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My Gold Panning Adventures

I recently spent four weeks in some excellent gold country where I was supposed to only spend 2 weeks.

I hit a nice pay streak 2 days before I was supposed to leave.

The area is just north of Ft. St. James, B.C. Canada (The Manson Creek runoff). We were working a rock bank that was fractured, mainly by age. We were getting ho-hum gold returns...until we dug down just over the 8 foot level. This area was a canyon, but, the area we were in had been left high and dry by the stream some centuries ago.

Against the bank was your run of the mill heavy coarse gravel you would expect to find in any waterway. Very unremarkable.

The gold returns were heavy flakes with the odd very small nugget every so often. There were no patterns to the golden wealth we were breaking out of the bank, so I couldn't range the coarser gold. The gravel had next to nothing in it, only the rock bank had any returns worth recovering.

Anyway, back to the 8 foot level. We had dug this mostly by hand but a neighbor had come over twice to dig to help speed our mass material removal over the near 2 weeks I had been there.

The fractured bank reached a granite shelf which was a tapered 4 foot wide piece of bedrock running parallel to the rock face. Well, safe to say we found the bulk of the coarser gold on this granite shelf. It started as a 1/8" line of heavy flake gold and traveled down to a large dip (2 feet?) where there was a lot of nice sized nuggets. My portion of the take was 10% and you know, I can live with that.

This is a good example of following good gold signs. It doesn't always work out that way but it sure did this time.

Just a foot note to my adventure:

I usually have okay results with my gold mining activities. It is not common for me to hit a pay streak, in fact is is quite rare. I think the key for my fellow miners out there is to use common sense and try some different tactics where the situation presents itself. A lot of times you will draw blanks, but then there's payday where you can savour all your hardwork...until next time.


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