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.
Over the years, I've noticed a pattern in the type of rocks associated with the best gold deposits in Midwestern glacial gravel.
The fact that mineral deposits can contribute specific types of heavy minerals is why the analysis of the heavy mineral concentrates in the streams of an area can be an important prospecting technique for finding undiscovered mineral deposits.
Chances are better that both types of gold did not come from the same source. Let's look at the probable conditions to cause two types of gold in a placer.
At this point, stress raised my blood pressure and I was figuring out escape routes through the brush, but thought it best to continue the conversation.
I returned to the WSPA claim. Still smug from my previous success, I was thinking I could not fail. However, the gold gods had other plans.
I have smaller pans for cleaning black sand concentrates, big pans for taking large samples, pans with corners for pouring out materials, and pans with lots of special riffles. This variation is why I have so many pans—they each have their specialty.
During my adventures I’ve learned a few key best practices that help me to consistently find gold nuggets with my detectors. You can apply many of these best practices to any type of prospecting. These best practices are really common sense; however, they are easy to neglect.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts: Set up a small portable operation or send the ore to a custom mill? • Ask the Experts: Who manufactures the diagonal vibrating table? • Ask the Experts: Do "corners" need to be in place on the ground for a claim to be valid? • Ask the Experts: Tantalite in an African nation -- is it worth pursuing? • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Following Clues to a Hidden Gold Deposit • How to Melt Your Own Gold • Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Tucson-Area Mine • Salted Mining Properties—How to Properly Evaluate a Claim • Australia Produces World's Largest Gold Coin • Fells Flat Gold • Colorado Considers Gold & Silver Currency • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices