Gold in Quartz

This is a December gold prospecting trip around Yuma Arizona.

We were searching through some tailing piles from an old mine where the miners were following gold in a quartz vein.. We were doing dry washing and some metal detecting and met up with Daniel who is looking for iron stained courts in the tailing piles to crush and hopefully extract gold from the quartz rocks.

Gold in Quartz

Arizona gold in quartz

Arizona gold in quartz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Quartz reef mining is a type of gold mining in “reefs” (veins) of quartz. Quartz is one of the most common minerals in the earth’s crust, and most quartz veins do not carry gold, but those that have gold are avidly hunted by prospectors. In the shallow, oxidized zones of quartz reef deposits, the gold occurs in its metallic state, and is easily recovered with simple equipment. Quartz reef mining played an important role in 19th century gold-mining districts such as Bendigo, VictoriaCentral Otago in New Zealand, and the California mother lode.

The gold was brought to the surface as small particles embedded in lumps of quartz. The quartz was then crushed into a fine dust by stamping batteries in a stamp mill. A stamp battery contained a row of stamps. On the bottom of each stamp was a heavy piece of iron steel. Each battery was driven by a cam shaft which was turned by a water wheel. The steel shoes went up and down between wooden guides and pounded the quartz which had been fed into steel boxes underneath the stampers. Ideally the stamping batteries would work 24 hours a day.

After crushing, the quartz was mixed with water to make mud which then ran down sloping tables, called concentrating tables. On top of these tables were copper sheets coated with mercury, which amalgamates with gold. The gold particles stuck to the mercury, and could be collected from there. In more recent times, gold has been recovered by the cyanide process, instead of using mercury-coated plates.


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1 Comment

Large Airedales · April 27, 2022 at 3:48 pm

Enjoyed the read

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