A field method of semiquantitative chemical analysis of soil for zinc is applied to prospecting for zinc in soil-covered areas. Fifteen hundred soil samples taken over known ore bodies and over barren ground have been analyzed by the dithizone method. The relation of zinc content of the soil to the underlying ore bodies has been studied including consideration of the influence of depth of ore, nature of soil cover, mineralization in rock above ore, faults and fractures, and ground water circulation. The field work was conducted at Austinville, Virginia; and the method is applicable to prospecting where clayey soils of acid character overlie zinc ores in limestone or dolomite. The method shows considerable promise as a tool for discovery of ore deposits masked by soil.

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