Placer Processing

Cope, Louis W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
Placer material, regardless of the value of gold, tin, titanium, diamonds or other value mineral it contains, remains worthless until the valuable constituent is separated from the bulk of the material. This separation is no mean task when considering that a gold placer containing 0.01 to 0.03 oz/yd3 of gold, which is the range of grade of typical placer deposits; yes, 1:3,000,000! It is a miracle that gold placer mining has ever been profitable. Added to the situation of minute quantities of gold are several other problems, such as the gold often being very finely divided, the association of boulders and clay, and running and/or ground water. As each placer deposit is individual and distinctive, many factors have to be considered in planning the method for gold recovery from the alluvial deposit. Previous chapters have shown that in the exploration and sampling stage, some knowledge of the amount of each size of coarse and fine material which occurs in the deposit as well as the size distribution of the discrete gold particles is determined. Unless informed to the contrary, as a general rule of thumb, plant designers will consider that 40 percent of the material will pass through a 5/8-inch screen or punched plate hole. Also that there may be an occasional nugget and normally considerable amounts of fine gold. The designer must
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