Central Montana Prospectors
Central Montana Prospectors

Recycling Geological Books Means a Green Project

      A new feature of the symposium in Butte, Montana this year was the offering of a used book sale. This meant the Bureau of Mining and Geology brought over 25 boxes of books and ended up with only 4 left. That's a huge bundle of recycling for the benefit of change.

      Some of the items for sale looked like excerpts from studies and  reports of rock nature for the researcher. Not all things are put on line yet, so the attempt to link up with the past was certainly there for the right and ready. Thinking that others might find your recycled materials of interest is important to keep in mind. Passing on the knowledge of rocks and their search is always a good thing.

Solar Powered Equipment

On Site Video of The Solar Powered Gold Processing by Alan Robertson

Steve Hicks Runs His Denver Gold Saver with Solar Panel for Charging His Batteries


  A great opportunity happens when one can take your homemade prospecting equipment out into the field on site and demonstrate its functioning of it with other prospectors. That's what happened when Steve Hicks of White Sulphur Springs was willing to bring his solar powered Gold Saver to the Lincoln area in Montana. 

     The Blackfoot Prospectors had him process gravel on their claim to see what kind of gold could be found. A video shows how the machine functions with a group of prospectors dumping in their digs to the machine making it easy to find their gold in the concetrates that is made from the shaking process of the sluice down below the trommel. Fun stuff. Check out the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9I7_8SiEWI&feature=youtu.be

            A veteran geologist, Steve Hicks, from Montana shares decades of knowledge and techniques of how to prospect for gold with a trommel and machines all powered by economical solar panels anywhere all over Montana.  Check out our YouTube videos of the intricacies of getting gold in your pan from the use of the sun for energy. He has all the quirks worked out and it's a slick system.

Longevity, Ease, & Economical Use of Solar Power Works for Steve Hicks

The Power of Solar VS Gas Powered Prospecting Equipment

Learn how easy it is to process for gold with this system

Steve Hicks Explains the Engineering Marvel

Multiple Machine Use for Gold Extraction

Solar Power Runs a Wooden Sluice Efficiently


Good News

     Some people talk about a self taught man, but when you meet one, you are blown away. For decades Steve Hicks of White Sulphur Springs has prospected in Montana using solar powered equipment. He has developed very useful techniques of integrating all aspects of bringing economically and creatively water to the gravel processing area while prospecting for gold in the field. He has worked out the kinks in his system over the years and shows how it works readily making it very impressive.

     He demonstrated how all of his pieces of equipment work in the field processing many buckets of gravel without noise, smell and expense of gasoline engines.

      Steve’s prized possession is the Denver Gold Saver which he says is the engineering marvel of the century. It cost 5-6 thousand dollars new and has tirelessly processed lots of gravel for him for decades. He explains the beauty of the machine is in the design of pulleys and a spiral encased in the big tank of the trommel. The spiral moves all material that is left from the first washing back up to the top thus completing an entire, thorough process of sorting the heavies from the non-essential.

With a variety of supportive motors, Steve has created a pump system that can bring up water from a 1000 ft below at a rate of 3 gallons per minute in order to wash your gravel in a sluice. Old motors from junkyards obtained from vehicles before engines started to use alternators work well. Bilge pumps along with piston ones provided water for a well worn wooden rocker to service the classifying and getting your gold nuggets.

     The trailer with special bolts embedded in the base formed the landing for the Gold Saver to be transported to the field where Steve uses his solar panel purchased 20 years ago to search for gold on his claim. He processes all his gravel on site without the smell of gasoline or the expense of fossil fuel energy.

     Imagine how much money was saved over 20 years of prospecting when only the sun was used to power the motors and there is no gasoline consumption. It is amazing.

      To know that this arrangement has served Steve well for so many years is heartening. You feel like the durability and longevity of success is fodder for sound prospecting judgment especially when it is powered by conserving the environment with the use of solar energy. It’s worked for him for a long time and is inspiring for others to try the same. Not all of us can own a Gold Saver Trommel, but we can hook up our own choices with a slick system like he has created. Steve Hicks’ prospecting style is well worth looking into.


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© Central Montana Prospectors Coalition, Site Created & Written By Alma Winberry