What Can You Tell Me About Your Mining Claim?

September 20, 2018

Gold averages 0.004 ppm (parts per million) in the crust of the earth. Knowing this tells you that gold is indeed, a very rare, precious metal. It takes about 31.1 ppm to = 1 opt (ounce per ton) Today an ounce of gold is worth around $1200.


Do you have hopes of nuggets lying around in plain sight? If so, give up now! I have spent much of my life wandering the mountains and deserts of our Great American West, by helicopter, horse, pick-up truck, four-wheeler and mostly, on foot. All these years of hot pursuit has produced exactly two nuggets, winking at me, there for the taking. I have found plenty on the surface using a metal detector. Found mainly in weeds and areas infested with cactus and other thorny growth, but again, only two in plain sight.


What do you know about your claim? Have you limited yourself to the main wash, or traversed your claim in a grid pattern? How about the highly fractured outcrop of plain old rock, how thoroughly have you inspected it? Have you crushed a few pounds and panned it for color? Have you had any material assayed by a reputable lab? There are numerous elements, besides gold; that once identified or revealed in a multi-element test, could be your golden ticket. Check the list of elements below, some of which you just might find on your claim. How many can you identify by seeing them in the field? Many of these elements are very rare, and some are by far, more valuable than gold. I know that I've walked over and past many fortunes, have you?


Abundance of Elements in Earth’s Crust. The table below shows the abundance of elements in Earth’s crust. Numbers show parts per million (ppm) in mass. Note that numbers are estimates.


Element       Symbol       Relative Proportion (ppm)     Abundance (ppm)

zinc              Zn               75                                          70

copper         Cu               50                                          60

lead             Pb               14                                          14          

silver            Ag               0.070                                     0.075 

mercury       Hg               0.05                                       0.085

selenium      Se               0.05                                       0.05

indium          In                0.049                                     0.250

bismuth        Bi                0.048                                     0.0085

tellurium       Te               0.005                                     0.001

platinum       Pt                0.003                                    0.005

gold              Au               0.0011                                  0.004

ruthenium     Ru               0.001                                    0.001

palladium      Pd               0.0006                                  0.015

rhenium         Re              0.0004                                  0.0007

iridium            Ir                0.0003                                  0.001

rhodium          Rh             0.0002                                  0.001

osmium           Os            0.0001                                  0.0015



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