Gold Assay Class

Date: 30-Nov-2013
Capacity: Not Set (Available)


The Gold Assay Process: Magic or Chemistry?

Starting at 10:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m., we will have three different fast moving, interactive demonstrations that will overview the geology, mechanics, and chemistry of the gold assaying and prospecting process.

Gold does not come out of the ground ready to wear! 

On Saturday November 30th the Western Museum of Mining and Industry will hold our incredibly popular Gold Assay Class! 

Demonstrations in the processes of gold assaying will be held at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm! Hands-on learners of all ages will learn the basics of gold ore assaying-determining the value of gold in the rock- from the 1800s to today as we crush and classify ore! This fast moving, interactive assay demonstration will overview the math, mechanics, and chemistry of this exciting process in a detailed educational program. In addition, we will explore our 1800s assay office and the working ten-stamp mill owned by the museum!

What is Assaying?

Assaying is a process for determining the amount of a certain metal contained in an ore or alloy; it is used to evaluate mineral deposits and to check the composition of ores and alloys. In order to get an assay, the assayer must perform many steps that require exactness and careful attention. Assay reports of ores usually give the percentages of the desired metals contained in the ores. The contents of most alloys are given in percentages, but gold and silver are exceptions. The gold content of an alloy can be stated in terms of fineness (the number of parts of gold in 1,000 parts of alloy) or in karats (the number of parts of gold in 24 parts of alloy).

The first step in assaying is to obtain a representative sample of the mixture to be tested. Once the sample has been prepared, there are several methods of assaying it. The method chosen depends both on the type of material being assayed and the degree of accuracy required. Fire assay, or dry assaying, has been in use for thousands of years, the standard method in early Colorado mining, and still stands the test of time as a method to value noble metals. Fire Assay is an assay method in which the material is subjected to high heat (as in fusion, scorifying, and cupellation). It is still the most common method used today, mainly on gold and silver ores. Assaying is the process used to determine the weight of metal per ton of ore.

The class will be conducted with the support of experts from the Gold Prospectors of Colorado and Pilot Mining. 

Join WMMI and The Gold Prospectors of Colorado ... GPOC will conduct a fire assay and will demonstrate modern assaying procedures and placer mining mechanics!

Join WMMI and Richard Sweeny ... inventor of the UFO Micro Furnace, inventor of Amalgamite, a bimetallic flux used to refine scrap gold and silver, inventor of the Hammerhead impact mill, and inventor of the Uphill Riffle Sluice, the only new sluice design in over a century; and capable of recovering micron gold other sluices miss ... as he explains and demonstrates the gold assaying process!!

To learn more about the chemistry and mathematics behind Gold Assaying, join us November 30th, at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry, and discover how ore is assayed to estimate value and extract gold!