Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gold Question of the week, May 16, Summer Edition

Get your panning cons for some panning fun! Find them on the site HERE


I picked up an interesting tid bit this past week concerning small miners and how much mercury they take out of the streams and rivers. In Washington, there has been an ongoing struggle with the state and prospectors over how much damage they do or do not do to the environment. Well, the small miners in Washington have been saving all of the mercury they have been collecting and in late February the Washington Dept. of Ecology was invited to attend the Washington Gold, Gem, and Mineral Show. The collected mercury was turned over to their representative at the show and the total amount presented to the Ecology Department was 73 lbs. The Ecology Dept. was said to be "impressed that small-scale miners were actively removing mercury from state rivers and streams." To date, small miners have presented the department with over 150 lbs. of mercury. What they don't understand is how much we all enjoy taking heavy metals out of the waterways. When YOU find mercury in the rivers and streams, no matter where you are, please put into a vial or jar filled with water, cap it, and save it until you find someone who can take care of it. DO NOT put it back into the water. Ask any prospector on the river you come in contact with what to do with it when you encounter them. Some of us identify areas that contain mercury and collect it at the end of a season, as it will foul carpets when you get into a bunch of it. The first silver bead of mercury I ever saw was outside of Silverton, Co. on Cement Creek. Like gold, the first time you see it, you WILL know what it is. It will look similar to a shiny, liquid, silver sinker. If it is chunky looking, it has gold in it.
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