Fine Gold Panning Without Using Mercury
March 2012 by Jim HalloranThe technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
We had been picking away at it, but the going was mightly slow. Why not use some explosives to advance a little quicker?
The 2011 gold season had finally got underway on the Middle Fork of the Feather River near Quincy, California. Cold weather and high water had pushed gold mining into mid-summer, but things were looking up.
The first location we worked was a small, dry ravine cutting through many mineralized zones in an area where some hard rock mining had taken place in the past.
So let’s dive in and see what I can do to convince you that this is the year you should be out staking your own claims.
What do you do when you’ve located a promising deposit of gold or gemstones, but it’s trapped in solid rock?
The larger nuggets were all old channel gold, smooth and water-worn. I guessed that a few of them would push a bit under one-half-ounce apiece.
It was down deeper than I expected for surface trash. It wasn't until I was down six inches that the target screamed from my scoop.
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