Greetings to all from the Colorado Front Range,
Warm weather is definitely in the rear view mirror, as we’ve made our first propane buy of the season to keep the team warm as they continue putting the finishing touches on the Golden Gilpin Mill. We are devoting all our energies and resources to completion and have a specific plan that we are executing. Even the soundest of plans are no match for the unexpected. The lightning strike that bypassed our grounded steel headframe and instead hit the ground itself, frying our electric systems is one example. Supply chain disruptions are another. At the mill, as we bulldozed away at the back of the structure to prepare the space for our coarse ore bin, we discovered that in a corner that was buried deep in the ground there was no foundation. Apparently, the building code was a bit laxer a hundred years ago than today. It was a surprise, and ultimately not a problem, but another unexpected delay. However, as I have said before, undaunted we will persevere. The light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting brighter and we are very very close. Don’t forget, although the mill isn’t quite ready, the mine has already produced 10,000 tons of ore bearing material waiting to be processed when the mill is ready. In fact, we have so much of this material that we’ve run out of room to store it above ground.
On the inside of the mill, I can report significant progress – and no unforeseen problems (fingers crossed). I’ve attached a few pictures taken a couple of weeks ago to give you a feel for the final tasks we are completing.
The first is a nice shot of how we unload material into the mill. This particular load involved the thickener. Those of you who haven’t been to the mill or seen pictures of it before might be concerned by the general appearance. Yes, it looks old, and that’s on purpose. The Golden Gilpin Mill is on the Colorado historic register. We’ve replaced the roof and some of the siding. One of the town’s requirements when we first got our permits was that we maintain the historic character of the exterior. The outside steel that we’ve used is specially fabricated to rust and keep a rusty look. A lot of it is brand new even though it looks a hundred years old.
The second picture shows the coupler being applied to the ball mill. This device connects the ball mill to the production line. Rock is moved into the ball mill, a 5.5 ton device rotating at 23 RPM pulverizing the ore bearing material.
The third picture is of the recently completed and installed rake classifier. This device does what its name implies. Crushed ore that is still too large is separated out and sent back to the ball mill for further pounding, while the correct sized pieces move along toward the flotation cells where the gold is concentrated.
Pretty soon a flatbed will appear carrying the coarse ore bin from storage at the Clay Mine; and a crane will put it in place. In the meantime, the interior will be finished; and the Golden Gilpin Mill will be golden again. .
In the last couple of weeks groups of investors have stopped by for tours. For some it was the second visit, and I can say without hesitation that they were all impressed by the progress we’ve made. We are happy to show off – and anyone who wants to look around is invited. You can walk or ride into the Clay and even chip off your own chunk of a gold vein. We just need advance notice as the mill is an active work site, so scheduling is important.
Those of you who’ve been following the price of gold lately are aware of its price fluctuations. It’s off its high, but above its low. Here’s an anecdote that should give everyone comfort that gold, the most reliable store of value in human history, has a lot more room to grow. There’s a report out from a London bullion dealer that as the Pound Sterling has been sinking, the demand for physical gold has been rising. So much so that dealers are selling out of gold bars and coins. As people lose faith in fiat currency, gold has retained its allure. Will that happen here? Are goldbacks more secure than greenbacks ?