Monday, 12 August 2013

Controversial “invisible gold” paper published

There were some excellent papers at last year’s Precious Metals ’12 conference in Cape Town.  The most unconventional of these was presented by Prof. Jannie van Deventer of the University of Melbourne, who discussed “invisible gold” which is not detected by standard analytical techniques (see posting of 8th October, 2012).

Modern metallurgists quantify precious metals through spectroscopic analysis of solid and solution samples and use this as a method to follow the reaction pathway of extraction processes. If spectroscopy does not show up gold or platinum, then clearly it does not exist, but if physical precious metal is recovered, the outcome is dismissed as an error or fraud, because precious metal cannot be created.

Prof. van Deventer asked “What would happen if precious metals have a distorted valence electron structure not yet studied by science?” Such species will not mimic the usual chemical reactions of normal precious metals, they may not even behave like metals, and they will not be detectable by spectroscopy. They will certainly not be studied, as no tenure track academic could afford such controversy.

This provided much food for thought and discussion. On discussing the paper with him afterwards, it was evident that Jannie felt that the ideas that he presented would not pass peer-review, but I disagreed and invited him to submit his paper to the special conference issue of Minerals Engineering. Maybe his ideas do challenge mainstream science, but little over 100 years ago so did Einstein's Relativity Theory, and Quantum Theory!

Finally he agreed to submit the paper for peer-review and I chose three experienced gold metallurgists to review the work. The first report was not encouraging and suggested that the basic principles in the paper were not well defined and established in the scientific community. This did not discourage me too much, as it reminded me again of the many who were sceptical of the 26 year old patents clerk who came up with a theory in 1905 which severely challenged mainstream science.

Later reports were much more encouraging, commending the author for researching this controversial topic and drawing together the various threads of scientific literature, experimental data and relevant information from the pseudo-scientific literature. The referees felt that given the subject matter, which addresses the controversial topic of non-assayable ores and the difficult task of bringing together the internet sources on "alchemy" with selected peer-reviewed journal publications, this paper would require open-minded readers and would no doubt elicit further discussion, and potential published critique, all of which is a healthy situation for any robust scientific interaction covering a potentially controversial topic.

Well, after some revision, the paper has now been published in Minerals Engineering, and is available for viewing on ScienceDirect. I sincerely hope that it will be read by everyone involved in the gold industry, and that it does elicit further discussion and debate.


  1. Initial responses to this can be found in the LinkedIn Group Gold and Silver Metallurgy

    1. Barry - this is a JOKE I hope??!!
      The paper by Klaas Van Der Wielen will certainly provoke many comments. Personally, I believe that it opens the door to unscrupulos people that would use it as a 'prop' to sell investors on the idea of investing in their property with 'INVISIBLE GOLD'. I clearly remember a claim by some western USA person that they had a 'black sands' property that had invisible gold. It was of course, a FRAUD, like BRE-X(another case of 'invisible gold').

      Please do not encourage the Professor until he has actually PROVEN the existence of this "Invisible Gold species having a distorted valence electron structure not yet studied by science".
      Theory is great fun to contemplate, but foolish to promote as 'real' until proven.
      Louis M. Bernard, P. Eng.

    2. Definitely not a joke Louis. I assume you have read the full paper, as the author is van Deventer, not Van Der Wielen?

    3. Klaas van der Wielen16 August 2013 at 11:23

      Yup. No involvement from my side whatsoever, though I can see how the names get mixed up...

  2. Would it not be better for the idea to be dealt with in a theoretical physics journal first before talking about practical uses?
    Most assays are done with fire assay followed by spectroscopy or gravametric finish. If the difference between the two were sizable then QAQC work hopefully would have identified it already. Gravimetric finishes are used for higher grade samples and would not be affected by the valances.
    Diagnostic work using back scatter SEM, MLA rare element searches and optical microscopy on gravity concentrate have not shown up any red flags that I have heard of.
    By giving credentials to invisible gold, we would be leaving the door wide open for more Bri-x type scams, claiming that the gold us unassayable.

    1. Klaas van der Wielen12 August 2013 at 16:14

      Thanks for publishing this, it is definitely thought-provoking work and I had been hoping for a while that it would make it beyond the Precious Metals presentation.

      The point of Bre-X type scandals is a good one given the potential financial implications and backlash it can have on the industry as a whole. However, now that this information is disseminated through a reputable journal, awareness should hopefully be increased and the issue researched further. This should allow closing this door again either as a credible issue that requires a adapted/new analysis method, or by showing it is not an issue altogether for the mining industry and that the anomalies arose from other sources. Dismissing/ignoring it is in my eyes the most risky thing to do from the 'Bre-X perspective' as this is the only thing that leaves this door wide open, and that's why I think it is good this paper made it into Minerals Engineering.

    2. Dr. Corby G. Anderson23 August 2013 at 19:27

      Prof. van Deventer,

      While you have validated a controversial topic, you have also failed to disclose or perhaps realize that many

      of the sources and references you cite have been taken to court for their non scientific financial endeavors.

      These people are not objective scientists just slightly ahead of their time and wrongly persecuted by the


      This paper will primarily now serve to embolden fraudsters all over the globe. Sad.


      Professor Corby G. Anderson

    3. Have you ever read DE RE Metallica. A lot of the chemistry that is being used on gold today was invented by the alchemists of that time. How can any chemist of today discredit what history has documented. Look on page 108 of DE RE Metallica, they talk of native gold and also of the richest of all gold ores ( Rudis) colrs of yellow pink red. This type ore had to be fluxed a different way, Mr Herbet Hoover translated the book into English and could not find what the white powder that was used in the flux was.

    4. Recovered 2.52 grams of metal from 100 pounds of ore that will not show but a trace of gold with standard state of the art assay methods. Believe it or not I really do not care, not looking for investors. Fixing to set up a small pilot scale mill to research the project further. Thanks Prof. Jannie Van Deventer for your work

  3. I am appreciative of the work by Prof. Jannie van Deventer being presented at Precious Metals 12 and made available online through Science Direct. If we scientists - irrespective of the fields we are in - cannot be objective and take different points of view - we would be doing disservice to being called scientists.Somewhat a similar objection was raised on elemental boron paper by Prof. Oganov , and the so called 'Nature' did not want want to publish it with its MAS reviews.. But this was later published by others and more.. Another subject is the paper on black titanium dioxide..

  4. Bre-X scam had nothing to do with analysis or laboratories. It was intentional physical contamination using placer gold. The unassayable gold scams should not be related to and should not be lumped in with Bre-X scam. The only associated word should be "scam". The question that always comes to mind with the “ unassayable gold” issue is whether the researchers are talking about gold that is below detection limit or if they actually believe that the gold atom is present in some form know only by the Klingon’s. If you use a method to process enough material that upgrades enough below detection limit gold "voila" unassayable gold! I have dealt with several of these in the last +40 years and I can say that 100% of the cases were due to contamination and/or calculation error. Creative calculation may be a better term to use for calculation! Besides, I hope your wrong about the unassayable gold and never figure out how to obtain it. Based on all the proposed ounces that are out there iron will be more valuable. We know how to assay for it!
    Jack Stanley, jsAnalytical Laboratory Consultants Ltd, Canada

    1. Feel sorry for you, someday maybe you will wake up. Professor Jannie Van Deventer will in the very near future prove that he has a very brilliant mind and this complex form of gold will be proven to exist in nature. First fire assay on the Carlin deposit, 2 out of 11 showed values. Please check out information From Mr. H. T

    2. There is a lab that witnessed mercury being formed from a soft grey gel looking substance. I understand that this reaction lasted for about 72 hours. The mercury was extracted and washed with distilled water. The mercury was then dissolved in 20 parts distilled water and 1 part nitric acid and low heat. The material that did not dissolve was ( annealed) heated to dull red heat in a ceramic parting cup. The material proved to be gold. This gold was in two distinct types of crystal forms, dendritic, and small tetra ( pyramid shape). There is a picture of these beautiful gold crystals that was taken by the Colorado School of Mines. This ore was tested by a Major Laboratory. They did not find any gold, but reported finding a mercury mineral of some type, not cinnabar not enough sulfur. They could not identify what the mercury complex was.

  5. It was the Black Rock project, also known as BRX, in western Phoenix that had the non fire assayable gold. It was around the same time as the Bre-X salting scandal, so easy for people to get them confused.

    They were floated on the stock market as International Precious Metals and used a halide leach to recover the gold. No idea what happened to them, probably ran out of investor funds to spend.

  6. Dear Sir,

    “Invisible Gold” appears magical. Publishing “irreverent research” needs an Editor of strength. However this is a very narrow area of interest to few analytical chemists. Such papers should be published as “Open Access” articles to encourage post publication open review. I wish this paper is seen by as many analytical chemists as possible.

    DMR Sekhar

  7. I think most readers of this blog will not be so naïve to not consider the dilution effect. Dilute a solid or solution until the concentration of an element is below the detection limit, so nothing shows up, then concentrating it again, with a miraculous appearance of that element. No, not that version. I am talking about gold in an ore in a form that dissolves in nitric acid (no chloride present) and does not settle out after a long time. That solution does not show up any gold using any assay method either. When the same volume of solution is then subjected to a process aimed at normalizing this unusual gold, without adding reagents containing gold, the gold shows up in high numbers. The possibility of a fraudulent act of salting must always be considered, as someone could have salted the ore. It is very complicated to convert normal gold to abnormal gold and then to salt an ore in such a way that the salted gold is not detected by any analytical means. I do not know of anyone who has achieved it, however, I always allow for the possibility. With the way in which I have taken samples, and have done the processing in person on my own, salting by another person has not been possible. It has taken me 6 years of work in this field to say publicly that I am confident there is gold that behaves in a very different way from what we have been taught.
    J. Van Deventer, University of Melbourne, Australia

    1. I have witnessed tailings from a placer operation that I would pan after a day of concentrating. This was part of my job to check and make sure that our recovery was good with very little loss of gold. When checking these same tails around a 6 to 8 months later will show more free gold when panning. I have worked with many ores that will not fire assay. When pretreating these same ores then fire assaying will show very good values. After spending a lot of hard earned money to obtain copies of several patents on treating of complex ores. My family and I picked one patent to try the same day we received all the patents. This method was with the use of a nitrate and a chloride to volatize the gold. When we checked the sample we found very little gold that was volatized, but when we panned the pulp it showed a lot of free gold. Fire assaying the same head ore will show at the best a trace. We followed up with several more of these roasts that used up the entire 15 five gallon buckets of ore samples with the same results. We wanted to run more test but had to wait for spring to get to the mine site to get more samples. We finally got to the mine April 2nd and cut more samples from the exact same cut in the bank. When we got back to town, we ran a quick tests. When we panned the sample we could not find a single piece of gold. this prompted us to try many samples. These results jerked the rug right out from under us. We ran 2 to 5 A.T samples and filled two number 3 wash tubs three fourths of sample tails that did not show one piece of gold. I studied all of the reports and the methods we used to try to find out what the problems was. We save the the pulp from samples we treat so they can be treated before disposal. After three months and several more samples the problem was still not solved. I had a visit with an old friend and he asked for a favor. He asked me to give hime a panning lesson and so I did. I took a sample from the roast test to pan. I knew that it would not show any gold but would show some heavy black sand and would work for a lesson. To my surprise the sample showed lots of gold and blew my mind. It took several more months to resolve why the gold did not show up after the roast. This problem has to do with sample containers and time. I then constructed a unit to handle around 500 pounds and for safety reasons will try a smaller size sample first. The test showed good results but with major problems because of the problems of the pressure that is created within the roast. Yes Mr. J. Van Deventer there is gold that exists in nature that all of our high priced equipment and knowledge will not show. If any highly educated man or woman feels that they have all the answers to this complex world we live in, I am truly very sorry for them. Thanks from a long time miner and assayor.

  8. Let us move away from gold for a moment and consider observations in biology. The following link (and there are many others) is worth a visit:
    A 1978 report by the US Army confirmed Kervran's observations of transmutation in biological systems. A well known example is that a chicken monitored in a carefully controlled environment produces more calcium than it takes in. The experimental work in this field has been conducted so carefully, and it has been confirmed by reputable scientists, that the observations per se are not in doubt. What is in doubt is the explanation.

    Our understanding of physics allows high energy transmutation of elements. In contrast, low energy transmutation of elements has not been confirmed or explained in physics, with the result that any possibility that it may occur in nature is rejected. The way in which we have been conditioned to think in science is that unless we can explain something, it does not exist. There are plenty such phenomena in nature that are blatantly ignored by science, as we cannot explain it. To do research costs money, and students and postdocs need to get paid, plus rising university overhead costs. In medicine only a few Nobel Laureates at the end of their career have dared to publicly talk about these phenomena, and have been discredited quickly by their peers as no longer of a sound mind. Imagine the probability of obtaining research funds for such work, to get it published, and to get PhD theses passed. A supervisor will be irresponsible to use PhD students for such research.

    It is no wonder that biological transmutation has not been investigated further. If the anomalous behaviour in biology cannot be explained by low energy transmutation, then at least we should consider alternative explanations. The scientific community is either irresponsible, or in my view too cowardly, to investigate such phenomena.

    Returning to abnormal gold: There are well known explanations for significant increases in gold recovery or discrepancies in assays, as discussed in previous posts. What I have been flagging is an order of magnitude increase in precious metals not detected by neutron activation. Is this caused by transmutation, distorted nuclei or rearranged orbitals? We simply do not know, and at this stage I do not care, although it will be beneficial to know what mechanism is at play. Either we say this is fake and cannot happen, hence ignore the problem, like biologists prefer to ignore biological transmutation. Or we accept that here is a phenomenon that we are not smart enough to explain and do more observations. Ultimately, the physicists will follow.
    J. Van Deventer

    1. Anytime I see words like "alchemy" or "transmutation" it immediately throws up red flags.

      You would be better served attempting to recover gold from sea water, at least it's there, and can be accumulated, albeit not in quantities or using a process that makes it cost effective, but still, it's there and proven to be so.

      Leave the fantasies at the door when discussion science, chemistry or just how to recover gold from a complex matrix.

      I recently worked a material that contained aluminasilicates or "Zeolites" which encapsulated some precious metals inside the structure itself. XRF did not detect it, fire assay could not crack the structure of the zeolite, it might seem unassayable, but the simple fact is that once the zeolite is cracked, it becomes very easy to assay the material.

      What I am curious about is how anyone can claim that there is anything of value, if they cannot assay the material? If you cannot recover any values, why would you believe any values exist? And if you can recover values, then you can assay.
      NobleMetalsWorks Precious Metals Refining, USA

    2. Excellent QED by NobleMetals...this might relegate the subject discussion to forums w/a penchant for dialectics...there are too many retirees who would be willing to invest their life savings towards the pursuit of a golden 'fleece'...better to leave this issue alone until an accredited institution of higher learning claims otherwise.
      Rahul Bhaduri,Chevron Energy Technology Company, USA

    3. Organic Chemistry is utterly different from Inorganic Chemistry. But lets talk about your chicken making calcium out of thin air.

      Chickens use an incredible amount of calcium in the production of eggs, which is also their way of producing offspring. Keep that in mind. If you do not already know so, one of the most powerful forces in the universe is nature. It will do whatever it is required to do survive and propagate.

      When the human body isn't taking in food, it miraculously is able to generate energy out of thin air, or so it might seem. However this statement would be ignoring the laws of thermodynamics, and the fact that you cannot create energy out of nothing. Matter of fact, you loose energy or rather entropy is in effect, so as to negate the possibility of recovering 100% of the energy used. Keep this in mind, as well.

      So as the human body requires energy to continue, even though the human is not consuming anything, the body will start to consume it's reserves. After that it's own muscles. And if it is a woman, and pregnant, it will start to consume other things just to keep the developing baby alive.

      In chickens because they lay eggs who's shells are made of calcium, nature would start to leach the chickens bones for the calcium if they were not taking in enough calcium. This is a well known proven fact every person who has seriously kept chickens knows. Ask any farmer. So without getting into the little microscopic creatures that consume the top layer of your bones, depositing calcium as they go along, can you accept the fact that this takes place, or google it so I don't have to bore the rest of us that already understand this process?

      So if a farmer understands this, why do you seem to be under the belief that calcium can be created out of thin air, essentially creating something out of nothing?

      I keep salt water reef tanks, in doing so I have learned a lot about calcium, the corals that grow in my tank use a lot of it. Seemingly, the corals can grow without any additions of calcium, but gee whiz, how is this possible? Other sources of calcium are dissolved into the salt water, the corals collect this calcium and build their structures higher, all without me making any additions of calcium to the tank. Seemingly the calcium just magically appears from nowhere, but in fact it just changed from one form to another, then to another.

      For all intensive purposes, elements cannot be created or destroyed by humans. That is not to say that there is not a process for creating elements, or that it has not been done, but it is incredibly expensive to do so, and so far as I know is done at only one laboratory in the entire world, and done in such incredibly small amounts that it has no value at all. But still the laws of thermodynamics are firmly in place and in effect during the entire process. The only other place in our universe that elements are created is in the center of the sun. And even then only when it goes supernova do we find a sun creating heavier elements such as gold.

      Yet this post would lead us to believe that gold exists in this "other form" that science has never encountered, and that it can be collected out of thin air. It sounds more like DMT or the "Spirit Molecule" than it does Au.

      If anyone has produced gold in this way, then it would be world news and would win a Nobel prize in physics, it would prove the 1st and 2cd laws of thermodynamics wrong, it would turn what we know about physics upside down, and be the only example in the entire world of anything like this happening.

      Matter changes to energy, or energy changes to matter, there is no mystical magical place that these things pass through that add anything measurable, entropy is always in effect, and no matter how efficient you always loose energy, entropy is always in affect.
      NobleMetalWorks Precious Metal Refining, USA

    4. Yes this complex gold does exist in nature, it is grey in color and has a hardness between that of mercury and lead, there exist a method of collecting this soft grey complex, it forms tiny round spheres and tiny log looking metal . then a simple leaching will reduce to a free gold that can be assayed by fire assay. the metallic gold that forms looks just like the soft grey metal. Mercury will form from a grey siliceous gel that when separated with a dilute HNo3 and distilled H2o will show dendrite plus gold tetra crystals,

    5. Wake up you nonbelievers the world is not flat and you wont fall off . I think that there is more information that proves that there are many metals besides the precious metals found in nature in a complex form. Why doe`s most of the gold that was mined in early history contain a large percentage of platinum an group metals, Could this be that some of the early chemistry has been lost. I suggest for a starter it would be of great to read a book that MR. Herbert Hoover and his Wife Lou. translated, DE RE Metallica.

  9. Barry, as you mentioned that "Modern metallurgists quantify precious metals through spectroscopic analysis of solid and solution samples and use this as a method to follow the reaction pathway of extraction processes. If spectroscopy does not show up gold or platinum, then clearly it does not exist, but if physical precious metal is recovered, the outcome is dismissed as an error or fraud, because precious metal cannot be created." - still you believe the work presented by Prof. Jannie van Deventer is not a fraud??? Because it does not have any basis to support the presence of gold by modern analytical technique, so there is no gold. Now people will have new idea to make frauds by giving reference to Prof. Jannie van Deventer's research paper.

    1. I am wondering Durgesh if you have actually read the full paper

    2. Hi Barry, Yes I read the full paper in the link. But it is hard to believe if the analytical techniques could not detect the gold in samples, then it means it doesn't exist.
      Durgesh Sharma, Zamin Research Ltd, Brazil

    3. I wonder why most discoveries are made by garage or back yard chemist other than the very highly educated. My answer is that they were willing to try different methods than what books have to offer. The highly educated man is stuck in a rut and can not get out, because if it is not in the book it can not happen.

  10. Couldn't they take a bunch of rock suspected to have "invisible gold" and put it through some sort of small scale mill circuit and see if there is anything worthwhile at the other end?

    I am all for people questioning "common knowledge", so I am definitely curious what further research may turn up.
    Christian Bartz, Midas Gold Inc., USA

  11. Yes, there is definitely invisible gold. I don't have access to the paper but its interesting to hear about it. Maybe it can be resolved through fire assay technical methods. My experience is on a BIOX plant where lots of accounting for mass loss and lots of diagnostic leaching was done, etc, still there was some gold "missing". In a practical sense if its not recoverable by fire assay its not recoverable by cyanide leaching in the plant. I think there was some "missing" gold in the acid solutions from BIOX ( I think some people recover it using tannins?). I think its great if people are talking about this and trying to improve technical knowledge (not just massaging the numbers so the met accounting works)
    Kate Malatt, Metallurgist, Perth, Australia

  12. I got the paper and read it all.
    Most importantly, I challenge that this is a fundamental physics or chemistry question rather than an extractive metallurgy issue. Few that read this journal would be qualified to offer more than empirical opinions based on their experience. My personal experience includes dozens of gold projects, with all kinds of processes and chemistry on 6 continents, and I have not come across anything that could not be explained. Digging out the mill sump, washing out the EW sludge, gold behind mill liners, salting, high grading, carbon theft, preg robbing, screen fire assays, BLEGs, calculated heads, diagnostic leaches, locking, sample contamination, geologists changing the decimal places, gold in the flux, gold in the slag, the list goes on and on.
    As Christian mentioned above, if they find some of this stuff, then why cant they study it in detail. If farmer Hudson (in the paper) had a field full of stuff that two major universities could not identify, where are their Nobel prizes?
    If you can make strange elements by pouring sulphuric acid on farm lands then copper hydrometallurgists metallurgists would be swimming in the stuff.
    When fundamental science recognise validate this then I will be happy to review my stance, but right now I'll file it with the other stories that I have heard over the years from prospectors explaining how their ore can not be assayed by scientific methods.
    Adam Johnston, Transmin Metallurgical Consultants, Peru

  13. In a fully equipped lab I expect it would take about three days to prove whether or not gold existed in the samples which are claimed to contain unassayable gold, NOT, or prove how the unassayable gold is getting into the sample and/or find out what is being identified as gold that isn’t. If gold is present any of these methods will detect it. Finish for all of these would be an instrument technique using one or more of the following - AA, ICP, ICP-MS, XRF or Neutron activation. Recovery methods could be Thiosulphate, Thiourea, Fire assay, Acid digest/organic extraction, cyanide leach/organic extraction, CN leach/chiddy/fire concentration. Neutron activation would be done with a pre-concentration by fire assay in a silver or palladium bead. If present and proven by these standard procedures one could do a fire assay gravimetric finish just so you could put eyes on it.
    There may be other methods such as chlorine but I have not used them so cannot comment.
    Jack Stanley, jsAnalytical Laboratory Consultants, Canada

    1. A sample was prepared by fine grinding and split, one for fire assaying by Hazen research value trace, remaining sample from split was leached with thiourea, solution assay value .005, dry pulp from leach assay, .15 au , .05 Pt.. Interesting that the pulp will show values after a thiourea leach. Interesting that most of the ores that do not respond to standard state of the art assay methods all contain the rare earth elements. monazite group. Most of these complex ores are deposited by cold to hot water alkaline sulphide solutions. Check information on this gold complex from several Canadian Geologic Surveys.

  14. I thought it was a great paper; also appreciate the above discussion. I've been involved in one sea water flotation test program in which the gold balance wasn't reconciling-- we were losing gold in the flotation tests. Ended up finding the missing gold in the saline process water, with concentrations around 0.1 mg/L (that's almost 2,000 times the natural concentration of gold in sea water!!). So I believe the observations noted in paper are probably true, at least some of them. I'm a skeptic when it comes to the explanations, probably a result of my own ignorance. But I think the discussion above testifies to JvD's prediction on the industry reception of this manuscript. On JvD's comments wrt to skepticism vs open-mindedness: I think as long you are open minded about the phenomena (i.e. that the gold balance really is out), then it's okay to be agnostic about the underlying explanation. At least until you know better, anyway.

  15. I totally agree in support of the comments from Jack Stanley. They should prove the gold content by any of the suggested technique. Otherwise, it is hard to believe that there can be unassayable/invisible gold.

  16. Dr. Corby G. Anderson24 August 2013 at 16:06

    Minerals Engineering Cited Scientist Joe Champion Goes to Jail For Felony Theft .............

    All That Glitters Isn't Chemistry

    Sharon Begley - Reuters

    IN THE REVERED NAME OF ACADEMIC freedom, universities tolerate faculty members who are avowed communists and lifelong fascists, outspoken racists and anti-Semites, radical lesbians and rabid homophobes. But alchemists? At Texas A&M University, the chemistry department is in turmoil over whether to draw the line at a researcher who accepted $200,000 from a benefactor to research ways to transform base metals into gold. In a recent letter, 15 chemistry professors demanded that John Bockris, electrochemist turned aspiring alchemist, resign. As two university panels prepare to report on the decidedly nonstandard research and on how the school could accept money for something that has been discredited for 300 years, the whole thing, says A&M spokeswoman Nancy Sawtelle, "has become an embarrassment."

    Or at least a measure of how desperate academic scientists are for funding. In 1992 Joe Champion, a self-styled inventor, approached Bockris with an idea for transmuting lesser metals into gold and silver. Even better, he came bearing gifts: $200,000 for research and testing from a California financier named William Telander. The money landed in A&M's till, and Bockris and Champion--on campus as an unpaid "guest worker"--were off and running. In one experiment, they fired radio waves at base metals, but that approach lacked the Midas touch. In a second technique, they mixed potassium nitrate (a component of gunpowder) in a coffee can with carbon and various salts, then burned it at high temperatures. In four separate experiments, says Bockris, this produced small amounts of gold. But when other scientists in Bockris's lab tried more than 20 times to reproduce the stunning result, they failed. Ramesh Bhardwaj, who used to be an associate research assistant for Bockris and is now in private industry, believes the "successful" experiments were faked. "That's why it worked [only] when Champion was around," he told NEWSWEEK.

    Four years ago Bockris, 70, championed the coldfusion claims of Martin Fleischmann, his longtime friend, and Stanley Pons, the University of Utah electrochemists who said that they mimicked the nuclear reaction that makes the sun burn in a simple, room-temperature, tabletop apparatus. Bockris reported that his own cold-fusion experiments produced heat and tritium (an isotope of hydrogen that serves as a footprint of fusion). Colleagues were skeptical and publicly critical. Bockris defends his current work as "very serious and very advanced research into low-energy nuclear change in condensed media...I am not inclined to magic."

    As a practical matter, Bockris may soon be out of the lead-into-gold business. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles have charged financier Telander with defrauding 380 investors of $7.8 million in a foreign-currency exchange scam. in response, A&M froze the 832,000 that Bockris had not yet spent. Last month State Superior Court in Arizona sentenced Champion to one year in prison in a felony-theft case. These guys are enough to give alchemy a bad name.

  17. Just another scam paper promoting more scam. Every time the price of gold goes up the invisible gold mystically reappears. None of the work in these papers have been vetted and most of the references in these papers have gone to court and been found guilty of fraud. There is no rocket science involved here. The gold encapsulated by clay, gold that evaporates in sunlight, gold that is mystically made outside a supernova -give me a break. There will always be scam artists promoting scams. It is a shame that reputable companies will print this dribble and promote more scams. Even the claims of cold fusion have been mostly put to bed because no neutrons are emitted upon the supposed fusion. This is just another scammer trying to get something for nothing.
    Todd Fayram, Continental Metallurgical Services, USA

  18. I thank you all for your comments on what I always knew would be a very controversial paper, which stated clearly that it was not endorsing the non-peer reviewed references, and it will be interesting to see if those who feel the most strongly about it are prepared to author a comment for consideration for peer reviewed publication in the journal.

    I certainly have no regrets about publishing the work, and I have discussed this with several members of the Editorial Board, who feel that some of the comments are pretty much as expected, with unsubstantiated claims and apparent lack of serious review of the paper, and certainly show little appreciation for the substantial number of peer-reviewed papers in physics and electrochemical journals on the LENR-CANR phenomena, for example. We are not sure how the paper would embolden fraudsters on any significant level, with the NI43-101 and JORC 2013 standards and associated analytical methods that the mining industry has been adopting to counter seeding and other scams. On the contrary, a thoughtful review such as this one should benefit the industry by increasing awareness of potential scams as well as opportunities.

  19. There is more discussion on this on LinkedIn

  20. With respect to gold (and possibly some other species), I think one of the questions JvD is asking is: which laws of physics/chemistry? The ones that were written down a thousand years ago? The ones appearing in textbooks today? Or the ones that might be written in textbooks in the future?
    JvD has reported making a significant number of observations he is unable to account for by conventional means. As I read it, he does not claim to have a definitive explanation of the mechanism, but rather invites the research community to consider the question of why. The ultimate answer might be simple, or it might be complicated, and can be the subject of a robust debate. But let us not be too quick to prejudge it.
    David Verrelli, Australia

  21. Guys, I read this string with interest. I am not a scientist but as a former director of a multinational chain of precious metals laboratories I have lost track of the number of times I have been told that we don't understand how to assay because this ore is "special" and doesn't respond to traditional assay techniques. We have heard all about nano-gold and micro-gold and special isotopes that can't be fired etc. etc. etc. One point that I think has not been made here yet is that even if this alchemy exists if you can't assay it then how can you refine it? And if you can't refine it then this magical gold doesn't really have any value does it?

  22. Let me share my experience ... For the last year I have been collecting and assaying samples for gold and silver from a remote location in Mexico. Samples were sent for analysis at a major lab in Canada with negative results. The splits were then pretreated by roasting and subjected to chlorine gas for 30 minutes and sent to a different major lab with average Au grades of 3.7 g/t and Ag 57.7 g/t. Bulk samples were then collected and sent to a major lab for standard Metallurgy Characterization and Mineralogy and came back completely negative. Their response was "There is no gold and I should look at possibility of either contamination or fraud". I returned to the field but this time unaccompanied and I collected a total of 300 kg of samples all of which were immediately bagged, sealed and tagged according to industry standards. As a further precaution I included some blanks and duplicates. 50 kg and 1 kg batches were prepared at 80 mesh passing and digested in strong HCl with Pot Permangenate and Calcium Chloride reagents for 24 hours. The colloids were repeatedly poured over copper / mercury plates and the residues dispatched to a certified lab for fire assay. The results averaged Au 5 g/t and Ag 15 g/t, the blanks were sterile and the duplicates more or less equal. All the bags containers, supplies, chemicals, mercury, copper plates, etc were new or sealed by the manufacturer. The mercury was not recycled and the copper plates thoroughly cleaned between tests. The security and chain of custody was 100% and conducted in a locked laboratory with no visitors allowed entry. To summarize without pretreatment by roasting/chlorine gas or HCl these samples were declared sterile by three international certified labs as the precious metals did not appear anywhere in the testing including polished sections under scanning electron microscope. Therefore... I can only convey to skeptics that there is evidence of a phenomena which can be described as "Invisible or Submicroscopic" gold. I have no desire to spin any tales but perhaps what i have observed may open a few closed minds to a possibility of a new category of precious metal resources.

  23. I have had similar experiences with an ore from Oregon. If I treat it with vinegar and hypochlorite I can fire assay a small gold bead but if I fire it without the treatment I get no result. Untreated samples have been sent out for xrf analysis and no gold can be detected. I'm still working on trying to figure it out.

    1. good day, do you have any update on this ? we are facing similar, our tantalite ore does not show any gold with our XRF at al but after roasting we got a lot of silver and gold out of it !

    2. I have no update except the fact that I've gone crazy trying to understand why these ore do what they do. What part of the world are you from? I am in Fort Worth, TX. We have recently purchased a new Bruker Pico Fox TXRF. It can analyze ores and solutions to near ICP detection limits. I would love to analyze some of your ore at no charge just to try and understand the bigger picture of why the ores react the way they do. I wouldn't need a large sample a few grams would work. 60g would be nice. I could fire assay 30g and digest some of the rest. Let me know if your are interested. Have a great day.

    3. Hello,
      I am a pyro-metallurgist working on ores in the Northwest. I would like to tell you my story if I may? 4 years ago I was called by my father to come help him on a mine he had invested in. I showed up and we went to the site and extracted some very interesting material. When we attempted gravity separation we saw little to no Gold but always had a strange white compound of about 240 mesh or smaller leading the table. This compound was just heavy. Subsequent assays showed little or no Gold until one AA showed just over an ounce of Pt per ton. Most assays showed little or nothing. Encouraged by the existence of the Pt I began searc hing for an explanation. Here's what I discovered;

      Then ore body had a variety of compounds and some PM's in the metallic state but the majority of PM's were in an altered atomic state. This altered state is almost just as VanDeventer describes. All assay procedures rely on interatomic electric conductivity in order to create the interference patterns out of the crystallography of the minerals before a satisfactory reading can be obtained. Distorotion of the valence electrons or even an orbital rearrangement, can cause detection to 'miss'. and since most software is built off of Russian PT placer deposits (for the purposes of PGM's) there is an isotope difference between the two which makes detection nearly impossible. I was able to Isolate EXCELLENT results by using a high temperature, high alkaline, high carbon firing embodiment. Once collection is achieved then a secondary oxidative fusion to remove reduced base metals is done utilizing combinations of different oxidating compounds that drive much of the base metals to the flux. In an ore that reads little to no PM's I just smelted 300 grams of cons and retrieved 41 grams of metal. After oxidation smelting that was reduced to 32 grams of beautiful silver metal that we cannot remelt without a plasma furnace. We are awaiting the results from an ICP to confirm, but preliminary testing shows Iridium, Platinum, Rhodium and Gold in abundance. Here's the thing....The study that VanDeventer talks about has already been done. These people need to start reading other people work and definately if you suspect PGM's all I will say is look to the Russian academy of science. The work they have done on PGM's is second to none. Good luck fellers :)

    4. Take some slag from your fire assay ( 30 or 40 grams) and grind it to -150 to- 200 mesh add 20 mil of Clorox ( sodium hypochlorite ), and 200 mil of tap water, add 2 grams of sodium carbonate and a gram of reagent grade aluminum. Use the proper glass ware and heat to around 160-180 F*. Stir for 20-30 minutes. Pan and you will find some slag will contain gold that was lost in the first fire assay. This con from your test can be fire assayed using standard flux with small addition of sodium hydroxide to flux any remaining aluminum. Good luck

    5. Hello Ron,

      Very interested to read your post. I too am a metallurgist and have spent many years experimenting with such ores and have observed many of the same things that you described. On several occasions I have extracted metal, but not always. If you would like any help I might be able to give you few tips. It will be great to hear from you even if just to swap a few stories. To contact me please write me on my email:


  24. Saw this and remembered this thread; thought it was relevant:

    "We found crazy compounds that violate textbook rules -- NaCl3, NaCl7, Na3Cl2, Na2Cl, and Na3Cl," says Weiwei Zhang, the lead author and visiting scholar at the Oganov lab and Stony Brook's Center for Materials by Design, directed by Oganov. "These compounds are thermodynamically stable and, once made, remain indefinitely; nothing will make them fall apart.

    Full reference (I haven't seen it yet): Weiwei Zhang et al. 2013. Unexpected Stable Stoichiometries of Sodium Chlorides. Science, vol. 342, no. 6165, pp. 1502-1505; doi: 10.1126/science.1244989

    They refer to very high pressures as possible cause of the nontraditional compounds. Recent ideas on gold genesis:

    Who knows?

  25. Ron what was the flux you used for the first and secondary oxidative fire assay? I would love to give it a shot. Thanks for the info.

  26. I believe that the true chemists and metallurgists that support the chemistry of this complex form of gold have good reason to believe so. I have performed 50 fire assays on one ore using every type of flux mixture for all types of different gold complexes that are known. The remaining concentrate was stored for later use. This same sample was later panned when a fellow miner want to compare the sulfide of this sample to the sulfide that was mixed with a uranium ore he was mining and selling to Union Carbide. I told him from looking at the records that the sample I had has been sitting for around four years and would be oxidized bad. I went ahead and panned the sample and got a very big surprise, the sample was full of free gold. This same ore I fire assayed and at best got a trace why. I have mined and produced gold and have performed many different types of assays wet, fire . smelt, and several more methods. I think that all the people that support this complex gold have witnessed the same kind of thing happen. How many more chemists and assayers that have not come forth because of the fear the industry will put on them. The medical industry is the same way, documented cases of cancer being cured are shunned at. Is this because that cancer is a multibillion dollar industry. I fear that it is the same in the mining.


If you have difficulty posting a comment, please email the comment, and any photos that you might like to add, to and I will submit on your behalf