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Placer Gold

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norcalmatt

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Post November 8th, 2010, 11:33 pm

Placer Gold

This is my first post and I would like to thank all the people that contribute information for people like myself to learn. I have been reading the posts for a couple days now and have to admit it is a lot of information to digest. I have downloaded and started reading Hoke and watched every video on lazersteve’s website.
I am a gold prospector. For years I have panned, dredged, sluiced, and metal detected for gold. I would never consider refining my gold nuggets, but I have accumulated some placer gold that I have already melted into buttons. I used cupels and a mapp gas torch to make the buttons with Boric acid as my flux. I would like to refine these placer buttons into a pure form and then pour it into molds. I do not want to do this for sale, just for my personal gain of knowledge and to have ingots of pure gold that I mined.
As I digest all the information I have read and will continue to read, are there any members that have refined placer gold? I have searched the forum and read the posts on that topic, but any advise as to witch method is best used for placer gold would be appreciated. Thanks.
Matt
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Harold_V

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Post November 9th, 2010, 1:53 am

Re: Placer Gold

Placer gold was included in the gold I processed over many years.

A great deal depends on the nature of the gold, as far as how it is best processed. One of my customers was recovering very finely divided placer gold with mercury, then retorting. I received large donuts of gold that ran in the neighborhood of 5 to ten ounces. They were chiefly gold (about 94%), so simply dissolving in AR was acceptable. However, as the percentage of silver escalates, that becomes troublesome, especially if the gold has been melted.

If you have a rough idea of the fineness of your gold, it's easy to process, although it may have to be melted, and more silver added. You will learn about this process (inquartation) by reading Hoke's book, which I strongly advise before you even consider attempting to do any refining. There is much you must know to stay out of trouble, and it's almost all in her book.

Welcome to the forum.

Harold
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Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.
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butcher

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Post November 9th, 2010, 6:14 am

Re: Placer Gold

norcalmatt,

viewtopic.php?f=61&t=6902&p=61882#p61882

check out Phil dreamers inquartation notes (an overveiw of some of the process) he put together while making this button from placer gold.
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norcalmatt

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Post November 9th, 2010, 11:32 am

Re: Placer Gold

Thanks for the welcome and your replies. I have read about half way through Hoke's book and hope to find time to finish it up tonight and then re-read it a few more times in the coming days.
I will check the purity on a Mizar M24 gold tester today and post my results of the dore buttons in this thread. I gave the placer gold a bath in Nitric Acid (purchased from the local gold mining store) prior to melting it into buttons. If the buttons or over 94% pure, it does not need to be inquartated and can be dissolved directly in the AR?
Also, can the HCL (muratic acid) used for the AR be common pool type or do I need to get a better solution from a lab supply store?
I really like the list that Phildreamer put together!
Matt

UDATE: Most of the dore buttons tested at greater than 22k, but 2 of the buttons tested at greater than 18k.
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Harold_V

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Post November 10th, 2010, 5:01 am

Re: Placer Gold

Yes, you should be able to use the HCl you mentioned. It may be lower in concentration, but so long as it has no buffers, I can't imagine you'd have any problems. May require a different ratio of nitric/HCl due to the lower concentration.

On the subject of buffers, the only HCl I've ever seen that had buffers also enjoyed a rather dark brown color, so if that which you have at your disposal is clear, or nearly clear, it's likely fine. Read the label! :-)

If some of the buttons test greater than 22K, and the number of them is greater than those that test above 18K, it's possible you can combine them, pour cornflakes and dissolve them directly with AR. Also, if some of them have a distinct green cast, don't combine them with the others. That's a good sign they're high in silver, so they may require inquartation unless you have a much greater volume of the higher karat type.

I advise you not undertake this until you have a little experience with gold solutions, however. It's not that it's difficult, but until you are familiar with the reactions, and what to do when something goes awry, you may get frustrated to beat hell when the silver starts giving you some grief.

Keep reading Hoke----and do so until what she tells you makes sense.

Harold
You are what you write.
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.
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norcalmatt

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Post November 10th, 2010, 8:57 pm

Re: Placer Gold

Thanks for the advise Harold. I ordered a real copy of Hoke's book today from Gesswein, thanks to the post in the data area of the forum that referenced the sale of the book (post title "In Home Refining"). It is pretty expensive at Amazon. I like to have the real thing and put tabs and such (also, my couch is much more comfortable than my computer desk). Then I can print out pages from the book download that I will need to reference at the working table with highlights and underlining and handwritten notes.
I will start out small scale and try a small button of less than a quarter of an ounce and see how it turns out. I also have some 10 and 14 karat gold scrap from detecting. I plan to inquart that material with silver and refine from there. Is it better to inquart with 90% coinage or .999 bullion silver from a beginner standpoint?
I am sure having a lot of fun learning about all of this. Thanks to all the people that contribute there knowledge and experience. Take care.
Matt
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Harold_V

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Post November 11th, 2010, 1:06 am

Re: Placer Gold

norcalmatt wrote: Is it better to inquart with 90% coinage or .999 bullion silver from a beginner standpoint?

Makes no real difference. As long as you get the gold content down around 25%, either should work well. Do be advised, it takes about three times as much nitric to dissolve an equal amount of copper as compared to silver, so using silver is the best choice. Hoke made reference to using brass for inquartation, but I suggest you avoid doing so, for if you aren't sure about the content, it can contain lead, or even aluminum. Both yield problems for the refiner.

My choice was always silver, and I used to use anything I could get my hands on, including coinage (lots of old Canadian silver coins were processed), along with scrap sterling. Any US silver coins that may have been submitted were weighed out and kept, returning silver crystal. They are a great way to store silver, for they are readily recognized, and are in small units, making it easy to barter for a loaf of bread when things get tough.

Considering dissolving silver was the first step in refining, using scrap silver to inquart served a dual purpose. You might consider looking in to processing silver in the near future. They really do go hand in hand.

Harold

edit:
A good decision you made in buying Hoke's book. It will prove to be one of the smartest investments you will make. It, alone, allowed me to retire at age 54. 8)
You are what you write.
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.
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goldsilverpro

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Post November 11th, 2010, 8:53 am

Re: Placer Gold

Here's the link for the Hoke book from Gesswein that Harold originally found. At $55, it's the best price out there.

http://www.gesswein.com/catalog/catalog ... N=30985426

Legend has good deals on some of their books. In this link, the first two on the page are about the best assay books available and the prices are great. Rose's, "Metallurgy of Gold," is excellent and at $30, it is a steal. Note, though, that they want $76 for the Hoke book, which is a typical price for most places.

http://www.lmine.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?S ... e=assaying
GoldSilverPro's eBook For Sale. viewtopic.php?f=84&t=5810
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A pocketful of theory and $3 will buy you a cup of coffee almost anywhere.
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norcalmatt

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Post November 11th, 2010, 11:06 pm

Re: Placer Gold

Thanks for the good advise again. I have decided to refine a small lot of scrap silver first. All the items combined weigh under an ounce. I need to get all the things together for the process and I already have the Nitric. I assume that the 67% is acceptable. I'll post the results when I am complete. I hope to have some time to do the refining this weekend if I am not out getting some gold nuggets.
I bought GSP's book online today and hope to have it read tonight and tomorrow. I have ordered from Legend in the past, but next order I will include the above mentioned books.
I feel like I am getting a good understanding of these processes now and can't wait to refine the silver this weekend. Then I plan to use my refined silver to inquart a small amount of gold equal to the proportions mentioned in Hoke's book. This is fun.
Matt
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nickvc

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Post November 12th, 2010, 3:26 am

Re: Placer Gold

Matt
You seem to be getting your head round all the information your been given and I like your idea to start small and use a simple silver refining process to get your hand in. May I suggest when you have your fine silver you use it with some of the bits of karat items you found as you can work out exactly how much silver you will need for inquartation and have a good idea how much fine gold to expect,allow for your 14k to be 13.5k and 10k to be 9.5k and you should be able to see how successful your refining is.
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Oz

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Post November 12th, 2010, 3:43 am

Re: Placer Gold

norcalmatt wrote: I need to get all the things together for the process and I already have the Nitric. I assume that the 67% is acceptable.


Yes it is acceptable but be sure to dilute it with an equal portion of distilled water when digesting silver.
Debt is real, equity is opinion.
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4metals

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Post November 12th, 2010, 10:56 am

Re: Placer Gold

When digesting silver make sure the water you use with the nitric acid is chloride free. Chlorine in the water can cause your reaction with the silver to skin over with AgCl and freeze up.

Either buy distilled water or add a few drops of silver nitrate solution to your chlorinated tap water. The chlorine in the water will form a cloud in the water when it mixes with the silver, forming silver chloride. Continue adding SMALL increments of AgNO3 until no more cloud forms. Then let the silver chloride settle for a few days. (In the tap water in New York City, dissolving 1 gram of fine silver in a few milliliters of nitric and water effectively treats 120 gallons) The water on top is chloride free and can be used with your nitric (always add acid to water, never water to acid). This is a cheap and effective way to get chloride free water, a trick I learned reading a very old assayers text written in the days before resin columns were around.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
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HAuCl4

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Post November 12th, 2010, 11:19 am

Re: Placer Gold

It's also a good way to clean cheap grade nitric acid from chlorides, instead of buying lab grade.
"Platinum is the only metal fit for a King". King Louis XV of France
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blueduck

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Post January 1st, 2011, 6:12 pm

Re: Placer Gold

goldsilverpro wrote:...... Rose's, "Metallurgy of Gold," is excellent and at $30, it is a steal..........


if you want to read it first before buying a copy, it is available online at American Library and you could also download it in various forms from there as well. though it is the 6th edition if i read it correctly and not the 7th..... dont know if that makes a difference or not.

William
Idaho
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goldsilverpro

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Post January 1st, 2011, 7:21 pm

Re: Placer Gold

Some material has been added in the later editions, some has been removed, and some has been changed. There are quite a few differences from edition to edition.
GoldSilverPro's eBook For Sale. viewtopic.php?f=84&t=5810
________________________
"The refiner is always the last liar." Louis Labash, 1979
________________________
A pocketful of theory and $3 will buy you a cup of coffee almost anywhere.

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