Refractory Gold Processing
February 2013 by Thom Seal, PhD, PEAfter 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.
What do you do when you’ve located a promising deposit of gold or gemstones, but it’s trapped in solid rock?
When I teach people about finding gold, I often explain that it is helpful to think of any river or stream that carries gold as being something like a sluice box.
Ditches almost always started in the high country and contoured the mountainsides, making a long drop, usually many miles away, to the goldfields. There are ditches in Trinity County that originate at seven and eight thousand feet in the Trinity Alps that carried water almost thirty miles.
Fran, and I had made a practice of turning big boulders in gold producing areas to find some great rewards. Sometimes it was slow and frustrating, but in the end “We got the gold!”
As a guide to those who are thinking of taking up this activity or those who currently practice this trade, I have created a listing of the primary tools and equipment I use when nugget hunting.
Looking for nugget laden bedrock in forested mountain regions, you first need to explore the banks of the gold-bearing streams and look for the bedrock that is exposed as this is your starting point.
…in spite of the fact that the well-pounded spots probably don’t have much gold left, I see all too many prospectors hike down to a creek or other spot at the first place the road comes near it just because it’s the easiest access point.
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