Hello, recently I've been given some of my Uncle's things that he used while prospecting in California from the 1970's until about 1995 in the motherlode area, I only panned as a child and observed stream dregding so this is all new to me. I received an E-Z Pickins dry vac back pack. It's missing a few things so it needs work, but it has a manual of 27 pages in fairly decent shape. If anyone wants a copy I'm willing to make them one cost of materials and a small processing fee for my time. I have a copy of Dry Washing for Gold thats 81 pages if anyone is searching for that publication. Thank you.
Primarily my time out in the desert is spent detecting on the chance I’ll find something larger, but checking different spots for fine gold I think might help with that too so I’ve been looking for a little Drywasher I can fit in my Jeep and will be portable for sampling different spots without to much hassle. Every time out I bring home 5 gallons of dirt from promising spots except my choices haven’t been very good yet and getting rid of the dirts a hassle so I’m moving the show to on location. Coincidentally starting with their mower I’m building an inventory of the EGO 56v garden tools some with batteries some bare bones and now have 2, 2.5 amp-hrs and 1, 5 amp-hr battery all interchangeable. In the collection is the leaf blower they claim out performs equivalent gas models and it seems to be true. I’m sitting here testing it now on a low medium speed with the 5 amp-hr battery I got 90 minutes and with the other two batteries on hand I should have somewhere around 3 hrs continuous run time total. They also sell a backpack contractor battery for over a $1K I think must be around 28 amp-hrs (correction) if you need long lasting power. Couple days ago I ordered a Royal Explorer Drywasher the size was right, wasn’t to expensive and seemed what I was looking for to pair with the electric blower and then will head out for a real test although I suspect this will be perfect for what I have in mind. I’ll post a video and pictures when I get a chance and have the little dry washer in hand.
Last night I read a very interesting (IMO) article by Chris Ralph in the June, 2019 issue of the ICMJ (https://www.icmj.com/) titled "How Long Does It Take to Find and Recover an Ounce of Gold". There are a lot of caveats Chris lists, which makes it dangerous for me to summarize what was written. Further, there is a fine line between showing results from a magazine/journal which needs money to stay afloat and requiring interested parties to simply pay for a subscription. IMO, anyone halfway serious about searching for native gold (and there's more there than just gold) should be a subscriber. Most importantly, his estimates certainly depend upon the ground you are covering -- this should be obvious to everyone and I hope simply mentioning it will squelch any attempt to quibble at his results. Basically there is a lot of uncertainty around Chris's numbers, which he is well aware of, but it's still interesting to hear from an expert who has used all of these methods countless times. I was surprised at some of his estimates. In order longest (least efficient) to shortest:
Panning: 42 hrs,
Metal Detecting: 40 hrs,
Sluicing/Highbanking: 30 hrs,
Dry Washing: 30 hrs,
Dredging: 20 hrs,
Hard Rock Mining: 8 hrs.
I think it's worth emphasizing that this is a time efficiency, not a cost efficiency. Panning is clearly the least expensive with hard rock mining by far the most. Chris also points out that the leadup time/research/preparation & cost are vastly different -- hard rock mining being the obvious extreme.
My mate has an EZ Pickens backpack style dry blower vac. Hasn't been used in a long while. Its a wild looking piece of equipment, looks like a jet pack! I have been unable to find any information, manuals, value etc for it and wanted to put the feelers out overseas to see what i can find. Google only shows up some old private sales and its mentioned in a few threads...nothing in google 'images' either. I would like to clean it up, value it and see where to from there.
Any assistance much appreciated:)