Alternative Gold Leaching Methods
January 2014 by Chris RalphThe ideal leaching chemical would leave behind what we don't want or need in the ore and take only the valuable metals.
The problem is that extracting gold from hard rock is often a lot more difficult than processing placer gravels. Still, there is some very high-grade ore out there in many old mining areas.
For the prospector, knowing what oxidized hydrothermal alteration looks like in the field is an important exploration tool.
The first and most important thing of the sampling process is to try to be as unbiased as possible. There is a natural tendency to select rock that looks the best—even unconsciously.
Most small-scale miners want to know how they can set up a system much more cheaply. The difficulty is in the balance of putting together a decent small-scale system at a reasonable cost.
So far this year we have recovered over three pounds of gold and the hard rock veins seem to go on forever. We now have three claims that can produce good enough gold to set up a productive operation.
Even though they have put down thousands of dollars, the buyers often stop paying on their claims part way through the process after they realize they’ve been duped, but the company just sells it again to another buyer.
There are not a lot of tools needed to get out and take advantage of the situation. Other than my wetsuit, I typically travel light with a gold pan, maybe a pry bar and a few crevice cleaning tools.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts: Big rocks or small cobbles? • Ask the Experts: Quartz rock and the chance of gold in my area of New Hampshire? • Ask the Experts: Equipment and gold locations in Colorado • Ask the Experts: Silent partners and mining—is it worth the risk? • Sierra County Gold—Part II • The Silver Islet Mountains of Utah • Gold Placers of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska • Over the Divide • Prospecting for Diamonds in Kimberlite • Additional Note Regarding "Strategic Metals—Part II" • Take a Kid Detecting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices