these out. While I've been away, dad and a mate made up a sluice based on a somewhat different design that is supposed to give an extremely high recovery but I haven't seen it yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:52 pm
Posts: 576
Location: N Dakota
Jim Nelson designed and built my ABS plastic mineral jig. It is a lite weight portable recirculating unit runs on DC power. Does a great job .
He has been working on a different unit bases on air instead of water.
He has Utube videos documenting his progress and set backs. But I believe he is on to something.
Search Jim Nelson mineral jig on Utube I think you will like the concept especially if you travel light into the back country.

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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:41 am 
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Similar thread:
viewtopic.php?f=28&t=19397

Unfortunately, these "mining equipment" threads do not get much attention, while it would be very interesting to hear feedback from experienced miners.


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 Post subject: Re: Mining/prospecting equipment reveiw thread
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:52 pm
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Location: Central Queensland, Australia
Your first line is the most important cascaillou - NEVER GO ALONE!.

I used to go prospecting alone all the time until one day I came to grief with a hole collapse. I was lucky to escape with a few cracked ribs, sternum and collar bone. I was even luckier that on that day I was not alone but had a friend with me who drove me to the paramedic at the nearest town.

It doesn't matter how much of an experienced hiker or bushman you are, bad things can still happen and if you're alone when they do then you're in trouble.


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