I took the first Minelab GPX 5000 in Alaska up to our new claim on Jack Wade Creek in the historic 40 Mile mining district and did a little detecting. I did not have much time on the trip but still managed to bang out 6 pennyweight (9.4 grams) of gold. The largest nugget is 3.17 pennyweight (4.9 grams).
The ground is not very hot on our claims, so I ran in Sharp timings with Gain at 10. The Minelab GPX 5000 had an absolutely rock solid threshold. A far cry from the Minelab "warble" on the SD units. There is not really a whole lot I can say about the unit except to mention the confidence it inspires knowing you have the most powerful nugget detector made in your hands. Once that coil goes over the ground I'm confident I have left nothing behind except the smallest of sub-grain pieces. Gold so small you really can't call them nuggets.
I say the ground is not that hot but VLF users would argue with that. It is far hotter than around Anchorage and many VLF units running in all metal constantly sound off on hot rocks here. But by Minelab PI standards it is a piece of cake so the 5000 was able to take in stride without any trouble. I only found one rock that gave a signal in Sharp.
If you are in Alaska and have a Minelab GPX 4500 then you are doing pretty good already. The 4500 added a couple timings that have proved very useful in Alaska that earlier models lacked. Sharp for low mineral ground and enhance for high mineral locations like Moore Creek. The 5000 improves the Enhance timing and adds several others. The Fine Gold setting is for getting those last bits out of high mineral locations, hitting small gold Enhance will miss, but it has less benefit in low mineral ground. Our mineralization is so mild south of Anchorage I am anxious to try the new Coin/Relic timings. That was intended for areas with extremely low mineralization and so the thought was it would be more applicable to coin and relic hunting. It is possible that it has applications in those rare low mineral gold nugget locations, but that remains to be seen.
First gold found in Alaska with Minelab GPX 5000
I am amazed at how far Minelab has come with PI nugget detecting technology. There is nothing about the GPX 5000 that I can hope will be improved except the discrimination of man-made ferrous junk. Everything else is about all I can expect or hope for knowing what I do of detector technology. Now perhaps Minelab will put some effort into lighter, more compact physical designs to complement the superb electronics at work in the GPX 5000.
~ Steve Herschbach
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