Small-Scale Processing of Hard Rock Ores
December 2014 by Chris RalphDepending on the ore and if significant sulfides are present, a hard rock miner may be able to get away with simply using a flux to digest the other minerals that may be present.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
With the exception of well-established operators with proven reserves and years of field experience, the high price of gold brought a flood of speculators, con men, and real estate brokers into the mix who were not previously engaged in the gold mining market.
Every Spanish village seems to hold their pride in one unique area of expertise. Pamplona has its bulls, Barcelona its architecture, and gold panning belongs to Navelgas.
Old mine workings and tailing piles can represent opportunities on many levels, from the chance to simply find a nugget on up to the commercial reworking of the old tailings for profit.
Depending on the ore and if significant sulfides are present, a hard rock miner may be able to get away with simply using a flux to digest the other minerals that may be present.
Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.
After a while I got a very nice signal and out came a sweet kidney-shaped bit of gold weighing about three grams.
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