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Ask The Experts: Is there a safe DIY alternative to cyanide or mercury for extraction?

Q: With safety as a given, what can the average miner, or Joe-blow greenhorn do to identify and extract some metals or minerals with off-the-shelf products or natural ingredients?

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Additional articles that might interest you...

How to Refine Silver—Pt I


Silver refining has been used from ancient times to change the characteristics of the metal. Early metallurgists refined silver by heating it a couple hundred degrees above its melting point and holding the metal at an elevated temperature for a period of time.

What Have You Got to Lose?


It’s accepted knowledge that wet methods will recover more fine gold than dry methods and processing the gravel as a whole will get more gold than only using a metal detector. The question is how much more?

A Few Pointers About Cracks and Crevices


Because these crevices catch and hold gold so well, it's worthwhile to learn how they form, which ones are good for catching gold and which ones are not.

Putting Together A Small Free Gold Mill


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.

Buying a Mining Claim: Questions to Ask


At one time or another, many miners will look seriously at purchasing a mining claim...Usually it’s a significant financial commitment, so how do you know if you are getting a good deal?

Lode or Placer: What Difference Does It Make?


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.

Ask The Experts


• How do I separate silver from lead ore?

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The Bawl Mill   • Our Readers Say   • Ask The Experts: Should I take my claim access problems to the Desert Advisory Council?   • Ask The Experts: How do I identify gold in hard rock that may be mixed with other metals?   • Ask The Experts   • Ask The Experts   • Legislative and Regulatory Update   • Pickers and Nuggets   • Modern-Day Claim Jumping   • Oregon's Waldo and Galice Mining Districts Unite   • Attention to Detail - Part II   • The Seven Troughs Mining District   • CA Supreme Court Rules Against Rinehart - But There Is A Solution   • Summertime Gold Panning   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices

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