Black Sand Gold Mining
On nice day it may seem like the place to be. But out in the sun on hot hot beach shoveling sand may not be so much fun.
There are a number of black sand beaches on the west coast of the South Island NZ that have been successfully mined for gold. The sand and gold concentrates have been washed down from the mountains and from the grindings of the glaciers that were once plentiful in the area.
Possibly the hardest part about black sand mining is the fact that the gold is usually fine and the sand is very dense so refining the gold can be a time consuming task that requires a lot of patience.
A good percentage of the black sands are high in iron content. These sands are not too hard to separate from the gold. A magnet passed over the sands will lift them off the non magnetic gold. Rare Earth magnets are popular with gold miners for their super strong magnetic pull.
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of black sands that are not magnetic and other methods need to be used to separate them from the gold. Clean gold always fetches a premium price so it is well worth making sure you extract the gold from within the black sands.
Previously toxic chemicals were used to lift the gold out of the sand. Mercury and Cyanide being the most popular. However, there are new technological advances in gold mining equipment that enable the separation of gold from black sand without the use of any chemical whatsoever. Discover the new methods of gold refinery.