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Old 06-11-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Panning for gold

I just got done panning for gold near Hatchers Pass just northwest of Palmer Alaska and actually had some pretty good luck. We found 20 or 30 gold flakes in roughly half an hour. So not much as far as weight is concerned, but I have to admit that it was pretty exciting, especially since I didn't think we'd find a thing.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:03 AM   #2
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I'll bet it was exciting!
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:48 AM   #3
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That is cool.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:38 AM   #4
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I went years ago in Colorado when I was younger. It is definitely possible to find a little this way, but you are right, it does not add up to much. Great times and a great piece to take home with you.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:08 AM   #5
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20 or 30 flakes? Did that make a gram by weight? Pretty impressive for just a half hour! Sounds like a fun and educational vacation.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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@bug - I'm sure it's no more than a gram, most are really small. We found a sandy portion near an elbow in the river ( which is still rushing with snow runoff ) where the current wasn't that bad. The water was freezing, but on the very first pan, my wifes dad found a flake, so no one cared about temperature after that.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #7
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With gold @ ~$50/gram, that averages (albiet from a single data point) out to ~$100/hour. Even if there were four of you searching to find it, that's roughly $25/hour/person. Not bad at all.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:03 PM   #8
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My partner in fusion crime, Bill Fain, does this avidly, sometimes even brings me junk from the rivers he visits so as to maybe make up some automated floatation system to pan the stuff. I gotta get him to join here...
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:11 PM   #9
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Gold panning / mining / metal detecting is great... I've been at it for a lot of years, prospecting areas around where I live.

Sometime I'll travel up to Alaska or back out to Colorado and hit some hot spots. It's addictive.

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Old 06-12-2012, 06:16 PM   #10
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anybody ever tried one of these things ?

http://www.goldmagic.com/

i keep asking in the hope someone will say yup they are good, as ive got several thousand tons of mine waste ..........
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rblong2us View Post:
anybody ever tried one of these things ?

http://www.goldmagic.com/

i keep asking in the hope someone will say yup they are good, as ive got several thousand tons of mine waste ..........
They work pretty good for concentrates, but you really need to get down to concentrate level first. If you have have a lot of mine waste you want to run through (I'm assuming soil), you should set up a recirculating water, or wasting water sluice. You can pretty simply build one yourself, get some miners moss and lay it under the riffles.

Then, take that stuff from your cleanout and run it through a gold magic, or something like that. Or, just pan it out.

Man, first thing I would do is take a day or two and pan some of those mine tailings and see what you have.

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Old 06-13-2012, 07:49 AM   #12
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I've been researching this stuff for Bill. I'm trying to learn what miners of various things do already.

In theory, if you could come up with a liquid that had a density higher than the usual rock (about 3.5) but less than gold - the gold would sink, the rocks float, and there you are. Gold bonded to rocks might be lost, but it would be a way to process vast amounts of material.

As far as I can tell, yes, you can create such a liquid, even an ionic one, with say, zinc bromide dissolved in water - something really heavy. Heck some of the freon-class liquids are almost there as is. Fluoinert is already 2.84 (but that stuff is really expensive itself).

But I also find out that miners (not just PMs) also use some tricks with foams and selective wetting via various kinds of resins and soaps with agitation and compressed air, but they tend to keep the details kind of close - or just feel no one is interested enough to want to see a writeup on it. So information on that set of processes is kind of sparse out there.

There is some gold in the creeks and rivers here in SW VA, Bill's brought me some he's panned locally. Just milligrams worth, but it's purty.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:40 PM   #13
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Cheers fellas.

My tailings contain commercially recoverable quantities of lead and zinc ores.

All ground down to fine material under 3mm (1/8th inch)

But theres not enough here to justify setting up a commercial process on site and haulage to distant treatment with disposal of subsequent waste, kills the alternative.

So a 'hobby', below the radar level recovery has been discussed ........

And eeerrr, we all know what is often co-disposed with lead (-:
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:22 AM   #14
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I also love escaping north for a bit of panning! It's addictive and a great excuse to get into the wild. It's seriously hard work though and I'm not sure I'll be giving up my day job just yet :-D


This is from a previous trip...





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Old 06-14-2012, 08:11 AM   #15
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The next major gold discoveries will be made in Alaska.
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