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Absolute Newbie - Best Affordable First Time Detector For Africa?

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Hey guys!

Firstly, wanted to say hi and what a pleasure it is to meet you all. What a great forum with so much valuable info! Keep it up.

I'm in Zimbabwe and want to start detecting for gold in areas that I believe are fertile. 

Unfortunately I don't have the capital for a GPZ 7000 or similar and as I'm starting out not wanting to invest alot at the beginning, I wanted your guys advice as to the best most affordable detector to go with - can be Minelab or any other brand. As things progress (hopefully) I will upgrade.

Thanks again and I look forward to all your thoughts and opinions.

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Welcome to the forum!

One of the most popular detectors in Africa is the Fisher Gold Bug Pro. Unfortunately there is no one ideal detector but instead several that can perform well if used properly. Depending on the gold and ground mineralization one detector may have an edge in a particular area, but the situation might reverse and another detector be better just ten kilometers away. The differences between most models are quite small.

I would put heavy emphasis on which model is stocked by a nearby dealer who can provide knowledgeable answers to questions and who has a good stock of accessory items and spare parts.

It would also be advisable to seek out information from local users as to which machines are giving the best results.

I have detailed reviews of many of the most popular models used in Africa to prospect for gold at http://www.detectorprospector.com/gold-prospecting-guides/steve-guide-gold-nugget-detectors.htm

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Hi Steve !

And thanks for the prompt response! I will certainly check out the detailed reviews you posted.

I travel quite extensively so if a model is not available in South Africa for example (closest major cities that sell detectors) I can always buy online and pick up when abroad, not a problem. I just want to make sure I get the right one :-) But yes all your points are noted and I will take them on board.

On a separate note - from all my reading here in the forum it seems that most guys are just using a detector to find gold (or perhaps I'm reading wrong :-). Why not a detector and a trommel wash plant for example - obviously combine the two for optimum results. Or does the one technique outweigh the other?

Thanks again



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Nearly anyone can afford to buy a detector, and detecting requires no mining claims or permits. They only weigh a few pounds and take up no space. Buying a trommel and equipment to feed it, permits, etc. is orders of magnitude more expensive and difficult.

If you are referring to hand fed devices, you can certainly make the case that a sluice box, highbanker, or drywasher  makes more sense than a metal detector. Anyone taking just what a metal detector can find is normally leaving gold behind. Working the same area with regular gold mining methods should produce more gold.

My buddy Chris Ralph often uses a drywasher in areas where he has found gold detecting and usually finds lots of gold the detectors missed from being too small or too deep.

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Wherever you buy a detector, make sure it's the real thing.  Sadly, all of the major manufacturers' gold detectors have been plagued by pirate copies out of China.  If you buy from an authorized dealer, you should have no problem. 

I think these guys out of Dubai handle African distribution for the most popular brands, including Fisher, who make the Gold Bug Pro.  You might want to contact them for the details of dealers in Zimbabwe or nearby.


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Thanks for the info guys >

Steve, it looks like I'll probably be doing both then :-)

Rick, I will definitely look up this company in Dubai and see how I can purchase a detector through them as I was not aware that the counterfeits are so rife. 

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Here's the CEO's email, maybe he needs a dealer in Zimbabwe!


in any event, no matter which of the leading brands you prefer, I expect he will see you right.

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  • 1 month later...

The Teknetics T2 is a  good VLF gold detector especially in mineralized ground. I've had prospects in the desert  where my GB2, GMT and even F19 would not function well because the ground was too hot, yet there was also too much metalic trash for my TDI.  The T2 (at 13kHz) handled the ground quite well and its discrimination features made quick work of the trash. 

Effective, user friendly and good ergonomics for less than $500.00      Might be a consideration for you......Rob

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