Twenty-five years ago, few people could have predicted that people would be using drones to prospect for gold and other precious metals. Yet as we reported recently on our Gold Refiners blog, smart treasure hunters are now using camera-equipped drones to locate old buildings, abandoned mines and other sites where precious metals can potentially be found.
In today’s post, let’s put on our thinking caps and predict how tech-savvy treasure-seekers will be looking for gold and other precious metals in the years ahead.
Testing Air Samples
Air samples could reveal the presence of precious metals that are buried underground or lying on the surface in remote areas.
How likely is it that this approach could work? The answer is, it depends on where the metals are located. If they are found in surface deposits of mining waste, surface water or sand, it will work. If they are buried far underground, the odds are slimmer. Our prediction? This prospecting method will probably be used in the future, even though you cannot do it today.
Testing Leaves, Grasses and other Vegetation
In theory, the plants that grow over underground deposits of gold and other precious metals could absorb trace amounts of those metals. If you collect some leaves or other samples and send them to a lab for testing, they could point you to riches.
How likely is it that this approach could work? It depends on whether the root systems of the plants you are testing go deep enough to reach underground metal deposits – and how deep those deposits might be. But the fact remains that this is a prospecting approach that you can try today, because commercial testing labs are already equipped to test vegetation and tell you about the chemicals they contain. To find a lab in your area, try searching online for “environmental testing services.” Chances are good you will find a lab in your area. (Please note that Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners is not able to conduct tests of vegetation for you.)
Testing Water Samples
There is nothing futuristic or far-fetched about this. If you collect samples of ground water or stream water and send it to a lab for testing, you can learn whether your sample contains small amounts of gold, silver and other precious metals. To find a lab that can test samples, search online for “environmental testing services.” (Let’s note that Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners cannot perform this kind of testing for you, either.)
Analyzing Satellite Images of the Earth
Advanced spectroscopic analysis of satellite images of the earth’s surface (and of the surface of the moon, Mars and other planets) can already determine their chemical composition. This is already being done today by mining companies. In the future, it is a technology that – like drones – will be available for use by amateur treasure hunters.
Extracting Gold from Seawater
Gold is found in seawater in very small amounts – on the order of 10 parts of gold per one trillion parts of water. That isn’t much. But in the future, advanced technologies could profitably extract gold from seawater. One possibility? If desalinating sea water becomes more common (and it should), desalinating plants could go into the business of “mining” gold from seawater that is already being processed.
Can you use this technology today? The answer is no. But if you are still around in 50 years, and still looking for gold, maybe you will be doing it every day.
Are You a Step Ahead?
Let’s take off our futurist glasses and ask how you can test soil, sand, and other substances to determine whether they contain gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals. Simple answer? Call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners today at 800-426-2344 and send us your samples for testing. Why wait for the future to arrive? Our qualified precious metals refiners can turn your discoveries into cash today.
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