Questions about Electrum
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  1. #1
    ca
    Sep 2005
    Paso Robles
    Teknetics G2
    331
    315 times

    Questions about Electrum

    Off and on, I've been working a spot that I believe and has all of the earmarks of a Pocket Gold Mine. It's never been worked before, it's like a classic flat land pocket that Tom (T.H.) Bohmker speaks of in his Book The Elusive "POCKET GOLD" Of South Western Oregon, except this is in California, more specifically, on the Coast, San Luis Obispo County. So Yes, trace amounts of fly poop size gold on the surface of the IRON HAT or Gossan, Deep Red Soil Loaded with Pyrites, Saprolitic Rock of quartz, calcite, carbonate, some serpentine, etc.., it has Borders compared to the other soils on each side of which are of a lighter color, more brownish, I believe this is like a ribbon effect running through this area for some distance. (See Pic's). I do use my detector (Teknetics G-2 with a super snoop coil) but so far has not detected anything, however my Falcon does make the determination. I found this spot Dowsing....In the center of this "ribbon", I am now finding 100 mesh (or more) size Electrum, when I pan the concentrates, the electrum shows itself under the Iron Red Oxides.....There is NO Black Sands (Magnetite). Certainly this is Miller Table Concentrates, but apparently there is ALOT OF IT....So is this Electrum considered Gold-Gold as in weight, purity, market value price etc., even though the Silver content is present. How's that work ? I know I need to get a assay of it now, but I'm curious on the questions. In Bohmker's Book on page 48, 3rd paragraph, Estimating gold content, he relates in a test of material from 1/4 to 1/2 of a pound to pan, this works out to 75 to 150 of countable small colors being roughly equivalent to 1 ounce per ton (good quality ore). I did that and through my pocket loop magnifier got lost to the 500 plus pieces. Actually it looked like a thousand pieces or more. So I'm saying to myself, I wonder how much is here like this and is it going to be beneficial for me to save this ? Of course I will, but who buys Electrum ? Is it the same as regular Gold ? I know it is electrum, I've already tested it with the Purity Acid tests, Scratch, Falcon, etc....Any experts on this subject here ?....Thanks in advanceClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Beach High Banker, Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2,195
    3234 times
    Prospecting
    Virtually all free milling, or placer gold has some silver as well as several other metals/elements alloyed with it, all in varying percentages. If what you have is electrum then it is probably at least 50% gold and yes gold processors will pay for the gold contained and, if they are honest, also for the silver credits in most cases where there is a high percentage of it. A fire assay will give you a more accurate assessment of what you may expect percentage wise when you sell or have it processed but the final determination will be after processing.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by arizau; Jul 07, 2018 at 05:20 PM.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  3. #3
    us
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    893
    1955 times
    Prospecting
    Why dont you just drill it instead of messing around with dowsing rods and tons of shovel time?
    a thousand pieces of gold visible under magnification is not useful info, oz/t is what you need to know.

  4. #4
    ca
    Sep 2005
    Paso Robles
    Teknetics G2
    331
    315 times
    Found it ! It's a Quartz Vein with Diorite Rock Walls....The Diorite Rock is impregnated with the Electrum as well, in other words, it's "in the Melt" , here's some pic's ...Click image for larger version. 

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    AllenJ and Reed Lukens like this.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Look at the Historical Gold Mining photo albums on my page

    Jan 2013
    Huntington, Or./ Stanton, AZ/ former Outlaw California Gold Dredger
    Tesoro Vaquero, Whites MXT, Vsat, GMT, 5900Di Pro, Minelab GPX 5000, GPXtreme, 2200SD, Excalibur 1000!
    2,257
    4373 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Have you assayed any yet? Looks good
    HappyTrails55 likes this.

  6. #6

    Mar 2016
    3,248
    4967 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    What method did you use to dowse the location?
    This Communication HEREBY Serves as OFFICIAL NOTICE That All Messages in This Thread Have Been REVIEWED. FURTHERMORE, All Messages of Positive Nature SHALL IRREVOCABLY Be Considered "LIKED" INSOFAR as Applicable to This Forum. FINALLY, All Discrimination is Strictly PROHIBITED.

  7. #7
    ca
    Sep 2005
    Paso Robles
    Teknetics G2
    331
    315 times
    Reed, I'm going to get a assay on it, I've used Reed Laboratories for years, so they will probably be my first pick, then there's a fella that does assays in Parumph Nevada that I've used too so I'll probably get a hold of him. Now I have done a preliminary that most of us use, I'll post a few pic's here. Initially after I found it I took 5 rocks and ground it up into fines and got just under a gram or 0.85 ....I've never seen anything like this before, I never ever knew that diorite could be part of the vein system or even closely associated with gold and silver yet it's all thru the melt of the diorite, so even if I can't see it I can grind up plain jane looking diorite rocks from this deposit and still get the electrum, I'm just blown away over it. I've been actively prospecting since I was 9 or 10 and I will be 70 in late July and I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS. However, after doing a little research I found a Online PDF file report from 1972 from the USGS, "Distribution of Gold in Igneous Rocks" by David Gottfried, Jack J. Rowe and Robert Tilling, A Geographical Survey Professional Paper 727. I can never get these links to work here for me but here it is anyhow <https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0727/report.pdf> so the critical part to read is on pages 6,7,8 ....Now I'm actively looking for a better crusher, I got a little air hammer one that I got from High Plains Prospectors a year or two ago, but am looking for something a little bit better.....My first grab sample was about 10 rocks, then I went back and got a bucket, then went back and got 7 buckets, my next trip will be double that, hee,hee ...My Dowsing was off about 50 yards (I've never said that I was a great dowser, but dowse I do cause I have had a minimal success in the past) , there was a wall of chapparal brush that is close to impenertable, after hacking my way through this nightmare there was a clearing about 12 X 20 feet where this rotting vein was found. Within this enclosure the diorite rocks are just EVERYWHERE and pieces of the quartz vein too, apparently the deposit just collapsed in on itself.....should be a pocket or two here the way I'm a thinking....By the way, I watch your channel on youtube, as well, VERY GOOD ! Okay a few pic'sClick image for larger version. 

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    Reed Lukens and Bow like this.

  8. #8
    ca
    Sep 2005
    Paso Robles
    Teknetics G2
    331
    315 times
    Okay so, see I expect to get a pretty good assay out of this but not only for Gold & Silver but also for Platinum and maybe other PGM's. The reason why I say this is because of the GEOLOGY that supports it and it's location. If you just look up like Wikipedia or another source for the Bushveld Igneous Complex in Africa and read very carefully about the structures and the units and the upper zone, you'll find the geology of "Olivine Diorite" (and I have also Olivine Diorite). This Diorite Structure I found sits in the middle of a massive Greenstone Bed or BELT that runs Northwest, Southeast just west of the San Andreas Fault and is broken up with Cross Faults. From many of these rocks I have collected, I can see the SHEAR ZONE Structures in them and also the Olivine. Not to make this more confusing like what it seems. I offer this one attachment that explains a lot. It is from May 29th, 2014 and even though this is very LOWGRADE ORE FROM IT'S SOURCE, I did not pursue it cause I knew then that somewhere else was or would have to be HIGHGRADE, of which I believe this New Find is Highgrade, but of course the new Assay will tell me whether it is or is not. So this old assay was taken about 1/8th of a mile away from the new site. Click image for larger version. 

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    Reed Lukens likes this.

  9. #9

    Mar 2016
    3,248
    4967 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Let us know when you get your results back.
    This is interesting to follow.
    This Communication HEREBY Serves as OFFICIAL NOTICE That All Messages in This Thread Have Been REVIEWED. FURTHERMORE, All Messages of Positive Nature SHALL IRREVOCABLY Be Considered "LIKED" INSOFAR as Applicable to This Forum. FINALLY, All Discrimination is Strictly PROHIBITED.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,866
    11392 times
    Prospecting
    Lots of mercury was mined in that area, it's well known for it's mercury mines. Not surprisingly much of that mercury was mined in diorite where the mercury accumulated in shear zones adjacent to and intermingled with quartz.

    The acid in your test kit is not a valid method to determine the presence of gold or silver in their native form. Those kits are designed to ascertain the purity of refined jewelry metals. Putting these acids on native rock can produce some pretty nasty byproducts. Save the jewelry testing kit for testing jewelry.

    Mercury does not react with dilute single acids. It does react with concentrated nitric acid and concentrated hydrochloric acid - just like high karat gold.

    I would suggest getting a real fire assay before you assume either gold or silver are the only metals amalgamated in your deposit.

    I hope you have found a natural electrum deposit. As you pointed out it's not normally expected in diorite but it is a possibility. There is no history of electrum being found in that region. There is however a long and well documented history of mercury mining. Occam's razor points to the high probability that your discovery may not be electrum.

    Heavy Pans
    Reed Lukens and Rail Dawg like this.

  11. #11
    ca
    Sep 2005
    Paso Robles
    Teknetics G2
    331
    315 times
    Well Clay, Respectively, a Fire Assay has been sent and it is True that many areas in this county has been mined for Mercury. The Geographical Locations for where the Mercury Mines are placed are well known. The Buena Vista Mine was the largest and Richest, North/West of Paso Robles in the Adelaida country. Others exist all up & down the Santa Lucia's coastal mountains, many in the Los Padres National Forest that ranges in Santa Barbara County, thru San Luis Obispo County & parts of Monterey County. However there are specific regions within the inner coastal mountains like La Panza (also Los Padres National Forest) where few if any documented Mercury Mines ever existed. Now with that said, I have found Mercury here but that's from the old timer's and for Cinnabar (wish I could spell) itself, I have never seen a example of it in this area (not to say that there isn't, I just haven't seen it). Now half way from La Panza (west) to San Luis Obispo on the other side of Pozo is the Rinconda (probably spelled wrong too) and that was a Mercury Operation as well, in Cinnabar. Being raised in this area since about 1960 on & off and first started prospecting in La Panza (also on & off) since about 1972, also being a member of the local Hysterical (Historical) Society of the North County since at least the mid 1980's and have visited almost every Historical Site and Mines and have accumulated vast Histories of the area and County, one of the Best Books I own is the Reprint by the Friends of the Adobes "The History of San Luis Obispo County of 1883 by Myron Angel (Founder of Cal Poly), Numerous other Books, Reports and Papers and a Major Contributor to the Bancroft Libraries and He specifically in this 1883 Book describes in detail all of the Known Mines of that time. I have broke off & handled Cinnabar from some of these mines, panned cinnabar and gladly threw it away. Let me tell you how I found this little Platinum deposit in 2014 (the one from the assay above). On our claim (I have claim partners too), working this creek for gold (it's also famous in local history), well there's lot's of other people that come out and shoot their guns at targets out there on this flat and finding shell casings and bullets or pieces of them is not unusual. Running material thru my sluice I started finding odd looking small pieces of metal that resembled lead at first, funny thing was I was digging in solid greenstone shale and well past the bullet zone. When I told my claim partners about this new find, they all Laughed at me. I talked to a Geologist from Cal Poly in San Luis and he told me "there was no such thing in these mountains". Then I told other prospectors about this and THEY ALL LAUGHED AT ME....Then I got a assay and guess what ? Nobody was laughing anymore. Now as a final note, before I got my assay, I had tested it with my Purity Test Kit and became convinced to send it off for a assay....I have a Motto...."NEVER, SAY NEVER", Respectifully of course .

  12. #12

    Oct 2016
    197
    118 times
    I hope you end up finding what you were looking for.
    Best regards.

  13. #13
    ca
    Sep 2005
    Paso Robles
    Teknetics G2
    331
    315 times
    Okay so, got the assay back, looks good, not as what I was expecting but I have a clearer picture now of what I'm following, the Numbers Went Up ! As for the Purity Acid Test Kit that I use, I cannot say enough about it but the matter of fact seems to be Yes you can use this on testing the rocks, True it might be used for Jewelry but so far I have not been skunked using it on rocks. So I will re-post the old assay from 2014 and then the New Assay from July 9, 2020 and you can compare the numbers and then I will post 2 more pic's of the Diorite Boulder Rocks I found with Quartz Vein rock I found close by and then a couple pic's of a solid chunk of quartz with the ore formation in it that I found with my metal detector. Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14

    Jun 2020
    29
    33 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyTrails55 View Post
    ...As for the Purity Acid Test Kit that I use, I cannot say enough about it but the matter of fact seems to be Yes you can use this on testing the rocks, True it might be used for Jewelry but so far I have not been skunked using it on rocks.
    Acid tests are legit in that they can help differentiate base metals from gold, platinum, etc. Absolutely.

    (If I remember correctly, the weak acid is nitric and the stronger acids are various dilutions of aqua regia.)

    However, I can see where @clay diggings is coming from WRT his comments. Might acid tests give you useful info in the field. Sure, but you'd need to be testing native metal not the ore/rock that the metal is in.

    One concern that I'd have (beyond possibility of chemical burns) is that nitric and aqua regia can react badly with some non-metallic minerals and organic matter.

  15. #15

    Oct 2016
    197
    118 times
    I am confused, aren't your assay results in oz per ton (oz/ton). 0.327 in ounces would be around 10 grams per ton of gold (g/ton)?
    Reed Lukens and Clay Diggins like this.

 

 
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