• 6# DIARY OF EVENTS

    A unique opportunity for all the family to learn the basics of gold panning at my mine site in the Royal Forest of Dean
    http://forestofdeangoldmine.co.uk
    website created by Fossicker

    BGA Silver Anniversary Gold panning championships
    what a turn out this is already and the weather is brilliant....warm sunny skies but a little breezy. Caught up with many old faces and numerous nwowew faces...what a weekend this promises to be.
    Saturday eve. What a brilliant day this was, a large turn out of competitors and spectators, the sun came out to play all day it was very warm.The Weather this championship weekend has been the best since 2008, Sunday is promising to be equally as good.
    Sunday:- although starting out overcast, it was warm and at times it looked as though we were going to get a soaking, but as the day progressed into the afternoon the skies cleared and the sun came out for a very pleasant afternoon and really beautiful evening.
    The camaraderie of the greenhorns I have met this weekend has been second to non. Some marvelous characters in the making, I'm sure. They will be legends in their own lunch break hehe, especially the three amigo's.
    Monday:- Monday....well, as they saying goes, "after the lord mayors show, comes the dust cart"..A fabulous weekend, glorious sunshine, a ton of visitors to the championships and the lead mining musuem, smashing evenings in the Hopetoun Arms with wonderful tales being expanded upon as the amber nectar flowed. Even more incredible stories being exchanged over an awesome breakfast the following morning.
    Monday morn greeted us with lashing rain, a fair breezy that would rip the ears of a donkey and very low fast flowing clouds. On saying that the temperature was still very reasonable for the time of year and location. But the rain just persisted for most of the day from an annoying drizzle to really heavy rain. I was on a return trip from a site on the A702 Carronbridge to Elvenfoot road and the rain just lashed and lashed. The wind was blowing and gusting and my vehicle was being tossed around like a dried autumn leaf.
    Tuesday:- what a difference a day makes, the wind has dropped to a breeze again, although the sun struggled to come until late afternoon, it was still warm and thankfully midge free.Wednesday and Thursday again were gorgeous days, the sun did have his hat on as well as its shades. Friday again was a sun kissed day as we wound our way through the pass to our chosen panning location. a few grouse sunbathing in the heather, numerous songbirds shrilling the still air with their tuneful melodies, the gentle munch as sheep graze the close cropped grass among the patches of heather, the gentle babbling burble of water as it sedately winds itself downstream.
    Saturday Sunday, Monday and Tuesday was more of the same sun kissed hillsides,and what warmth there was in the sun as we laid back to gather even more of those suns rays. Oh what a joy to be in the southern uplands once again, most especially while the sun is shinning.
    My most sincere thanks to Rab and Rachael and staff for their never ending most generous hospitality.

    BGA Silver Anniversary Gold panning championships
    25th -26th MAY 2013...
    What a fabulous event this promises to be. This particular event is reported to be one of the most spectacular events the BGA have put on so far, with a few of membership regularly going to Wanlockhead to meet with the museum to organise the marvellous weekend.
    The old tennis courts at Wanlockhead have been agreed for us to use yet again for our camp site and revelry. Thanks very much to the Parish for their understanding and cooperation. It is very much appreciated by us all.
    I'm also led to believe that the gold panning championships will be opened and closed with a Piper piping.
    On the Saturday and Sunday there is to be a Ceilidhs (pronounced kay-lee) a shin dig, a sing song, dancing. I am told that the beer will be only a pound a pint, can you believe that!!!
    There are to be other events such as the obligatory quiz on the Friday night, at this spectacular location at Wanlockhead, this silver jubilee year of the BGA.
    The mining Museum has a tremendous display all about the history of gold panning in the area and has had loads of very favourable reports. Our thanks go out to all the staff at the Hidden Treasures Lead Mining Museum and the BGA members, who, with their mutual cooperation, have put in months of hard work that will make this particular event one of the most memorable for a very long time.

    Bring you favourite pan along and have a go at competing with other panners. If nothing else, just to see how efficient you are.
    Can you clear a bucket of gravels in two or three minutes or so, I guess we all can can't we...... BUT have we retained all the known amount of gold that was in that bucket. Now then, that's where the skill of the craft of a gold panner comes into its' own.
    It is a phenomenal treat to watch the skill of these washers, heads go down bums go up as they feverishly rock their pans from side to side clearing a vast amount of material from their pans in just a minute or so. The remaining bucket of gravels is carefully dumped into the pan and away they go again, rocking swirling and washing until just a small amount of material is left in the pan. Another quick swirl to reveal the gold and the gold is dabbed out on the end of the finger and deposited in the provided vial.
    You may be an experienced panner but have never entered a competition before and would like to see how you compare with some of the UKs' top panners.
    After your eventing, enjoy panning in the umpteen miles of river, streams and rain run of ditches.
    The competition events aren't really the place to chit chat with the ole sough doughs as they are listening out for results and looking to see when and who they are competing against next.
    So when can you chit chat on a purely social basis?
    There are quite a few social events on throughout the year


    Would love to have feed back from one and all of you with pictures of their experiences and stories not only from the UK but from all around the world where you have panned.
    'Keep the Colour in your Pan'

    WORLD GOLDPANNING CHAMPIONSHIPS ITALY
    The world gold panning championships this year are in Mongrando NW Italy, only about 30miles SE over the Swiss border, 60 miles west of Milan
    For the benefit of those who don't read Italian the championships are on the 19-25 Aug 2013.
    The location this year has changed to a neighbouring village that have been very cooperative and most obliging in wishing to host the best championship ever. They are very enthusiastic about their Valley of Gold and would like all newcomers to their region to be equally as passionate

    BGA Jolly Tyndrum........... 21st-22nd September 2013
    The next get together will be 21st 22nd Sept...Camp and meet at the Pine Trees camp site in the center of Tyndrum,
    Don't be put off by the weather - look what was promised for the BBQ and it was fine and dry. Cannot promise the same will happen but hey who knows.
    Jamie Shepherd will be giving a talk in the evening at Paddies Bar opposite the Pine Trees on meteorites and other space debris. This will be held about 8pm on Saturday evening.

    A pal of mine has a self catering bothy in Helmsdale (about 10miles from Kildonan)that accommodates ten folk. If you are interested please let me know asap so I can book it exclusively..

    TYNDRUM
    Just heard that Scotgold at Tyndrum have just been given the thumbs up to start mining gold and silver in the Trossacks. Apparently this will be the first time gold and silver will have been mined in the UK for 500 years.

    TONIGHT ON TV
    SUNDAY 6TH NOV 2011.
    CHANNEL BBC4 OR SKY 116
    BBC 4 Sunday November 6th at 9.00pm.This programme called Tales from the National parks follows locals and the authorities in the quest to open up Scotlands long awaited goldmine inTyndrum.
    Tales from the National Parks[SUB]
    Series 1. Episode 3/3: Loch Lomond and the TrossachsGold is discovered in the hills around the village of Tyndrum, in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Plans to open a goldmine receive support from villagers who hope it will provide a much-needed economic boost to the community - but several other organisations fiercely oppose the proposals. Film-maker Richard Macer spends a year following the battle to determine the site's future, which will be determined by the board members of the Loch Lomond Park Authority. Last in the seriesDocumentary/Nature/Animals/Environment.

    If you missed the program here is the iplayer link
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01708v7/Tales_from_the_National_Parks_Loch_Lomond_and_The_Trossachs/

    . The next is

    CHARLIE SMART BBQ date 6th-7th July 2013
    This has been one of our most popular social events in our calendar. We will start gathering on the flat in the Mennock Pass half way between Nurses Cross and the cattle grid. The BBQ will be at Charlie's on Saturday around 6.30 until finish. Charlie has upgraded his 3 tier BBQ patio yet again. Last year around 35 attended the brilliant fun do. All are very welcome to attend...Could you bring a wee something to help the BBQ along.eg. salad items, drinks , side of venison hehe. Charlie is very generously lending us his garden for the evening and we don't want him to be out of pocket.
    For those who don't know Charlie, he is the water bailiff for the Mennock burn and its adjoining tributaries. Not only is Charlie the water bailiff he is a gold panner of note and a BGA member.

    ACCOMMODATION IN THE LEADHILLS
    The owners of the Hopetoun Arms Hotel, Rab and Rachel, have said they have built a new car park to the rear of the hotel, and anyone wanting to camp overnight in their cars, van, campers, etc, are more than welcome to stay free of charge provided they patronise the facilities, like having a drink or a meal. There is a small garden to the front, which would take a couple of tents, if anyone is interested.
    There are plans underway to build a "bunkhouse" which will have three rooms, one with four bunks, the others with two. they will be linked by a common passage leading to a little kitchen/dining area, toilets and shower. For further information contact the Hopetoun Arms Hotel, 37 Main Street, Leadhills, South Lanarkshire. Phone 01659 74234 or email enquiries@hopetounarms.co.uk
    It is available at any time of the year, not just for the Championships.

    Don't forget, Elaine and James, at the Wanlockhead Inn, also allow you to park overnight but ask for permission first.

    NG DEMO
    Me doing a panning demo at Dolaucothi.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IInfGO-tOgg

    This you tube is 1h.30mins long but well worth the watch
    Mike Moloney on 'Why gold could go to $20,000 an ounce
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj2s6vzErqY&feature=related

    The UK's first dedicated online gold panning supply shop
    www.goldpanningsupplies.co.uk

    Want something a little different for the out-door man in your life???
    How about a English made handcrafted tool steel bushcraft knife, in an enquisite tooled leather sheath, at a fraction of the cost of a lot of well known bushcraft knives. This cutler is taking the nations wild campers and backpakers by storm. His bushraft knives are of the highest standard made from the highest quality materials. check out his website and tell me 'you do not want one of these'
    www.jacklore.com   http://youtu.be/iMzcIALQs2U

    I now have in my possesion a classic Jacklore knife. What a superb piece of cutlery this is. So well balanced. Ive been to the Jacklore workshop and seen the processes needed to deliver a very fine handcrafted bush craft knife. I am indebted to Jacklore for his time showing me all the processes from cutting the blank steel to the tempering, hardening and precission sharpening of each individual blade. Including all the umpteen processes of his extraordinary skill as a leather worker making the sheaths for these beautiful hand made knives.
    The lifetime skills gathered by this most extraordinary of countrymen has been gathered together and breathed into each item that is formed from his rugged hands. I know that cutlery is an inanimate object, but you can feel a life force as it is held in your hand, Not only a joy to hold but the sheer pleasure of owning a Jacklore classic is an item is beyond compare.  Kit Andrews

     

    CHICKEN CAMP ALASKA
    I've just been given these two links for prospecting in Chicken Camp Alaska. So all you young at heart prospectors with gold fever and big wallets, have a look at this two part video advertising gold dredging holidays in Alaska.

    Video No 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvtnJkTXOR4

    Video No 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnuKl-WmULw&feature=related

     

  • #5 HOW MUCH TO GET STARTED

    If you have enjoyed this blog, please subscribe by using the appropriate box on the right. Please DONT FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE. (IT'S FREE) thanks Kit

    I mentioned a while ago about picking through the old tailings or waste spoil heaps from old mines, looking for the tell tale signs of heavy minerals and gold in the crushed rock. You might have been thinking how do I release the minerals from the said piece of rock.
    Before we release the gold from the rock, we need to be certain that we want to crush the rock because gold with the local bedrock still attached, really does have a value in this state to the avid mineral and rock collectors.
    A visit to your local blacksmith shop or metal work shop will furnish you with a ‘mortar and pestle’ type accessory in mild steel. It would need to be a tube a foot high (30cm) and aprox 4” (10cm) diameter and closed at one end, prefably on a foot plate. The pestle can be just a hardened steel bar. The rock samples are dropped into the tube to less than a quarter full, then one can then start pummelling the steel bar up and down on the rock until it is crushed sufficiently enough to release the noble metal. The crushed rock is then placed in the pan and panned in the usual way. Be careful not to overload the mortar as the crushing can cause bits of crushed rock and possibly gold to fly out. This procedure should not be overlooked and has worked very successfully for me for many years.

    TERMINOLOGY
    So far we have been looking for gold in rivers and streams, and this has a particular mining term called ‘alluvial mining’ and the sort of gold we have been looking for is ‘placer’ gold. This is gold that has been released from the country bed rock mainly by the forces of nature, occasionally we might find gold released by earlier mining activities, but still classified as placer gold. When the water has previously been in flood and left gold deposits high and dry on the river banks the gold there is called ‘Elluvial deposits’.
    At the Dolaucothi Roman Gold Mine in South Wales (National Trust) the mining activity was strictly hard rock mining. The mountain was taken apart systematically rock by rock stone by stone, not only for the high grade ore but also the low grade ore as well. This can be a very expensive way of mining and can cost tens of thousands of pounds per metre mined; way outside of the average person’s pocket.
    So for the best part we, as recreational prospectors will stick to alluvial mining for placer gold. It’s an extremely cost effective way of getting started and to find this elusive noble metal. At around £15. a pan. £6. for a garden sieve, a builders bucket about £2. and a shovel of around £15. for under £40 anyone could be set up to start recreational gold panning.
    Ok a £40 outlay, now what’s the price of gold and how much gold could I expect to find?
    Well the price of gold at the moment (April 2nd 2012)is sat around the $1678.80 per ounce, that’s close on £1,048.00 an ounce OR £33.50 a gram.

    And how much you can find? …well that really does depend on how much research you do, how often you get out into the gold bearing areas, and how dedicated you are. The chances of large half ounce nuggets are very slim these days (but not impossible), look at the photos and the pic of Leons' 16.5 gram nugget, that's over half ounce. At best most of the gold you will find will be of pin head or sugar granule size or even smaller. There could very well still be a chance of making upwards of an ounce a day from certain streams in Britain but realistically more often it’s very much less than this, one to two gram a day is very much the norm .
    Prospecting is not a get rich quick scheme in a monetary sense, but what you get out of being outside in the fresh air in some of the most beautifull unspoilt surroundings, listening to babbling brooks, contemplating life and watching wildlife is priceless. (Do not forget your camera)And at the end of the day to find colour in your pan is just the icing on the cake.

    Don't let anyone tell you that this country's rivers and streams no longer contain gold. Every year winter storms bring more to the surface, continually renewing nature's supply. It's all there for the taking, and the gold pan is still the best way to find it!

  • #4 TIPS, FACT AND FIGURES

    TOP TIPS

    1) Always carry a camera to photograph your river in all its weather conditions, plus all the flora and fauna.
    2) Wear over-trousers over your expensive waders, it will save on the wear and tear. Nothing ruins a day more than getting your waders snagged on undergrowth or torn on ragged rocks.
    3)Buy or make a shuffty scope, used for looking for gold in the stream bed material. Cut the bottom out of a plastic bucket and glue in a clear perspex base with waterproof mastic.
    4)When you've recovered all the gold from a hole, start another hole right next door. It might sound either a wise or stupid tip, but once the gold has gone from one hole, its gone for good, its not going to replenish again over night,!!!Ive seen it so many times when a panner finds a good size flake in a hole they will stay in that hole for all time.
    5)For the most part, classify (pass through a sieve)the material you are panning. Graded material will always pan a lot better than non graded. If you are using a sluice, that will grade your materials to concentrate levels. Some panners will say dont classify. 98% of the gold found around the world will pass through a 10 mesh screen. I screen for that 98%.
    6) A small crow/pry bar is a very useful tool to carry when you are prospecting. No, not for house breaking but for prying apart cracks in rock. These cracks are natural gold traps and is worth a day breaking apart this rock to uncover the yellow stuff, even above the water line.
    7)Get out into the gold streams as often as is possible, at least a weekend every month will keep your hand and eye in. Unfortunatly most folk can only pan either on bank hols or annual vacation, leaving little or no time for prospecting new areas.
    8)Make as much time as possible to speak to other gold panners, especially local panners or people that have time & experience on that particular stream. Dont spend so much time listening that you never get in the water, some panners can and will talk all day. just stop long enough to learn something new and to be sociable.
    9)Glass verses plastic; when you are in the streams always always use plastic vials to carry your gold in. If you use glass there is a possibility of breaking the glass and slicing your expensive neoprene waders or dry suit or even worse, yourself. Glass vials are for display purposes only.
    10)Get an army kit bag price around £10, to place your small shovel, pump, rake, wrecking bar and pan in, you may have room to carry a small sluice as well.
    11)Loo roll&baby wipes always keep these in your kit bag, you just never know when you might just need these when the situation arises.Believe me.

    Some Facts & Figures

    .
    Gold is always weighed and traded in troy ounces, which is marginally more (3grm) than the kitchen scale measurement of avoirdupois. These days gold transfers hands also in grams.
    1 troy ounce of gold = 31.10 grams 1ounce of gold can be drawn out into a wire so thin it would be 60 miles long.
    1ounce of gold can be hammered into sheets so thin that a thousand of them would make a pile 1” high
    1 cubic foot of gold weighs half a ton.
    All the gold ever mined would fit underneath the Eifel tower 19m cube. 60 tons of gold every year is used by dentists for fillings because it is non toxic.
    In all of history, only 161,000 tons of gold has been mined–and more than half of this amount has been excavated in the past 50 years. It is surprising also to learn that the U.S. is not the number 1 consumer of gold. But that India holds this title as the largest “gold nation” worldwide (773.6 tons of gold consumed in 2007), followed by China (363.3 tons)–who surpassed the U.S. (278.1 tons) in 2007 as the second largest gold consumer.

    Gold and where I’ve found it.
    .
    Finding colour in your pan doesn’t come easy, it requires very many hours of research through the top peoples newspaper, mining reports, geological surveys and now a much easier media, the internet care of Mr Google.
    First you have to put yourself onto a gold bearing area, then prospect that area until you have done all that you can do. I have told you already that gold is extremely heavy, 19 times heavier than water and approximately 4- 5 times heavier than the average stream bed material you are working in. Now there is a big clue as to ‘where I’ve found gold’.
    ON THE BOTTOM. Bottom of what? I hear you say. The bottom of the flood layer. When the streams are in full flood the gold is pushed further towards the bottom of the stream until it can’t go any lower, sometimes this the country bed rock or a layer of clay, or it may be the hard pack. (river material that has been layed down in a major storm.) Clear the over burden away carefully, then scoop away the remaining cobbles. The pebbles and silt are then retrieved in that particular flood layer until the gold is reached, sometimes you need to reach bed rock. Clean up the flood layer as best as you can with a small shovel and brush, or if you are fortunate enough to own, use a hand suction pump. Clean out the cracks and crevasses with a crevassing tool, something like a disused hacksaw blade or old hand file. This is where the best values are found without a doubt. Very often I’ve seen greenhorns take the top layer of the stream bed material, pan this, found nothing and then moved on to another area. What ever it takes, dig down to a flood layer, once you have done this and panned this and then found nothing then you can move on, but if you have found colour in the pan continue taking that hole apart on that flood layer until no more gold is found. There is a tendancy to dig even further down but generally you wont find anymore gold. Gold lines are layed down in major storms, so when you have found gold on a particular flood layer work the hole back upstream following the gold line.

    TROUT AND SALMON FISHERIES

    I've had it brought to my attention by a subscriber that they have had a 'run in' with the fisheries/environmentalist saying that gold washing upsets and disturbes the fish spawning beds and that gold washing is seasonal.
    Can I quallify those fears right now: All streams and rivers are owned by someone, so find the owner or estate factor for permision to do your recreational panning. Sometimes you may have to pay for a licence or sometimes the licence is free. Suffice to say that on your licence It will tell you from where to where you can pan. Also it could give dates from where you can't pan, usually from the begining of October to the end of May with the discretion of the estate game keeper.

    Don't let anyone tell you that this country's rivers and streams no longer contain gold. Every year winter storms bring more to the surface, continually renewing nature's supply. It's all there for the taking, and the gold pan is still the best way to find it!

  • #3 "GOLDOLOGY"

    If you have enjoyed this blog, please subscribe by using the appropriate box on the right. Please DONT FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE. (IT'S FREE) thanks Kit

    'Goldology’

    "To pan gold a man must be skilled in practical hydraulics; to know where to look, he must know the nature of rivers; to find the source of the gold, he must be wise in other things"

    .79grm quartz with gold attached sat on a 2p piece
    http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j124/Eryri/gold/?action=view&current=DSC_00532.jpg

    Here's a 10g nugget on the same 2p for scale
    http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j124/Eryri/gold/?action=view&current=DSC_00472.jpg

    'IMPORTANT NOTICE'
    Latest update on the Mawddach catchment waterways from CCW.
    Dear Mr Andrews, I apologise for not getting back to you sooner, I have been spending time preparing a statement on gold prospecting. This statement will be sent out to all parties with an interest in gold prospecting once it has been finalised. I have put together an early draft which I have sent out for comment to other agencies with an interest in the matter. I would like to consult you and the British Goldpanning Association with the document after I have received comments from the other agencies involved but before it is released to the general public; I would value your comments including appropriate terminology and specific activities associated with the hobby. I hope to have received comments on the report by a fortnight or so and will consult you and the BGA at that point. Hopefully you will be able to assure those contacting you requesting updates that a statement is being produced and that it will be released shortly.
    Regards N.S.

    We had a date for a face to face meeting with the CCW, FC, EA and Crown set for 15th October (today) but a week back they had cancelled the meeting because of.....
    I am now in the throws of trying to get another date set. Oh the frustration of it all....

    There had been stories in a local paper over the destruction of fresh water pearl mussle beds on the Wen, by gold panners. The CCW have placed signs all over the catchment area of the Mawddach stateing, that the area is SSSI and SAC, and gold panning and associated activities have been banned and activist could be prosecuted.
    I recieve up to thirty phone calls/emails a week, for updates on the latest situation there. Its time that I dont have to spare on an average day. So may I respectfully ask for the phone calls to stop on this particular point. When there is more news, it will be published here and you will be the first to hear about it.
    I have been in disscusion with the CCW since May 2010 and its an on going relationship. We have a healthy and courteous respect for each other throughout our disscusions.
    There have been hickups in the proceedings as various folk have been caught and sent on their way by the authorities. So far as I am aware there has been no prosecution proceedings resulting from this, but it has hampered our working relationship.
    I have spoke to CCW and the area is covered by SSSI (sight of special scientific interst) and SAC (special area of conservation).
    I have been asked many times if a gold panning licence is needed to pan UK waters. In short the answer is YES as the minerals we pan for belong to the Crown. For more years than I care to remember, panners have enjoyed relative peace and harmony on the waters partaking of our recreational hobby of washing a pan of gravels in the hope of finding gold without a licence. The Crown know that we do this, but have chosen to turn a blind eye so far, so long as we have permission of the land owner.
    NOTE:- (Having a crown licence doesn’t give a cart blanche right to trespass.)
    Now, the other side of the same coin is, Gold and silver are Mines Royal, which in most cases belong to the Crown and are managed by The Crown Estate. The Crown Estate’s permission is needed to take away Crown gold in any form.
    For more information on the history please visit our minerals page: history of Mines Royal.
    Gold panning
    Gold panning would require not only permission from The Crown Estate to take the gold, but also from the landowner where the river or stream is located, to gain access.
    It is known to give rise to issues of damage to the aquatic environment and the wildlife which relies on it.
    It is not the policy of The Crown Estate to grant permission for the taking of gold by panning.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-12248466

    Suffice to say that it would be very prudent for all panners to stay away from this particular area until we have further notification. Any further ‘cats among the pigeons’ may result in very serious ramifications for every single one of us.

    Latest report CCW 21st April 2011
    After receiving communication today from CCW, any stories, rumours or what have you regarding certain individuals legally panning on the Mawddach catchment area are now totally unfounded. The information I have received today from all of the authorative bodies in Dolgellau states that no agreement or permission has been made with any individual or association to legally pan these waters.
    The CCW are aware of the various forums and that lengthy dialogue have been posted to by certain individuals, claiming to be championing the cause for panners rights. As far as they are concerned, all these individuals have done was to discredit all gold panners in general.
    Nobody is championing the cause and the only body of people that the CCW, EA and FC will communicate with is the BGA alone.
    Yes they have met certain individuals on the water and told them to pack their gear and to leave the area. So say lengthy discussion on gold prospecting practises are totally unfounded. The authorities have not or never been in water side discussions, other than to tell individuals to leave, and there have been quite a few
    Reference to prosecution, no one has been prosecuted as yet, as they feel that this would be a last resort. I believe the process is 1st occasion…a warning. 2nd a small fine £20-£50, 3rd a very much larger fine around £20k and a court injunction to ban an individual from coming back with a contempt of court being the final act which could have untold penalties.
    With reference to the Gold Rivers Trust, they have absolutely no sway with the authorative bodies in Dolgellau. They don’t recognised the trust as a worthy organisation mainly because the trust owner couldn’t or wouldn’t answer questions to the CCW and FC about their aims or goals and their membership

    LATEST FROM CCW 4TH MAY 2011
    Dear Kit In response to your queries: We have spoken to Mr Wright on the topic of goldpanning. In recent months he has been in the Afon Eden - Cors Goch Trawsfynydd Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation(SAC). No consents have been issued to permit gold panning/digging activities within the SSSI therefore anyone panning within the SSSI are in potential breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as substituted by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. As yet, no prosecutions have been brought against any individuals for gold panning-related activities. We have not agreed that certain methods of gold extraction are acceptable nor have we agreed on permitted levels for this activity. We continue to maintain the position we expressed to the BGA at our meetingin December. Until it is proven that goldpanning activities are not damaging to the features of the SSSI, SAC we are unable to consent the activity, furthermore we can only issue consents to those with legaltitle to the land in question. Since our meeting it has come to light that The Forestry Commission Wales have bye-laws that are applicable. Over the last few months they have been actively enforcing their bye-laws in the area, asking individuals to stop and leave the area. The bylaws specifically prohibit carrying out certain activities which are involved in goldpanning while on Forestry Commission property. The information we have supplied Mr Wright at his request is freely available to all. It includes site information and various documents supporting the designation of Afon Eden - Cors Goch Trawsfynydd SSSI andSAC. I have included the web links to this information below for yourinterest.
    Afon Eden SSSI: http://www.ccw.gov.uk/interactive-maps/official-maps--docs-and-citati/official-maps.aspx?sitetype=SSSI&sitecode=1261 Afon Eden SAC: http://www.ccw.gov.uk/interactive-maps/official-maps--docs-and-citati/official-maps.aspx?sitetype=SAC&sitecode=UK0030075 Regards, Nick Sharp

    Nothing has changed since our meeting with yourself and Mr Thurkettle back in December 2010. The rumours are not correct and FC, CCW and EA are still working together to prevent damaging activities impacting to the river system. regardsArfon Hughes 17th June 2011

    May 17th 2010/updated Aug 12th 2010/updated 2nd September 2010/ updated 15th Oct 2010.updated 19th Jan 2011,updated 22 Jan 2011. updated 20th April 2011, updated 17th June 2011
    ..UPDATED 4 MAY 2011

    What we are going to look at here is the science behind collecting gold, and once this is understood the panning for gold becomes very easy and rewarding.
    Water has a Specific Gravity of 1,
    Stream bed material has a SG of 4,
    Gold has a SG of 19.
    Last month I described how to wash a pan of material, and this circular motion and left to right motion will put the material in the pan in a state of suspension. While in suspension the heavier minerals will sink further towards the bottom of the pan, and further circular motions and gentle panning will allow the heavier minerals to sink to the bottom. The stream bed material with a SG of approx 4 is much lighter than the gold at SG19. Gold is approx 4 times heavier that the rest of the material in the pan and will readily sink to the bottom of the pan regardless of how small the gold and how large the gravels in the pan.
    Many times as I have showed people how to pan they want to get their fingers into the pan and have a ‘route’ around to find the gold amongst the gravels. They are afraid of loosing any gold, regardless of size. YOU WONT LOOSE GOLD if you follow the instructions, wash and pan, wash and pan until a cup full of concentrate is left in the bottom of the pan. These concentrates are called fines as it is the fine material that is left in the pan ready for the final cleanup.

    ‘Cleaning up your ‘fines’
    The cleaning up of your fines is NOT done at water side, it is done at home, or at most at the end of the day. While at the prospected place it is better to spend all the time in the water washing and panning down to concentrate level. This is placed in a plastic snap top container until the end of your prospecting journey.
    When at home the fines are gently ladled into the pan with water and are panned carefully into a tub, until most of the rest of the non gold minerals have been panned away. (Watch out for semi precious stones such as garnets and amethyst). The use of a magnet in a small polythene bag is dragged through the material that is left. This material that is left, generally is a substance called ‘black sands’ or magnetite, even this has a value. The magnetite is attracted to the magnet and when all has been taken, take the magnet to another snap top tub and take the magnet from the bag and the black sands fall away from the surface of the bag to be saved.
    Your gold can be cleaned up using mercury but this is such a dangerous substance I would advise against using it. Anyway, a mercury ball about garden pea size is poured into the pan with the fines and washed and swirled around so the mercury gathers all the gold. Mercury has a great affinity for gold. The mercury is then placed into a chamois leather and is then squeezed, the mercury oozes through the leather and leaves the gold behind. Another way is to burn the mercury of with nitric acid. This is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS as the red highly toxic fumes that arise is deadly. This does leave the gold looking dirty so the gold is transferred to a small bottle with spirit vinegar and salt and is vigorously shaken until the gold looks like gold again. This will take 2-3 minutes depending on the amount of gold in the clean up.

    Don't let anyone tell you that this country's rivers and streams no longer contain gold. Every year winter storms bring more to the surface, continually renewing nature's supply. It's all there for the taking, and the gold pan is still the best way to find it!
    Kit.

  • #2 ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT.

    If you have enjoyed this blog, please subscribe by using the appropriate box on the right. Please DONT FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE. (IT'S FREE) thanks Kit

    Ancillary Equipment

    A gold pan is an excellent tool for panning for gold, but it’s not the only tool that we need. We need a substantial shovel, not a spade, a shovel where the sides and the back are turned up, so that any gold on our shovel will not be able to flow away.
    To make the panning a lot easier we need a garden sieve about ¼ inch or 4 mesh. The sieve is placed over the top of the pan, the sieve is loaded with stream bed material and is riddled just under the surface of the water. This will eliminate all the larger stones and gravels which will hinder our panning. Prior to dumping our larger gravels left in the sieve, a quick search of what’s left called tailings will ensure we don’t toss away any larger nuggets. We also could do with a metal kitchen flour sieve. The 4 mesh sieved material is emptied into the flour sieve that has been placed over another pan and that is also riddled through, and a quick search for smaller nuggets before these tailing are tossed. We now have graded grains that will pan a far lot easier and quicker than without.
    A medium sized funnel is needed to transfer your gold particles to your plastic specimen bottle and self adhesive labels to apply to the bottle with the location of your finds.

    SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

    For recovering gold

    Over the many years of being a gold panner and prospector, I have learnt and forgotten many things in the recovery of this precious yellow metal. Some of these things have been crucial basic things that needed to be re-learnt, others have been quite spurious and of the wall thinking.
    So here is a sequence of events that I use for recovering gold once I get in the water.
    1) RAKE. Use your rake to clear the overburden in your chosen area. You will not rake away any gold, so rake hard and deep until you find the smaller gravels and silt.
    2) SHOVEL, Shovel the smaller gravels and silt through your half inch classifier into your large bucket.
    3) Keep raking and shovelling until you have reached bed rock or clay layer and have at least one bucket full of ‘classified’ material.
    4) Once at bedrock clean up with a gravel pump and a stiff brush checking for any cracks or crevices that need scraping out which are traps for holding gold.
    5) Drain the water from the bucket and move it to your designated panning spot.
    6) Carefully ladle your classified material into your chosen pan design and pan accordingly until there is a cup full of material, mainly black sands; these are called ‘fines’.
    7) Swirl your fines around in your pan and check for any sign of colour.
    8) Empty your fines into another container, a snap top bucket, like a paint kettle from a local DIY store will do admirably.
    9) At the end of your day or your stay on your chosen water, empty your fines into your pan, and pan in your usual manner. Theses fines will consist of mainly black sands, some blonde sands and hopefully your gold.
    10) As you pan out the rest of the blonde sands and some of your black sands you will see the gold sat just under the layer of the remaining black sands.
    11) With a small amount of water in the pan swirl it around over the black sands and watch it move away and leave the gold in situ. Using your snuffer bottle, snuff up your gold, then bottle all your black sands for processing at home at a later date.

    The reason I use this bucket method is that I have taken the time, trouble and the cost of getting to my chosen gold bearing location and I need to spend as much time in the water processing as much material as possible. For each bucketful of classified material, I have raked and shovelled over six times as much of unwanted streambed gravels. My bucket contains only high grade concentrates. When I pan my classifieds down to a cup full of material, I don’t want to waste time carefully panning down to a teaspoon of fines for the gold. This cupful of some blonde sands black sands and other heavy elements including any gold goes into a smaller snap top bucket.
    At the end of the day or my session on the water that is when my fines are panned out. I will only have one pan of concentrated fines to pan.

    Don't let anyone tell you that this country's rivers and streams no longer contain gold. Every year winter storms bring more to the surface, continually renewing nature's supply. It's all there for the taking, and the gold pan is still the best way to find it!

    A COUPLE OF INTERESTING LINKS
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=NcR08bIPopM&NR=1
    http://www.nfb.ca/film/Nahanni

  • #1 THE BEGINING

    If you have enjoyed this blog, please subscribe by using the appropriate box on the right.
    DONT FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE. (IT'S FREE) thanks Kit
    Regardless of whether you are a new prospector (green horn) or a seasoned pro, (49er) the gold pan is still the most indispensable companion you can have. It is one of the first tools used in locating (prospecting) gold and also is one of the last used, even in commercial mining to check the value of ore being processed. The Gold Pan is used wherever gold occurs in approximately 75% of all the countries in the world. The common sizes of pans today are the 8 to 12 inch pan, used primarily for sampling, or clean up. The 14 inch pan is the most popular, multi- use. The 16 to 18 inch pan is used by the more experienced panners. The larger pan load requires greater stamina and technique.
    The tough, moulded plastic pan of today is far superior to the steel pans of yesterday for several reasons. Firstly, it is rust and corrosive proof. Secondly, it can be textured with a fine "tooth" surface to hold the gold better. Third, it is about one quarter the weight of a steel pan. Any of the above reasons are sufficient to endorse the plastic pan. But there is still another advantage. Being made by an injection mould process, riffles can be easily formed into a plastic pan, these riffles trap the gold making recovery much easier. An accomplished professional panner can only process about a half cubic yard of material in an 8 hour day. But with the development of the hand sluice, the dredge, and the rocker, even the novice today can process about 3/4 of a cubic yard per hour. Even with the more sophisticated equipment, the pan is still necessary for primary prospecting, it’s extremely portable. Recreational "mining" is a fast growing hobby across the world with one of the highest prices being paid for gold in many many years, and the gold pan is the prime tool! There are probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3 million gold pans sold annually in the U.S.A. alone, where the majority of recreational and professional ‘washers’ are to be found. There are only approximately 300 gold panners here in the UK, generally made up from 'rockhounds' or 'geology students' so equipment such as gold pans and other ancillary tools used in the hobby have to be imported.

    The majority of people stare wide eyed and open mouthed when told of Gold in the UK and even a gold rush in Scotland in 1869 that saw many hundreds of people flocking to the area.
    Trying your luck at gold panning could lead to one of the most fascinating, enjoyable and exciting hobbies you have ever known. The gamble of taking a pan full of river gravels and finding precious metals in any quantity, whether only a flake or two or laden with nuggets, is a sensation that is unexplainable, but first one needs to put ones self into a gold bearing area. Where are these areas I hear you ask? We need to find some of the oldest rocks in the country, and they must be old igneous rocks.
    Again the same question. But where are they? To cut a long story very short we need to be looking generally along the 4 degree west meridian where old volcanic rocks have been weather worn to expose quartz extrusions in the bed rock. These quartz extrusions will often times have quite a mustard colouring about them; this is mineralization within the quartz and could hold our precious gold. Quartz that contain visable gold is called float, because the quartz causes the gold to tumble or 'float' easier down stream.
    This seems very hard work digging out half a mountain to get just a few flakes of gold, and it is. A much easier way is to find the old spoil heaps of mining activities of yester year. These heaps are crushed country bed rock that contained the heavily mineralised quartz that have been dumped. These spoil heaps often contain low grade ore that was either, not worth processing or the equipment used in times gone by were not as efficient as today. But to the recreational gold panner they really are worth their weight in gold..
    Whats the chances of the price of gold reaching $1000 before the end of January; also maybe even $1500 before the end of 2010.
    FROM THE DAILY MAIL 6TH MAR 2008 page 19 'BROWNS GOLD SALE LOST £4bn ...experts said that it was only a matter if time before gold broke through the $1,000 an ounce barrier for the first time.
    Thurs 13th Mar 2008 Gold Market report: "At last look, gold for April delivery spiked to an all-time nominal high of $1000.80 an ounce. The precious yellow metal has gained about 18% so far this year, after tacking on nearly 32% during 2007." Did you invest in gold? if you did you would have made $200 in 3 months.
    When Brown sold our gold in 2002 it was at a 20 year low of $275 per ounce. So you can see that over this period Gold has been increasing in value by approx $100 per year. Some pundits say that gold can't go any higher, I believe that there is a wee bit more honey in the pot to be had, maybe even half a pot full, as I said in December 2007 maybe $1500 per ounce by the end of 2010. On saying that I'm secretly expecting a panicky market, which could easily shoot gold prices to over $2,000 an ounce.
    Have your say, what do you think? email me, leave a comment, good bad or indiferent I dont mind, just leave a comment especially on the comments page or guest book. I've had 68,000 visitors to the blog since its introduction in December 2007, over six hundred and seventy two of you have subscribed, thanks to those that have, and to the others that havn't, what are you waiting for. I reply personally to everyone who subscribes asking for some basic information BUT only about half of you have replied. I answer all emails and telephone calls as all of you who have subscribed can testify to. Do you like the photo's, Oh, you do, well leave a comment, give me a star rating, I cant do it myself, ha ha.
    Its very nice of you all to text, ring or email, saying 'it's a bonza site blue' (ausie) and telling me of your experiences, get it on the comments page so others know how you feel about it. Give me feed back, let me know what else you want to read within these half a dozen pages.
    Gold price Dec 2007 $796 per ounce
    Gold price 31th Jan 2008 $920.81 per ounce
    Gold price 29th Feb 2008 $965.90 per ounce
    Gold price 18th Mar 2008 $1005.05 per ounce
    Gold price 26th Mar 2008 $933.80 per ounce
    Gold price 13th Oct 2009 $1067.30 per ounce
    Gold price 06th Nov 2009 $1100.06 per ounce
    Gold price 02nd Dec 2009 $1211.50 per ounce
    Gold price 03rd Mar 2010 $1135.30 per ounce
    Gold price 16th Apr 2010 $1155.90 per ounce
    Au price w/c 10 May 2010 $1249.70 per ounce
    Gold price 01st Jun 2010 $1224.40 per ounce
    Gold price 18th Jun 2010 $1263.20 per ounce
    Gold price 28th Jul 2010 $1163.00 per ounce
    Gold price 14th Aug 2010 $1215.40 per ounce
    Gold price 29th Sep 2010 $1312.10 per ounce
    Gold price 05th Oct 2010 $1341.60 per ounce
    Gold price 14th Oct 2010 $1387.10 per ounce
    Gold price 09th Nov 2010 $1424.60 per ounce
    Gold price 07th Dec 2010 $1426.80 per ounce
    Gold price 01st Jan 2011 $1421.60 per ounce ex/ch 1.56=£29.28gram
    Gold price 03rd Feb 2011 $1331.90 per ounce
    Gold price 16th Mar 2011 $1396.10 per ounce
    Gold price 06th Apr 2011 $1454.00 per ounce
    Gold price 16th Apr 2011 $1486.40 per ounce ex/ch 1.6332 = £29.26 gram
    Gold price 02nd May 2011 $1557.00 per ounce
    Gold price 19th Jul 2011 $1610.00 per ounce ex/ch 1.6110 = £32.13 gram
    Gold price 03rd Aug 2011 $1669.60 per ounce ex/ch 1.63 = £32.78 gram = £1019oz
    Gold price 09th Aug 2011 $1771.10 per ounce ex/ch 1.63 = £34.75 gram = £1080.98oz
    Gold price 10th Aug 2011 $1817.60 per ounce ex/ch 1.6225 = £38.51 gram = £1118.01oz
    Gold price 19th Aug 2011 $1881.40 per ounce ex/ch 1.6525 = £36.60 gram = £1138.51oz
    Gold price 12nd Aug 2011 $1911.46 per ounce ex/ch 1.6518 = gram = £1139.55oz
    Gold price 31st Jan 2012 $1738.80 per ounce ex/ch 1.5759 = £1103oz = £35.47gm
    Gold price 28th Feb 2012 $1781.30 per ounce ex/ch 1.5873 = £1122oz = £36.08gm
    Gold price 29th Mar 2012 $1676.20 per ounce ex/ch 1.5907 = £1053oz = £33.88gm
    Gold price 15th Sep 2013 $1360.70 per ounce ex/ch 1.5945 £853oz = £27.45gm

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