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.
I got into prospecting kinda hot and heavy. I like to build all my own equipment mainly cause I can at a much lower cost and have a better product than whats being sold commercially. I know this forum is mainly geared towards the prospector swinging a metal detector, if Steve does not mind I would like to post the how to build the Viper-Vac here in these forums. I also built this trommel and many other tools I use.
Hey everyone, just wanted to start a new topic on Drywashing for gold in Australia.
Here's a video of me and my mate Pete out on a quick overnighter' it's still dry enough here at the moment but finding time to get out before it starts raining might stop us from more footage this season.
Steve' feel free to move it to a more relevant section if needed, also if others want to add info video's etc to the same topic feel free just keep the topic on Australia.
By Rick Watkins
Going to finally get a gold trip in last week of Oct, hopefully, i heard that area got some good rains recently,just wondering what you guys that have been near winnemucca think about bringing my drywasher ,is the ground still too damp. I heard they had 2 storms that dumped 1/2 of rain each one.