How to Recognize Hard Rock Gold Ores
September 2017 by Chris Ralph
I regularly get inquiries along the line of: “Hey, I found this rock, and I think it might be gold ore. How can I tell?” Prospectors are always on the lookout for gold-bearing rocks that may be the source of any nearby placer gold.
Prospectors have many reasons why they might want to break rocks. These include dividing up a specimen too large to carry.
The first thing a person should do is seriously consider whether they want to go mining as a hobby or a business, and the tax implications of the choice.
Even if you are not ready to cash in right now, it might be good to evaluate your options and make a plan of action so when that day comes you know exactly what to do.
• How do I separate silver from lead ore?
I love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.
Last month, one of our readers requested an article regarding the possible use of Google Earth for prospecting research. It was a good idea, so here it is.
The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask The Experts - Where can I get geological maps? • Ask The Experts - What happens to gold during flash flooding in dry areas? • Ask The Experts - How do gold and silver stocks react in market crashes? • Ask The Experts - I need help with more in-depth mining research • Ask The Experts - Is this gold? • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Entry-Level Metal Detectors for Gold Prospecting • MMAC Update • Nice Specimen Gold Recovered in Northern California • The Coeur Rochester Mine • Detecting and Recovering Those Tiny Pieces • EPA Chief to Reconsider Paying Claims Over Mine Waste Spill • Environmental Analysis Starts for Proposed Idaho Gold Mine • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices