Gold Refining In The Ancient World
March 2015 by Bill RichOne thing that stood out for me is that Agricola was very specific about the type of metal or wood in the implements and vessels that were to be used.
For approximately 30 years, the mines produced good ore, some so rich it was simply sent straight to bagging, bypassing milling and loaded directly on the rail cars.
The holes were overloaded with explosives, but I didn’t know it. I was just a green mining engineer fresh out of school and told to watch as the experienced miners set the charge.
The hair stood up on the back of my neck when I saw this, especially the nice patches of wash in the bottoms of the gullies, a sure sign of an auriferous source being nearby.
It is a gemstone, and yet it is also closely associated with many types of metal ores. It's valuable itself but often points toward other valuable minerals—that is certainly something prospectors want to know more about!
One of the most important things prospectors do is work to figure out where to go prospecting. Along with understanding the basic geology and putting yourself in a favorable area, one of the things a prospector might consider in finding a location to search is the existence of mining belts also known as mineral deposit trends.
One of the first minerals most prospectors learn to recognize is quartz, because, in the right circumstances, it can be an excellent indicator mineral for prospectors. Quartz is common, easy to identify, and is often associated with gold and other valuable metal deposits.
In some places, semi-continuous sections of riverbed can easily be linked in many places to identify the path of the ancient rivers.
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