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Thread: Gold Panning in/near Ghost Towns

  1. #1
    tuutuutango Guest

    Default Gold Panning in/near Ghost Towns

    I just saw on CNN (3-18) a story about lot's of people going north of Phoenix to pan for gold. Not everyone in the report was panning, some folks were using some mighty impressive metal detectors. I have no idea what a good one cost, but they look pretty interesting.

    At $1,000 an ounce for gold, people are not only melting down old jewlery, but becoming very active in sifting through mine trailings and down-stream from old mines.

    Gold panning seems to me to be a way to be in the "great-outdoors" and get a little excercise more so than a way to actually make serious money.

    Has anybody on this site actually panned for fun and found anything?

    With gas (and now diesel in my area at $4 per gallon) I'd have to think twice before heading out in the RV to park and pan for a week or so.

    Just curious...

  2. #2
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    Yes- I've panned in North Idaho and Alaska. I've almost always come up with something, but I've never found anything bigger than just small pickers. My father in law used to be a pretty good prospector and he's found some good, small nuggets. There's still gold in them thar hills!
    -Steve
    http://militarysignatures.com/signatures/member2686.png
    TSgt Jason Norton and SSgt Brian McElroy, KIA 22 Jan 06 near Taji, Iraq. You'll never be forgotten...

  3. #3
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    found good quantity in a couple of areas, wet panning is much easier than dry panning, but it takes persistance and patience. it can take 30 to 60 min to work through a pan of material. Get in a good spot, and hit any portions of the creek or river where the heavier rocks are collecting, then go deep, the gold, while small is still amazingly heavy.
    Corey Shuman
    aka one_bad_rover or Blke36bimmer
    cshuman@goldrushexpeditions.com
    www.goldrushexpeditions.com



  4. #4
    tuutuutango Guest

    Default YouTube Gold Panning

    Found some intresting videos on YouTube about panning for gold.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U8t2FoqoyQ

    There are others and although I am no expert on this, this video is giving me ideas EXCEPT I don't relish the thought of bending down into a creek to pan for gold.

    With arthritis, I'd have to think twice about bending down to pick up a dollar bill on the sidewalk... but panning does look like fun.

  5. #5
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    I carry a goldpan wherever I go; it is quite rewarding to find gold in a pan of dirt and gravel. I usually drive to Calif to pan. Can't wait until the snow is gone in the Sierra Nevadas.
    As for Metal Detectors, White's MXT COSTS $800. or for $3,999. you can buy a MineLab GPX-4000. I have the White's but as yet have not used it for nuggets.
    Both units, I've heard, are great for nuggets but expect to do a lot of digging!
    While I'm at it, I'll tell you where a real gold mine is (or was). It was found while I happened to be acquainted with the locator, a hermit, by the name of Eric Thompson in 1994. He went to the Plumas NF at Quincy CA and was told that the land was open for filing. He and I drove over to post it, but he decided NOT to, seeing as how it was open to the public for quartz crystal collectors and the local Search and Rescue orgs as a favorite Rappelling site. He figured if he posted it the people would then highgrade the site and being a hermit, mostly broke, he decided to work it by hand. I saw the Assay Report; it assayed at 22 oz per ton which was VERY rich. I saw the mine and could see with my eyes, free gold within the red-stained rotten quartz! I left the area the same day and have never been back.
    On a Plumas Natl Forest map it is shown as "Crystal Point" I believe. The locals go there to rappel down the steep cliffs; rockhounds likewise go to collect clear quartz crystals. One energetic fellow was amassing 100 lbs of crystals which he then took to Reno where he sold them for lucky crystals. From East Quincy drive about 3-4 miles East to the Quincy-to-LaPorte Hwy, then South to the bridge over the MF of the Feather River. Cross it and about 1/2 to 2 miles past it look for a 1-lane dirt road on the westside of the hwy. Turn onto it (2WD) and drive down until you see the rappelling cliff on your left. Park. There are 2 trails, both on the leftside; both go up and then fork. Right fork takes you to the top of the cliffs. Left fork takes you to the crystal cave. Distance is less than 1/2 mile. Easy hike. Am guessing the altitude at about 3,000 feet. Should be devoid of snow by now. As I mentioned earlier it could be posted.
    When I was there Eric allowed me to knock off some rich pieces to pay me for my time and gas. I crushed them in a mortar and pestle and panned them. I got about 1/4 ounce which my ex-wife stole!
    There are other problems associated with this mine. The vein dips about 45 degrees and trends to the Northwest. Unfortunately the boundary for the Feather River (a Wild and Scenic-NO MINING ALLOWED-River) also lies to the NW,and is on the Northside of the road that you drove on, so your mine is doomed from the start. Likewise gold strikes in this area historically are small pockets, and production costs outweigh mining, even at $1,002.40/oz (today's value) which is probably why it may still be open. To mine it you will need to go through all the hoops and loops to get it underway.
    But take a rock hammer with you and load up a couple 5 gal buckets and have fun panning.

  6. #6
    tuutuutango Guest

    Default Great story, thanks

    Hey Dirty Dog, that was some great reading (except the part about the "X" making off with the gold...)

    If I lived closer, man I would be tempted to become a hermit myself and do some panning in those parts

    Needless to say, I am about to Google the location...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuutuutango View Post
    Hey Dirty Dog, that was some great reading (except the part about the "X" making off with the gold...)

    If I lived closer, man I would be tempted to become a hermit myself and do some panning in those parts

    Needless to say, I am about to Google the location...
    This hermit friend, Eric, I met on the river. It is closed to mining, but recreational panning/sniping is allowed. Eric was sniping. He spent from 9AM-6PM in a wetsuit in the river moving huge boulders. He had cables and come-alongs anchored here and there. He would move a boulder 3-4 feet then scoop up all the gravel and sand he could find and then spend a day panning it out. He averaged 1-1/2 oz per 3 days. About every 3 weeks he hiked out 28 miles, sold his gold to the local rip-off jeweler and got drunk for 2-3 weeks. And repeat. He bought a 6-pack of ice cold Coors from me for several nice nuggets! Eric didn't use a weight belt-they scared him! I suggested using a sand belt (filled with sand) but he felt it would be more like an anchor.
    By July the river is warm enuf to swim in, but if you plan to work all day I'd wear a wet suit.
    The GT reader who takes 30-60 minutes to pan isn't doing it right. I can pan out in less than 5 minutes. The YouTube link showing panning also was too slow. Bob McCracken has 2 fine books Vol I and II on the subject plus he had some tapes. I would suggest reading them if you are interested in panning. The fellow who said to dig behind rocks is correct but not next to the rock. The water behind a boulder swirls and constantly washes the nuggets out. Likewise beneath
    rapids or waterfalls. The best nugget patches are in slack water areas. From that boulder, about 4-6 feet downriver is a pile of gravel being built up and at the end of that gravel bar at depth, is where the nuggets lie! It also depends on where that boulder is in the river. The insides of turns is where the slow water exists. Draw a line of site from the inside of one turn to the next inside turn and all along that line is slack water and is where the most gold will be found. And if that boulder lies on the line of site it probably will be the best area to start your search.

  8. #8
    brian10x's Avatar
    brian10x is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuutuutango View Post
    I just saw on CNN (3-18) a story about lot's of people going north of Phoenix to pan for gold. Not everyone in the report was panning, some folks were using some mighty impressive metal detectors. I have no idea what a good one cost, but they look pretty interesting.

    At $1,000 an ounce for gold, people are not only melting down old jewlery, but becoming very active in sifting through mine trailings and down-stream from old mines.

    Gold panning seems to me to be a way to be in the "great-outdoors" and get a little excercise more so than a way to actually make serious money.

    Has anybody on this site actually panned for fun and found anything?

    With gas (and now diesel in my area at $4 per gallon) I'd have to think twice before heading out in the RV to park and pan for a week or so.

    Just curious...
    Kelly can probably give you the best advice here. he's an avid (and sucessful) gold prospector.

  9. #9
    GaryB's Avatar
    GaryB is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    One advantage over panning that a metal detector has is you can find cool artifacts at historical places not protected by the Antiquities Law. Or even just searching spots where there is lots of foot traffic, like parks, beaches, etc.
    "I have a .44 and a shovel, I'm sure no one's gonna miss you" - Virginia City, NV

    http://community.webshots.com/user/GBodell

  10. #10
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    I have heard that it is Federal Law not to take anything from GTs or mining sites. Does anyone know the distance you need to be to start searching for anything

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