Gold in the 'Mundic': The Saga of Dargue's Reef, Majors Creek, NSW

Ken MCQUEEN

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Gold is found in bedrock reefs and lodes, generally in its elemental form, as well as in secondary deposits formed by weathering and erosion of these primary occurrences (for example, alluvial gold). After quartz, the mineral most commonly associated with gold is pyrite (iron sulphide) also known colloquially as 'fools gold' or 'mundic'. This association has guided prospectors to new lode gold deposits, but also plagued attempts to extract the gold where the two minerals are rather too intimately associated. In these refractory ores the gold is commonly locked in the pyrite as small, in some cases sub-microscopic, inclusions or even dissolved in the pyrite host. Up until the end of the nineteenth century refractory gold ores, including those at such famous deposits as the Golden Mile, Kalgoorlie, and some of the ores on the Witwatersrand in South Africa, posed a major challenge to metallurgists. In many cases, some gold could be released by fine grinding, but a significant proportion was lost with the pyrite in the tailings. Various methods of roasting and chemical treatment, particularly using chlorination and cyanidation, were ultimately developed to recover this 'lost' gold.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)148-171
    Number of pages24
    JournalJournal of Australasian Mining History
    Volume12
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    reef
    gold
    pyrite
    creek
    iron sulfide
    mineral
    chlorination
    grinding
    nineteenth century
    tailings
    bedrock
    weathering
    quartz
    erosion
    ore

    Cite this

    @article{b27b0c0151b94543816680eca4ffc1c4,
    title = "Gold in the 'Mundic': The Saga of Dargue's Reef, Majors Creek, NSW",
    abstract = "Gold is found in bedrock reefs and lodes, generally in its elemental form, as well as in secondary deposits formed by weathering and erosion of these primary occurrences (for example, alluvial gold). After quartz, the mineral most commonly associated with gold is pyrite (iron sulphide) also known colloquially as 'fools gold' or 'mundic'. This association has guided prospectors to new lode gold deposits, but also plagued attempts to extract the gold where the two minerals are rather too intimately associated. In these refractory ores the gold is commonly locked in the pyrite as small, in some cases sub-microscopic, inclusions or even dissolved in the pyrite host. Up until the end of the nineteenth century refractory gold ores, including those at such famous deposits as the Golden Mile, Kalgoorlie, and some of the ores on the Witwatersrand in South Africa, posed a major challenge to metallurgists. In many cases, some gold could be released by fine grinding, but a significant proportion was lost with the pyrite in the tailings. Various methods of roasting and chemical treatment, particularly using chlorination and cyanidation, were ultimately developed to recover this 'lost' gold.",
    keywords = "Gold, mining, history, Mineral industries, Licenses, Employees",
    author = "Ken MCQUEEN",
    year = "2014",
    language = "English",
    volume = "12",
    pages = "148--171",
    journal = "Journal of Australasian Mining History",
    issn = "1448-4471",

    }

    Gold in the 'Mundic': The Saga of Dargue's Reef, Majors Creek, NSW. / MCQUEEN, Ken.

    In: Journal of Australasian Mining History, Vol. 12, 2014, p. 148-171.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Gold in the 'Mundic': The Saga of Dargue's Reef, Majors Creek, NSW

    AU - MCQUEEN, Ken

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - Gold is found in bedrock reefs and lodes, generally in its elemental form, as well as in secondary deposits formed by weathering and erosion of these primary occurrences (for example, alluvial gold). After quartz, the mineral most commonly associated with gold is pyrite (iron sulphide) also known colloquially as 'fools gold' or 'mundic'. This association has guided prospectors to new lode gold deposits, but also plagued attempts to extract the gold where the two minerals are rather too intimately associated. In these refractory ores the gold is commonly locked in the pyrite as small, in some cases sub-microscopic, inclusions or even dissolved in the pyrite host. Up until the end of the nineteenth century refractory gold ores, including those at such famous deposits as the Golden Mile, Kalgoorlie, and some of the ores on the Witwatersrand in South Africa, posed a major challenge to metallurgists. In many cases, some gold could be released by fine grinding, but a significant proportion was lost with the pyrite in the tailings. Various methods of roasting and chemical treatment, particularly using chlorination and cyanidation, were ultimately developed to recover this 'lost' gold.

    AB - Gold is found in bedrock reefs and lodes, generally in its elemental form, as well as in secondary deposits formed by weathering and erosion of these primary occurrences (for example, alluvial gold). After quartz, the mineral most commonly associated with gold is pyrite (iron sulphide) also known colloquially as 'fools gold' or 'mundic'. This association has guided prospectors to new lode gold deposits, but also plagued attempts to extract the gold where the two minerals are rather too intimately associated. In these refractory ores the gold is commonly locked in the pyrite as small, in some cases sub-microscopic, inclusions or even dissolved in the pyrite host. Up until the end of the nineteenth century refractory gold ores, including those at such famous deposits as the Golden Mile, Kalgoorlie, and some of the ores on the Witwatersrand in South Africa, posed a major challenge to metallurgists. In many cases, some gold could be released by fine grinding, but a significant proportion was lost with the pyrite in the tailings. Various methods of roasting and chemical treatment, particularly using chlorination and cyanidation, were ultimately developed to recover this 'lost' gold.

    KW - Gold

    KW - mining

    KW - history

    KW - Mineral industries

    KW - Licenses

    KW - Employees

    M3 - Article

    VL - 12

    SP - 148

    EP - 171

    JO - Journal of Australasian Mining History

    JF - Journal of Australasian Mining History

    SN - 1448-4471

    ER -