If you live in an area with large deposits of black-colored sand, are you sitting on tons of gold that you can refine? Or if you work for a mining company that pulverizes minerals and ends up with quantities of black sand, it is likely to contain quantities of gold that are worth extracting?
Lots of myths and misunderstandings surround the question of black sand, as you will discover if you search for the term on Google. But before you assume that your black sand is worth its weight in gold – or even a tiny percentage of that – here are some questions to answer.
What Is the Source?
Black sand can be sitting on a beach. It can be found in “placer deposits” of other minerals that occur naturally in streams, river beds or as veins in rock faces. It can be a byproduct of mines that extract primarily copper, zinc, or another metal from the earth.
So, what is in your black sand and does it contain gold? There is no way to be sure without sending a sample to a qualified gold refinery.
If Gold Is There, Can It Be Profitably Be Extracted?
The answer is, it depends on the kind of black sand that you have – if it does contain gold. If gold is present in small nuggets or flakes that are not physically bound to minerals, they can sometimes be separated by sifting or using a device called a shaker table or other specialized machinery. Do you remember the Gold Rush prospectors who panned for gold in streams? They were engaging in just this process.
If gold is physically bound to minerals, it can sometimes be separated by the application of heat in a smelting operation. At other times, the only way to separate the gold is to immerse quantities of black sand in chemical baths – a process called wet chemical extraction. The more complex the separation process, the higher the cost becomes of extracting each troy ounce of gold.
Is It Worth Extracting Gold from Your Black Sand?
Again, the answer is, it depends. If only a tiny amount of gold exists in a large quantity of black sand, the cost of extracting it can be much higher than the value of the gold itself. If there is a lot of gold that can be extracted using sifting or other relatively inexpensive processes, that could be an option worth considering.
The bottom line? If you’re sitting on a quantity of black sand of any kind, start out by sending a sample to a qualified testing service. Consider calling Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to learn more.
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