Hard worked for winter gold!

Hi All you soft goldpanners, have just spent a few days down the West Coast, on a claim by permission, so whereabouts will stay with me. The weather was reasonable and dry, but the rivers where up. With good gloves and good gumboots there is no excuse to get out, whilst not many others are doing it! Hope the photo comes across OK, mainly used my sluicebox, but definitely did some hard yards for those bits of gold. Enjoy!!Ben.


Thanks for sharing :slight_smile: Just back from a few days away myself, but only found one flake with the detector so not much to show. Hoping for better luck with new spots next time!

Hi Gavin, nice of you to comment. The thing that annoys me the most in this crazy hobby we call goldprospecting, is if you have been lucky in one good hole you’ve dug, and found some nice flakes, you dig another one next to it, a metre away, and there you get nothing!

That annoying saying,“gold is where you find it!” Hate that.

Hoping in October to head over from Chch to Alexandra, where I have a contact who has a property where some past mining was done. Am considering upgrading from my Goldbug Pro, in the hope those hills over there may produce something more than a flake.

Cheers, Ben.

Funnily enough, I was mainly running my Gold Bug Pro this trip as was a pretty trashy area I was in. Also took my SDC 2300 for a play too - only got bought out after I’d swept the area with the Gold Bug, marking iron signals to ignore first.

Mate had the new Gold Monster to play with. Interesting seeing them side-by-side. It picked up the first small gold which I only managed to get a signal from with my Gold Bug Pro after I increased the gain considerably. However, with my increased gain I started to get a lot more false mineralised signals coming through. I think the Gold Monster must rapidly do its ground balancing to allow it to keep sensitivity high for the small gold. I did prefer the Gold Bug Pro for working out what was trash though.

Best of luck in Alexandra, should be fun! :slight_smile:

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Did you check the gold bug against the gold monster for depth.

The Gold Monster will slay the Gold Bug Pro on small tiny gold with its 45 khz. The Gold Bug Pro should do better on bigger gold at depth due to its lower 19khz frequency. Having said that though. A mate of mine went up 5 mile creek here in QT with his GBP & got nothing. When he got a gold monster he went up & got 6 bits.

His first piece

His total

I was running the Gold Bug-2 at 71 khz & snagged this beauty.

Out of this crevice/hole with the water in it.

Rescanned after getting the bigger bit & got this

And I believe there is another piece but I needed a crevice sucker to get it out which I hadn’t brought with us. It got lost down in the crevice so I gave up on it.

Our total.

This was after the Swed… Golden Boy had been up there a few times. Just goes to show that no one gets it all.

Then there are a couple from the mighty GPZ 7000. But that is a different story.

Nice bit of colour there BPTpaint48. Yes you would be best upgrading to at least a later model Minelab pulse induction detector for the Central Otago hill country. Depth & sensitivity will be your friend here. If in the shallow bedrock & creeks a high frequency VLF will cut the mustard. The little 6 inch coil has just been released for the Minelab Equinox 800. It was deadly on tiny gold with the 11" coil. If you are into a bit of coin & relic detecting too the EQ 800 is the best at all round detecting on the market. A true do it all & do it well detector. For the money too it is real bang for the buck. If you haven’t…check it out. Danidor in Chch can sort you out with one at a good price. Here is a tease for you.

This was my first time out with it…ever. Those are tiny

12 bits for .32 of a gram.

Good luck out there

JW :slight_smile:


Hi JW, just call me Ben, thanks for the advice on the Equinox 800. Appreciate the Danidor tip.

With all these things we invest in, its always a question of whether your aiming for a return $$ or if its your hobby, and is just a heap of fun to get away from our daily grind. I will check with the land owner what its gold history is like, because it does have some, and then determine if enough small gold was found like you teased us with. If so, then your recommendation will be worthwhile investing with. Thanks again, Ben.

Hi Ben, Nice to “meet” you. I have to agree with your comment about the fun aspect. I don’t dwell on the money making side of detecting for gold. I just love being out there walking in the footsteps of the old timers & combing over their old workings & their throw out piles. They always threw some gold out just for me. Bless them.
Had a hard time of it today due to a cold keen wind. Very unpleasant. Just managed one small bit with the Zed. Gave the EQ 800 with its 11" coil a run & also the Gold Monster with its 5" coil on some old timer throwout piles where I got a few small bits with the Zed the last time I was there. Just got a handful of shotgun pellets, courtesy of rabbit shooters. The 11" coil on the EQ 800 isn’t overly ideal for gold detecting due to its size, shape & its open web design. The open web design in gold detecting lends itself to getting caught up & snagged on rocks & grasses etc. It is ok in open flat terrain but that isn’t always the case with goldfield or creek locations. The 6" will be a lot more suitable & a lot better for poking & proding into tighter places like between rocks , bushes & grasses. An elliptical shaped coil would be even better. I dont have the 6" coil for my EQ 800 yet as it is that new. Danidor has some coming in. He sells his detectors through trademe but if you deal with him direct he will give you a better price due to no trademe fee. The Gold Monster detector is a VLF gold dedicated machine running at 45 khz & comes with a 5" coil as in my pic above, but also comes with a 10x6 coil. It more than likely has an edge over the EQ 800 solely because it is gold dedicated. The EQ 800 being very good though at both coin & relic & gold. The new 6" coil for the EQ will be very interesting up against the Gold Monster. Depending what search mode you set the EQ 800 in it runs at either 5, 10, 15, 20, or 40 khz or you can run it in what is called Multi IQ which in the gold modes is in 20 khz & 40khz simultaneously. In other setting , which are more suitable for coin & relic detecting, it runs in 5,10, or 15 khz or in Multi IQ all three khz simultaneously. Some weird voodoo magic stuff happens in Multi IQ. Especially with that 11" coil. It can ping such tiny gold it is unbelievable. The 20 khz & 40 khz range are unique in the 800 for gold detecting. The Equinox 600 is more for just coin & relic detecting & operates in 5, 10, & 15 khz. Or in Multi IQ runs in all three simultaneously. The 600 is slightly cheaper than the 800 but lacks the 20 & 40khz gold frequencies & lacks the 2 gold modes. The 800 does it all so is a no brainer. Sorry for the prattle. I will bugger off now. :slight_smile:


JW :slight_smile:


Hi JW, your not prattling, you have given me a heck of a lot of info there, that I will need to weed through.
There is no replacement for experience, that you have obviously had. Thanks a heap for the time you put in to give that info.

Now I have to make a decision!
Cheers, Ben.

Wow, I thought I had meticulously cleaned every crack in that river. Must have reloaded in the last year

Hi Ben, No worries mate. It can be a bit of a tough decision deciding on what detector to get. The gold monster is a very easy to use detector. Virtually a switch on & go detector but has some neat unique features. Very good on small/tiny gold. If bigger bits are there at a bit of depth the 10x6 coil will get those too. But the bigger bits are hard to come by these days. The size & shapes of the two coils for the gold Monster are a lot more suited for gold detecting, but then it is a gold dedicated machine. The EQ 800, like I have said, is both coin & relic & has 2 gold prospecting modes & does a good job on gold too. The 6" coil will be more suitable on gold than the 11" coil. I cant give you any info on the 6" coil on gold for the EQ 800 as they aren’t here yet & I dont have one. The EQ 800 price wise is just a bit more than the Gold Monster but the 6" coil is an extra accessory coil that you would need to purchase separately. But the EQ 800 gives you more choices in detecting if you think you might want to do a bit of coin & relic stuff. As I said…difficult decision. The gold monster & the EQ 800 are both the new kids on the block in VLF detecting technology. They will be setting the new benchmark on the world stage. You can guarantee that Minelab have patents sewn up.

Good luck out there

JW :slight_smile:

Hi Gavzilla. Ha ha… As you will know mate…no one ever gets it all. Those bits from 5 mile were all imbedded in the bedrock & had to be smashed out of what appeared to be solid schist bedrock. There weren’t even any cracks or crevices visible. That hole where I got my two bits was created by me smashing down into it to uncover the signal. Those bits of gold would have been there for thousands of years. They certainly haven’t been freshly washed down in the last few zillion years. My mate that I took up there is a novice so I was guiding him where to go & where to swing his detector. We came to a run of bedrock that was out side of the creek. I told him to just scan the whole lot of that bedrock. Dont worry that you cant see a crack or crevice…just scan all of it. He got a signal, it was telling him it was non ferrous but he couldn’t see anything. No gold no lead no crack no crevice. He couldn’t make sense of it. I told him to scrape the bedrock & see if there isn’t a hairline crack. No …nothing. Signal was still there after a bit of scrapping. I told him to attack the bedrock with the pointy end of his pick. He kept saying…there is nothing there though. I had to remind him that his detector wasn’t nutting off for nothing. just because you cant see it doesn’t mean that there is nothing there. Just carefuly break out some bedrock, there has to be something in there. Long story short there were 5 bits of gold down in that bedrock. He was stocked & learnt a few things about gold that day. There were in fact 6 but he lost one.
He went up another time with his father & found two more bits. Went a third & forth time by himself & got nothing more. His last time was not long ago. He walked up the creek in crocs & shorts & wondered why his feet & legs turned purple. bloody cold creek at the best of times…but in winter…mad. :slight_smile:


JW :slight_smile:


Hi John, I tread somewhere and I forget where that the cracks in bedrock open up a bit in winter, and that the cracks will tighten up in summer. So the gold will work its way into the bedrock due to this expansion and contraction due to large temperature differences.

Hi Dave. Thats interesting. One would think that the water would have to actually freeze in order for the ice in the bedrock cracks to expand, hence opening up the cracks, & then when the ice thawed the cracks would be stretched open allowing for gold to drop in with the spring thaw floods. Maybe…Sounds feasible. Cheers.
By the way… Re your comment on there should be many quarter & half ounce nuggets out there.Have you found many quarter & half ounce nuggets in your dredging claim? I have only ever found one nugget over half an ounce. 18.75 grams. And only a handful of quarter ounce pieces in my years of detecting. And I detect a lot. So if they are out there here in NZ they are out of reach. Mark Ralton was very lucky to have such a good detecting back yard. Having an excavator when maintaining the Macetown road had it advantages too. Whats a few swipes with the bucket in the Arrow to get down to bedrock :slight_smile: Cheers.

Good luck out there.

JW :slight_smile:

Hi John, dont even think its about freezing being required, Just like a concrete slab, the bedrock will expand and contract with respect to temperature, and where theres a crak this will simply expand and contract.