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Minelab Price Increases


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If we are gonna pay the piper then I'm hoping Minelab is moving to some sort of automated prospecting type packages, specifically drone mounted. Drone mounted GPR is real and a thing already in the exploration industry for example, so some things are now possible that were extremely difficult or impossible 10 years ago. Most of this stuff isn't useful for say finding 1 gram nuggets, or recreational detecting though. It's larger scale, lower resolution, bigger picture. But automated. Then you can come back with a 6000 or 7000 or whatever and do the finer scale, higher resolution work.

Minelab has some stuff that seems like they are working on ideas like these already, but limited mostly to countermine military tools. Anyone looked at their STMR Array? Wouldn't be hard to make a smaller adaptation of that to satisfy the drag coil crowd. 

I keep hoping we are moving from the coil-on-a-stick model. Probably not though. But who knows. But if they are marketing "pro-grade" equipment and charging pro prices, then I feel it's time to give us actual professional exploration tools and not recreational equipment. 

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Now that looks like it could justify the 10 grand price! 

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I enjoy the swinging and hiking. Also, this sort of heavy machinery would only work in open terrain and with large coarse gold deposits. Not many places in the Sierras, nor in any mountain terrain for that matter, that I can think of where this would be of any use, not even for the "professionals"...Australia perhaps. But even if this would work one day, if I then just had to press a button to find gold I might loose interest in prosepcting 🤠

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17 hours ago, phrunt said:

The Manticore isn't really a giant step over the Nox I don't think although I'd much rather it than a Nox 900 and, in a few ways, prefer my 800 over the Manticore. 

Minelabs business model is not to release upgraded "technology" in new release models in really giant steps. But to do it a tiny step at a time to milk more money from customers with each "new" release. Mining the miners. Take a look at the GP Extreme through to the GPX 5000. Pretty much the same platform with small improvements to each unit but a hefty top end price per "new" detector. We were lucky that the coils were interchangeable. Not like now.


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1 hour ago, Gold Catcher said:

I enjoy the swinging and hiking. Also, this sort of heavy machinery will only work in open terrain and with large coarse gold deposits. Not many places in the Sierras that I can think of where this would be of any use, not even for the "professionals"...

Re-read my post. A person doesn't use the kind of tools I'm talking about for finding nuggets directly. You use large scale, low resolution tools to cover large swaths of land to find indicators, then go in with a 6000 or 7000 and do the higher resolution work. And not everywhere is the Sierras. 

I posted the STMR only as an example that Minelab is working on stuff other than coil on a stick paradigms, things which over the last few years now might be adaptable to something more mobile like drone whereas not long ago it was thought impossible. GPR already is being used on drones. Other stuff too. If they have the bulk designed for military applications, my point is they might be able to do some sort of drone based consumer product as well. 

There are tons of examples you can use this equipment to find nuggets by proxy, some of which I'm not at liberty to disclose at the moment. But for example you can use drone mounted GPR to search for buried paleoplacer and paleoriver channels (you are finding the gravel/boulders, not the nuggets), then use that map to go in with a detector or even an excavator. Saving years of boots on the ground surveying/test holes/exploration. Similar techniques abound with other sensor arrays (spectral, radiation, magnetic, etc) which a creative and knowledgable prospector can apply in new ways.

You can use these survey techniques to find gold, or almost any other mineral, limited only by your creativity and ability to find new ways to correlated specific types of survey data to indicators or minerals of interest. I'm not guessing, I'm saying this based on real experience, most of which unfortunately at the moment is under NDA but I may detail further in the future if I can. 

This is the direction the future of general prospecting is going. Most people here think detectors have reached maturity - I'm saying with first hand experience that there are still ways to find both more gold as well as other minerals with some of this tech that is now available. If Minelab is charging pro prices and marketing as pro equipment, I'd like to see them offer some of these at a consumer level now. Those who just want to "swing and hike" are free to do so in any event with what exists already.

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