ICMJ Visits Colfax, California
…there are loads of different copper minerals, but a large number of them form first in the ground as chalcopyrite and then through the effects of weathering are changed into other minerals like malachite, cuprite and chrysocolla.
Because the forces of erosion and gravity tend to carry lighter materials like quartz away more easily, the heavy minerals like gold or silver will tend to be concentrated in the general area around the vein outcrop. These concentrations are what make residual placers so attractive.
The other distinguishing feature of calcite has to do with its chemistry. Geologists sometimes take a small bottle of dilute hydrochloric acid out into the field with them because calcite reacts with acids to make a bubbly foam.
Every time we prospected here we found gold, sometimes some really coarse flakes, but no large nuggets (yet).
The placer mineral identification key is designed to answer this question. It attempts to recognize all the minerals in your gold pan concentrates.
I get a number of questions from people about testing and treating hard rock ores. The simplest way, but also an expensive one, is to just have an assay test done by an independent assay firm. As an alternative...
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