|Aug25-12, 09:52 PM||#18|
Blog Entries: 4
how do they locate gold?
|Aug25-12, 11:48 PM||#19|
To sample deeper than one can with gold panning and bio-prospecting methods, one uses core drills. These are basically highly specialized 'hole saws'.
See also the core drill illustration about half-way down this page:
These hollow drills provide one with rock samples that can be split and resplit. One part of the core- the ones that show interesting looking mineral samples- is sent to an independent lab for analysis, using either acids or a spectrum analysis machine. Half the samples are kept "on file" by the exploration company. In some cases a second quarter of the samples is sent to another lab for a second opinion. The one half is kept in case the deposit needs to be re-sampled at some point.
Drill holes are laid out on a grid pattern, with parallel rows of these holes spaced a distance apart on the property. These drill holes can be quite deep, 2,000 meters and more, depending on how much the exploration company wants to pay for.
This sampling allows a geologist to now create an approximate 3d profile of the deposit on a computer, which in turn gives an approximate volume. That in turn can lead to an estimate of how much ore is in the deposit.
I have been asked to help a geologist put together a series of study guides about core drilling and the tasks associated with this kind of job. Previous to this, I did some work reading through 3,500 pages of a particular copper and precious metals mine proposal to find out what the deposit contained but the mining company wasn't publicizing. I found worrisome pockets of mercury, and some radioactive minerals. This job was a real learning experience since I had to look up a lot of geological terms and mineral names.
I now have a much deeper understanding of the geology almost literally under my feet, and it's fascinating stuff. [Vaguely, just a bit west of Kamloops, B.C., and south of the Thompson River.]
So hopefully this helps explain more about how to find minerals (gold) below 10 meters. My apologies for not quite understanding the question in the first place!
|Aug25-12, 11:51 PM||#20|
Add: It's irrelevant, but I have some core samples sitting right next to me. They look for all the world like long 2" diameter granite rolling pins, and I AM tempted to try one for making cookies.
At least I'm pretty certain they're granite....
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