Finding Gold deposits and heavier/lighter concentrations by sampling vegetation!
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Thread: Finding Gold deposits and heavier/lighter concentrations by sampling vegetation!

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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    Jun 2013
    East Tennessee
    6,953
    6695 times

    Finding Gold deposits and heavier/lighter concentrations by sampling vegetation!

    A long known way of finding Gold deposits and determining where the heavier and lighter concentrations are, has been long overlooked by many Gold prospectors and miners. The Native American Indians here in the East and probably East of the Rockies, found long ago that Gold could be retrieved from known Gold producing areas by planting River Cane along the creeks, streams and rivers that are known to have Gold in them. They would plant the River Cane and then let it grow to maturity, harvest the mature plants, roots and all but making sure to leave the non-mature plants behind for a continuous source for retrieving Gold. The harvested River Cane plants were then dried and burned and all of the ashes retrieved. From these ashes, quite a bit of Gold was able to be recovered/retrieved. At the link below, the article tells of a young man that figured out that this same technique can be applied to other trees as well as vegetation growing in Gold producing areas and even areas that were not known for producing Gold to determine if there are any Gold deposits as well as where the heavier and lighter Gold deposits are located. By using this technique, Prospectors and Miners of Gold can determine the best places to mine for Gold and even the best places to take Drill Core samples. This could save a lot of time, research and expense in finding where the best money producing Gold deposits are located. Please check out the article at the link and enjoy.

    From the Pick & Shovel: Science Student Finds Gold in Trees


    Frank
    Last edited by huntsman53; Jun 14, 2015 at 02:37 PM.

  2. #2
    us
    Oct 2008
    Colorado
    Minelab: XT70, XT17000, Sov XS w/S-1 probe Tesoro: Lobo ST, Toltec II Whites 4900, Eagle II SL 90, Spectrum XLT Falcon MD 20, Whites GMT, TDI Pro, Vibraprobe
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    It's another tool in the box. Sharp kid...

  3. #3
    stefen
    Read in a Geotechnical Paper in the past that settled gold can be found in the root systems of petrified wood.

    Therefore, this document helps to validate the subject.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Jun 2013
    East Tennessee
    6,953
    6695 times
    I am going to check out some River Cane patches near where my brother-in-law's nephew lives! There were Native American Indians (not sure which tribe) camped along a long stretch of the river there, several River Cane patches have been along portions of the river for as long as I can remember and probably have been there since the Indians lived there. I know that there is Gold many miles upstream on this river in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but I don't know if the Gold would have made it that far downstream. It is likely that if the River Cane was planted by the Indians, then there may be Gold deposits in these stretches of the river that are more localized. There has even been Gold found when digging wells for water well over 10 miles North of this location which is even further out of the mountains. Well, it sure won't hurt to harvest some, dry it, burn it and then pan out the ashes!


    Frank
    Last edited by huntsman53; Jun 17, 2015 at 10:50 PM.

  5. #5
    us
    fowledup

    Jul 2013
    Northern California
    Whites GMT V/SAT
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    Prospecting
    I can see the future of prospecting now........ Ten years from now we will alll have spectrometer apps on our phones for analyzing on site samples and finding paystreaks...... Sometimes technology just sucks. However seeing the work of that young man is encouraging and very commendable, keep it up we need a whole generation like you. Kudos to the parents as well, we need a whole lot more like you guys too!!!!
    Folks may not remember the words of what you said but they dang sure will remember how you made them feel!

  6. #6
    us
    - Finding more junk than treasure -

    Mar 2010
    Black Hills, South Dakota
    White's Silver Eagle, Fisher Gold Bug 2
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    156 times
    Prospecting
    I've read and heard a little about this kind of stuff before, I believe they refer to it as 'geobotanical prospecting'. Supposedly yuca is a good indicator of silica (quartz). A friend of mine always told me to look for "dark green and stunted vegetation" when tracking down a lode, too. Off the top of my head I can't remember what else I've read or been told in relation to gold and plants, but I'm sure there's more to all of this than a guy immediately realizes.

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,530
    10249 times
    Prospecting
    That's the right term Maitland "geobotanical". This is an old Swedish mining tradition. Really more like an old wives tale but there are some European companies who give some credence to the method.

    The basis of the belief has some good factual foundation. Some plants use elemental silica as part of the components of their cell walls. These plants can more readily absorb some metals. Sadly elemental gold is not one of the metals they can absorb.

    There have been very few actual scientific studies to back up this theory. I have a friend who still believes this has some possibilities in mining but his research shows little direct correlation to gold. Inferences have to be made about the absorption of other metals in silica cell plants since gold has never been found in relative quantities in these plants. The fact is plants are really bad at including gold in their structure. There is no evidence that metallic gold has ever been found in plant tissues.

    The USGS did a big study on this back in the 60's called Absorption of Gold by Plants Geological Survey Bulletin 1314-B here was the conclusion of that study:
    Colloidal gold was not absorbed by the roots of plants used in these
    experiments.
    Of the solutions of gold that are most likely to occur in
    the root zone of the soil under natural conditions, gold cyanide is the
    most readily absorbed by roots and transported in largest amounts to
    the leaves.
    If gold is present in the soil and if cyanogenic plants are
    rooted in this soil, a mechanism is present for the entrance of gold
    into the biogeochemical cycling process.
    So they theorize you might find some soluble gold compounds in some specific plant tissues during specific circumstances but the free gold metal that prospectors are looking for won't be there. The quantities will be less than 1 ppm so you can forget about harvesting plants to get gold. That 1 ppm represents a little more than 1/10 of 1 grain for each ton of dried plants processed. Even then the gold would be in solution - not gold metal.

    My friend who has been working on this since the 70's thinks there might be some correlation between arsenic accumulation in equisetum (Horsetail Ferns) and related gold deposits (You can read some of his work at the link below). The actual gold found in these silica based plants is very little and so irregular that they can't be used as a direct indicator of the presence of gold in the soils but there seems to be some correlation between arsenic absorbed by the plant and the amount of arsenic in the soil.

    The original purpose of investigating gold in plants was not to use the plants to mine gold but to discover where better accumulations of free gold might be found. Plants are a total failure at that but it really doesn't matter now. With a handheld XRF any amateur prospector can take geochemical readings of soils until the batteries run down. There is no need to carry out unreliable and time consuming chemical analysis of burned plant material. Point the magic XRF ray gun and store your readings for later analysis.

    If you have an interest in the very real science behind this you might be interested in these scientific studies as well as the report quoted above:

    Horsetails (equisetum) as indirect indicators of gold mineralization
    Journal of Geochemical Exploration Volume 16, Issue 1, November 1981, Pages 21–26

    Metal Absorption by Equisetum (Horsetail) U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1278-A

    I'll see if I can get those references loaded into the Land Matters Library soon so those who are studying this can download them.

    There is more to plants and prospecting than finding actual gold in the plants. Trees often grow along faults, some plants thrive only in highly mineralized soils and some plants will never be seen in mineralized areas. Plants can be the prospectors friends if we listen to them. They will never be a source of gold metal but who really wanted to burn down a forest just to get a few grams of gold anyway? Not my idea of mining.

    Heavy Pans

  8. #8
    us
    - Finding more junk than treasure -

    Mar 2010
    Black Hills, South Dakota
    White's Silver Eagle, Fisher Gold Bug 2
    169
    156 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks for that post, Clay, I think it's one of the most interesting things I've read on here in a long time!

  9. #9
    stefen
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    That's the right term Maitland "geobotanical". This is an old Swedish mining tradition. Really more like an old wives tale but there are some European companies who give some credence to the method.

    The basis of the belief has some good factual foundation. Some plants use elemental silica as part of the components of their cell walls. These plants can more readily absorb some metals. Sadly elemental gold is not one of the metals they can absorb.

    There have been very few actual scientific studies to back up this theory. I have a friend who still believes this has some possibilities in mining but his research shows little direct correlation to gold. Inferences have to be made about the absorption of other metals in silica cell plants since gold has never been found in relative quantities in these plants. The fact is plants are really bad at including gold in their structure. There is no evidence that metallic gold has ever been found in plant tissues.

    The USGS did a big study on this back in the 60's called Absorption of Gold by Plants Geological Survey Bulletin 1314-B here was the conclusion of that study:


    So they theorize you might find some soluble gold compounds in some specific plant tissues during specific circumstances but the free gold metal that prospectors are looking for won't be there. The quantities will be less than 1 ppm so you can forget about harvesting plants to get gold. That 1 ppm represents a little more than 1/10 of 1 grain for each ton of dried plants processed. Even then the gold would be in solution - not gold metal.

    My friend who has been working on this since the 70's thinks there might be some correlation between arsenic accumulation in equisetum (Horsetail Ferns) and related gold deposits (You can read some of his work at the link below). The actual gold found in these silica based plants is very little and so irregular that they can't be used as a direct indicator of the presence of gold in the soils but there seems to be some correlation between arsenic absorbed by the plant and the amount of arsenic in the soil.

    The original purpose of investigating gold in plants was not to use the plants to mine gold but to discover where better accumulations of free gold might be found. Plants are a total failure at that but it really doesn't matter now. With a handheld XRF any amateur prospector can take geochemical readings of soils until the batteries run down. There is no need to carry out unreliable and time consuming chemical analysis of burned plant material. Point the magic XRF ray gun and store your readings for later analysis.

    If you have an interest in the very real science behind this you might be interested in these scientific studies as well as the report quoted above:

    Horsetails (equisetum) as indirect indicators of gold mineralization
    Journal of Geochemical Exploration Volume 16, Issue 1, November 1981, Pages 21–26

    Metal Absorption by Equisetum (Horsetail) U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1278-A

    I'll see if I can get those references loaded into the Land Matters Library soon so those who are studying this can download them.

    There is more to plants and prospecting than finding actual gold in the plants. Trees often grow along faults, some plants thrive only in highly mineralized soils and some plants will never be seen in mineralized areas. Plants can be the prospectors friends if we listen to them. They will never be a source of gold metal but who really wanted to burn down a forest just to get a few grams of gold anyway? Not my idea of mining.

    Heavy Pans
    Unfortunately there are actually 100's of the specie EQUISTEMUM in the world.

    Only a few are indicators. And if that is actually true, I have thousands of equistemum in my yard, which grow as annuals, and propagate by spores. My property is the result of a river delta and has soil 60' deep. The roots are near the upper 4 inches, so no potential deposits...darn.

    Others like E. hymale are perrenials and propagate by runners (almost bamboo-like) and hard to destroy. In fact, roundup does limited damage.
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,530
    10249 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by stefen View Post
    Unfortunately there are actually 100's of the specie EQUISTEMUM in the world.

    Only a few are indicators. And if that is actually true, I have thousands of equistemum in my yard, which grow as annuals, and propagate by spores. My property is the result of a river delta and has soil 60' deep. The roots are near the upper 4 inches, so no potential deposits...darn.

    Others like E. hymale are perrenials and propagate by runners (almost bamboo-like) and hard to destroy. In fact, roundup does limited damage.
    The subject I brought up included studies on the ancient plant family Equisetaceae genus Equisetum of which there are 18 known species. Equisetum is the only surviving genus of the Equisetaceae family.

    I think you are talking about the same genus when you refer to "specie EQUISTEMUM"? Perhaps just a spelling error? It's a tough word and the hierarchy concept of subspecies, species, genus and family are often misunderstood by the public.

    All the Equisetum reproduce by spores. What you see as "runners" are the plant creating clones of itself. Each "plant" produced by cloning is just a duplication of the original plant. This cloning is not reproduction by definition. Only identical plants are created when cloned there is no "new" plant created. Those "runners" (rhizomes) are more like the detached tail of a lizard that grows back, the lizard remains the same animal but just grows a new part. You used the right word "propagation" but cloning can not be equated with reproduction by spores.

    Roundup is for broadleaf plants. Equisetum does not have the same vascular/cell system as more modern plants like weeds. It also has no chlorophyll in the few "leaves" it has so organic acids like Roundup are no more harmful than spraying whipped cream on them. Come to think of it I'll bet whipped cream would be cheaper!

    You make a good point though. No matter what plant might be considered as a useful candidate for an "indicator" plant they all are severely limited on depth. Plants like Horsetail have very shallow roots of a few inches, as you pointed out. Most trees establish maximum root depths of 7 to 9 feet. Even if you could find trees with deeper roots you would still have to dig them up to find just how deep their roots went. You might as well sample the soil while you are digging to get even more reliable results. At that point you've just got to ask yourself "wouldn't it be easier to dig where there is no tree?"

    You will notice in the quoted studies that colloidal gold was used to measure metallic gold absorption. The colloidal gold particles used were about 1/10 of a micron (a micron is about the size of 1/10 the width of a fine human hair). In other words IF any colloidal gold had been absorbed by any plant it would have been much much too small to see with the naked eye. Panning even micron gold is an impossibility. Not that it really matters because none of the studies has found any metallic gold absorbed by a plant.

    There is still some study going on in this area. Maybe someday someone will find a correlation that could help prospectors. Equisetum is the usual candidate for these studies because of it's already proven ability to live in high mineral environments and it's unusual habit of using silica as part of it's cell structure. There may be other plants that could show promise.

    Heavy Pans
    Hangtowndiggins likes this.

 

 

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