Hand Panning Micro-Fine Gold
May 2017 by Keith Bowen
Once you get down to the black sands or a few tablespoons of material, the technique changes dramatically.
When doing your initial armchair research and selecting potential areas to explore, consider all the indicators, both natural and man-made.
I had never run an impact mill before, but anything involving rocks, water and a big electric motor sounded great.
All these decisions and more depend on the richness of a claim—something that is determined by sampling. But sampling isn’t cheap, and even collecting the samples can be more difficult than it appears on the surface.
The 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.
I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.
The other opportunity that I see is in seeking unusual types of deposits. Specifically, the prospector would be searching for the stuff no one (or almost no one) is searching for. These deposits are effectively hiding in plain view.
I regularly get inquiries along the line of: “Hey, I found this rock, and I think it might be gold ore. How can I tell?” Prospectors are always on the lookout for gold-bearing rocks that may be the source of any nearby placer gold.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts: How many claims can I file in Arizona? • Ask The Experts: What should I do with a large amount of old placer concentrates? • Shaker Tables for Processing Hard Rock Ores • Becoming a Successful Detectorist • Sampling, Hydro-Shocking & Cleaning Quartz-Gold Specimens • My Lucky Thirteen Nuggets • Crushing, Grinding and Pulverizing • A Break in the Weather • From the Editor • Prospecting Knowledge -- Pass It On! • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Over The Divide: Miles John Mitchell