it may be worth taking a sluice out to the river next time because i dumped some mercury in the black sands that i panned and its getting pretty thick with good seperation so there is some of the good stuff in that sand.
if any of you live close to mineral wells go do a little sampling because there should be plenty to make it worth your time.
just look for the iron and clay layer with gravel and start working.
yes mercury can kill you and if you dont know what you are doing when working with mercury then just ask for some pointers from me or someone else that knows the score.
dont burn off any ore or amalgam without using a retort to recover the mercury because the vapor will trash your body beyond your wildest dreams(i can tell you how to remove mercury from ore and reclaim for later use without killing yourself LOL) and always keep your mercury covered with a little water in a closed container (glass or plastic bottles work fine)
mercury bonds with gold, silver, copper, etc but will not bond with iron so all you have to do is load your cons into a tumbler or plastic water bottle and add mercury and get the shaking started until the mercury contacts all of the cons. (i always leave it for a couple of days and then remove the mercury which contains the pm's)
the mercury will become thick and dull when it becomes "loaded"
wear protective gloves and eye protection and if you have a spill just use a shop vac to suck it up (dont dump mercury in the trash, toilet,sink, etc.)
i forgot to add that caustic soda is a plus for cleaning the mix while amalgamating.
What part of the brazos river did you go too , i just got back from there and we were right off the bridge . I noticed there is more sand there with very little black sand ? I just moved here from prescott az in the bradshaws i have found alot of gold ..
i have a 2 1/2 inch dredge (should be small enough)
just send me your info and i will give you a call when i heal up and have enough time to get out and prospect.
i sort of got stupid and messed up my back again so i have to chill on the heavy work for a while(cant even process the stuff i have right now)