Jump to content

Scrape & Detect Gold - With The Minelab SDC 2300


Recommended Posts

Another Treasure Talk blog I wrote was just posted on the Minelab website at Scrape and Detect – with the SDC 2300

 

The Minelab SDC 2300 is a remarkable metal detector, and more people are finally realizing it. The SDC 2300 has exceptional sensitivity to very small gold and even larger gold that other pulse induction detectors have difficulty with. Porous specimen gold is being found that is surprisingly large in mass but which due to the spongy nature of the gold has been missed by other detectors.

The SDC 2300 small gold capability rivals the best VLF detectors and exceeds their capability in highly mineralized ground. It is useful therefore to steal a page from the VLF playbook when it comes to detecting for small gold. The very first thing many people will find that have used other pulse induction detectors is that a nugget cup or scoop is a genuinely useful thing to have when running and SDC 2300. Some of the gold found is so small that is cannot be detected by grabbing a handful of soil and waving it over the coil.

The tiniest stuff is often found by scrubbing the ground and the smallest gold signals come from gold that is nearly touching the coil. Simply holding the soil in your hand keeps the gold too far from the coil to locate it. A plastic cup or stout plastic scoop allows you to shake the material to get it right to the bottom of the scoop, which can then be run over the coil. I let the scoop touch the top of the coil to get the gold as close as possible, and it helps to locate the hot spots around the edge of the coil when dealing with the tiniest bits.

Scrape%20%26%20Detect%20with%20the%20SDC

It is this ability to hit very tiny gold but only at very short ranges that I want to discuss here. There are huge volumes of gold that can be detected by the SDC 2300 but at only a few inches at best. This means the SDC 2300 can be used to effectively work dry placer deposits of gold by carefully scraping and detecting them.

Before I go any further I want to point out that the method I am about to describe can mean moving large volumes of soil. Even working by hand the cumulative effect can be large and falls into the realm of regulated mining methods. In the United States the term used is “significant surface disturbance” and no doubt similar issues arise in Australia and elsewhere. All I can say is be sure to always minimize the surface disturbance with proper reclamation methods including backfilling holes and redistributing topsoil. Be sure to observe all applicable regulations and have any required permits.

Now, with that out of the way let’s get on with the fun! Whether by hand or with the aid of equipment the process is the same. It can be used in any dry placer location whether it is a patch on flat terrain or on a hillside, or a dry placer in a gully. First, have a plan. Decide where to start and where the material will go. The goal is to move the material as little as possible and if possible to reclaim the ground as you go.

Scrape%20%26%20Detect%20with%20the%20SDC

The simplest scenario is the one I undertake most often – working a hillside location or a gully. I always try to locate the lowest location that has gold, then work forward and uphill. Material is worked in strips or patches, with each successive area pulled into the previous location worked. That way the ground reclaimed as you go.

Scrape%20%26%20Detect%20with%20the%20SDC

In the simplest form I use a pick and a hoe or heavy duty rake. Material is loosened with the pick, then carefully raked and spread downhill. If you are dealing with very small gold that the SDC can detect at no more than two inches, and then the material must be worked about two inches at a time. Loose rock and rubble is raked into the previously worked excavation. The SDC 2300 is used to carefully detect exposed material, then the fines raked into the rubble pile. With careful methodical work a pick, rake, and SDC 2300 can substitute for a dry washer or other recovery method and leave very little gold behind. The goal at all times is to make sure every bit of material passes within an inch or two under the coil.

Scrape%20%26%20Detect%20with%20the%20SDC

There certainly are situations where the dry washer or other method makes more sense. But for somebody who wants to keep the gear and the backpacking to a minimum the “scrape and detect” method is a 21st century twist on older hand mining methods. If done properly dry placers can be worked with fairly high recovery rates and with minimal ground disturbance. You will also discover you find a lot of larger gold that was hidden under large rocks or just too deep to detect before. Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve. This technique looks very interesting.

A lot of the places I go panning have large areas of flood plain gravels that are far from the river. Or located in dry areas where the water runs so slow a sluice box won't work efficiently. This ground scanning tip could be a handy thing to try. The problem I have found so far is that the gold is at least a foot below the surface rocks (left by the last big flood several years ago) and is often so small even the SDC 2300 or a pinpointer won't see it. I need to find an area where the bedrock isn't so deep so that I don't have to clear so much overburden to get to where the gold is trapped.

I know from finding small pieces of shot that if there is small gold within a few inches of the coil the SDC 2300 will pick it up easily. It's just a matter of digging down to the level where I can get the coil in range of the gold.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Scrape and detect is often just a desperation move. You detect a patch until nothing is left. Then roll the rocks and pull aside the deadwood. Eventually scraping will ensue, whether it is you or someone else. If gold remains to be found, somebody is going to find it. It just takes more work than the last person was willing to engage in.

 

It is a lot easier with a little bulldozer! I've done a lot of that also.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Steve Herschbach
      Four used ones advertised on The Classifieds in the last couple days, one sold already. Seems like Gerry’s circle of people... you know something the rest of us do not know Gerry?

    • By Donnie
      Am wanting to purchase a Sdc 2300 all checks out on serial numbers etc and is a good price with many extras.
      my concern never using one before I set up three pieces of lead. 0.05g , 1.13g, 2.00g.
      i ran the Sdc over the three individual and the two larger pieces good solid signal up to 300mm lift.
      it would not pick up the 0.05g? Also ran it over 2.5g nugget yep good signal.
       
      i then ran my old AT Gold over the three same. As per the Sdc the AT went off and up to 300mm difference here is the AT picked up the 0.05g light signal but good solid number at around 50mm lift.
      AT also same on nugget.
      my question is shouldn’t the s
      Sdc have picked up the sub Gram lead?? Isn’t that what it is supposed to grab onto??
      Im a bit lost as to what to do now purchase/don’t purchase Can anyone confirm that it should have picked that up, could there be a problem with it.
       
      really want it but was expecting it to leave the AT Gold for dead??
       
      Thanks Guys
      Donnie
    • By Benny
      Hi all,
      I'm ready to buy my first detector and have narrowed the choice down to two. Mainly based on price but some advice could help point me in the right direction. My choices are the GPX 4500 & SDC 2300, within $100 of each other. Most of my hunting will be in the Golden Triangle of central Victoria, Australia. The GPX seems to be more versatile but the SDC appears to be easier to master. It appears both will find gold in the right hands so I suppose my quandary revolves around which one will give me the broadest chance to find gold in quantity and size.
      Cheers in advance,
      Benny.
    • By Denver Bryan
      OK so apparently I don't have a good understanding of what type of metal my detector and find.  I've only had my SDC for a week or so and I'm new to metal detecting.  I put two of girlfriend's earrings on the surface of some soil and here are the results:
      White gold (or platinum I'm not totally sure) earring:  SDC doesn't sound off at all 14K gold earring:  SDC produces a very faint sound Again the earrings were on the surface of the soil.  My detector is finding things like bullets, nails, aluminum foil, etc just fine.  I also buried an old gold plated tooth about 6 to 8 inches down and the SDC found that too.
      So is there something special about the earrings?
      Thanks!

    • By oneguy
      First off... Really liking my SDC so far and have only about 18-20hrs on it so far.  Most places I hunt are pretty trashy so the Goldmonster is usually my weapon of choice. My question regarding the SDC is about threshold change over targets.  I've been finding myself usually only digging targets when the threshold goes from a steady tone to a higher in pitch and softer tone?  When I get a lower in pitch signal tone from the steady threshold I find myself passing on these lower than threshold pitch signal tones?  In your opinion am I on to something as far as trash or gold?  I'm basically lazy and try to manage my time more efficient so I try and avoid digging every signal if the odds are junk?  What I've been doing lately with success is taking the SDC and finding a target, do a shallow scrape, then check with the Monster to determine whether to dig or not. Then again...packing 2 machines also takes extra time and effort (lazy me)?  What are your opinions on signal pitch tones as semi reliable clues?  Thanks.....
    • By Not happy jan
      Hi there fellow yella hunters, ive been prospecting for gold & gems for about 5yrs now in nth nsw.Have mostly been alluvial working with sluice & pan.Found some ok gold, enough to keep me interested.Thought i wld step up to a detector to enter a new & exciting chapter in my prospecting journey.Ended up buying a brand new sdc 2300, i was so excited & proud of my new acquisition.As soon as i unboxed it i had an uneasy feeling with all the screaching & wailing as soon as i switched it on.I persisted with all the best advice & did get it to settle.I am on my second detecting trip & i have had to go home early because the detector seems to have a mind of its own.Last trip was the same although i persisted for 10days trying to make sense of the machine.Overall i wld say this detector works effectively for around less than 10% of the time.Extremely disappointing performance from a $ 4000 detector.Im not trying to poo bag the machine but so far its been almost completely unusable.Im offering this advice to any wld be purchasers to be carefull in deciding on this machine.It has been extremely frustrating & a complete waste of time & money.I have travelled over 2500ks, spent thousands of dollars & now im sitting on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere with a bruised ego, empty wallet & so far .2 gram nugg.Buyer beware.
×
×
  • Create New...