Gold Prospecting 101 – An Introduction to Effective Gold Prospecting
Here’s your definite resource to gold prospecting, where you’ll get a brief overview of the different prospecting techniques and links to gold prospecting articles. I will update this page continually with links to awesome articles and guides related to gold prospecting, so be sure to check back in the future. If you ask the Gold Prospectors Association of America what prospecting is, their answer is this:
As far as the GPAA is concerned, prospecting consists of panning, hand-fed sluices, high-bankers and dredges.
Get Started With Gold Prospecting
The fastest and cheapest way to get started with prospecting is to buy yourself a gold pan and learn how to use it. The gold prospecting methods below are listed from top to bottom in the order that people usually buy them. Prospectors often start out with a gold pan, then they buy a sluice box and after that they may invest in a high-banker or a dredge. It’s important to protect your sites as you discover gold, so the first thing you should do is to read up on how to stake a mining claim.
Overview of Gold Prospecting Methods
Panning is the process of using a gold pan to separate lighter material like sand from the heavy gold. Check out our Gold Panning 101 page for everything you need to know about gold panning. On that page you’ll find links to gold panning instructions and tips for choosing a gold pan. Also, check out these great gold panning videos.
The next step up from a gold pan is called a sluice box, which basically mimics a stream. You feed the sluice with material and it takes care of the rest with the help of the moving water. I haven’t come around to writing a guide on sluices yet, so here’s a great guide on operating a sluice box from Keene Engineering to get you started. The New 49′ers also has a nice article about sluicing, check it out here.
A Dredge is basically a sluice that has a long suction hose attached to it. The most popular type of dredge is a surface dredge, which floats on the water.A diver often operates the sluice and use the hose to suck up the stream bed, which is then dropped onto the sluice where the gold gets trapped. Keene Engineering has written an article on gold dredges that will give you a good introduction.
Imagine a sluice box that you put on a 4 legged stand and use it on land, pumping water into it from either a natural source or a tank. That’s a high-banker. An advantage of using a high-banker is that you can bring the water with you and process gold bearing material even though there’s no natural source of water nearby.
Gold Prospecting Articles
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