Ask the Experts
August 2014 by Randy SmithCentrifugal bowls versus jigs
They worked their plan, bit by bit, and sure enough, after the blast, gold was detected… Over two pounds of beautiful crystalline gold was recovered in that stretch!
Improvements in mining equipment and techniques, along with a higher gold price, make many mining properties profitable today that may not have been in the past.
For the prospector, knowing what oxidized hydrothermal alteration looks like in the field is an important exploration tool.
These days they employ the use of metal detectors and carefully scan the shattered rocks, hoping to hear that sound we detectorists love to hear.
The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.
This explains the large difference in particle sizes between placers and hydrothermal lode deposits, but also means that while the mining may be similar in some cases, the sampling and recovery techniques are usually quite different.
The biggest obstacle is that like many streams on the Kenai Peninsula, high water during the summer months from snow melt and rain can make dredging nearly impossible. The best dredging is in the colder months of the year.
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