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2 people online in the last 1 minutes - 0 members, 0 anon and 2 guests. (Most ever was 29 at 13:36:32 Sat Aug 3 2002)

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baub
08:12:11 Sat
Jun 13 2009

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Hard Rocker Question

I have little experience in hard rock mining. However I've noticed an odd thing happening in 3 different samples that I crushed and ran over an RP-4 table.
In all 3 cases the gold was released, appeared to be very small and bronze colored. After panning the cons down , I tried to flatten the gold with a mortar and pestle out of curiousity. Instead of flattening, the gold got smaller and smaller, with few of the grains flattening.
My question is, does this happen with all, or much, hard rock gold? Is there another mineral that this could be ? The material I crushed was quartz, gathered downstream from an old mine dump in one area and quartz fragments from 2 exposed veins in another area about 35 miles away. These materials were the heaviest materials on the table, with classic gold coloring. It was also sharp and bright.. I placed a bit of one sample in muriatic acid, about 30 percent HCL, and the goldish material remained after several hours. I didn't try dowsing tho. Would If I'de thought about it.

Any help would be appreciated,

b

  
centennial
23:42:33 Sat
Jun 13 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

It sounds like youve got iron pyrites (fools gold) , gold is very malable and will flatten out if you bash it. Pyrites is quite heavy, bronzie gold colour and brittle and youll often find it when you crush quartz from old mines. It is often in small square crystal shapes.
Keep looking where theres pyrites theirs probably gold

  
Coeur_D_Alene
04:34:48 Sun
Jun 14 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Baub: You will need to send a sample of your cons off and have them assayed gold can be carried with the pyrites and some times they will run very high, enough to be mined profitablely .

Vance in Idaho

  
Manicminer
05:35:24 Sun
Jun 14 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Post a photo or 2 of it.

  
baub
16:37:33 Sun
Jun 14 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

I don't have a good camera setup for close ups, darn it. Money is extremely tight so they will have to wait a bit for an assay. I use Chris Chrstofferson in Kellogg, Id. He's pretty good.
There are some small square shaped particles in these samples and bronze colored. I retried crushing and 1 sample does flatten fairly well, another just went to micropowder.

Thanks Dan, Manic Miner, Vance and Centennial for your responses and help.

Baub in Indiana and Idaho

  
allanwcoty
02:44:36 Mon
Jun 15 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

What size are you crushing too? I've had several samples that I crushed to -100 mesh and then tried to pan. I ended up with a floating brown/black scum that I thought was some contaminating oil or somesuch till I dried it and put it under the microscope. Looks to be sulfides floating on the water. Not sure but would probably float to the tailings on the RP4. Have what you collect assayed and watch for the floaties. Have a great day. allan

  
baub
09:31:00 Mon
Jun 15 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Alan,

I crushed some to perhaps -250 or so. After doing so I did notice a brown scum when I panned it further. I thought it might be an iron compound floating off. Will need to get more familiar with gold sulphites too.
There may be some money coming in shortly and will send the shiny culprits in for analysis.

Thanks Alan,

b

  
gpg
03:35:27 Tue
Jun 16 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

micropowder-pyrite-not gold. Flattened pretty well? As in flattened sort of but if I nudged it it fell apart? not gold. (Yeah, maybe some in it, good luck)
I'm only skeptical because I've fooled around with lots of stuff that "might be gold" or "have some gold in it", or "looks like gold". Be vewwy, vewwy skweptical. Saves on disappointment. Gold, even through a loop or microscope looks undeniably like GOLD. (Yeah i know there are exceptions but for a novice hard rocker, he needs to know the easy stuff hands down first.) Not trying to discourage, i'm a hard rocker, and figuring out the puzzle is the challenge. Just be willing to admit, "that ain't gold". As much as I'd like it to be.
[1 edits; Last edit by gpg at 03:37:52 Tue Jun 16 2009]

  
centennial
06:27:50 Tue
Jun 16 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Mate if you not seeing gold when you crush and pan it dont waste your money with assays.
Assays may tell you if you have micron sized gold attatched to the pyrites but you would need to treat the ore with flotation , roasting and a CIP plant to extract it so if you havent got a few hundred thousand tons of the ore its not really worth it.
Just keep crushing samples and panning. youll know when you see some gold in there.
Cheers Laurie

  
popandsonminers
19:15:27 Tue
Jun 16 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

I agree with the others, here: crush it and pan it and look for the gold- if it's practical to get it with a simple recovery circuit, you'll see it. If you can't see it but it gives good assays, it's beyond the capabilities of the "small guy" to process it in any quantity- you need to send it to a commercial mill and there aren't too many of those around.

We've taken small grab samples from a known, rich vein and crushed and panned it: no gold, even thru the microscope. But, if you gather a 5 gallon bucket of ore from different areas of the vein, you increase the chance of actually getting some ore with gold in it. Crush (50-200 mesh depending on your pulverizer) and run it thru a standard little expanded mesh clean-up sluice, you will get a high percentage of the free gold from the 5 gallons of ore. It may be just a few grains (not grams), but it will show up nicely as a line in the crease of the pan. We get some gold as small as minus 325 mesh with a 3" P&S sluice.

Free gold distribution in the vein is often spotty. The geologosts say the vein where we work has 2 or 3 generations of quartz, and only one is rich, but you can't tell which one by just looking at it.

Good luck and we're looking forward to your future progress reports----


  
baub
16:24:37 Wed
Jun 17 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

That sounds like great advise guys. Very little of what I've crushed to date, behaves like gold. What puzzles me is that it looks so much like gold under a microscope.
I have a plan of operation pending to take some larger samples. This might help because of the volume.

Thanks GPG, Centennial, Pops and Son and also Megan, who passed on the idea of using a mortar and pestle to agglomerize ? the small gold into larger pieces that are easier to see. It did work, both for gold and a silvery metal, maybe silver or lead etc.

b

  
baub
19:00:28 Mon
Jul 6 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

I sent one sample of my GOLD into get analized and the initial assay came back as iron pyrites. Multielement scan to follow.
This is good news, altho not the news I wanted.

Thanks for all the help and ideas, folks.

b

  
Steppegold2
21:12:04 Wed
Jul 8 2009

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Good pics of gold - without a camera!

Baub - photographing small bits of gold is very difficult with a camera. One idea is to forget the camera, and put the gold on an office scanner and see what happens. After a few failures, I eventually got bogglingly good results - VERY SHARP FOCUS and GOOD DEPTH OF FIELD.

Hope this helps.

Steppe
[1 edits; Last edit by Steppegold2 at 21:13:44 Wed Jul 8 2009]

  
baub
14:43:50 Sat
Jul 11 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Steppe, now there's an original idea !! Glad to have you back.
Geo, I tried it and it worked. Most of the material that was left was magnetic with a little gold. I then pushed the envelope a bit by borax as a flux. I ended up with a mess and threw it away. As this was an afterthought, better prep next time might make a difference.

Bottom line is minimal gold and max iron with the samples taken so far. By expanding the amount of material and heat used to do this, one could duplicate a modest roasting setup to serarate the iron and then mag it off. It was easy to get the ore down to mostly pyrites and gold. The next time or two that I go West, I'll try to process a large sample base of a ton or two, gathered from several spots on the claim.

Thanks very much for your help gents,

b

  
Dan_Wasson
20:09:09 Sat
Jul 11 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

baub,
If you are going to try that again, with the borax, you need a cone mold to pour into. The borax will help float the iron and other stuff away from the gold, but you also need to use gravity to best advantage.

  
baub
20:12:48 Fri
Jul 17 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Thanks Dan. I'm running out of spoons.

b

  
Dan_Wasson
23:49:05 Fri
Jul 17 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

If you can weld, or have someone who can, you can make a passable mold with some angle iron. Not really as good as an actual cone mold, but for small tests it will work better than nothing. Weld the seams on the end well, and then grind smooth so that there isn't anything to catch on and stick your material. Make your end caps a few inches longer than your angle is wide and you will also have built in legs.

Save the spoons for eating the stew around the camp fire

  
Art_Corbit
17:58:39 Mon
Jul 20 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Baub,

If you can come up with a little Nitric Acid crus some of this up as fine as you can and cover it with Nitric. If it is Iron Pyrite the Nitric will burn it off and anything left that's yellow will be gold. The HCL doesn't work very well unless you roast the heck out of the crushed sample first.

You said that some of it crushed up finer and some of it flattened out. Pyrite won't flatten so you can be sure if it's yellow and soft it's gold. Like someone else here said just because you may have mostly pyrite does not mean there couldn't be a good amount of gold too.

Now be careful if it is pyrite when the Nitric hits it there will be a lot of boiling. Be sure you have it in a glass container large enough that it won't boil over. It will also get real hot real quick and the hotter it gets the more it will boil. Once the pyrite, Iron, Copper, Silver and other junk metals are dissolved just let it set a little while and then pour the acid off through a coffee filter.

I tested some samples the other day from Northern California that was loaded with Pyrite. Even under a microscope you can't tell the difference in Gold and Pyrite if it's real fine.

Art

  
Art_Corbit
18:14:02 Mon
Jul 20 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Baub,

You can make you a real good microscopic camera out of a cheap web can and a small loop. I use a 17X loop snapped on the from of my web cam. I have the web cam mounted on the frame of a cheap kids microscope. It magnifies to about 100X and with good light it takes real good pictures. You want to use as white a light as you can get. in a yellow light everything looks like gold. I use a white very bright LED light that plugs into the USB port of my puter.

You can also buy a cheap microscope that is fitted with a web cam to take magnified pictures. If you want to send me an email and I'll send you come pictures I took with my setup. artcorbit@cox.net

Art

  
LipCa
05:24:09 Wed
Jul 22 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

A lot of ore will carry lead. It will flatten too but will not look like gold.

  
baub
13:05:05 Thu
Jul 23 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Dan,

The angle iron mold looks feasible. May farm that out to a local welder and then grind and blast the mold.

Art,

Thanks for the details about the acids. I'll be careful.
I've run out of material for testing. I may get out West again next month if work picks up. I'm an owner/operator so I have some leeway about scheduling.
The camera and the lite tips are very clever ! I've noticed the effect most lite has on cons, everything is gold when wet ! The led lite should cure that.
We have our place up for sale here and when we move, one of the first things we'll do after settling in, is buy a better, more modern computer. I REALLY get tired turning the crank.

Thanks folks for the ideas and tips. There is a tremendous body of practical and theoretical knowledge on this site.

Thank you Jim !!

b

  
baub
13:13:38 Thu
Jul 23 2009

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Re: Hard Rocker Question

Lip, I have a very special kind of platinum that I find most places I go. It's soft and easily crushed by pliers. Many people have told me that this is lead. Hah ! I am POSITIVE this is merely unripened platinum.
Bad jokes aside, thanks for tip. I have been fooled a few times by lead. One area in the middle of nowhere had mucho lead in the cons. A local filled me in on the fact that it was a bird hunters paradise, hence the lil tiny shot I panned. Your post reminds me to carry some pliers with me for checking the "platinum" I find.
Thanks Lip.

b

  

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