Gold has been sought after for centuries, with its allure extending far beyond its monetary value. But not all gold is created equal. There are two types of gold deposits: placer and lode. Understanding the differences between these two types of gold deposits can help you identify where to search for gold and what kind of mining techniques
Lode Gold (pronounced like “load”)
All gold started out as lode gold, locked underground in various kinds of rock where it came to rest in a molten state and solidified into place as it cooled, long ago.
Lode gold, also known as hard rock gold, is found in rocks that have been mineralized. These deposits are typically found in veins or mineralized zones within rocks. Lode gold deposits are much more difficult to mine than placer gold because they require extensive excavation and processing to extract the gold.
Lode gold is often found in quartz veins or within other rocks that have been altered by hydrothermal activity. Lode gold c more an be pure than placer gold and can contain up to 99% gold, but pure gold does not occur in nature. It can also contain other metals such as silver, copper, and lead.
Lode gold usually requires a number of specialized processes, procedures, and equipment, thereby making it more expensive and challenging to recover.
Placer Gold (pronounced like “plasser”)
Placer gold is gold that has broken loose from the grasp of its host rock and released to travel by water and gravity to wherever those forces of nature will deposit it. This type of gold is typically found in riverbeds, streams, and alluvial deposits. Placer gold is often the easiest type of gold to mine, as it is relatively easy to extract by panning, sluicing, or dredging.
Placer gold is usually small and flattened, with a smooth surface due to the water's abrasion during transport. It can be found in a range of colors, from bright yellow to brownish-yellow. Placer gold is typically 90-95% pure, but it can contain impurities such as silver, copper, and other metals.
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