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?
I figure there are a lot of new people out there who have the same question. I will try to give some answers that hopefully will give you more confidence in finding your own spots.
The zone of influence of each sample must be carefully considered when deciding how far sample sites should be spaced from each other.
After your excitement peaks when you first receive the high gold assay from the vein you just exposed, you ponder how you will extract and sell your gold. You will need to develop a flow sheet for your process to optimize your recovery and minimize your costs and permit requirements.
How do I set up a small placer operation?
When you think about the extremes to which a miner will go to get a little gold, it occurred to me beach gold could be "easy pickings."
Perhaps the most notable thing about skim placers is that they form on the top surface of gravel bars, as opposed to coarser gold placers where the weight of the gold particles allows the gold to settle down on or near bedrock.
The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
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