Gold stuck to rocks
Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:26 AM
I've read several sources that said a lot of times when placer gold settles it will be stuck to the larger rocks taken out of the ground because of the amount of dirt clinging to the rocks. Now, out here in NM everybody dry washes. It seems like water recovery methods work better which is why I opted to move the dirt to a stream and sluice it. Initially I was taking all rocks and dirt with me. Then I would classify at the stream. While running the classified dirt through the sluice. I would soak all the large rocks in five gallon buckets and then vigorously agitate them to remove the dirt and hopefully gold stuck to them. It was a pain in the rear but I was seeing some nice pieces of gold in my sluice. Small pieces albeit, but most weren't the flat paper thin flakes, they were actual round chunks. The last run I did I decided to skip the rocks washing part and just run the classified dirt. Well at the end of that run there were maybe two specks of gold in the sluice and not a darn thing in about a cup of black sand I had pulled out. So my question is this, is it likely that 90 percent of the gold is stuck to these rocks and that hardly any is in the actual loose dirt? Also if this is the case, then it seems really counterproductive to classify on site with the drywasher and just sling buckets of unwashed rocks on the ground as if they are useless. This is what the majority of people around here do, judging by the huge piles of rocks scattered all over the claim. Can someone with some experience please weigh in on this? Thanks guys and merry christmas
Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:06 AM
I will bet a big fat nugget I know exactly where you are prospecting.
The gold there is in reworked gravel and yes, sometimes it seems it follows the large cobbles and boulders. It likes to get stuck in caliche and those big rocks have an eggshell coating of it. Most of those rocks came up out of the caliche layer where the gold is cemented and that is why the gold is with them more than any other reason. When you expose a patch of that white caliche that is holding gold you can just beep the crap out of the little freckle sized flakes or bust it up and have a heyday drywashing it.
P.M. me. Let's get together some weekend. I have a drywasher you can try out and then you will realize why it is a lot better than hauling dirt to the river. I am through Sierra Co. almost weekly nowdays and we can have a cup of coffee and talk about it.
Edited by Bedrock Bob, 25 December 2012 - 10:07 AM.
Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:08 PM
If you're getting more gold with one method, stick to it until you find a better one.
Another idea to avoid carrying all those large rocks with you would be to wash them off into a bucket onsite, and then run the dirt from the bucket at the stream. A couple jugs with water a mortar tub from the hardware store, and a stiff brush will do wonders.
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Edited by Red_desert, 28 December 2012 - 07:51 PM.
Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:53 PM
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