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Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: IdahoGoldGettR
Date: February 20, 2011 10:41PM
I have taken a moment to share with others as to how I spend my late fall & winter months preparing for "black sand gold recovery." Though I do classify my gravels during the Summer and keep them in storage, the final process is saved for the cabin fever days. This segment begins with classifying the sand gravels to black sands. After which they soak in a salt solution, heated on a stove and then submerged in ice water. Though not all black sands contain in cased gold, the only way to know for sure is to follow through with this process. The end result could prove there is gold within.
As seen in the photos, I first classify the material through a smaller (shrimp strainer) mesh. Any mesh smaller than a 1/4 inch will suffice. Because there is more black sand then stone, I only pan about one to two cups at a time. Once the material is washed through into the Garrett pan, the left over rocks are then dried and looked through at a later time. I now move over to a large metal tub with a solution of water and soap. The soap is an added protection against the possible loss of floating particle gold. Here, the light sand gravels are filtered from the black sand. After cleansing these gravels to a color of black, I then place these in a salt water solution bucket. My salt formula consists of 1 cup salt to 1 gallon of water. These black sands will remain in this bucket for a period of 3 days. When this soaking period is complete, transfer these sands to a wood stove (camping stove, grill or any other heat source of choice will do). It is important to not only dry the black sands but to "roast" them to a scorching hot degree. How hot is scorching? To best describe this, is if the sands crackle when entering cold water (the next procedure), then they are hot enough. It is a good idea to have a prepared bucket of cold water for this process (colder the better - combined snow or ice with water will assist in bringing this water temperature down). Now carefully remove these hot sands from their heat source and pour them slowly into this cold water bucket. Be very careful when doing this as not only will you hear the crackling sound but water may splash as well. It is here that the black encrusted minerals will release their captivity on the presence of gold. When and how you choose to recover this fine/flour gold, is up to you. It can be done immediately following this last cooling or you can dry these black sands once again and recover the gold and a more convenient time period.

Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: IdahoGoldGettR
Date: February 20, 2011 10:46PM
Here are several recent photos of my "black sand gold recovery." The processed black sands were dried for a second time (once again after heating and cold water submerge), simply for storage. Which ever the recovery method you use (blue bowl, micro sluice, or pan) only small amounts should be administered at a time. I am pretty laid back and primitive so-to-speak. Therefore, I choose to rely on my cheater glasses (something any 40+ year old will succumb to), a pan and a set of narrow tweezers. Because these black sands are very heavy, I prefer to use no more than two table spoons at a time when processing. Typically like regular panning but with less water and at a slower rate, I gently begin swirling this concentrate until some floater gold surfaces or the bottom pan fills heavily and needs removal. This bottom sand is placed into my smaller black pan. The process is repeated until all gold is removed and all black sand has been emptied from the pan. Finally, the water is drained from both the metal wash tub and the black pan. The black sands are combined and dried for the last time on a wood stove for later observation. It is at this observation that I may retrieve possible platinum tid bits or garnets. The last photo illustrates what gold can be found after several pannings. While this method works for me, it may not be for everyone. I simply prefer a cheap, not expensive method, that isn't too complex. The gold I recover through black sands is very small in comparison to the regular season but I have been told it is by no comparison to the flour gold. Therefore, I do encourage those with the latter type to use a more profient method. With today's cost of living and the continued rise in gold prices, the reward surpasses my expectation vs. doing no gold activity during a long winter cabin fever. 2 THUMBS UP^^ to those who work the black sands!

Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: IdahoGoldGettR
Date: February 20, 2011 10:49PM
As an update, I just recently panned some black sands this month and decided to post some pictures of the results. Not much (1/5th a gram or 3 grains) from 1 gallon of black sands but that equals 1 gram per 5 gallons of black sands. At recent, $44.50 per gram is in my opinion, well worth saving the black sands for winter observation. As seen in the last photo with the U.S. penny, this 'fine' black sand gold does show evidence of character. It is possible that because these are young feeder streams in higher elevation, the gold here has not traveled the distance as of the larger nearby Salmon & Snake rivers which contain the so-called flood/flour gold. No matter the size of your 'fine/flower/dust or micron' gold, they all can contribute to a prospector's vial. What better way to find such gold then to work those Summer black sands in the dead of Winter.

Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: capt.
Date: February 21, 2011 10:01AM
What an interesting post! I don't have any of that available around here but you have taught me something today. Thanks for that and good luck with the yellow stuff!!


Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: DiginInAz
Date: March 10, 2011 01:39PM
I have a lot of black sand here in AZ and know that it will be attracted to a magnet.
Do you know if the black sand encrusting the gold is still attracted to a magnet the way black sand without gold is attracted?
I am wondering if I am tossing away valuable black sand...


Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: Eagleman
Date: March 10, 2011 02:48PM
Very interesting the process you use. I found it very informative, thanks for putting on the board, spring is right around the corner. Jim

Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: plus1hdcp
Date: March 10, 2011 06:54PM
Very interesting post

Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: IdahoGoldGettR
Date: March 10, 2011 09:45PM
Thanks all. Hi Vince, your question as to whether incased/encrusted gold is magnetic or not ,,, it is not. Actually, no placer gold is magnetic. Let me explain: When a magnet is drawn over a pan of black sands and some gold adheres to the magnet, it is done so because of the static that is present. If gold was magnetic, then this process would pick up nearly all the gold instead of just some. Much of the black sands that are attracted to a magnet are merely magnetite. For those who use the magnet to process their fines, risk picking up some gold in the process. This method is basically done to reduce the amount of magnetite and leave hematite and gold behind for easier panning. Anyone who uses magnets for gathering their "black sands" will tell you they re-pan this batch for possible collected gold. I personally have experienced the above and while others may continue to use this method, I however chose not to. I am confident in my panning skills and have found no time saved with the use of the magnet. Like the saying goes, what works for some may not work for others. My hat is off to those that do. Lastly, the sands encrusted around the gold is also not magnetic, so there is no worry that you may be losing this type of "hidden" gold. Glad to hear that you save your black sands. P.S. If you are interested in more gold postings, please visit the Yank-Aussie Prospecting Forum (on this same website). Love to see you there. Cheers - Randy

Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: goldviper1971
Date: October 02, 2012 06:04PM
Thank you for the tips! I have been looking for an alternative way other than chemicals to separate flour gold from black sands. Up here in Yosemite, the gold is becoming finer everyday and harder to find. I use the blue bowl but consequently there is always black sands remaining and I will definitely give your method a try! Thank you very much!

Move thread to Prospecting forum?
Posted by: Dave J.
Date: October 02, 2012 06:45PM
Moderator, can this thread be moved to Steve's "Prospecting" forum?

--Dave J.

Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: deepseeker442
Date: October 03, 2012 05:03PM
wow nice gold wtg

Re: Processing In Cased Black Sand Gold
Posted by: comcat
Date: October 27, 2012 07:50AM
what a terrific post ,,,so interesting ,,,,best regards,,,,:ukflag:

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