Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Scottish Placer Gold (Conclusion)


 (Placer gold can be found in a number of Scottish burns like this one.)

In this post I'll be tying up the loose ends of this two-part series on placer gold in Scotland, including listing the remaining Scottish gold locations.

Crom Alt Burn: This placer area near Tyndrum is a favorite of Scottish miners and hobbyist gold panners. The Au here (like most Scottish placer gold) is very high in silver content as well as other inclusive minerals/metals. Gold is gold, however. Despite these inclusions or "contaminants," Scottish placer gold is exactly that. Inevitably what we get down to here is a question of relative percentages in terms of metals.

Lead Hills-Wanlockhead: Important in Scottish gold mining history, this region was said to have produced at least 30,000 troy ounces of gold back in the 6th Century! Obviously, deposition theory and placer mining methods and equipment were not what they were back then so what that suggests to yours truly is that Lead Hills-Wanlockhead was a rich placer gold area. The Au content here is a bit higher than at other Scottish gold locations, running close to 90% gold purity.

Angus Glens: A beautiful collection of gold from the Angus Glens area now resides in the National Museum of Scotland. Geologists believe that the placers here evolved from highly metamorphosed sediments.

Ochil Hills: This placer gold region has been visited by Scottish gold panners for as long as folks can remember. One reason for this was that the Ochil Hills area contains a number of very good gold locations within its boundaries. The best of these is Borland Glen (as the locals well know).

Lammermuir Hills: Of all the Scottish placer gold locations, Lammermuir Hills is the most "recent" in terms of discovery. It's only been within the last 20-30 years that the area has become known as a placer gold producer, although not of economic significance. However, this means little if anything to the dedicated small-scale gold miners and gold panners who work Lammermuir.

No Reason Not to Try

For those of you living in the United Kingdom (UK) who want to learn more about vein and placer gold in Scotland, I strongly recommend you contact the University of Leeds. Some geologists at Leeds have made it their life's work to know and understand the geologic and mineralization processes that brought gold to Scotland. They know their stuff, pure and simple. The University of Leeds offers its own course of study in geology, by the way. The focus is exploration geology which may prove of high interest to many of you out there.

(University of Leeds student displaying an 8.1 gram nugget from a Scottish placer.)

That's it in a nutshell. Scottish placer gold exists in decent quantities in a number of good locations, so if you're an aspiring miner in the UK there's no reason for you NOT to try your hand there. It's a beautiful country with rugged landscapes and even more rugged individuals who once struck fear in the hearts of their enemies, including the ancient Romans who, in their personal accounts, mentioned gold in "Caledonia."

As the Scots are fond of saying, "Lang may yer lum reek." ("May you live long and stay well.")

(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2014

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com

4 comments:

  1. Good morning JR, Why do they call an area like you have pictured a "Burn"? When I think of burns, I picture areas forest fires have been through. Volcanic areas maybe???? Gary

    ReplyDelete
  2. In Scottish Gaelic a burn means a water source, stream, etc. Lots of water there, so lots of "burns." Best, J.R.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, I would have never guessed that. Well, I learned something today, I can go back to bed! THANKS JR!

    ReplyDelete