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What Is Black Sand?

What Is Black Sand?

December 28, 2017

Black sands are used by miners and prospectors to indicate the presence of a placer formation. Placer mining activities produce a concentrate that is composed mostly of black sand. Black sand concentrates often contain additional valuables, other than precious metals as Gold, thorium, titanium, tungsten, zirconium and others are often fractionated during igneous processes into a common mineral-suite that becomes black sands after weathering and sand

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.


Many areas that have black sand also have what we call “seismic or pressured” flat gold. This gold is very flat due to exposure to extreme pressures,movements, glacial and seismic activity. This flat gold has a low setting velocity and is prone to flip down a sluice. The material we will be using has this gold in it, plus we will be adding a large amount of gold, about ½ of which is this FLAT GOLD.