Gold Sucking Leaches

by Sam
(Pennsylvania, USA)

The title of this post may lead you to conclude that we are going to discuss the government's role in interfering with your quest for the elusive metal. That is a topic for another time and even another forum.

Actually, I would like to address the use of chemical "leaching" methods for extracting gold from your ore and prospecting samples in the field to give you an instant read on whether or not your claim is viable.

The true Gold Leach isn't the government, but you wasting your time on a worthless claim and we all know how much that can cost.

Some of the most popular methods involve using cyanide solutions and other highly toxic chemicals to quantify if your finds are worth exploiting in earnest. These are problematic and are very dangerous to ourselves and the environment. I needn't go into why this is not a good idea.

There is one method however, that I believe is a good choice for the field. A test known as "Darton's" is believed to be a valuable means of detecting minute quantities of gold in rocks, ore tailings, etc.

"Small parts are chipped from all the sides of a mass of rock, amounting in all to about 1 ounce. This is powdered in a steel mortar and well mixed. About half is placed in a capacious test tube, and then the tube is partly filled with a solution made by dissolving 20 gr. of iodine and 30 gr. of potassium iodide, in about 10 ounces water. The mixture thus formed is shaken and warmed.

After all particles have subsided, dip a piece of fine White filter paper in it; allow it to remain for a moment ; then let it drain, and dry it over the spirit lamp.

It is next placed upon a piece of platinum foil held in a pincers, and heated to redness over the flame. The paper is speedily consumed; and after again heating to burn off all carbon, it is allowed to cool and is then examined. If at all purple, gold is present in the ore, and the relative amount may be approximately deduced. This method takes little time, and is trustworthy."

If platinum foil is not in your budget, you can substitute a drop of Stannous Chloride solution on the filter paper. If the paper turns purple, you have gold. Using some Standard gold testing solutions, you can quantify how much gold is in your sample and whether or not it is worth your while working.

We all have a limited amount of time on this earth. Why spend it on a useless claim you "believe" contains gold? Prove it before you commit. I hope this tip helps.

Happy Prospecting!

Stan's response: Too funny Sam. After I picked myself up off the floor laughing, I really got into the subject of leaching gold. I love this subject. This is really important stuff for serious gold prospectors.

I know for sure that some of our members are experts on this topic. I would love to read what our members have to share. Thanks for getting a great conversation started Sam.

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