Ask the Experts
January 2015 by Chris Ralph• How do I get mining claims appraised?
Before going into an analysis of the ore composition, two other major factors will affect the result. These are the accuracy of the assay and the effectiveness of the mill for the gold recovery.
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.
Unfortunately, not all the gold that we prospectors find is pretty, or appealing to the eyes. They are not all nice, bright, shiny nuggets with lots of character that carry high collector value.
Once a seam is found it can be traced for miles in either direction. While you are tracing a clay line, you are looking for indicators. The indicators that I look for are ironstone, hematite, different color clays intermingled with the clay line, and a very iron-rich, brown gritty soil.
Science has shown, over the past few centuries, that there is a direct correlation between certain plants and their geophysical surroundings.
Since we know that the secret to breaking rock is applying force from the inside out (putting tension on the rock), we will be looking at ways we can generate force using human and machine power.
All these decisions and more depend on the richness of a claim—something that is determined by sampling. But sampling isn’t cheap, and even collecting the samples can be more difficult than it appears on the surface.
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