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The lil Gold Spinner
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The lil Gold Spinner
The Pocket Sluice

Author Topic: Can someone PLEASE run my concentrate and tell me what I have? I need help!  (Read 9764 times)

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Offline perduepro

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Thank you, I am currently looking for a good mini sluice.


What is the difference between assaying and smelting?

Offline Blister

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 Like you I'm a newb at this, and all I know is book learning and nothing first hand. Keeping that in mind I'll take a shot at this and see if the book leaning has paid off. Assaying is taking a small sample and testing to see what the precious metal content is,  Smelting is basically the same idea, but on a much larger scale. Raw gold isn't pure, and smelting is used to drive off or separate the gold from the impurities, resulting in 99.99% pure gold.

Offline Phouse

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perduepro;

Assaying is a process which establishes the percentages of metals in a given sample, it is the first step in the mining process. 

Smelting is the precipitation of metals through heat, gravitational, and chemical processes from a  chemically, geologically and statistically proven ore source.  Smelting, naturally,  only takes place once the  "ore finder" has reached a deal with the Owner of the Smelter to pay over a bag full of money for each ton.  He personnally needs to be really sure about his prospect to absorb the full costs of production.  Smelting is the very last physical step in the mining process.  After this the product is lost into the hands of those who brought us sub-prime mortaging.

Sounds like a challenging prospect though, I wish you well... <-good_>
American by Birth, Canadian by Choice.  And PROUD of it!

Offline Phouse

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Correction to above, please read "ore Owner" rather than "ore Finder"  when you find it in the text
American by Birth, Canadian by Choice.  And PROUD of it!

Offline GollyMrScience

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My experience with commercial smelters is that they pay NOTHING until they have processed the ore after which they take off the costs of doing the work including deductions for pecentages of undesireable metals or minerals plus a smelting premium. They might issue a credit based on assay but many do not until you have shipped a fair tonnage to them and they get to know your ore.
Smelting "losses" are one of the most contentious things in the industry with a lot of room for error and larceny both big and small. It is essential that the ore owner has a darn good idea what they are shipping AND has the ability to make up a good representative sample of their shipment for assay.
One area that can get an ore owner in trouble is shipping a large blocky pile of ore that is difficult to get a representative sample from. If a smelter is paying on assay of ore at their end the ore has to be sample-able. A smelter employee picks rocks off the pile and then makes up their sample. Big blocky ore can be difficult to work with and there is a chance that they will miss the good stuff and their assay will be much lower than yours. In a continuing business transaction over many tonnes and many shipments you SHOULD see it begin to even out as the smelter pays first on assay and then does a correction (you hope) after actual smelt to credit (or debit) based on actual recovery.
Umpire assays are essential along the way.
I was working with a company shipping ore to smelter from New Mexico. Their smelting returns were all over the map. As they were shipping small tonnages of large blocky ore the smelter was having trouble assaying because of the difficulty in geting a representative sample. One day the employee picked a few good chunks so the assay was high and the next shipment the reverse so the assays were bouncing up and down like crazy and the smelter was reluctant to pay an advance on assay and the owner was wondering if the smelter was goofing them around.
Crushing the ore through a jaw crusher at the mine site to (I think) 2 inch made it easier to get to a size that sampling was easier and results started to even out. Also we asked the smelter to jaw crush their pile sample and take a larger sample from the pile. As I remember it the protocol settled on a two five gallon pail sample from the ore shipment  crushed one more time through a smaller jaw at the smelter and then split to produce samples for assay. The sampling was done by the smelter but there was a provision for an umpire assay sample to be taken by an outside third party lab who would go in every once in awhile as a shipment was sent in. Done on a random basis but was a good way to keep things smooth.
A really small operator can get into trouble if their ore is just getting mixed in with a lot of other ore to make up a batch at the smelter. At that point its all based on the assay and that can really be a risk. You can be pretty sure that the smelter is sure not gonna take chances on overpaying if they can help it.
What the heck - lets just keep mixin' stuff together till it blows up or smells REALLY bad!

 


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