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Basic Concepts

Mission Statement

Basic Provisions of the Process Licensing

What We Can Offer to You

Non-Disclosure Agreement

Sample Submittal







Micron gold has always been a major challenge for many gold prospectors, whether they recognize it or not.  Because it is so small, it might be present but you may not even know it.  It takes extremely good panning techniques to capture it in a pan, and a sluice will generally wash the micron gold out with the tailings, maybe even easier than washing out the fine black sand.

If you suspect you have micron gold, the first step is to look for it with a good 20X or 30X magnifier, looking for discrete, small particles of gold in the black sand.  If you don't see it, you may still have it present as gold encapsulated in a thin layer of iron oxide or iron sulfide or any of the other ore components that are typically encountered.  Perhaps a better way is to have an XRF test performed, which will also identify other metals present, including silver, lead, zinc, mercury, and the platinum group metals (assuming the XRF device is programmed for those additional metals).  The platinum group metals can be very difficult to identify visually, because they will likely be in very small quantities and their physical appearance is very plain.  Remember, if you don't specifically look for it, you will never know that you had it to start with.  In the iodine leaching process, the platinum group metals will concentrate with the base metals after the gold is deposited, making the recovery simpler.

There are many systems available to process micron gold, each with their strong points and their weaknesses.  The mechanical processes like wave tables tend to require expensive equipment and very precise operating conditions, but the gold is immediately available and readily visible.  Processes that use moving water, like the Blue Bowl and wheels, tend to require very carefully controlled flow rates and a very narrow range of classification.  Essentially all of the processes, including mine, will demand that the starting materials have not been subjected to any process that would have already flushed the micron gold away with the tailings.  The cyanide leaching process has been developed very successfully to recover much of the small gold, including micron gold, from low grade ore; however, such a process is totally unsatisfactory for a small scale miner because of the toxicity, the significant amount of equipment required, and the excessive controls over environmental release.

There are other leaching processes available, with varying degrees of effectiveness, ease of use, cost, and different levels of safety.  I believe that my iodine process can be attractive for many of the micron gold applications that exist, whether it be beach sand, waste black sand, sluice tailings, raw ore, or even scrap jewelry (including plated or filled jewelry).  The chemistry is sophisticated (but simple for the end-user), uses readily available raw materials (most are over the counter, general purpose chemicals), the chemicals are generally considered to be very safe for people, animals, and crops, and the disposal of waste materials is not considered hazardous (although disposal of large amounts of anything is generally considered inappropriate).  As a side benefit, the iodine leaching process can be used as a very simple, very quick method of determining the presence or absence of gold, even as a field test.  However, because of the wide range of variables, it is not a practical method for determining the quantity of gold in a particular sample.

Many of the accounts of poor performance of iodine as a leaching agent for gold have contained significant inaccuracies as to the chemistry involved, giving rise to the notion that the process is much more difficult or more dangerous than it really is.  The chemistry is, in fact, extremely sophisticated to the point where only an experienced chemist would totally UNDERSTAND what is happening, but almost anyone should be able to USE the process effectively and safely.  Also, the general statement that the raw materials are too expensive to make the process economical is quite often based on a poor understanding of how the iodine materials are recycled: the initial cost is VERY high at about $50 per pound, but the regeneration cost is very low.  The active leaching chemical is no more dangerous or toxic than Povidone Iodine, which is designed to be swabbed onto human skin, even with minor cuts and scrapes, several times per day.  The major aspects that will control the economic feasibility of a particular operation must be determined by the owner of the ore and are basically related to:

General advantages of the iodine leaching process, as I have developed it:

General limitations of the iodine leaching process, as currently identified:

Because every ore is different, I suggest that, if you have an interesting ore, send me about a quart (a few pounds, or whatever it takes to recover about 100 milligrams of gold) and I will do my best to extract all of the gold and PGM's from it and let you know the results and whatever problems I encounter.  Based on those results, you need to decide if it might be practical for you to subscribe to my process and leach your ore and then work with me to purify it into saleable gold.  It will cost you very little to subscribe to my process and to purchase a few supplies for you to actually leach your own ore.  The leaching process is very simple but I do not intend to place it into public knowledge (and I require that you do not release it, either, hence the required non-disclosure agreement).  I do ask that you use the Sample Submittal form to document a few things; especially, a clear statement that you actually own the sample and how to contact you with the results.

Be aware that the leaching process will generate a very pure form of metallic gold, free of the black sand and most other minerals, but it will be incredibly small particles that are very difficult to handle.  You will still need to process it further to obtain a saleable material.  That processing can be done by BlackSand2Gold, by most jewelers, almost any fire assay lab, or you can learn how to do it yourself, but there may be a steep learning curve.

Last Revised: 11/30/2015