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Author Topic: Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid  (Read 663 times)

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Offline CLHaddon

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Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid
« on: August 09, 2018, 03:18:34 PM »
Hey guys, been spending  a bit of time out on the Fraser this summer with a few of the guys from the forums having a blast and finding a bit of gold.
The particular area we're in seems to have quite a bit of lead plus a bunch of mercury from the old timers.

I was using heat to drive off the mercury but accidentally overheated it and melted the lead which immediately stuck to my gold. I bought some Nitric Acid to dissolve the lead, any remaining mercury and copper or silver that might be present. I'll be using this method from now on instead of the old backyard downwind torch method. I also picked up some Sodium Hydroxide and concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide to try that method on the next batch I need to clean.

I thought you guys might like seeing the before/after of the process.

I started with 2.69 g of gold with misc metals. After treatment I was left with 2.21 g of clean gold but probably still only in the mid 90s for purity. The colour variations you can see show the presence of silver and copper alloyed gold.  Most of the material dissolved in solution was lead.

Offline poncho

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Re: Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 03:43:02 PM »
Well done and nice pictures  just curios do use a face mask for vapours
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

Offline mcbain

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Re: Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 08:57:22 PM »
Hi.C.L..Nice but the topic of using acids is a no no on the forum.It is generally restricted to ppt invited.Especially the good stuff.Some kind of safety issue.Apparently there are alot of stupid folks out there that kill themselfves playing with the stuff.So it is atopic we try to avoid.Just saying Luck Mcbain.
I started out with nothing Istill have most of it.

Offline CLHaddon

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Re: Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2018, 08:18:49 AM »
poncho: Everything I do like this is done outside and downwind. This reaction is fairly slow and low toxicity so I just set it up in my backyard and left it for a couple hours and made sure all my windows and doors on that side of the house were shut

mcbain: I am not a professor or teacher for this type of stuff which is why I didn't mention anything about the procedure or where I got my materials. I just wanted to show a before and after because I thought people might be interested to see it

Offline mcbain

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Re: Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 08:37:57 PM »
Hi.C.L. not a problem with me.just some thing we do not discuss.Using a torch to melt of mercury can kill a person.The pics were great just do not post how you did it,You get my driftLuck,Mcbain.
I started out with nothing Istill have most of it.

Offline DharmaSoldat

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Re: Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 04:53:29 PM »
Is smelting/cupelling the preferred refining method on this forum?

Offline mcbain

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Re: Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 07:56:48 PM »
Hi DS.Many have prefered methods.The point I am trying to make is we do not discuss the methods on the open forum.Anything that could be harmfull to some one doing it wrong becomes a liabialty to the forum simply because they read about it hear.Now you can ask a question and anybody that has safe method can reply by a pm to you.But inmost cases regarding the use of mercury and acids the topic will get removed.The sad thing is there are still alot of folks using mercury to separate black sand from gold that is why the Fraser is still full of it.Mercury kills every thing and should be banned from the planet.Just my opinion.Luck,Mcbain.
I started out with nothing Istill have most of it.

Offline bmc

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Re: Cleaning up Fraser River gold with Nitric Acid
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2018, 09:18:28 AM »
Hey guys, been spending  a bit of time out on the Fraser this summer with a few of the guys from the forums having a blast and finding a bit of gold.
The particular area we're in seems to have quite a bit of lead plus a bunch of mercury from the old timers.

I was using heat to drive off the mercury but accidentally overheated it and melted the lead which immediately stuck to my gold. I bought some Nitric Acid to dissolve the lead, any remaining mercury and copper or silver that might be present. I'll be using this method from now on instead of the old backyard downwind torch method. I also picked up some Sodium Hydroxide and concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide to try that method on the next batch I need to clean.

I thought you guys might like seeing the before/after of the process.

I started with 2.69 g of gold with misc metals. After treatment I was left with 2.21 g of clean gold but probably still only in the mid 90s for purity. The colour variations you can see show the presence of silver and copper alloyed gold.  Most of the material dissolved in solution was lead.

Just remember, Nitric Acid can give off Chlorine Gas ( that green cloud you see ) and that can be deadly to your lung lining, not to mention corrosive to skin, eyes, nasal membranes, etc. 

For the lead, you are probably better off cupelling the gold, that should also remove the mercury, but in either case, you have the potential to poison yourself - which can be fatal.

Support Canadian Made Prospecting Supplies - and complain to the Government at any opportunity - just to remind them, YOU are still their boss!

 


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