Geology And Geophysics

Finding Gold in new England



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"Finding Gold in new England"
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New England is supposed to be an awful place to look for gold, but there is more gold in them thar hills then believed. Gold is there, but it is awful hard to find. Newmont Mines has grown to be the third largest mining company in the world based on the Carlin Trend in Nevada. The gold of the Carlin Trend is so fine that the only way to see it is through an electron microscope. Yet Newmont is able to produce so much gold from the Carlin Trend that they have made it a paying gold deposit. Their method is to mine tremendous amounts of rock from open pit mines, and treat the crushed ore in what are called leach heaps where they percolate a solution of potassium cyanide through the heaps, then after months of doing this the cyanide solution is treated with powdered zinc to make the gold precipitate out of the cyanide solution.
Gold in New England is usually easier to find then gold of the Carlin Trend. The most common way it occurs is what is called a "saddle reef" of vein quartz that forms on the top of a vertical fold in the country rock. Another place where gold is found in New England is in pegmatites. A pegmatite is granite found as veins in the country rock that displays giant crystals. Pegmatites are also the home of gemstones usually beryl, tourmaline or topaz. All gold deposits are associated with granites some how or another. They are not found in the granite itself, but in rocks close to an intrusion of granite. It is also found as an infusion into marble.
The other place where one can find gold is in placer mines. This is where the gold has been eroded from the country rock and congregates into the bed of a stream. Most often it is found anywhere that the velocity of the water goes from a high flow rate quickly to a low flow rate like the inside of a curve, or the plunge pool at the base of a waterfall. If you are a trout fisherman a likely place is anywhere you would expect to find a trout.
The amateur gold hunter more often then not uses the panning process to find gold whether it is gold from hard rock mining or working placer deposits. A gold pan is a steel or plastic shallow pan with a low angle rim that is several inches wide. This is used to concentrate the gold by working the pan.
You start by filling the pan with sand and gravel. Discard the larger stones you find in the pan. Look at these carefully, so you don't throw something valuable out with the usual junk. Most Rockhounds call this Leaverite" which means leave her right here. After the biggest rocks in the pan are discarded you keep swishing the pan around in a circular motion allowing some sand and gravel to escape over the rim. With practice you can work over a panfull in two to three minutes. You will observe that what is left in the pan is a streak of black sand. The gold will be deposited at the end of this black streak towards the way the water has been flowing in the pan. It is best to remove the gold with a pair of tweezers, and place it in a small bottle with a screw on top.

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