A semiquantitative colorimetric analytical method using nitric acid for digestion and dithizone for the determination is embodied in a simple test to detect the presence of copper, lead, zinc, and other nonferrous ore metals in soil or sediment. For the most part, only simple chemical equipment is necessary and tests can be made conveniently in a makeshift field laboratory. The test is adequately sensitive to obtain a slight positive test from the small traces of ore metals present in ordinary soils and sediments and can easily detect the larger quantities present in soils or sediments derived from ore deposits. It is hoped that the test will prove useful in prospecting for ore deposits by geochemical methods.

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