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Crushed Lode Gold...

Skully Dog

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Today I had my first experience with lode gold from a rock crusher. First off it is very muddy. Secondly, it seems to have a lot of heavy fools gold in it. My only experience with fools gold was with river gold, and it just washed away. It was obvious what it was. - But with this crushed lode stuff, I'm just not sure. I ran some +30 through my finishing sluice, and the value mat...the first black mat seems to have a lot of gold in it...but it seems to shiny. Some of it looks like the gold I'm used to seeing, and some seems just too pretty. Would fools gold flush through the sluice or stay in the mat?

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" Fools Gold " can have real Gold locked up in it along with other heavey's and it would hang up in a sluice

and depending on what and how much you may not be able to separate them.

Ore of this type can in some cases be "Roasted " to separate the Gold from the iron sulphide; it can also

grade into a refactory grade ore that has to be "Milled" in order to free the Gold from it.

Take some of that grushed ore and grush it very find, then pan it out and see what you have,

then take whats left and put it in a cast iron skillet ( NOT one you will ever use to cook in ! )

and roast the ore over a high flame for at least 30 to 40 min.s ( 300 deg.s or more ) and then pan that

down and see if you freed up any of the locked up values. Warning this MUST be done outdoors and

stay upwind from it because you are driving off some very nasty stuff.

In some cases you may have to cook it a little longer. Refactory ores are normally beyond small scale miners

to treat on any volume and make any money at it. There are millions of tons of ores of this type that have

stopped the small miner in his tracks and forced them to just walk away and start all over so don't feel to

bad if your one more to join there ranks.

Action Mining has come out with an oven to cook this type ore if you have the money and ore to go that way!

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I take it this must be fine gold. There are several ways you can tell what is gold and what is pyrite.

1. A 20x glass is a must for hard rock mining. When looking at the panned material with a glass you will see a distinct difference between the gold and pyrite, assuming both are present. Also, pyrite will have a geometric form and the color will appear to change when looked at from different angles. Gold will have a more irregular shape and and the color will remain the same when looked at from all angles.

2. You can form the panned material into a tail along the edge of the flat bottom of the pan. The gold will be at the end of the tail and the pyrite at the head.

3. A nitric acid bath will dissolve the pyrite and leave the gold.

4. Mercury is another way that you could tell for sure what is gold and what is pyrite.

Nitric acid and mercury aren't that horribly dangerous as long as you are careful. With mercury the main rules are don't let it escape into the environment, don't touch it without rubber gloves, and don't heat it up unless it's in a retort.

I use a rod mill to crush my ore and allow water to flow through the mill so it carries away all of the silt and leaves only a small amount to pan after the batch is run. A mill of this type pulverizes the pyrite and liberates any gold. The pyrite is brittle and will eventually dissolve so it's pretty much only gold and finely crushed rock when the crushing process is done.

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