How Silver is Mined (1 of 2)

How Silver is Mined (1 of 2)

silver is a metal an element on the periodic table that is concentrated in the Earth’s crust by various chemical and physical processes there’s a little bit of silver everywhere there’s silver in seawater and if you boil off a cubic kilometer of seawater you’ll get some silver along with everything else I should probably just speak about the kinds of deposits well that one kind of deposit that we are looking at and that is a vein system and a vein system that has low sulfides and is formed close to the Earth’s surface and those veins are formed by essentially hot water that is coming off magma intrusions deep in the crust being heated it rises in the crust up towards the surface and those hot waters essentially precipitate silver and gold minerals into veins yeah so basically it’s carried as a fluid when it’s deep in the earth under high temperature and pressure silver and gold and other precious metals and many of the metals in general they’re sort of the last thing to not be solid so you get higher concentrations and eventually they build up pressure and shoot up as a vein and then that’ll be later blasted apart and ruptured by another fracture event so veins can be very complex and they don’t always follow the same path they break off these types of deposits for about a kilometer below the surface at the time and a lot of the deposits that we were mining were formed 20 to 25 million years ago we have to have a volcanic environment and so what we would see is the surface expression is just the volcano but the silver veins are forming at depth below the volcano we go out and look for these things and we use a number of different techniques it all starts in the office with computers and geographical information systems and maps and all the prospecting reports and things like that once you’ve got that that environment defined going out and walking in the field to find the veins to find the structures to find the alteration and the rock types an alteration is normally a bleaching or a coloring of the rocks that is specific to the environment of silver veins sometimes you’ll find silver all gold right on surface and if that’s the case then it makes a lot easier but many of the deposits that we’re looking at are blind or buried deposits so you see the vein on surface but you don’t know you don’t see any values on surface first you have to outline an ore deposit which means that miners will drill holes into the ground and as they drill the holes into the ground they’ll extract the rock and the way they extract the rock tells them at some particular depth there might be some silver ore or is silver gold copper lead zinc that is economic or can be mined are extracted economically it looks quite black and oxidized so if you if you can think of old silver tea services or things like that if you don’t polish them they get kind of a black or a grayish patina on them that’s exactly what silver looks like because normally it’s been sitting around for millions of years before we find it and from doing a lot of these drill holes they’re able to outline a three-dimensional model of what this deposit looks like on the ground okay so when we dig a hole in the ground and we see rock and we see rock that we think contains some silver minerals we have to understand well how much silver is present so these are rock or soil samples that would be collected in the field normally on a grid located on a map when the samples are taken and then those samples are sent to an assay lab or what we call the geochemical lab we take the rock and we divide it up into sections so we have this core this piece of core this long piece of core and we’ll divide it up into let’s wait one meter sections and each section we’ll take and we’ll crush and we’ll pulverize it and after we’ve pulverized it we’ll take out about 30 grams to represent everything that was in that one meter section and that 30 cams goes into a pot together with some fluxing agents as well as some lead oxide what happens is that you put that into a furnace and you melt the whole thing now the precious metals like gold and silver they’ll actually attach to the lead and all the other rock material will will basically become a part of a slag material it’s a siliceous low density rock you then can pour it into a little mold and because the lead is heavier it’ll settle right down to the bottom of the mold and the slag will form on top of it and once it’s solidified you can break the slag from the lead button that contains the silver then you take that lead button and you put it into another dish now this dish is usually made of some type of bone and it’s very porous it could be ceramic as well and you put this back in the furnace and once you heat that up the lead gets absorbed into the into the container itself into the vessel itself into the walls of it because the pores allow the lead to enter them but the gold and silver they don’t and they form a little bead that’s left over and then you weigh the bead which will contain a silver and gold and that’s when they come up with a value of how much that represents in a ton of rock


  1. 2:10 I did my degree in GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and the year before I swithched to that I did Applied Geology… LOL.. Maybe I should have stuck to Geology..couldhave been working for Endeavour 🙂

  2. @drutter Thats 50 thumbs up now 🙂 This is an interesting video. I have a friend who has a silver vain on his property & he has been offered some mining interests. He said he will give me a little piece of raw silver ore. When he dose, I will do a video of it 🙂 Be he lives in another state so I dont' get to see him often.

  3. @JezebelDecibel
    Right on! I have a small piece of silver ore too. Cool but not too practical :p I wish I had a silver vein in my back yard!

  4. @drutter You have a silver vein that is running in your consciousness & it's doing more good than silver in the ground. You are assisting people to protect themselves during the most vital time of the biggest fiat currency scandal in human history. Silver is good but you are priceless 🙂

  5. Our latest educational episode of the Silver Series is live. This one is entitled "The Value of Silver", and it looks at how and why silver is used as money. Find it on our channel page.

  6. That much silver for any age is way above average. You realize that maybe 2% of the population has any silver, so yes this is very good for your age. If you continue saving you can retire at a very young age or reinvest your wealth and do whatever your passion might be. This silver will give you opportunity that most people won't have. Congrats for being so smart for your age.

  7. I saw this video recording because I had gotten seriously concerned with the economy and had no idea what direction to go. Dollars does not necessarily mean anything any longer. And So I decided to do a bit of investigation and came across Goldiverse. I am so fortuitous, I can easily switch my money from cash to several currencies, to any precious metal any moment I would like. The governing administration can go and take a jump for all I care. Just Yahoo and google it Goldiverse.

  8. I would be more interested in the slag 🙂 Gold, Silver and copper melts at around 2,000 degrees. That won't even get the platinum group warm so it usually goes into the slag. You can do pretty good high grading a copper or silver mine slag pile with a very strong neodyum magnet as platinum is paramagnetic! 2, 5 gallon buckets of high grade slag will usually produce 1/2 ounce of platinum in certain areas. Now you know why the Chinese are buying this slag by the dump truck load!

  9. Back in the 1930s I know places where they used this slag as road gravel! You may have to wait to get to heaven to walk on streets of gold, but here, there are roads litterally paved in platinum!!!!

  10. That's awesome. More important is to learn something useful, go to school or work towards a purpose, that's the most important thing you can do.

  11. @edrsilver I don't understand, how do they get a representation from the gold&silver bead? how do they know what percentage of which metal is in each bead? it could be 95% silver 5% gold, in which case the ore would obviously be worth much less than a 95% Gold bead … ??

  12. …our silver mine has ore grading up to 20,000 o.p.t. Silver, and I have many samples of it.  A gov't geologist told us that there is still a LOT of Silver remaining in the existing, but unmined drifts…

  13. 1:05…There's something weird about combing your hair when you barely have any. I'm taking from experience here. Personally I don't like to comb my scalp. But this dude do?

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