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.
When I was recently in West Africa, I got to see and play with my first, phony, Chinese knock-off metal detector.
The gold was very chunky and much of it had quartz attached. Even back then I knew that the gold was very close to its source.
Patience and persistence is the name of the game when you are detecting this way for gold, as you will have to do a lot of work preparing the ground to detect with any degree of success.
Feeling through the mud, I felt the weight and shape of what could only be gold. Throwing my hand in the water revealed a sixteen-gram nugget oozing with character.
I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.
With the high price of gold, there are many new prospectors out in the hills all over the United States, and while we would all prefer to be finding those larger nuggets, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes all that is available is nothing more than a few small flakes. The truth is, new prospectors are sprouting up all across the planet—especially in the developing nations.
Gold trapped in the cracks can be encrusted close to the walls or mixed with sand and pebbles, making the gold difficult to see and then extract. Crevicing requires a lot of patience to achieve positive results.
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