Gold Sampling: a 3-Phase Plan of Attack (Conclusion)
(Any sample tag will do as long as you have the correct info recorded.)
For those of you interested in increasing your productivity and overall gold recoveries, sampling is a fundamental practice you should familiarize yourself with. In this post, I'll be closing out this series on gold sampling so please read on.
PHASE III. Sample Gathering, Identification, and Analysis
Identification: You could follow every tip and step I've suggested in this series to the absolute letter, but if you fail to properly tag or identify your samples guess what? You're pretty much hosed.
Gold Prospecting Books
Why is this? I'm not going to insult your intelligence here because you know full well why. But just imagine your chagrin when one or two of those samples (lode or placer) indicate potentially rich diggings and you don't remember (or know) where the hell they came from. My, my, my...are you gonna be one unhappy camper.
Think I'm just joking around here? Nope...even yours truly, the great J.R., the legend in his own mind, the self-proclaimed gold miner extraordinaire, the adviser to millions (well, hundreds anyway...), screwed this issue up BIG TIME at a point early in my prospecting and mining career. I can tell you with total honesty and clarity that this sampling mistake still haunts me today...in fact, it pains me terribly to even think about it 30 years later. Absolute truth...don't even ask me about it.
Make Sure You Know
So when you take those samples, separate them, bag them, ID them, and record them using any logical system that works for you personally. Simple letter-number systems work well, like A1, A2, A3, and so on. A in this case represents the exact location and 1, 2, and 3 various assigned depths. A2-L would be the second spot or location, the second depth down, and taken from a set distance to the left of A2. I think you get the idea...it ain't rocket science by any stretch.
Be sure to record each sample in a small notebook or via a mini-recorder, GPS, or whatever. Just make sure you know where each and every sample came from before you start running the samples yourself or take them to be assayed or processed elsewhere.
Handle Analysis Yourself or...?
So how does sample analysis work? That depends in a great part on what sort of info or data you want and what your current capabilities and resources are. You can probably handle most of your small-scale placer samples yourself unless you're looking to deal strictly with recovering microdot gold from black sands where more sophisticated analyses methods are required.
(Fire sample assays awaiting analysis.)
An Impatient Lot
I'll be truthful yet again here...I've not known too many small-scale gold prospectors or miners over the decades who had the mettle, discipline, or patience to do what I'm saying here in terms of sampling. Prospectors and miners hate being regimented and don't respond well (in most instances) to lots of structure or "by-the-book" discipline. We're an impatient lot overall, myself included.
But there's a method to this sampling "madness" and, if applied conscientiously over time, it'll bring rewards down the road. Remember, I blew it once and learned a hard lesson on the importance of sampling, identification, and recording data-significant info. So in this case, I recommend you do as I say...NOT as I once did!
Good luck out there.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold Sampling: a 3-Phase Plan of Attack (Part 7)"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2013
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org