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Author Topic: Borax And Gold Amalgamation  (Read 826 times)

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Offline Suave

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Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« on: March 25, 2019, 04:11:40 PM »
Borax_02.jpg

Aside from whitening your clothes and making them smell fresh, the use of borax can also be used as a gold amalgamation and smelting agent.

Borax is a non-toxic agent that works well for binding small particles of gold and enhancing the gold smelting process. The borax method of amalgamation/smelting is actually more efficient and a whole lot safer than previous methods used by the old-timers. The borax amalgamation process is currently being used by small-scale gold miners throughout the world, especially in those Third World areas.

The miners' moss from small-scale mining equipment (sluice box, high-banker, etc.) is placed in a bucket or tub of water containing borax. The borax mixture should have the same appearance as whole milk when it's poured into a glass, milky white. The miner's moss or matting is then washed in the bucket or tub just as you would normally do it to free the gold and heavies.

In Third World locales the concentrates are then run through a mini-sluice and reduced and "refined". The concentrate residue is then placed in a small plastic container and a small amount of water and borax are added. Or, alternately, the concentrates are placed in a gold pan and a bit of water and borax are added to the mix and stirred around.

If you're using a spiral gold wheel or Blue Bowl concentrator to process your heavy concentrates, make sure you have that add borax to the water until you have that "milky" color. Third World miners then take the final result of their borax amalgamation process, let it dry out, and then place it in a clay or ceramic bowl where they apply a hand-held propane torch to it. Gold melts around 1,948 degrees Fahrenheit, but the addition of borax to concentrates actually lowers the gold melting point down some and helps refine impurities out. The result will leave you with a small button of gold.

This is a great way to deal with that tedious micro-gold in your black sand concentrates.

Keep On Diggin'_Suave

Offline Davidloc

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 04:51:53 AM »
I understand the part about consolidating it with Borax and heat using the Borax as a fluxing agent but what does adding Borax to the sluicing/concentrating process do ?

Offline JOE S (INDY)

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 10:52:17 AM »
Borax is used in the melting and casting of Gold - not sluicing.

The Gold, a trace of non-metallic impurities, glass and Borax is put into a crucible and everything is melted in a furnace.  The glass melts and forms a liquid cover over the melt and that melted glass (or under another name "Silica") puddles on top - stopping the loss of bubbling Gold droplets.  The problem with the glass is that it is stiff, and doesn't pour very well.  Borax is added to the mix to thin out the Silica so it will, subsequently, pour more easily. 

When the liquid pour of everything goes into the pre-heated mold, the lighter, liquid materials (Silica/Borax/black sands) rise to the top and the liquid (natural alloy) Gold/Silver/Copper drops to the bottom of the mold.  When cool and therefore solid, all the brittle top material ("slag") can be chipped or broken away, leaving the Dore' Bar - containing the original Gold/Silver/Copper alloy as found in the stream. 

No refining (smelting) of the natural alloy of metals is done in this process - just melting, casting and slag removal.

The third world "Down and Dirty"process uses concentrates, Borax and a little bit of water to form a paste.  That paste is surrounded by a scrap of paper (simply as a carrier) and the entire mess package is heated until the water is driven off and the Borax/Gold/concentrates mix is melted.  After the heating process. the water and the paper are gone, the Gold has melted and formed a glob and the Borax/black sand has surrounded the glob.  The now hardened Borax covering is removed and the blob/bead of placer Gold alloy is recovered. 

Neither process removes non-Gold metals from the original placer Gold alloy.  In order to "Smelt - Purify - Refine" the Gold requires an additional thermo-chemical process. 

If the intent is to merely convert the placer Gold content, of all grain sizes, from your concentrates into a shiny Dore' Bar the first process is the way to go.  If you're working in primitive conditions in a hut in the Philippines and doing everything fast, cheap and non-technical then the second, basic, process might work for you. 

If you plan to do a little home-refining of your placer Gold to "increase it's selling price" - remember that no matter how much time, expertise and cost you expend in that effort the buyer won't care at all.  The buyer will take your "mystery Dore' Bar" to his Gold content analyzing equipment and when he knows exactly the % of Gold in the bar then he will make an offer.  You can have the purest .9999 fine Gold and the buyer will still confirm it for himself any way.
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Offline Davidloc

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 11:14:17 AM »
I never could figure out why so many people remelt placer gold when it's still an unassayed mystery bar. Until someone that is authorized certifies that it's .999 and refined it and stamped it as such then it's still scrap gold and miles away from the spot price.

Offline JOE S (INDY)

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2019, 12:44:50 PM »
And what is "Spot Price"?

 Entering What is Spot Price  into a few  search engines I found this:

What is Spot Price?

The spot price is the current price in the marketplace at which a given asset—such as a security, commodity, or currency—can be bought or sold for immediate delivery. While spot prices are specific to both time and place, in a global economy the spot price of most securities or commodities tends to be fairly uniform worldwide when accounting for exchange rates. In contrast to the spot price, a futures price is an agreed upon price for future delivery of the asset.


It seems that the information I received years ago was 100%  incorrect and I certainly do thank Garth64 for making me question that old information. 

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Offline garth64

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2019, 01:32:41 PM »





What does spot price mean?



The spot price is the current market price at which an asset is bought or sold for immediate payment and delivery. It is differentiated from the forward price or the futures price, which are prices at which an asset can be bought or sold for delivery in the future

Offline JOE S (INDY)

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2019, 01:37:30 PM »
I guess our sources differ
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Offline garth64

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 01:52:08 PM »
Its ok joe its not your fault.

Offline sunshine

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2019, 01:37:52 PM »
I have never heard about using Borax to clean mats.  Some prospectors have used TSP in their cleaning process, and I recall it was to help liquify/remove clay.    I have only ever used plain water.   It seem to me that adding Borax or TSP won't hurt but might just be washing away $$.  For sure, Borax is used as a flux and aids in making the glass on a button.   What am I missing?
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Offline Suave

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Re: Borax And Gold Amalgamation
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 04:39:08 PM »
I have never heard about using Borax to clean mats.  Some prospectors have used TSP in their cleaning process, and I recall it was to help liquify/remove clay.    I have only ever used plain water.   It seem to me that adding Borax or TSP won't hurt but might just be washing away $$.  For sure, Borax is used as a flux and aids in making the glass on a button.   What am I missing?

There appears to be a little confusion over the use of borax. The borax is not used to clean the mats, but instead, is used to amalgamate very fine gold, much the same way as mercury did back in the day. It adheres to the gold and forms small globules which are then placed into a crucible and heated.

You don't run Borax through your High-banker or sluice. That would be defeatist. The mat or miners moss you are washing in a bucket is strictly fines and black sand which would normally be a tedious undertaking.

Hope this clears a few things up.

Regards.

Keep On Diggin'_Suave

 


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