BLM Runs Check on Assay Services
May 2003 by Scott HarnThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently conducted a multi-year study of sixty-five assay laboratories to determine the accuracy of their testing procedures. The laboratories, all located in North America, were provided with ore samples of known concentrations without benefit of identifying the source as BLM. Payment was rendered for the service provided.
Most laboratories involved were sent 4 samples containing known values of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, and 2 samples that were complex blanks. Prices charged for assay services varied from $60, for fire assays, to $2,250 for a “tin fusion method.” In our review of the report, price did not seem to be reflected as a determining factor for accuracy. In some cases, a lower cost for service provided a more accurate assay.
The results of assays conducted are compiled in a 34-page report, including 16 pages detailing the reasons for and methods used in the study, and 18 pages of results. The volume of the report does not allow for inclusion in this publication, but ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal has made the entire document available free on our web site:
Study preface (.pdf file) 0.8MB
Study results (.pdf file) 1.0MB
Many of the results published were well within acceptable limits, but some were so far out in “left field” that utilization could be disastrous. Substantial quantities of precious metals were reported in some blanks. Some samples that contained valuable quantities of precious metals were reported as “none detected.” As a result of this report, several assay labs were barred from advertising in our publication.
BLM should be applauded for conducting this badly needed study, and hopefully they will continue this public service. The resulting report should be a valuable tool as a validation for assay services.
Swing and a Miss
A very good baseball hitter might get a hit roughly one time out of every three at-bats, but for prospectors often the results are much sparser and it may take many trips before the prospector hits a home run.
Melman on Gold & Silver
After six years of primarily sideways action, gold broke decisively to the upside by breaking above strong resistance between $1,350 and $1,400 by soaring to near $1,450 before correcting moderately.
California Wilderness Coalition and The Nature Conservancy Recruit Government Employees to Carry Out Huge Land Grab
US Geological Survey, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and California State Employees Attend Environmental Extremist Conference.
Melman on Gold & Silver
In terms of gold and silver, if this mountain of unbacked debt, now reaching several trillions of dollars, Euros, Yen or other currencies begins to truly collapse into an inflationary spiral, we will witness the onset of the mother of all precious metals bull markets.
Revisiting an Old Mine in Idaho Reaps Rewards
Our research indicated this whole area had been claimed by Newmont mining company for several years, but when the price of gold dropped they let the claims expire, and we confirmed this with the local BLM office.
Guinea Africa: Gold, Ebola, and a Monkey Barbecue
With great relief, the equipment I chose worked well, and after shoving into three days what should have been ten days of set-up and testing, we were up and running.
Beach Mining for Placer Gold
What I saw was a beach area that was just completely covered in black sand. Rubbing my hands close together like a kid in a candy store, I could not wait to get set up.
The Ball Mill • Our Readers Say • WMD Raffle Raises Funds for Lawsuit • Gold in Alabama • From the Editor • Yukon Placer Miners Fighting Extreme Discharge Limits • Picks & Pans: Red Beryl Mining—Beaver County, Utah • The Investigation • A Gold Detector Sitting in a Closet Only Finds Dust—A Potpourri of Detector Tips • Central Coast Ranges • Poll: Montana in Favor of Repealing Anti-Mining Initiative • Platinum in Laccoliths • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Looking Back • Melman on Gold & Silver