Natural Gold Alloys
March 2014 by Chris RalphNatural gold is never 100% pure; all natural nuggets contain at least some impurities. We're going to take a look at just what some of those impurities might be.
The majority of the gold produced in Goldfield has come from ores that are close enough to the surface to be oxidized by the air. This oxidized ore is normally a soft, shattered, earthy material usually stained yellow to brown by oxides of iron.
In 1967, a local resident showed me a pouch of small gold nuggets and flakes. Several years later I asked the same person where that gold was found. He responded, “From the streambed below the old stamp mill at Apex.”
Gold is a fairly widespread mineral in the Italian Alps and in the Northern Apennines. It is found both in primary mineralization and in past and recent floods.
Even as late as 1906, Delamar was second only to Tonopah and Goldfield in production outshining many better known areas. Since the first discoveries, more than 700,000 ounces of gold have been produced from the mines here.
The areas that were mineralized with the bedded ore were huge and vast tonnages were indicated, although they had no idea at the time.
For more than 40 years, iron ore prices have been decided by private negotiations conducted between the largest of the iron miners and the largest steel producers. These two sides dominate both the spot and contract iron ore markets.
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.
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