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how do I pan gold out of sand?

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Post  Guest Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:24 pm

Hi, silly question, We have never used a pan and this is our first try.
We went out detecting in creek behind where we live this last saturday afternoon. We got some faint signals and could not find them. I did not know what they were as have never detected there. Soon as we tried to dig / scratch signal would disappear, then come back, then desappear again so we knew that whatever it was was small.
We decided to put some scoops whenever we found a signal into a bucket and bought it home. Yesterday I put small amounts at a time in a homemade dolly pot and crunched it with a crow bar as some of the sample was small stones up to marble size or slightly larger. We crunched it up fine.
I have owned a green plastic pan that we purchased in WA - just in case, have never used it, it has ripples on about 1/3 of pan and ripple all round base. It is about 16" across at a guess.
Anyway we then filled wheel barrow with water and tried to pan a couple cups of sample swirling and slowly shaking pan sideways. Slowly letting sand go over edge.
I have never seen a pan used so is a learning curve for us. Gold settles at bottom so should not loose to mush over edge.
What do you do to get gold apart from last of quartz sand and black looking sand? The gold seems to be lighter than some of the sands and moves with it, not leaving a tail? Some of the bits look like they are large enough to detect - when you rub them over the coil (GPX4500) the machine gives a small signal. They are rough looking and some look like wire.
We tried to find a video of some panning but havent found one.
Do we have to use tweezers to get it all out? There seems a fair bit in the first lot we did and have not looked at the rest of bucketful yet.
Any advice or any links to a video of panning would be grateful.
This is a picture of the bit we have tried to pan- hope it works.
As you can may be see in picture seems to be a fair bit of gold there. We would like to now purchase a sluice thing and go out there and shovel some more into it and run water over it like some of the videos I have seen, mebe will find a few grams each day.

how do I pan gold out of sand? 01616

Any help or advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks travelergold

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Post  Hey presto Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:52 pm

Hi travelergold, great for you that the creek out the back has gold. You seem to be panning fine if you still have gold left. There are videos out there on panning, but I can't remember where. Just google and look through them. The more panning you do the better you will get. Remember to let the water wash your sand/ stone off the pan. As for a sluice, there are many river sluices and I recently purchased one manufactured in Melbourne off eBay - about $250-300. He did also offer to sell them but at a higher price. You still need to shovel, help wash through and pan off. If you only have fine sands, that will be easier than if there is stone/rocks. You will need to get some advise on setting up your sluice as they should create a ripple of the top water surface to help the gold drop out. I think they require about 1" fall per foot length of sluice. As for collecting the gold, depending on how much you find, dry your finger then push your finger onto each piece. Then you can get gold sniffer bottles from most prospecting shops for about $8. Off course you will need some sample bottles to put the gold in. Fill the bottle with water and put your finger on top until the gold falls off. Once home you then need to dry the gold - tip the contents into a flat plate and let the water evaporate or use a piece of cloth to help drain. Once complete the place the gold piece by piece in another jar. I keep my larger bits separate to the small specs. There are also some good high bankers to get the smaller gold, however they would set you back about $1800 (pump etc) Good luck
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Post  GREENnuggetCONVERT Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:37 am

@ travelergold
the best method to get the gold accumulated into one particular spot in the pan {as from your picture} is to have at least 5mm of water coverage in that pan at that stage hold the pan level and to tap the outside rim repeatedlyon one side and in one spot only and you will watch in amazement as the gold walks itself across the pan towards the hand doing the repeated tapping.all accumulating in that very spot.another hint for successful panning is to wash off the light material and rocks in a circular motion with the front side of the pan slightly dipped towards water using a circular motion in one direction only.its all controlled with the wrist...let the light material wash out of the pan while swirling..dont ever wash the light material out of your pan by using a tipping motion,you will lose half your gold by washing off like that as {very small flakes} of Gold will suspend in water and not sink....stratafication is the major key to successful panning...here is an example of how i was taught by an old miner years ago...
1 classify properly
2 stratify contents, firstly running your fingers through pan to thoroughly mix and then {vigorous shaking side to side }
3 quickly wash of the light material and dont tip pan forward to empty light material, use a {tilting swirling motion}
repeat steps 2 & 3 {shaking} until down to your black sands, heavies {for the average panner 5 times}also dependant on pan size
4 seperate black sands {heavies} and Gold by constantly tapping repeatedly on one edge of pan {very quickly}keeping pan level with 5mm
water coverage at most..the Gold will walk over to the side you are tapping and stay in that corner {always}
6 recover your gold with the sucker bottle...................
hope this helps you in some way....There are lots of panning videos but a lot are rubbish...there is a good Garrett video on youtube..
cheers .......Trev...
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Post  GREENnuggetCONVERT Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:55 am

@ travelergold
if you are really keen on a couple of really informative vids i have a few i could send to you if you are interested in mailing me a cheapo
2gb flash drive..one is 700mb or so and a couple of others at 30mb 40 mb aroundabouts...just thought that may be worth a mention..
after watching these it wouldnt take you long at all to be proficient and productive...
cheers......Trev
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Post  Guest Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:28 pm

Thanks guys for info. Trev, will get back to you on your offer, have been offered some material on panning, is on the way, will see what it is like. Thanks everybody.
Ps, have a vegimite jar half full of gold and sand now, seems to look really good. hanging out to get out there and get some more. So good is only 5 minutes from where we live. Will be taking an old timer from round the corner with me as he put us in the area.
cheers travelergold

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Post  davsgold Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:55 pm

There are some gold panning videos on Youtube, should give you a bit of an idea how to do it. Remember that gold is about 8 or 9 times heaver than the sand so it will stay in the very bottom and you should be able to wash out the sand and leave the gold behind.

Here is a link to one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrhsjVH_LO8

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Post  brad28b Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:14 pm

Im no expert but I've panned probably 7 or 8 times. I found that if the black sand was moving with the gold, and the gold was washing out of the pan with the sand, you probably have your pan tilted on too much of an angle. Try decreasing the angle and then with gentle motions make the water wash over the gravel. At less of an angle, the gold should stay at the back and the black sand should wash over the edge. It took me a while to get it right. If your out by only a few degrees on the angle, or if the water is rushing over the gravel too fast, the gold will wash out of the pan with the black sand. Slow and steady wins the race. It takes me a good 5 mins to pan one 'pan full'. The good guys do it much quicker but while your learning, slow motions, small angles, and observe whats happening.

You seem to be onto a good spot - that is a good amount of gold in that pan in your pic. And all I can see is whats on top, there'd be much much below.

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Post  rc62burke Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:47 pm

Hi Traveler
Well done it looks like you have a great prospect there, I would probably not worry about hitting it up in the dolly the best thing to do is to classify the material down to about the size of the larger pickers, pan it off then run it through a small sieve, check the contents of the sieve for pickers, repeat this until you are left with the fine black sand and gold now this is where you need paitience, google "HurtHawk" this guy has alot of utube vids & a blog he only pans & sluices, even when you get a sluice you still need to be proficient with the pan practice makes perfect or better ! with this good prospect of your I would concentrate on proccessing a large amount of wash & get the easy to pan gold out & stock pile the fines for when your skill with the pan improves, one important thing I will mention is it pay's to sample the creek in different spots & check often when you are digging to make sure you are still on gold. Check out the post's by "guest" in the sluicing & panning section under general information.https://golddetecting.forumotion.net/f36-sluicing-panning-history
A sluice can be made quite easily if you are a bit handy.
cheers & good luck
Lee


Last edited by rc62burke on Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  davsgold Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:50 pm

brad28b wrote:You seem to be onto a good spot - that is a good amount of gold in that pan in your pic. And all I can see is whats on top, there'd be much much below.

If thats is all gold? Its a bit strange to me to see what looks like gold sitting on top of the sand on the base of the pan and none around the back of the rim where the tail should be.

If I was travelergold I would pick out one of the bigger bits and see if it squashes flat with a light tap with a hammer or something. If it squashes flat and stays intact with out shatering into powder and tiny pieces then I say its gold if it shatters then its not gold.

cheers dave
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Post  GREENnuggetCONVERT Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:16 pm

travelergold wrote:Thanks guys for info. Trev, will get back to you on your offer, have been offered some material on panning, is on the way, will see what it is like. Thanks everybody.
Ps, have a vegimite jar half full of gold and sand now, seems to look really good. hanging out to get out there and get some more. So good is only 5 minutes from where we live. Will be taking an old timer from round the corner with me as he put us in the area.
cheers travelergold
...................
hi travelergold,if you want to download the video i mentioned send me a PM and will PM the details of, and where to you..Just came across it on one of my favourite sites..{not a prospecting site}...but be quick if you want to download it as it wont be there for very long.....
cheers.............Trev..
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Post  GREENnuggetCONVERT Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:36 pm

travelergold...........check your inbox ......details sent;ENJOY
....cheers.......Trev....
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Post  Guest Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:49 pm

thanks trev, got info,
it is definately gold. the picture was taken after pan was moved. have tried panning again with slightly different motion and tapping pan on one side. it does seperate but bigger bits still move with black sand. I picked out larger bits with tweezers and then used a sniffer type thing that wife purchased from chemist, like an eye dropper. have got well over a gram out of first pan and still got bits in it. Am over the moon. now looking at purchasing some more gear from victoria to help me out in the creek. not much water there at moment but will be when rains again. the detector we are using has been great as finds the areas where there is small gold, that must be where the gold is collected in the wash in creek. Im suprised no body else has found this. Am also looking at a 1000lt water tank to put on back of ute for water out there when dry to use to wash concentrate. (they are square in steel frame)
will let you know more when we can get back out there with some gear.
cheers travelergold

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Post  GREENnuggetCONVERT Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:14 pm

well done travelergold,,just technique and patience and you will be panning like a pro,and the gold will stay where you want it to.
cheers..............Trev....
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Post  Guest Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:07 pm

Hey travelergold. Do you use a sieve when panning your black sands? For general panning/sampling I say sieving is a waste of time. For panning black sand concentrates from a sluice of any sorts a sieve is essential! A small stone although lighter will settle, when you try to draw and separate, any one stone will eventually move with the motion, dragging black sand blonde sand and gold with it and it will keep escalating if you don't stop! That little episode will require you to start again and again until you realize what a difference a sieve will make! Very Happy or Sad

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Post  Guest Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:02 pm

Hi someday, I reallly do not understand what you mean. I have put the material through a metal screen like sieving it to remove stones larger than small marbles. the larger stones I then smash up in a pipe with plate welded on bottom using a crowbar head. The material that i broke up has shown colour to so must be in the stones until i break it up. the area where i have been taking these samples I found using our 4500 but the gold has to scrape on the bottom of skid plate to get a signal. (to small really to get out of ground easily. was fustrated when we first found area and kept getting feint signals then they dissapeared. We did not know what we was onto.) soon as i try to find signal it gets lost until it hits the skidplate again. I do not put it through a sieve once i start to pan it. the gold seems course and just shifts with the black coloured sand and even the other sand as well. It is gold. I am giong to try and rough up my pan with course sandpaper and see if that helps me.
I watched a dvd that a fellow member has sent me and tried to pan of some of the rubbish this morning but havent really got it much cleaner. Tried the methods used in the dvd.
I am giong to try and make up a sluise to use, was going to purchase one but talking to a mate with engineering buisiness said easy to make. I am just worried that the gold will just go straight through with all ohter unwanted rubbish.
Still perseveering as have a very good sample from the few buckets that i have now collected.
cheers travelergold

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Post  Guest Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:45 pm

Hi travelergold. If your trying to pan black sands, sieve the contents down to fit through 3mm holes, Makes life so much easier! If your gold is larger than that I'm coming Razz
Spread out the contents of your sieve and run your detector over it!
Back to panning, when your down to 1 to 2 tablespoons of cons in your pan, with your pan tilted about 10 ish degrees away from you, do the slish slosh method Left-Right-Left-Right Left-Right Probably a good 6 inch's each way until all the cons are concentrated at the far edge in the bottom of your pan, slowing down a bit at this point will concentrate your cons into a smaller area As you've slowed your motions right down, reduce the angle, if you watch what your doing at this point, you will see the lighter materials heading towards you, No more than 2 inch's,"Stop" Now with the pan tilted towards you and your cons high and dry slowly tilt the pan away from you, watching the water lip around both sides of the bottom of the pan, when the 2 lips join behind your cons, slowly tilt the pan back towards you, each time you do this your cons will be reducing in size! Very Happy
This is the method I've recently adopted and it works a treat.
If you want me to keep going, Just ask.
Cheers
Chris.
P.s This method works best with a flat bottomed pan at least 9 inch's at the base.
P.P.s Have you tried hitting a piece of your gold with a hammer as Dave suggested?

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Post  Hey presto Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:08 pm

travelergold wrote:thanks trev, got info,
it is definately gold. the picture was taken after pan was moved. have tried panning again with slightly different motion and tapping pan on one side. it does seperate but bigger bits still move with black sand. I picked out larger bits with tweezers and then used a sniffer type thing that wife purchased from chemist, like an eye dropper. have got well over a gram out of first pan and still got bits in it. Am over the moon. now looking at purchasing some more gear from victoria to help me out in the creek. not much water there at moment but will be when rains again. the detector we are using has been great as finds the areas where there is small gold, that must be where the gold is collected in the wash in creek. Im suprised no body else has found this. Am also looking at a 1000lt water tank to put on back of ute for water out there when dry to use to wash concentrate. (they are square in steel frame)
will let you know more when we can get back out there with some gear.
cheers travelergold

Don't worry about a water tank, just say the word you you could have several forum members carrying your buckets full of water for you, me included. Keep us updated and good luck with your panning. A friend of mine just takes his fines home and then finishes them off using a small pan in a bucket in his shed. More relaxed (chair, beer etc) and if you lose any you can always start again.
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Post  Guest Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:00 pm

Thanks for help offered. I have tapped gold and it does stay together, just squashes flat.
The area where we are getting this from, we only bring a few bucket fulls home. I now have a midrange size vegimite jar which is about a third full and would be about 1/8 of it gold. We really want to get out there and sluise this area. I cannot be bringing home trailerloads of dirt to process, impractible. Thanks mick for some plans sent to us, will be making up something over the next week. This looks better than WA at the moment. Will update when we get into it. Try and get some pics uploaded then to.
Laughing

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Post  Greg Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:46 pm

Travelergolg,
Try a small coil & you should pick up some smaller noggets.
Cheers Greg

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Post  davsgold Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:16 pm

G'day travelergold

If it's a plastic pan, add a little mercury (say about 1 or 2 grams) and then swirll the pan so the contents keep being agitated and the mercury will amalgamate with the gold particles, and when you let it settle there will be a lump of amalgamated gold/mercury. This can then be retorted and the mercury saved for use again and the gold recovered from the retort and melted into "bush buttons".

cheers dave
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Post  Guest Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:35 pm

Well said Dave cheers cheers .

Just make sure your cons are extremely clean before adding the merc! Any oils from tree sap etc, even iron stone coating can stop the merc being attracted to your gold!

My two bob's worth.

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Post  Guest Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:38 pm

Hi, how safe if mercury? Do I just get it out of an old thermometer? Sorry but all this is new. We have mastered how to use our 4500 and panning is still new. We do use alibright to clean gold, that does a good job, just very careful how to handle it. As you can see, we have been learning lots on this forum. never to old to learn new tricks. Thanks to all the posters out there, we read most and take a lot in. What a fantastic hobby.
Someday, out of the first bucket of dirt we have got 3.2 grams and still trying to get the last bits out of the pan. Slowly getting the hang of panning. The sluise is slowly coming together.
Cheers travelergold

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Post  Guest Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:13 pm

travelergold wrote:Hi someday, I reallly do not understand what you mean.

You wouldnt be the first Mate Razz

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Post  davsgold Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:04 pm

travelergold wrote:Hi, how safe if mercury? Do I just get it out of an old thermometer?

G'day travelergold

You need to take safety precautions when using it just the same as you would if using acid etc. Mercury can be absorbed through the skin, so protective gloves would be a good idea when handling it. Fumes from mercury are also very hazardous to your health, so take all precautions here.

If using a proper retort to seperate the mercury from the gold you should NOT get any fumes, but care is still needed. Mercury is a liquid at room temp and will boil at 356.58 ยบ C, this is where the retort does its job, catches the vaporised mercury and condenses it for re-use next time.

Mercury has a specific gravity of 13.546 and gold is 19.2 or a bit less depending on purity, mercury will roughly hold its own weight in fine gold paritcles, so if you put a couple of grams of gold in your pan and it is totaly soaked up with fine gold you will have collected aprox 2 grms of gold and the total amalgamated blob will be aprox 4 grams.

Likes somedays said, keep the concentrates clean form oily subtances, and if your are panning with a few drops of surfactant (like dishing washing liquid) should keep the oil under control.

You could get some mercury from an old thermometer, (not one of the new type with the red liquid)

cheers dave
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Post  Guest Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:48 pm

Thanks Gus!

travelergold any electrical or mechanical device that cuts out when it tilts or falls over will have a Mercury switch! The switch's are easily spotted as they will only have one wire going to it!!!! Very Happy Lots more merc than a thermometer.????

P.s. Not all oils will be removed with dish washing liquid! Sad

Cheers
Chris.

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Post  Minermike Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:40 pm

Dentists like to get rid of any mercury now, no questions asked. They no longer use it and will cost them heaps to get rid of it.
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Post  philski Fri May 18, 2012 12:59 am

Not being silly, Fine gold is really attracted to static electricity. Dry your concentrates, then Rub a balloon on your head and the gold will jump on it. The more round the balloon the longer the charge will hold. Thomas Edison invented (used the effect) when he went mining/prospecting in California and Arizona, but failed because the cons where too damp. Atmospherics played a major roll in it

Their are lots better and safer ways but not as much fun as Mercury, Aqua Regina or Cyanide.
Flotation, sluice, shaker table, etc.
The best way to learn to pan it is get some lead sinkers or nails and shake it like you just dont care. L-R at an angle picking out bigger rocks and floating off or washing out. to get all the heavies, use half the water you did to clean it down to swirl it. Very gentle. super gentle and a dribble of water to finish. Making sure you have no oil on your pan or fingers too.
Dont worrie if you cant pan that tiny stuff clean either. not may people can. really tiny mustard gold will fall through the weave of silk and is notoriously hard to separate, but will be mostly in the back rim or should be.
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Post  philski Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:45 pm

i made a little ultrasonic gold extractor yesterday with a transducer that will reduce your cons literally in a matter of seconds. It has an outstanding recovery rate too. Sort of like a super high speed shaker table only no water and runs uphill.

I stuck a video up on youtube so you can see it in action. filmed at real speed. check this out..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntnR2rhOAHA

have a fantastic day
Phillip
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Post  Guest Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:54 am

philski wrote:i made a little ultrasonic gold extractor yesterday with a transducer that will reduce your cons literally in a matter of seconds. It has an outstanding recovery rate too. Sort of like a super high speed shaker table only no water and runs uphill.

I stuck a video up on youtube so you can see it in action. filmed at real speed. check this out..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntnR2rhOAHA

have a fantastic day
Phillip

Interesting indeed. James

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Post  goldpype Mon May 06, 2013 6:00 am

davsgold wrote:There are some gold panning videos on Youtube, should give you a bit of an idea how to do it. Remember that gold is about 8 or 9 times heaver than the sand so it will stay in the very bottom and you should be able to wash out the sand and leave the gold behind.

Here is a link to one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrhsjVH_LO8


The specific gravity of river sands is usually between 3 and 5 gm per cc ; pure gold is 19.3 gm per cc .
Assuming the "worse possible case", 19.3 divided by 5 = somewhat less than 4 (times heavier than "sand"). 8 or 9 times heavier than "sand" would yield a pure gold SG of around 40+ gm per cc! Now, that is heavy!

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