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Thread: Phyromining

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  1. #16
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    440
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Asmbandits View Post
    Sounds like its not worth the trouble.
    That is a very sound point. Sometimes just because something CAN be done, does not mean it should be.

    As an example, a few years ago I really looked into heating my home with compost heat, and with my radiant/geothermally heated home, it could very well have been done, but forming the pile so I could extract heat would take far more time than it would just going out into the woods and cutting firewood. In that case I had both types of equipment to harvest the compost/firewood, but time wise, firewood was just so much faster and easier to do. So I have never done it. It can be done, and others are doing so, but for me there are more efficient methods.

    I will definitely try this, but probably as an experiment. I will just see how much gold/silver the sunflowers hyperaccumulate. After that I can decide whether or not it would be worth it to scale up. But in terms of a test, why not, the most expensive cost to do so will be the $38 assay.

  2. #17
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
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    A curious, thought provoking bit of questioning OreCart. It will be interesting to hear of your results! Will you be planting for that experiment this year?.........63bkpkr
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  3. #18
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    440
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by 63bkpkr View Post
    A curious, thought provoking bit of questioning OreCart. It will be interesting to hear of your results! Will you be planting for that experiment this year?.........63bkpkr
    I plan to do two experimental projects this year regarding prospecting on my farm, and both will be in this field.

    1) Trench across this field.

    I am working with the Maine Geological Survey on this so I can see what sort of vein consistency I am getting across my farm. The soil here is very thin, and so I will not have to dig far down to bedrock, but the 1/4 mile trench will show me a lot of what is going on here. I have found the quartz veins are about 20-40 feet apart on a 218 strike with an 85 degree dip, but opening up the soil will certainly show me if that remains true.

    The only reason I am limiting myself to 1/4 mile is because there is a spot along one of my fields where I can do that easily. My fields are positioned so that if needed, I could actually take the excavator and trench 1 mile continuously in the future, and further if I go into the forest.

    The Maine Geological Survey are just interested at what my results will be because this are of Maine has some unique mineralization and geology.

    (2) Phyromining

    The second part will be to plant a test plot of sunflowers and see how much gold/silver/pgm's they hyperaccumulate.

    By mapping out the quartz veins running across this field, I can determine where I want to plant my first test bed. I want to do a small area first because I want to test the mythology before I plant 1600 acres of sunflowers! I mean I am not even sure what I need for lixiviant concentrations yet.

    Myself, I would rather go with a 100% ammonia lixiviant than a 100% cyanide or even cyanide-ammonia lixiviant because of unknown precautions I must take. But I want the gold to be water soluble too, so I have to figure out the best way to do that. If it means using cyanide, then so be it.

  4. #19
    us
    Aug 2010
    Maine USA
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    306 times
    Quote Originally Posted by IMAUDIGGER View Post
    Unfortunately I believe that is illegal in most places..considered vegetation.
    Removing vegetation along the banks of the stream is usually prohibited.

    Your right ..the grasses and moss capture a lot of flood gold.

    There are also studies being performed to harvest gold from cultured bacteria I believe.
    No one said anything about removing moss. When the water level is down and the moss has dried, vacuuming removes loose sand and gold leaving the moss in place to later catch more gold.
    Asmbandits and arizau like this.

  5. #20
    Make America Great Again

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    mining on farm land

    I guess I'll play the devils advocate, so are you a mineralogist, mining engineer, scientist of any sort..?
    the term lixiviant is a term used in white papers, is it real world terminology?
    in-situ leaching, fracking, heap leaching are types of mining done in highly controlled situations.
    isn't phytomining a term made up involving experimental mine remediation?
    ground water contamination is a real world consideration with real consequences,
    drilling, site survey, preliminary feasibility study, permitting, zoning..?
    just experimenting, guessing you might try this or that is not a plan.!!!
    Last edited by winners58; Apr 18, 2019 at 10:34 AM.
    " A pessimist is an optimist with experience "

  6. #21
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    440
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by winners58 View Post
    I guess I'll play the devils advocate, so are you a mineralogist, mining engineer, scientist of any sort..?
    the term lixiviant is a term used in white papers, is it real world terminology?
    in-situ leaching, fracking, heap leaching are types of mining done in highly controlled situations.
    isn't Phyromining a term made up involving experimental mine remediation?
    ground water contamination is a real world consideration with real consequences,
    drilling, site survey, preliminary feasibility study, permitting, zoning..?
    just experimenting, guessing you might try this or that is not a plan.!!!
    I can appreciate playing the Devil's Advocate, but a little research on the topic would have answered a lot of your own questions. Just because something is new and seemingly complex to YOU does not mean it is to other people. For me, this is rather simple because I am a farmer, raising crops and livestock is how I make money, and have been doing it for 45 years. I might weld a disc harrow back together, give a sheep a shot, plan next years barn addition, and review the latest soil samples...all before noon. That is just being a farmer.

    Sadly in this day and age, everyone wants to turn farming into some sort of science, and it really is not that complicated, people have been doing it for thousands of years. Break things down to their simplest functions, and there is nothing complicated about things.

    One of the things I really like about Phyromining is its simplicity. If I can plant certain grass types to pull nitrogen out of the air and get that grass to put it into my soil, then it is just as easy to take a plant and pull heavy metals out of the ground and store it in the plant. Just as with nitrogen fixation, a person just has to chose the right plant.

    I wish there was a simpler name than lixiviant, but the wonder of the English language is vocabulary, where a single word can mean an exact thing. I will continue to use the word lixiviant because saying, "a mixture that renders the gold water soluble", is rather lengthy. It would be great to use the word leachate, but since the role of the lixiviant is to be available for uptake, and not leaching, it does not really work. It would be like calling a rear-end a transmission because it changes axle-speeds...yes, but not really, best to use the word rear-end, or "pumpkin".

    A few other points you make do not really come into play, but only because I am not sure you realize how simple phyromining is. "Drilling, site survey, preliminary feasibility study, permitting, zoning", are not required for growing a crop on a farm. Yes it is that simple.

    Cyanide deserves a reply unto its own I admit, but while it deserves respect, it should equally not be feared. It is only a class two poison, and I have far worse ones than that on this farm that scare me more. Anhydrous ammonia is pretty bad, and that is on every farm, not to mention acids for cleaning the milk lines, and other caustic sodas that ensure the milk that goes into the tank is safe for a hungry nation.

    The down and dirty is this, EVERYTHING can be a poison, as H2O kills more people in a year than cyanide ever has in its known existence. Know what you are working with, guard against it, and keep moving forward. Always keep moving forward.

  7. #22
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
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    OC, perhaps you aren't aware, but you write/communicate in a manner that
    shows advanced education. Doesn't matter if you are self-educated, or went
    to MIT, you express yourself in an educated manner.

    I am neither farmer nor chemist, but your proposal does sound intriguing,
    and I hope you get the opportunity to try it out.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

  8. #23
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,461
    10053 times
    Prospecting
    If you even got a single gram from 100 acres of crop in the best gold ground in the world it would be a first. It's not a viable process. Unlike phosphorous, nitrogen or water gold is non reactive and doesn't participate in the plant growth cycle. Any gold uptake is incidental and virtually undetectable.

    Heavy Pans
    arizau, Asmbandits and DizzyDigger like this.

  9. #24
    us
    Aug 2010
    Maine USA
    327
    306 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    If you even got a single gram from 100 acres of crop in the best gold ground in the world it would be a first. It's not a viable process. Unlike phosphorous, nitrogen or water gold is non reactive and doesn't participate in the plant growth cycle. Any gold uptake is incidental and virtually undetectable.

    Heavy Pans
    I agree. It is much like gold in seawater. It is there and you can extract it but at a cost of perhaps a million dollars per troy ounce!
    Asmbandits likes this.

  10. #25
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    440
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    If you even got a single gram from 100 acres of crop in the best gold ground in the world it would be a first. It's not a viable process. Unlike phosphorous, nitrogen or water gold is non reactive and doesn't participate in the plant growth cycle. Any gold uptake is incidental and virtually undetectable.

    Heavy Pans
    This is just plain false, and that is why this is such a great discussion, so we can learn and move on.

    Massey University of New Zealand was the first to harvest gold from plants in 1998. Since then it has successfully been done in the United States, Brazil, Australia and South Africa. In Indonesia, a mining company took up the challenge just to see what results would be.

    You are absolutely right, gold is non-reactive, but just as with leaching, lixiviants can be applied, just when the plant reaches its full height so that that as it is pulling as much nutrients out of the ground that it can, the gold becomes water soluble, and up the plant stock it goes.

    There is no question it can be done; the question is how profitable would it be at a given location?

    As with everything in farming, your greatest asset is also your greatest challenge. In my case, while I have very fertile soil, that same fertile soil means I can grow other crops that may have a higher value than what I could pull from the ground in terms of gold. But that is why this is a test run. It is not to prove it can be done, it is to see if it can be done upon my farm.
    DizzyDigger likes this.

  11. #26
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
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    10053 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    This is just plain false, and that is why this is such a great discussion, so we can learn and move on.

    Massey University of New Zealand was the first to harvest gold from plants in 1998. Since then it has successfully been done in the United States, Brazil, Australia and South Africa. In Indonesia, a mining company took up the challenge just to see what results would be.

    You are absolutely right, gold is non-reactive, but just as with leaching, lixiviants can be applied, just when the plant reaches its full height so that that as it is pulling as much nutrients out of the ground that it can, the gold becomes water soluble, and up the plant stock it goes.

    There is no question it can be done; the question is how profitable would it be at a given location?

    As with everything in farming, your greatest asset is also your greatest challenge. In my case, while I have very fertile soil, that same fertile soil means I can grow other crops that may have a higher value than what I could pull from the ground in terms of gold. But that is why this is a test run. It is not to prove it can be done, it is to see if it can be done upon my farm.
    You misunderstand the studies. No one has ever successfully mined gold from plant matter. Best case scenario is .0000007 gram per ton of dried plant material.
    Mining companies have been all over this for years. The first gold discoveries with Equisetum date back to the 1940s. Long before your source articles.

    If this could pay mining companies would have been doing it years ago. At best this is a joke on regulatory agencies to show there is ongoing heavy metal remediation on already mined properties. These exciting tales of a "new" technology to recover gold from plants makes the rounds in the amateur science mags every few years. It's an easy sell to lead people to believe they can recover gold from the ground without actually digging and processing.

    Showing the presence of nano gold particles in dried plant matter does not mean any gold was actually recovered by this method. Big difference between measuring the potential for gold accumulation in plants in a controlled experiment and actually recovering marketable gold from plants.

    Heavy Pans

  12. #27
    Make America Great Again

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    my only real concern is harming farm land, same with someone building a housing complex on farm land.
    putting a chemical solution that will chelate with the metal you are trying to extract using phytomining (correct spelling)
    and harvesting once the plants die from metal toxicity or the chemical solution applied. Can the chemical solution applied
    to the soil be neutralized and soil made sweet again, sure but lots of things can happen especially if the chemical is
    thiocyanate, thiosulfate, cyanide is highly toxic to animals, birds, what would happen if there was an early rain before it was naturalized.
    As far as gold uptake we're talking .mg's other metals like copper or nickle might be viable if the laterites are near the surface.
    I'm sure you used the term lixiviant correctly just not a term used often, its a descriptive term, water is used as a lixivant,
    usually when talking we just hear the term "leaching solution" used as something people in mining would relate to.
    If you think you can get the gold, go for it. talking on an open forum of putting cyanide on farm land can get a knock your door.
    no one is really anonymous by using a pseudonym, Orecart or Mineshaft there is an IP address logged with each post.
    my thoughts are find and follow the stringers break them up see if they contain gold,
    if not, level your hole put the soil back on top, chase the next stringers you find...
    Last edited by winners58; Apr 18, 2019 at 02:56 PM.
    " A pessimist is an optimist with experience "

  13. #28

    Mar 2014
    NorCal
    Fisher GB2, Bazooka Prospector 36", EZ sluice, Blue Bowl..
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    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    This is just plain false, and that is why this is such a great discussion, so we can learn and move on.

    Massey University of New Zealand was the first to harvest gold from plants in 1998. Since then it has successfully been done in the United States, Brazil, Australia and South Africa. In Indonesia, a mining company took up the challenge just to see what results would be.

    You are absolutely right, gold is non-reactive, but just as with leaching, lixiviants can be applied, just when the plant reaches its full height so that that as it is pulling as much nutrients out of the ground that it can, the gold becomes water soluble, and up the plant stock it goes.

    There is no question it can be done; the question is how profitable would it be at a given location?

    As with everything in farming, your greatest asset is also your greatest challenge. In my case, while I have very fertile soil, that same fertile soil means I can grow other crops that may have a higher value than what I could pull from the ground in terms of gold. But that is why this is a test run. It is not to prove it can be done, it is to see if it can be done upon my farm.
    No where in his response did he state it wasn't possible, it's not viable. I don't think anyone here has ever argued if it's possible or not, only that it's not viable.
    Last edited by Asmbandits; Apr 18, 2019 at 09:44 PM.
    Come check out my California Mother lode Adventures!---->https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4U...aqFXriPUONmEtw

  14. #29
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    440
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Asmbandits View Post
    No where in his response did he state it wasn't possible, it's not viable. I don't think anyone here has ever argued if it's possible or not, only that it's not viable.
    My apologies then; I took the statement as hyperbole and not word for word, and did the cited math. Put another way, I took the statement to mean "it just was just not possible", and did not limit my answer to an exact math equation.

    Using Massey Universities results of 100 mg of gold per 1 kg of dry matter, debunks that claim no matter if it is hyperbole or a mathematical equation of 1 gram per 100 usa acres however. In a greenhouse environment they got canola up to 1000 mg/kg of dry matter.

    A study done by different universities in several countries in Brazil concluded that phytomining was indeed viable, and gave a profit of $6400 per hectare. This is interesting because this study could not achieve 100mg/kg but only 1 mg/kg, and at only $361 an ounce for gold (a 2003 study), it still achieved profitability. $361 an ounce! In fact I have yet to read a research paper that shows phytomining is NOT profitable.

    That is based on the spot price of gold however, what is more encouraging is that in the medical field they must take gold and convert it back to nanoparticles, but great promise (and profit) may exist in the future for gold nanoparticles to travel directly from producer (farmer) to the medical industry. I do not know how that would work, but that is why this is such fascinating stuff.

    Imagine, a farmer raising sunflowers, canola, or alfalfa that pulls antibiotic silver nanoparticles from the ground, and is delivered to a patient to possibly rid themselves of bloodborne pathogens? This is not as far fetched as it sounds, this literally could be just around the corner.

  15. #30
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    440
    396 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by winners58 View Post
    my only real concern is harming farm land, same with someone building a housing complex on farm land.
    putting a chemical solution that will chelate with the metal you are trying to extract using phytomining (correct spelling)
    and harvesting once the plants die from metal toxicity or the chemical solution applied. Can the chemical solution applied
    to the soil be neutralized and soil made sweet again, sure but lots of things can happen especially if the chemical is
    thiocyanate, thiosulfate, cyanide is highly toxic to animals, birds, what would happen if there was an early rain before it was naturalized.
    As far as gold uptake we're talking .mg's other metals like copper or nickle might be viable if the laterites are near the surface.
    I'm sure you used the term lixiviant correctly just not a term used often, its a descriptive term, water is used as a lixivant,
    usually when talking we just hear the term "leaching solution" used as something people in mining would relate to.
    If you think you can get the gold, go for it. talking on an open forum of putting cyanide on farm land can get a knock your door.
    no one is really anonymous by using a pseudonym, Orecart or Mineshaft there is an IP address logged with each post.
    my thoughts are find and follow the stringers break them up see if they contain gold,
    if not, level your hole put the soil back on top, chase the next stringers you find...
    This is not a valid point though because of the way cyanide works; it is a very benign poison, and why it is a class two poison and not a class one poison. Do not get me wrong, it is very lethal at small quantities, but only in the right setting. Put simply, dilution with water renders it harmless very quickly.

    Even then, cyanide does not kill plants, because it works by interfering with the ability of blood to effectively transport oxygen. Plants do not use oxygen, but carbon dioxide, and they do not have blood. The plants are actually killed, not from the cyanide, but from heavy metal toxicity of sucking up all those heavy metals. Sure plants need copper, and zinc, but too much of a good thing is deadly.

    Even the worst cyanide spill in the world, dumped directly into a river, did little environmental damage. Within 16 days all traces of cyanide were gone, and aqua life returned to normal, and that was a major spill. On my own farm, being in existence for 300 consecutive years, no one has more of a stake in my farms viability than I do. I have been here all my life, and will continue to be, so I would never do anything to harm it.

    Cyanide has a bad reputation because it is not understood; using it for death sentences certainly did not help, just as many people are afraid to wire their own home because they are deathly afraid of electricity. Yet as we know, what would life be like without it? But what would life be like without cyanide? Heck I took some yesterday; I had some popcorn and I like a little salt on mine...yep cyanide is used to keep table salt from caking. That is just one of many products we consume with cyanide in it.

    All this is said for education though, and denounce the skeptics of cyanide, because it is kind of a moot point.

    I probably will not use it only because I would have to make it. I found a promising lead on some fertilizer that as a farm I can have delivered here, and by the ton, for very little money.

 

 
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