Should I Test Pan a New Area?

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:34 am

For those, like Uncle Bob, who want a good read which describes the technique of test panning to initially find, chase down and, at the end, zero in on the source of "Pocket Gold" may I suggest this classic 1905 short story by Jack London study :

http://www.jacklondons.net/goldcanyon.html

It's one of those things you just need to read from time to time.

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:36 pm

ahh KAEOJ what a story !! man it took me back to the 60s TV all the "jumpin johaphats " and such talk LOL! wagon train-Bonanza--rifle man -- Paladin ahh i could go on!! but aside from the comical parts ,how descriptive this is in the art of loaming --costaining and the best advice "slow down pardner " Very Happy yes KAEOJ I see where you are coming from ,many of the basics need to be revisited now and again just to make sure you haven't become complacent or lazy!! and the man should have been paid a lot more than $500 cheers cheers

None of the things the 'ol timer was saying have changed --we may have more modern ways of detecting where the gold runs but how many out there actually plot the little bits of gold they find and see what a spread Mother Nature has laid out for us.

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:57 pm

Indeed how true Cool

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:01 pm

So, having read a classic story where you were able to see him slowly zeroing in to the source, what can that do for you?

One of the most common weaknesses that small scale miners share is to walk up on a mining location, run a carefull eye over the terrain, and decide that "Yes, right here has to be good." Having made a somewhat snap decision, the miner sets up the recovery equipment and merrily starts shoveling the "Gotta Be Good Gold" into the conveniently placed equipment.

Yes, there often is Gold there, and the Gold that is being processed in the gravel is mostly captured. The fact is that much more Gold will be recovered if the area is first carefully tested to learn where the best concentrations are to be found and worked.

Grid testing with a shovel, classifier and some pans is pure and simple "grunt work", in that it is repetitive, tiring and slow. The upside is that your testing notes will help you decide just where the best ground really is. Investing 3 or 4 hours in 20+- test holes will take a 'normal' weekend's production and increase it quite noticably.

In addition, periodically running a quick test pan from the active working site will let you confirm if you are still "in the money" or not. If the 'pay' has taken a strange veering down an unseen ancient channel or gone deeper it just won't be obvious. Hours of careful work in a suddenly weaker material will certainly result in head shaking frustration over your results.

One other thing that might help you may be in the way you test a sample hole. I often use two pans, a classifier, a shovel or trowel and a 20 liter bucket with water in it to test a hole. I classify in one pan and check the oversized in the other pan. Save the water in the bucket and then pan from one pan into the other. Careful speed will find any nuggets and give you an aproximate number of smaller bits. Put the small amount of concentrates with your estimated number of bits into the water bucket, write it down, sketch the hole's location using your own special codes and keep on going. There is no need to final pan all your fines, that is very time consuming. Once again - just estimate the hole's pieces - save the nuggets, the fine Gold and a hand full of concentrates still left in the pan and dump it all into that water bucket. Keep doing that until you finish the hole, and the next, and the next.

When it is convenient, dump the water and carry the concentrates back to your staging area to be left. Your old water bucket is now the staging area concentrate collection bucket and break time seat. A bite of something, a cool one, a few minutes to rest, a new bucket of water and off again. Focusing on getting the numbers, recording them and saving a reasonable amount of concentrates with Gold per hole makes the task go much quicker.

Will it work? You Bet'cha! Tell everyone it was your idea all along! cheers


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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:37 pm

KA. How true is that! you have posted good advice indeed. The bottom line is and always will be to
{ That the area is first carefully tested to learn where the best concentrations are to be found and worked.}
yes indeed do that and indeed you will come home with good gold it may take a few trips but at days end you will come out the winner.
James 101 Cool

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Post  skysite on Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:09 pm

Hey guys
I brought a mini concentrator last year and was going to sell it but now reading your posts I might keep it to do some spotting in areas......it's seems I have to step back and look at the big picture instead of going gun-ho all the time...
Once again guys great info
Dave
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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:11 pm

skysite a post such as yours makes what we do all the worthwhile!! Very Happy

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:52 pm

Murachu wrote:skysite a post such as yours makes what we do all the worthwhile!! Very Happy


cheers I'll second that Cool James 101

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:49 pm

Hey Kaeoj, this is something that you have written here and boy does it make a new guy like myself head spin from the info here. It's more than meets the eye, but I suppose at the end of the day the Guy that has done his work the right way comes up with the best gold at the end. I just need a plan on how to build a banjo and take it from there.
Thanks,
Uncle Bob.

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:59 pm

new plans coming shortly Bob!!

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:03 pm

Thanks Marachu.
Now, can any engineer be able to make a banjo from a plan - I mean to the detail?
Thanks,
UB

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Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:22 pm

yes a sheetmetal worker should have no problems -- Im a retired sheetie but im way down in Vic where abouts are you ? pm me with that info if you dont want to post

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Post  Guest on Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:45 am

G'day there, Uncle Bob,

I will be the first to say that I used to shovel a lot of worthless material through my equipment in the past. A LOT. I suspect that we all have done that, too. Slowly, over time, the 'Ole Grey Matter finally recognized my own shortcoming and I changed my ways.

To bring the idea down to a fine point:

If I set up at a spot that produces 2 'Twinkledinks' (like that?) of Gold an hour, I will have 10 'Twinkledinks' of Gold at the end of 5 hours of shoveling the first day. The same for the next day, yielding 20 'Twinkledinks' for the weekend. Very Happy

If I test for 1 hour and find a nearby spot that produces 3.5 'Twinkledinks' an hour I will have {4 hrs x 3.5} 14 'Twinkledinks' of Gold for the first day. The next day's 5 hours will produce {5 hrs x 3.5} 17.5 'Twinkledinks' , yielding 31.5 'Twinkledinks' for the same weekend's work. affraid cheers bounce cheers bounce cheers

While the number of 'Twinkledinks' is all made up - the principle is sound.

"Work Smarter, Not Harder!".

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Post  Guest on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:11 am

KAEOJ first class post mate thank you. cheers cheers

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Post  Guest on Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:38 pm

yes you do have to set the bar for yourself !! there was a time that I ,like many others around me , was content with 3/4to a gram a day !! but luckily I found a good teacher who challenged my thinking in many ways so today I aim to get a grm per hour sometimes less sometimes more but my day is now only 3 hrs long on average Very Happy work smarter not harder! Very Happy Very Happy Very wise words! cheers

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Post  Billy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:06 pm

Great post fellas thanks for the very valuable information and for helping me think a little more about what I am actually doing cheers
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Post  Guest on Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:28 pm

As said before its reactions like yours that makes posting a bit of information all the worthwhile Very Happy

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Post  Guest on Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Billy wrote:Great post fellas thanks for the very valuable information and for helping me think a little more about what I am actually doing cheers

Thanks Billy it's a pleasure to be able to do so. cheers
James 101
cheers

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Post  kilter on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:53 pm

Great tips- thanks. I was wondering though, being a complete novice, if somebody could actually describe the process of digging a test hole. I understand that inside bends are a good area to start- but is it necessary to dig down to the bedrock with every test? I have done this a couple of times and it is quite time consuming- for no result, mind you. Perhaps I was just in the wrong spot? I've tried Stringer's creek at Walhalla, Stockyard Creek at Foster and Turton's creek north of Foster- and haven't found a microspot of gold as yet. So could somebody take it down to the basics- "I picked spot X because... I took my pick and opened up a hole of about X diameter and then shovelled down to X...' etc. It would be very much appreciated! confused
Kilter
PS Just read the story above. Excellent. Can you just test panfulls of dirt from the side of the creek and expect to see a speck if there's gold around or is it more complicated than that?
Cheers
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Post  Guest on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:33 am

With all the rain we've had over the past 6 month's, I'm surprised your not finding anything! Just be aware some gravels you see can be from someone else's workings?
Hows your panning skills!

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Post  kilter on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:50 pm

I'm sure my panning has room for a lot of improvement. I've been watching a few vids on utube etc and will continue to work on it. I think I'll go up Walhalla way this weekend and work on it a bit more- maybe Dargo. I worry sometimes that I'm just not seeing it in the pan but surely it's unmistakeable... Anybody know if there's any trout in Stringer's creek?
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Post  Guest on Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:08 pm

Have you tried the lead idea to see how your panning methods working? If not and you've probably heard it all before, but anyway! Cut 6 tinny pieces of a sinker then put it in your pan full of river gravel and pan away! When you can retrieve the six bits of lead you will be about 80% ahead of others trying to pan for gold.
Good luck.
Cheers Chris.

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Post  Rustydog on Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:27 pm

should be trout in stringers creek , i do know there is still good gold in stringers creek though
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Post  kilter on Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:12 am

Thanks guys. I will get some small pieces of solder from the metal working room at my school- I think I saw somewhere that's also good for practice? I've had as much success with trout as gold so far but... early days and it breaks things up a bit. Also going to get a crab net or something for yabbies....
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Post  Guest on Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:25 pm

The few times i panned Stringers creek i did not get any gold? Yes there are trout in Stringers creek, DO NOT EAT THEM, they are full of toxic mercury from the old mines!
You may need to be digging close to bedrock on stringers to get gold?

My ancestors mined or tried to mine gold at Turtons creek during the 1930s and nearly starved to death after not finding gold! I think Turtons creek is off limits to prospecting, some kind of conservation reserve!

Pan fulls of dirt from the creek sides? I assume you mean digging in to the creek banks? This is frowned upon by the authorities in Victoria as it causes errosion on the creek banks.
In some areas of Victoria it is becoming a real issue, it could spell disaster for keeping areas open to panning & prospecting. Only work within the wet bed of the stream to ensure prospecting is a no or low impact activity!

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Post  kilter on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:58 pm

Thanks for the warnings, Mono. If i get sick of not finding gold, I'll fish for trout and if a miracle occurs and I catch one- I'll throw it back! I'm going to hike down to where Stringers Creek crosses Brittania creek and try my luck there. I bought a 'treasure snoop' as well as a 3000, so I'll take the snoop and see if I can find some relics or tiny nuggets. The 3ooo's too heavy with the panning gear. Not brave enough yet to stay overnight there, so I'll camp in Walhalla. Wish me luck. I'll need it! rabbit
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Post  hamr on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:07 am

hi kilter, i have have panned colors in turtons and im no expert. Have you got a detailed map of the creek? if so work downstream from the livingstone junction there are plenty of bedrock areas crossing the creek i have had best results right in the middle b ut work your way right across which isnt far its not a big watercourse. the old yabby pump also could be employed not sure of legalities. as far as the area being a no go for prospecting thats news to me..There would have to be flood gold there now after all the rain so give it another go. good digging. Hamr

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Post  kilter on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:21 am

Hi Hamr,
I've only got the old map of the Foster/Turton workings that's on the internet. I camped at the Falls a couple of weekends ago- beautiful!- and I had it all to myself- but there was no gold I could find at the bend there. Figured I was in the wrong spot. Will try and find a better map and get to the junction. Cheers.
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Post  Guest on Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:33 am

The problem with readily available info on the net or with maps, Your not the first to use that info! You need to put in your own leg work? If there's car tracks leading down to the water, even less in your favor! Actually the most overlooked spot in this situation is the ground your car is parked on?

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Post  jarrahrules on Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:20 pm

kilter wrote:Hi Hamr,
I've only got the old map of the Foster/Turton workings that's on the internet. I camped at the Falls a couple of weekends ago- beautiful!- and I had it all to myself- but there was no gold I could find at the bend there. Figured I was in the wrong spot. Will try and find a better map and get to the junction. Cheers.

I have been told that you need to be a fair way up the creek from the falls.

Just my 5cents worth.

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