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Winnowing Gold With A Pan Technique?

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Saw this photo of a miner in Australia using pans to drywash, but is he trying to winnow for the gold?  Is this a real technique with pans? I know some ancient miners used to do it with blankets, but  this looks really messy and a good way to lose a lot of gold .  If it was a technique they used, I’d love to detect or sample that dirt pile underneath his pan.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes it is and they relied on a mild wind to do it, they would lose some of the finer gold. They were looking for mainly for pickers and small nuggets. Someone else would in some cases clean up the dirt left and run it through a sluice to get the really fine gold if water was near.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ah, great writeup with illustrations  of this technique in Chris Ralph’s book- just got to that chapter.

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