I’m sure gold will be talked about for many decades, and it will make grown people cry or jump with joy. It will fluctuate and there will be recoveries. It will show signs of weakness, and then rebound the next day.

Now that’s the view most investors have of the precious metal. But what about the common Joe, you know the guy who manages to scrape a small retirement fund and hopes all will go well in his later years. One simple rule is, if you don’t know anything about the stock market, stay out of it. If you don’t know anything about gold or precious metals, stay away, far away.

I’m one of those common Joe’s. I worked a number of years in the mining industry, I saw enough gold in my lifetime to fill a few bathtubs.

In one instance, I was asked to fill large canvas bags with rocks containing a good number of gold ounces and bring them straight to the boss’s office. The reason is, you don’t want VG (visible gold) to follow the same route as regular ore, it will get lost, diluted or even stolen on its way to the mill. I’m tempted to say that not all those rocks went from the office to the mill, but let’s stop here.

Another time, I would blast one slash hole, then wash the pile down and again fill some canvas bags full of gold rocks, but these were taken out by a few geologists and other bosses. It was a very slow process but in the end, 10 or 20 ounces every day sure helps build the stack.

Mostly, my gold mining time was spent driving drifts to the ore body or veins. As a drift miner, I had the benefit of being on flat ground with no ladders or slushers. With adequate gear, an 8ft. round can be taken in an 8 hours shift by 2 good miners, that includes advancing rail, pipe and ditch. It also means drilling rock bolts and adding screen for ground support.

All strange stuff to anyone who never visited a mine but it makes sense to a seasoned miner.

Also, driving drift in waste, you don’t have to follow the ore vein which can swing left or right daily. Bending rail to follow a capricious vein every other day is no fun.

If you ask an old drift miner what he liked most about mining, he will answer, the pay. Ask him what he hated about mining, the list is long, very long.

But having an above decent pay check every week sure helps to send you back down for more. When your buddies all have a nice half ton truck, a snowmobile, a camper and maybe some other toys, it helps to be able to afford those big boy toys to tag along.

When it’s all said and done underground, you can have a few pints with the boys at the local watering hole and do as much mining holding a beer, sometimes more.

I was asked to write a few stories about my mining days and in the coming weeks, I’ll try to share some of my anecdotes and other weird stories. …you’ll come to see everything has NOT been said about gold!


–anonymous gold miner