What Can You Tell Me About Your Mining Claim?

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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 Black Canyon City, Arizona

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