Ask The Experts: Is there a safe DIY alternative to cyanide or mercury for extraction?
September 2016 by Chris Ralph
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?
Now it was time for the nerve-wracking part of the job: actually removing anything from the hanging wall we deemed to be in need of removal because it was either loose, could be loose, looked loose, or we felt it was just downright dangerous
When I teach people about finding gold, I often explain that it is helpful to think of any river or stream that carries gold as being something like a sluice box.
Another little gem of equipment he built was a nifty sample splitter. In order to get accurate assays, you need to have really good, representative samples for the assayer to process.
A Wilfley table works best when all of the mineral being run across it (the pulp) is about the same size. For this reason, I took a good look at each of the samples.
Explosives used correctly will save you both time and money being one of the best and most productive tools you can use.
Augers can be used effectively for placer exploration with certain limitations.
The other opportunity that I see is in seeking unusual types of deposits. Specifically, the prospector would be searching for the stuff no one (or almost no one) is searching for. These deposits are effectively hiding in plain view.
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