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Hello, help with Ore ID?


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First of all a big hello to everyone since its my first post in this forum.

New in prospecting, had some free time and summer here so got a pan and i ran to the mountains.

found this piece with a metal detector, at first i thought it could be silver/platinum (wishful thinking) but after cleaning it a bit and a lot of internet searching i think it might be zinc. (sphalerite?)

I don't have much knowledge with ores. Its not attracted to a magnet at all, scratch color is same as platinum but that wouldn't say much i think, zinc might be similar. There was a bit of green around the ore before cleaning so at first i thought it was copper. was surprised to find a dark silvery inside. I don't have a scale here but feels like something close to 3 pounds.

For cleaning i only used dish soap and a toothbrush and some baking soda. I used a steel brush on a drill but it was a bit hard so i removed a few mm as you can see with a cutting disc to get a clear look, then just wiped it with a towel.

These are the pics

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Nick

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Hello Diggingd its in Greek mountains, not many people go there.

Edit, after a bit of research, in the mountains here there was found gold, silver, lead, zinc, but there are also reports of platinum and palladium. There's not much individual prospecting going on here(almost none actually)

Edited by nickO
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That is petty standard looking polymetallic ore. It is probably iron, silver, lead, zinc, and some copper and gold in there too. This is what ore looks like in most mines in the southwest that paid chiefly in base metals. It is sulfur and various metals in chemical combination. 

Only an assay will tell you "what it is", but the color of the cuttings that were made when you ground that spot would tell us something. If they were black or very sooty dark it would indicate lead. If they were grey or tinted with red hues it would indicate iron. As a general rule ores that are rich in lead tend to be more rich in silver and zinc. Ores that are richer in iron tend to be richer in gold and copper. So the color of the streak might offer basis for a wild assumption about the ore.

 

 

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Bob thanks for that :)  I'd prefer keeping it as something to remember than melting it to see what it has inside.(if its not valuable) there aren't any spectrometers here! only found one in the whole area around 100km and they ask around 30-50 euro for an analysis. What do you think, should i go for it? Could i hope to get any value out of this? i could go find some more:black_knight_standing:

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7 hours ago, nickO said:

Bob thanks for that :)  I'd prefer keeping it as something to remember than melting it to see what it has inside.(if its not valuable) there aren't any spectrometers here! only found one in the whole area around 100km and they ask around 30-50 euro for an analysis. What do you think, should i go for it? Could i hope to get any value out of this? i could go find some more:black_knight_standing:

Hey Nick!

So this is how it is in the southwestern United States. I hope you can take some of it and apply to your situation...

Unless you have a few hundred tons of material and can produce more then it is not worth anything. Even if it is very rich it is worthless unless you have a steady stream of it. Metals are valuable but hunks of ore are not worth very much. The only market for ore is a metals smelter or reducer. That is the only way to turn rocks like that into money.

Miners must be able to produce hundreds of tons of material to feed a smelter. Even then a smelter will not develop a process to treat your ore unless you can guarantee big volumes for a period of time. THEN they will make an offer for your ore per ton, delivered. So one hunk of ore is worth nothing unless it is an interesting specimen or contains some rare collectable mineral. Free milling gold ore might be an exception in some cases but in general ore is worthless without a huge supply.

The stone definitely represents a learning process. They all do. So therein lies the "value". Rocks are the origin of all sciences and knowledge. As individuals we learn about the physical world one stone at a time.

A spectrometer is a useful tool. But a fire assay and or an ICP scan for a specific suite of elements is generally the first step in evaluating an ore. If you can find a few specimens you can crush, split and ship a small sample to a lab. Save the best looking piece as a specimen and use the supporting data as evidence of what it contains. You should be able to get a 28 element suite done for under $50 plus the cost of shipping to a lab. It won't make the stone more valuable but it would be a fine learning experience.

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Good information Bob. I think you got me covered :) i'll still pay a visit to that mountain again in case i find something else there. Today i spent whole day panning :D searching for placer gold. 

To be honest its not about the money, but the experience! Got some free time and i really liked hitting the mountains.

Thanks a ton and also well done, good work helping people with stuff like that

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I dought there is any economic metals in that lump.  The holes and refined metalic surface of the sample lead me to believe that this is a piece of left over furnace pour, "metallic slag" for lack of a better word.  I'm sure the folks in the foundaries have a word for it.  It is not a mother nature made mineral or rock.

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15 minutes ago, 4meter said:

I dought there is any economic metals in that lump.  The holes and refined metalic surface of the sample lead me to believe that this is a piece of left over furnace pour, "metallic slag" for lack of a better word.  I'm sure the folks in the foundaries have a word for it.  It is not a mother nature made mineral or rock.

Those were my thoughts as well. Metallic ores aren’t shot full of bubbles.

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