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.
The burning question I needed answered was why didn’t the deposit ever get mined of at least one of the valuable minerals? A couple of reasons have come to light.
We chatted for a bit and then we had to take off, but I kept what he said in the back of my mind as we rushed out to some other gold-bearing place in the Mother Lode to feed our gold fever.
You find yourself with a bucketful of concentrates that you have accumulated over the season and consider the logical next step: to reduce the bucket of cons to a gold bar. Where do you begin?
Looking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
Hearty trees, shrubs and plants are a product of the soil conditions in which they grow, so it makes sense that roots near an ore deposit will take on nutrients containing metals if they are present.
A large, 8-pennyweight piece popped out of a very small crevice where the water had been extremely swift in the winter, leaving no visible gravel.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Too early to build the crusher? • Ask The Experts - Time for small mine exemptions • Ask The Experts - Should I be checking the culverts for gold? • Sniping for Gold—The Next Best Thing to Dredging • Hard Rock 101: Advanced Micro Blasting • Now Is The Time For Exploration • Gold in Unlikely Places—And 'Eating Crow' • From Iowa to Alaska—How I Became A Gold Miner • Jamestown and Our Mother Lode Gold Rush Adventures • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Those Blasted Boulders! • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices