Why Assaying Placer Gold Deposits Doesn't Work
October 2020 by Keith Bowen
Let’s set up a thought experiment: Suppose you had some material that ran one ounce per ton gold, which is generally considered high grade to fantastic grade depending on the circumstances.
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.
Because these crevices catch and hold gold so well, it's worthwhile to learn how they form, which ones are good for catching gold and which ones are not.
The question I had, and likely you have too, is when an old channel is cut, how far does the placer gold in the cut channel move down in a river or creek that continues to erode deeper and deeper?
Some claim they can smell gold. This may be, but when I take a whiff of gold, I smell dirt, rotten eggs, garlic or just nothing: my nose is everything but sensitive.
The placer deposits of Utah occur in two distinct types of environments. These are 1) placers found adjacent to, and derived from, gold, silver and base-metal deposits; and 2) placers found in major rivers and derived from unknown, distant sources.
Some gems can potentially poison you, make you sterile and even make you forget who you are.
There are times when being able to recognize a type of rock can make you a much more successful prospector.
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