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Flour/fine gold? Powdery Pyrite or Mica?

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Post  yass00_Au Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:48 pm

G'day folks,

I was in Ophir NSW camping on the reserve early January with family in toe.. It was our first camping trip together as a family and also our first fossicking/prospecting trip.. After settling into camping life and after the second day in I panned off some material/samples I had collected over three hours from four different locations while I was wondering around looking curiously and imagining all the old timers in the creek with all the hustle, bustle and antics that took place sixty years ago ago or so.. Took me four hours to pan off three 14" pans Rolling Eyes as it was my first time using a gold pan.. I was not expecting any results so I was not disappointed after seven hours of hard work which went into it when I did not see any color in the bottom of the pan.. On the last day before leaving I decided not to pan off what was left of the sampling material collected (4 litre paint container) as we had to pack for a lengthy drive home and so it was packed into the tub of the ute tetris style as to have a go at home to practice with the pan and perhaps scratch a gold itch when it arise..

Our camping holiday at Ophir was interesting and we all learnt to live without time, schedules, electronics, TV, radio, alarm clocks and microwave ovens which was great! We woke up when we wanted, we ate when we where hungry and the boys learnt about the bush and more importantly themselves.. It is amazing how time and the clock hand movements dictate our lives which makes us kind of paranoid about almost every aspect of life but while camping in the bush all this time perceived paranoia diminishes well into the second day.. The night skies where pure without light pollution with many constellations visible and satellites as well, very beautiful to observe in that environment.. We met some real lovely folk, local and visitors alike which left a real impression on what country life was really about! I made a few friends which offered local home brewed beers which where consumed under the well lit stars of night with many a local yarn and tale shared which sadly I miss..

So getting back to the topic of discussion, the materials/samples sat in my garage for 6 weeks till I had time to find a suitable place near to where I live and refine my panning technique with what I had left.. A few hours in and three pans later I see this shinny/sparkly flake at the bottom within the black sands and I nearly pissed myself from the excitement so I tried to grab it with my tweezers but it moved around in the water freely and was brittle, kept chipping so I snuffed it.. However after further investigation online (Google is your friend!) I came to the conclusion it was either Pyrite or Mica as gold is malleable.. Many of the pans which I sampled in Ophir and the materials panned further contained this very fine flour gold type material which separated from the black sands, bunched up and created a line/streak while tapping the side of the pan..

What would determine if this powdery material in fact is flour/fine gold or just ground up Pyrite or Mica?

I did throw away the bottom of every pan which contained black sands and a little powdery fine/flour gold (if in fact it was fine/flour gold) in Ophir as I did not fully understand what the bottom of the pan was telling me but I have since kept these black sands from the samples brought home.. It all lives in the bottom of the 14" pan which is placed on top of my printer in the lounge room along with the Mica/Pyrite flake and all the water has dried up since.. Kids love looking at it as do I regardless of it status Cool..

Thank you for reading and take care Smile

Ross


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Post  tezz Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:34 pm

Hi Ross,
Thanks for the read,
Pyrite is hard and brittle. You don't normally find shiny pyrite in a river as it would of oxidized,
and gold doesn't break up with tweezers and is not sparkly, sounds like mica to me, strange it is mixed in the black sand as mica is very light, it would have got washed out if you were panning properly, get yourself a loop, 10x (10 power) and check those specks out, might be some flour gold in there as well, you cannot mistake gold under the lens.
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Post  Guest Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:54 pm

G'day Ross and welcome to the forum. Very Happy . Very interesting read and would be interested in seeing a pic of the contents left in your pan. If you have any good clear pics that is?? If so you could up load them in the members finds area or if you like you could post it to the general discussion area to see what some of the other members think it could be. Would be an interesting subject.

Cheers.

Mike. cheers

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Post  Guest Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:31 pm

Hi Yass00-au, sounds like you have a piece of pyrite and some flour gold. Watch 50 or so youtube vids on the subject and you should be able to figure it out.

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Post  yass00_Au Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:39 pm

tezz wrote:Hi Ross,
Thanks for the read,
Pyrite is hard and brittle. You don't normally find shiny pyrite in a river as it would of oxidized,
and gold doesn't break up with tweezers and is not sparkly, sounds like mica to me, strange it is mixed in the black sand as mica is very light, it would have got washed out if you were panning properly, get yourself a loop, 10x (10 power) and check those specks out, might be some flour gold in there as well, you cannot mistake gold under the lens.

Hi tezz,

Yes I have been thinking about a jewelers loop x10 for a while now so it will be my next ebay purchase..

Actually the material sampled did not come out of the river directly but higher up in the bank where gravels where deposited way before where the current river channel runs.. I popped a boulder that was exposed through the grass and scraped back what was under it so as far as the flake oxidizing with exposure to moisture it was bright and reflective in the pan and at the bottom with a little black sand.. It does move around in the water freely..

Ross


Last edited by yass00_Au on Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  yass00_Au Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:53 pm

Mike54 wrote:G'day Ross and welcome to the forum. Very Happy . Very interesting read and would be interested in seeing a pic of the contents left in your pan. If you have any good clear pics that is?? If so you could up load them in the members finds area or if you like you could post it to the general discussion area to see what some of the other members think it could be. Would be an interesting subject.

Cheers.

Mike. cheers

Hi Mike,

I tried to upload pics from PC to post that I shot today in macro but I can not scratch I guess i'll have to read a bit more into linking and posting pics in posts..

I did however magnify and examine shots and interestingly discovered the fine/flour gold is in fact small sandy particles though the sparkly bits which crumbled remained reflective even under a cloudy afternoon when I shot the macro's.. I was confidant the flaky sparkly bits where not gold, my main concern was the flour/fine stuff in the pan turning out to be either pulverized Pyrite or Mica but as it is lighter it should have washed out of the pan..

Ross

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Post  yass00_Au Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:12 pm

Sparrowfart wrote:Hi Yass00-au, sounds like you have a piece of pyrite and some flour gold. Watch 50 or so youtube vids on the subject and you should be able to figure it out.

Hi Sparrowfart,

I have spent many a night watching youtube vids but just wanted to post up and share the experience.. I kinda knew what the reflective flake was but I was sure there was fine/flour gold in the bottom of the pan but after macro magnification today confirmed it was fine pulverized sand grains and no gold Shocked

Ross


Last edited by yass00_Au on Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Guest Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:58 pm

G'day Ross here is a link to photobucket you can upload your pics through there. Also you can try Stoppsy's link below.

http://photobucket.com/

https://golddetecting.forumotion.net/t8442-how-to-post-pictures-on-the-forum#77852

Cheers.

Mike. cheers

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Post  yass00_Au Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:22 am

Hiya Mike,

I successfully linked pics from PC to post and previewed but when I click send to post it comes up with this message:

New members are not allowed to post external links or emails for 7 days. Please contact the forum administrator for more information.

So I will have to wait for a few more days to post em up..

Ross

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Post  yass00_Au Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:24 pm

These are the best macro shots I could take on a cloudy day.. Purchased x30 loupe from ebay today so waiting for that to be delivered and have a bit of a play around with flakes panned yesterday..

Flour/fine gold? Powdery Pyrite or Mica? Ophir13

Flour/fine gold? Powdery Pyrite or Mica? Ophir_13

Flour/fine gold? Powdery Pyrite or Mica? Ophir_14

Flour/fine gold? Powdery Pyrite or Mica? Ophir_15

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Post  Guest Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:44 pm

Just having a look at you nice pics good job, but it does not look like gold in the first 3 the last one maybe needs a bit better lighting. You may see better when you get the loop. Thanks for sharing your pics well done.

Cheers.


Mike. cheers

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