Basement Chemistry for Prospectors was written by Dr. A.K. Williams who grew up on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp in South Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia where he received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree in microbiology. He won a two year post-doctoral fellowship to The Oak Ridge National Laboratories where he pursued studies in molecular biology. These studies, primarily, involved research on de novo synthesis of protein and genetic coding of DNA.
He served as chief of the Aquatic Ecology Section of the Southeastern Water Pollution Laboratory (now EPA). He also worked (regrettably) at the Richard B, Russell Agricultural Research Laboratory. When the crap got too deep he told them to shove it up their — “trasero” and quit.
The last few decades of his life he spent pursuing more mundane but more enjoyable interests in Central America, namely, gold mining, treasure hunting, and whatever else turned him on at the moment. He had learned a great deal of practical metallurgy of gold and other precious metals by study and by operating a small assay laboratory.
By providing this information, Dr. Williams hoped to expose a lot of the rubbish that passes for “manufacturing secrets” touted by various outfits currently advertising in trade magazines, papers and on the web. Almost as onerous is the knee-jerk reaction of some otherwise intelligent persons, when words like “mercury” and “cyanide” are mentioned in the context of mining (usually translated as “the raping of mother earth”). With a little common sense and attention to detail anyone can use chemicals to recover metals in complete safety. It is the de-mystification of some basic chemistry to which this area is dedicated.
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