Sunday, April 22, 2017 VOLUNTEERING AROUND GOFFS. NOT JUST A JOB, IT'S AN ADVENTURE
Mining minerals from the earth is a labor-intensive endeavor, and the Mojave Desert has a rich past of tenacious wealth-seekers; some of them succeeded, but most of them were not anything more than “prospectors”. Extracting riches from the earth involves much more than simply digging a hole, you have to have a way to reduce large rocks into smaller rocks. Smaller rocks, in turn, need to be crushed and refined from ore into dust or powder before the precious metals can be separated from the rubbish. In order for mining to be a profitable endeavor, the work needs to be done more efficiently than by using simple hand tools; thus, many kinds and styles of rock crushers have been invented for this purpose throughout history. As part of the ongoing mission of MDHCA, we have not only preserved some examples of authentic rock crushing machinery that were used locally by miners, but we have succeeded in restoring them into working order so that they can be run and demonstrated. This has been achieved by and through the hard work and determination of our volunteers.
Our newest success was the restoration of the Gibson Gyratory Crusher. This crusher was formerly located at the Golden Queen Mine in the Soledad Mountain area (Mojave Desert) , California vicinity where it languished until it was purchased by the MDHCA in 1999. Member Bill Fullerton, along with a crew of volunteers, recovered and relocated the Gibson Gyratory Crusher to the MDHCA at Goffs, where it remained as a static display until recently. It was decided to try and bring the crusher back into operational conditions in 2016 by Charlie Connell and his dedicated crew. Connell’s crew did successfully restore the Stott’s Stamp Mill (two stamps) and The American Boy Stamp Mill (ten stamps), both of which have cam-shafts and tappets that pound ore like a hammer. The Gibson Gyratory Crusher is a smaller scale machine which operates simply by rotating a huge metal pestle. To the knowledge of the MDHCA, there are no Gibson Gyratory Crushers that are still operating or functional. The Gibson was evaluated and scrutinized to find out if the present condition of the mill had adequate structural integrity and to identify any missing parts. The Gibson did not come with the benefit of any written instructions, so one of the first tasks for the crew was to seek out resources and self-educate themselves by studying the actual patent documents. It was determined that there were some parts missing from the machinery, but the device would still function as designed whether the parts were replaced or not. The wooden structure that anchored the Gibson was fortified with additional timbers for strengthening. All of the bolts were tightened up until the mill structure was rigid and stable. Finally, the crew needed to set up a device that could catch the concentrated fine material as it was washed out of the crusher. A replicated sluice table was fabricated and mounted on the front of the crusher, and the crusher was at last ready for a working demonstration.
After over 80 years of inactivity, Charlie Connell and his crew ran water through the mill and crushed our first ore on Saturday, April 22, 2017. We are proud of this monumental accomplishment, as we do not know of any other operating gyratory crusher in the USA.
To learn more about this project, visit this link