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  1. #21
    ca
    Feb 2007
    Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
    A Compass Magnum 420 recently brought back to life. And an untested "in the wild" Teknetics.
    512

    Re: black sand clean up

    Quote Originally Posted by nebraskadad
    FWIW, You all need to get a copy of the latest ICMJ magazine.. The "best suggestion" in the article comes down to one thing. Classify, CLASSify, CLASSIFY!!

    You can classify from 12 mesh down to 30 mesh then 100 mesh use a magnet, then tumbler the blacksands in an acidic solution, then put in a bluebowl that is as good as it gets without playing with mercury.
    Thanks for the input nebraskadad.

    Personally I don't usually classify that much and when I do, its at the end of the day done over a tub, so I don't loose the black sands. We have small gold in the area I normally pan, mostly flakes and flour gold with pinhead sized platinum nuggets that are pretty easy to pick out when finish panning. Strangely enough I've never found any "flake" platinum. And of course are tellurides, (salts, like Calaverite), containing gold and platinum, (I think thats right, but I'm no chemist), mixed in with the black sand.

    If you've got an idea of what your black sands contain, in most cases, you really don't need mercury. Small scale smelting isn't that hard if you have some basic equipment and can turn out some high grade gold cheaply. The basics on that are on these pages:

    http://www.prospectorsparadise.com/html/smelting.html
    http://www.prospectorsparadise.com/html/black_sand.html
    http://www.prospectorsparadise.com/html/assaying.html
    When you think you have assaying down, try colorimetric assay:
    http://www.prospectorsparadise.com/h...orimetric.html

    Three things about the above website.
    1) Your better off reading everything, as the pages aren't well ordered IMHO.
    2) Follow all warnings when handling chemicals, (some of them can cause injury, or death).
    3) If you must learn anything, make sure you learn about Acids and Bases on this page:
    http://www.prospectorsparadise.com/html/acids.html

    On the above page, there is an interesting comment about the use of nitric acid being used to clean up gold. Suffice to say, DON'T DO IT! At least not until you have read what it says about 3/4 of the way down the page under the section titled: "Things That You Can Use Acids and Bases For".

    Further down the same page is a section titled: "Dealing with black sand" that should be of interest to all gold panners, but read the whole page so you know what concentrations of acid to use.

    And lastly, while the site above refers to "Basement" Chemistry, I wouldn't do any of this stuff in a confined place.

    F.
    Quote of Sir Joshua Reynolds': "There is no expedient, to which a man will not resort; to avoid the real labor, of thinking."

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  3. #22

    Apr 2007
    28

    Re: black sand clean up

    I too heard about Nitric, but not for clean up, but for testing...to my understanding, it will "eat" fools gold but will do nothing to real gold.
    I was able to get some at a jeweler, they use a knife sharpening stone to rub the ring across, then they put one drop of nitric on it to test to see if the jewelry is real or plate.The jeweler I went to had gone to the more advanced ultrasonic tester, so he sold me his old test kit.
    But like others have said...be very careful, it can cause some serious injuries to your skin if you come in contact with it

  4. #23

    Aug 2007
    Pennsylvania
    16

    Re: black sand clean up

    I'm not as experienced in the chemical end as some who have responded, but, I'll tell you how I separate my ultra-fine gold from black sand.....

    I bought plans for a roller mill that is about the size of a five gallon bucket (maybe a little bigger) that I run all my black sand through once I get all the gold out of it that I can..... I bought the plans on eBay and they claimed that it would reduce to about 600 mesh. In actuality it only reduced to just under 400 mesh, but since I have to use a microscope, that's small enough for me....

    I bought a professional "sonic" jewelry cleaner on eBay for $80.00 and I put my black sand in it about 1/2 cup at a time (it holds a little over a cup and a half) and keep adding the crushed black sand every hour or so, letting the excess flow over (add by the table spoon into the center, as soon as it goes flat add another table spoon)...... The sizmic action keeps the heavies in the -400 mesh material moving to the bottem... I ran about 4 - 4 1/2 gallon of rich black sand and ended up seeing gold on top when I stopped. The gold actually filled the container......

    The black sand that was left I proessed in a rock tumbler w/ about 1/4 oz. of mercury for about 2 hours / load (this is a 45lb. tumbler)... I heated the nitric acid in a pyrex dish and added the butten from the mercury press to it and after the smoke cleared I had hardly any gold...... I usually got a nice gold butten when processing with mercury and nitric acid.... What I found is that crushing your black sand below 400 mesh and using the sonic jewelry cleaner removed almost ALL gold in the black sand..... I probably would have had to run at least 50 gallon of black sand to even get a 1/4 oz. of gold after what the jewelry cleaner settled out....

    What's in the jewelry cleaner isn't pure, there's still black sand (unless you keep adding until all you see is gold, but then I'm sure you would still have a tiny bit & you would loose gold in the overflow) plus other impurities like platnum, silver, copper, zinc etc., but it's as pure as you'll ever get it.....

    That's just how I process mine, lots of other people on here have other great ideas that may work as well (I just don't use chemicals anymore, not worth it for what I miss)..... If I could get my roller mill to chush the material below 600 or 800 mesh I think I could get 100% (or close to it) of the micro gold with out chemicals...

    Good luck and hope your pan is always lined in Gold....

    Coyote....
    Political Jokes are not funny, but, they usually get a whole lot more offensive when they take office.....

  5. #24

    Jan 2007
    McAlester, Okla
    whites, Garrett.and Tesoro
    14
    1 times

    Re: black sand clean up

    Coyote... What model of ultra sonic cleaner are you useing. I have looked at several for sale on the net. And I would like to try one like you have. Buck
    staci likes this.
    Be sure your right, then go a head.  Davy Crockett

  6. #25

    May 2005
    35

    Re: black sand clean up

    That ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is a good idea. Like Buck, I'd like to know what model you use so I can check it's results against my green bowl.

    Here's a cheaper way to clean the blacksands instead of using nitric acid. Disolve plain uniodized salt in warm distilled vinager. Add the solution to the blacksands and agitate them periodicly. Does a great job of removing the free iron, zinc and other contaminants.

    Another idea is plain bleach.


    Chuck


  7. #26

    Aug 2007
    Pennsylvania
    16

    Re: black sand clean up

    Quote Originally Posted by wpareig
    I'm not as experienced in the chemical end as some who have responded, but, I'll tell you how I separate my ultra-fine gold from black sand.....

    I bought plans for a roller mill that is about the size of a five gallon bucket (maybe a little bigger) that I run all my black sand through once I get all the gold out of it that I can..... I bought the plans on eBay and they claimed that it would reduce to about 600 mesh. In actuality it only reduced to just under 400 mesh, but since I have to use a microscope, that's small enough for me....

    I bought a professional "sonic" jewelry cleaner on eBay for $80.00 and I put my black sand in it about 1/2 cup at a time (it holds a little over a cup and a half) and keep adding the crushed black sand every hour or so, letting the excess flow over (add by the table spoon into the center, as soon as it goes flat add another table spoon)...... The sizmic action keeps the heavies in the -400 mesh material moving to the bottem... I ran about 4 - 4 1/2 gallon of rich black sand and ended up seeing gold on top when I stopped. The gold actually filled the container......

    The black sand that was left I proessed in a rock tumbler w/ about 1/4 oz. of mercury for about 2 hours / load (this is a 45lb. tumbler)... I heated the nitric acid in a pyrex dish and added the butten from the mercury press to it and after the smoke cleared I had hardly any gold...... I usually got a nice gold butten when processing with mercury and nitric acid.... What I found is that crushing your black sand below 400 mesh and using the sonic jewelry cleaner removed almost ALL gold in the black sand..... I probably would have had to run at least 50 gallon of black sand to even get a 1/4 oz. of gold after what the jewelry cleaner settled out....

    What's in the jewelry cleaner isn't pure, there's still black sand (unless you keep adding until all you see is gold, but then I'm sure you would still have a tiny bit & you would loose gold in the overflow) plus other impurities like platnum, silver, copper, zinc etc., but it's as pure as you'll ever get it.....

    That's just how I process mine, lots of other people on here have other great ideas that may work as well (I just don't use chemicals anymore, not worth it for what I miss)..... If I could get my roller mill to chush the material below 600 or 800 mesh I think I could get 100% (or close to it) of the micro gold with out chemicals...

    Good luck and hope your pan is always lined in Gold....

    Coyote....
    I'm sorry, I haven't been on in a while. I noticed a few PM's and question as to the type of Ultra sonic cleaner I use..........

    I use 2 models, both for the same reason.... De Gassing Properties. I had been using the one I got from ebay & found the company had a model that worked even better for me.... Both not only de-gas but both have very controlled heating properties (for some reason I get better recovery from the heated solution than running cold....

    They are (my favorite) the Elmasonic S in Autodegas / degasing mode @ 37khz & 65o C. on sweep / degas and the x-tra 70 H at a frequency of 5.6 A and temp of around 65 C. on continious....
    Political Jokes are not funny, but, they usually get a whole lot more offensive when they take office.....

  8. #27
    jm
    Sep 2008
    19

    Re: black sand clean up

    Great post! What model did you find that worked best for you? Or did you already mention it in your last post?

  9. #28
    us
    Apr 2008
    Central California
    4,016
    4 times

    Re: black sand clean up

    Different acids have different "personalities." If you are using hydrochloric acid, also called HCl (that's a lower case "L" on the end), or muriatic acid (which is usually 31%, and just right for most uses); you can get a filter mask for it at Lowe's or Home Depot.

    One problem with nitric acid is there is nothing which will filter it.

    Both hydrochloric and nitric produce lots of fumes. Usually you can actually see them when opening a container or pouring them (always use rubber gloves and eye protection, in case of splashes or accidents. You cannot pour them without some splashing, even tiny amounts you wouldn't normally notice when pouring other liquids). Don't get these fumes up your snoot! It can make you jerk back and possibly drop whatever you are holding, or stumble and spill stuff.

    Ongoing breathing of dissipated fumes from these acids is not good, it can burn your lungs.

    If you are just using a little bit of it, work outside with a wind at your back.

    If you are regularly processing stuff with them, you will probably want to work indoors. You need a strong exhaust fan in the wall to the outside, and a way for fresh air to get in, on the opposite side of the room. The fumes will rust or corrode any metal objects nearby---tools, etc. Work with your back to the fresh air. Better yet, build a "fume hood," which has a strong fan, with filters, and is PVC pipe (4" diameter) vented to above the roof. Google it for ideas.

    Sulfuric acid has a very high boiling point, so there are hardly any fumes at all. It can even be mistaken for water (label everything!) While the other two acids mentioned above may be rinsed off with water without much harm to your skin, sulfuric will bore down into your flesh, because it seeks water. Especially concentrated sulfuric (car battery acid is only about 33%). And most especially HOT concentrated sulfuric, as is produced with some methods for making your own nitric.

    It's a very good idea to read several different safety recommendations for each acid, before using them.
    An evil group is comprised of the insane, who, out of fear, imagine that they must conspire to destroy those who are honest and able. A good group is made up of honest people, who could each survive on their own, yet work together openly for betterment for themselves and others.

  10. #29
    us
    Apr 2010
    16

    Re: black sand clean up

    Another method that I've read about and that seems safe because it uses household chemicals, is halide leaching. However, the few sites out there that talk about it do not provide sufficient detail -- i.e. step by step details with photos for each step.

    Lowe's carries concentrated bleach, which if I recall correctly is 5x more concentrated than the average household bleach. I'll stir the bucket (half full with black sand) once a day and leave the bleach in there to leach all the gold for a week. My specific question is, after transferring the bleach, which now contains the dissolved gold to a new container, what is the easiest way to precipitate out the gold?

    My concentrates have plenty of black sand crystals, which are brownish in color. If that's tellurite, do I need to crush them to dust in order for the bleach to dissolve the gold?

  11. #30
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    815
    277 times

    Re: black sand clean up

    This is an interesting thread, but this quote here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallace J
    Out of a ten pound jar [of black sand] we got three pounds of gold.
    I have a little trouble believing that. But still good info in here nonetheless.

    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  12. #31
    us
    Apr 2005
    North Carolina
    White's Prizm IV
    3,004
    290 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: black sand clean up

    Quote Originally Posted by Astrobouncer
    This is an interesting thread, but this quote here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallace J
    Out of a ten pound jar [of black sand] we got three pounds of gold.
    I have a little trouble believing that. But still good info in here nonetheless.

    I can believe it Astro. In some areas of Cali I here that on average 4 out of every 10 grains of black sand is encrusted gold. One reason I NEVER throw anything away.
    Heavy pans,
    enamel7
    2014 COIN ROLL HUNTING TOTALS!

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  13. #32
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    815
    277 times

    Re: black sand clean up

    That's pretty amazing. I always keep my cons too, for when I get a ball mill or something to grind them down with.
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  14. #33

    Nov 2007
    ,M.X.T.& Tesoro Tejon
    9,708
    2630 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: black sand clean up

    I have 10 five gallon buckets of Black sand if anybody would like to buy some,$1.00 a pound plus shipping.All dredge cons panned and spiral wheeled once
    M.X.T , Tesoro Tejon



    "A pen in the hand of this president is far more dangerous than a gun in the hands of 200 million law-abiding citizens."

  15. #34
    ca
    Sep 2010
    26

    Re: black sand clean up

    wpareig
    Interesting method you have evolved for separating gold from black sand via an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner.
    I had an idea similar to this that was inspired by a conversation I had with an oldtimer here.
    I live on the north coast of British Columbia, Canada. On a very remote section of storm washed beach here, there are deposits of black sand twenty feet wide, 12" thick and miles long. Assays have shown this placer to be very rich in gold but the gold is microscopic and of a flaky nature and seems to defy most gravity separation methods.
    I was told that, in the Depression years, many small miners would pack this pure black sand out on packhorses and attempt recovery of gold back at their homesteads. Considering the high density of black sand, the assays on the placer, and the price of gold in the 1930's, this did not seem credible. On the other hand, my grandfather shovelled coal for ten cents a ton in the Depression. Hmmmm....must have been tough sob's in those days.
    According to the oldtimer I spoke to (who was a boy during the Depression), a simple method was devised to concentrate the placer on site to much more manageable volumes.
    It consisted, believe it or not, of simply putting black sand and an equal volume of water in a bucket and slamming the bottom of the bucket down on a plank, log or flat rock. Following this, 90% of the top of the black sand in the bucket was removed and more added. Many buckets of black sand could be reduced this way to possibly a couple of quarts of rich concentrate.
    I thought of expanding on this idea by using a small concrete compactor; the sort used to compact concrete in building foundation forms. It would be somewhat rougher than your idea but would be capable of higher throughput volumes.
    A couple of questions:
    1. Does the frequency of vibration seem to make any difference? I can visualize the wrong frequency floating gold to the surface instead of sending it to the bottom LOL.
    2. What exactly is Degassing anyways? You mentioned you were impressed with the Degassing Peoperties of the ultrasonic jewellery cleaners you had purchased. I've heard the term before but have no clue as to its meaning.
    3. Have you ever considered using citric acid or a salt roast over a hot fire to break down the oxides and allow access to micron gold beneath it?
    As I stated, the placer I am looking at is very rich and in a very remote location. It may not be economical to attempt anything but separation of free gold from the black sand. However, I think it would be worth testing, using your methods, to see if there are hidden values in the black sand that might be processed on site.
    Regards
    Bob
    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach him to use the Internet and he won't bother you for weeks.

  16. #35
    us
    Sep 2010
    Denver,CO
    83
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: black sand clean up

    This is amazing 3 pounds wow! Every prospector should know about this, I wonder how many people are unaware they are throwing tons of gold back into the sources they got it from.

  17. #36
    jm
    Sep 2008
    19

    Re: black sand clean up

    I am seeing wpareig method as something I would like to try.If it works as well as wpareig suggests,then I may be better off buying an ultrasonic cleaner than the wave tables by action mining for small scale work.The idea of different frequencies,particle size seem worth exploring.I looked at the machines at the company's website and they have quite a variety.Small to large volume versions.Wpareig, you are unto something here.But I just need to explore the possibilities.Based on the website, frequency MATTERS.So the more recent versions offer multifrequency options as well as heat.Seem kinda analogous to metal detecting were your 14kHz MXT versus the Gbugs 71 kHz and sensitivity to smaller gold.Interesting potential here.If anyone else have explored this practise,please let us know.

  18. #37
    us
    May 2008
    deming n.m.
    Any thing Available within 50ft
    521
    8 times

    Re: black sand clean up

    You Need one of these!

    You Fill it, Run it, Fill it Run it, Dump top half, Fill it Run it. Repeat a bunch of times and then Pan the bottom 1/8th.



    Run it strait up!

  19. #38
    ca
    Sep 2010
    26

    Re: black sand clean up

    gedfire

    There is a new product on the market called the Quicksand Concentrator. Check out their website at www.gotnuggets.com.

    I phoned their shop in California this afternoon and had a long chat with the inventor of this unit. It sells for $60, requires no power, is not much bigger than a loaf of bread and requires only water pressure from a pump. They sell a 500 GPH 12 volt pump to supply water to it for another $30.

    According to its inventor, this unit works on the fluidized bed principle. Ore or placer material, be it bank run, crushed ore or black sand, need only be screened to 8 mesh (1/8") and can be fed into this unit at a virtually unlimited rate. Water is fed by hose into the bottom of the unit, fluidizing the bed, and the process separates denser material via liquefaction. He feels this unit could make sluicing, panning, etc. obselete.

    I suggested a vibrator might make this work better but he claimed the water alone worked just fine.

    He also said he had a customer who grinds his black sand to -200 mesh and successfully uses this unit to recover PM's from the -200 mesh material. That alone is a rather remarkable feat, I daresay.


    I plan to purchase one of these.

    Regards

    Bob
    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach him to use the Internet and he won't bother you for weeks.

  20. #39
    jm
    Sep 2008
    19

    Re: black sand clean up

    Homefires and Bob,

    Thanks homefire and Bob, great suggestions.Incidentally,the day I made this post I looked for different types of electric cement mixers.Homefires, throwing a few river stones or steel balls in the should help eh? I am elated that technology has come so far as to allow for efficient recovery at lower cost to the small scale miner.

    Bob loved the description of the device.Seem to be a mini elutriation tower.I like the fine gold recovery potential.Hope I can get some testimonials from users of the device.

    regards,
    Ged

  21. #40
    ca
    Sep 2010
    26

    Re: black sand clean up

    Ged
    No, this is most definitely not an elutriation tower. The inventor was quite emphatic about that point. This unit works on the principle of liquefaction; ie. liquefying a mass of media and letting its fluidized bed separate by density.
    E-towers are rather finicky devices and can only be fed at a very restricted rate. He claims the feed rate on this unit is virtually unlimited.
    He also said he is currently developing a unit based on a container in the five gallon bucket range and hopes to be marketing it soon.
    Regards
    Bob
    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach him to use the Internet and he won't bother you for weeks.

 

 
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