Heavy Sands Mining
February 2013 by Bill RichLately my mind has been involved with group 4 of the transition elements, namely titanium, zirconium, and hafnium. They all have similar chemical properties. Of greatest interest to economic geologists and miners is that these valuable elements often occur together in sands.
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.
Improvements in mining equipment and techniques, along with a higher gold price, make many mining properties profitable today that may not have been in the past.
A few years ago I had a tremendous opportunity to visit Australia and hunt for gold there. The geology of the gold deposits there was somewhat different from what I was used to here in the US. I learned a lot about greenstone belt gold deposits while prospecting them in person, and it was an amazing trip.
When placer miners from the gold rush era began experimenting with the slope of their sluices, they must have pondered the ideal slope for trapping gold in a creek bed too. Logic suggests the same is true for streams...
These were the men who periodically picked up the gold amalgam from the tables and sluices in the dredge, processed it, and transported the gold ingots to the railroad express office in Alder. Their trustworthiness must have commanded a prominent wage.
We just completed a trip to another river, and yes, there was definite movement and redistribution of gravels, and other prospectors have seen this as well.
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!
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Detecting Old Pocket Diggings • Refractory Gold Processing • Detecting in the Outback • What is a Valid Mineral Discovery? • Over the Fiscal Cliff for Tax Savings • Extracting & Smelting Your Gold • Online Mining Classes Now Available at Mackay • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Feds Challenge North Idaho Mining Claims