Panning for Gold

Theme:Water Attitudes
Map #:13
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To teach participants the basic prospecting method for placer gold, i.e. a gold deposit formed by moving water.  Participants will learn about minerals and mineral properties, sediment textures, and how moving water concentrates gold.

Key Messages

  • Sandy sediment typically found in streams and on beaches contains the minerals quartz, feldspar and mica.  Other heavier minerals, such as magnetite are usually present in smaller quantities.
  • Mineral grains can be identified based on colour, shape , response to panning and magnetism.
  • Panning works for finding gold because of gold's extremely high specific gravity (weight compared with the weight of the water)


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