Ask The Experts: How do I identify gold in hard rock that may be mixed with other metals?
September 2016 by Chris Ralph
Q: Aside from the softness scratch test and other methods of identification, what feedback would you have on identifying gold in hard rock that may be mixed with other metals that affect its color?
In order to see what geologic maps can do, we need to think about what we are looking for.
Some claim they can smell gold. This may be, but when I take a whiff of gold, I smell dirt, rotten eggs, garlic or just nothing: my nose is everything but sensitive.
Our group of independent miners have been busy crafting a uniquely designed ladder/ore cart track from the bottom of an 85-foot mine shaft in a historical hard rock mine.
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.
Some ores—mostly those with a high free gold content—are very amenable to gravity concentration. Well oxidized ores containing coarse gold are usually best for non-cyanide processes. Ores with significant sulfide content may require the...
...if you have a good, rich spot, hand-operated systems can produce some decent gold.
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