I’m new here and I was hoping you guys can help me with a couple of questions.
I’m currently traveling through the area of Arrowtown and I decided to buy a large and small pan, snuffer bottle, magnet and a hand shovel.
I don’t have much space in my vehicle so I didn’t buy a big shovel, buckets, sluice etc.
Wanted to find a bit of gold as a souvenir and it just fascinates me!
I tried to prepare myself as best as possible by watching YouTube tutorials.
I noticed that it takes a bit of practice to get the hang of panning and understanding where to look.
However, so far in 80% of the pans I find at least one flake of gold. But what I don’t understand is:
For example this morning, in my first pan I had 5 decent flakes of gold. So I got excited and got a second pan from the exact same spot but then I had 0 flakes. The results are so inconsistent. I wonder if this is just normal in a day of panning or if I possibly did something wrong with the second pan? Or is this just how gold settles and it’s normal. The inconsistency is a bit frustrating haha! Would be nice if someone can explain why this happens.
Secondly, I’m wondering if it is possible when using a magnet to pick up black sand that some gold flakes get caught up in the black sand as well and I should be careful with that? Or is that something not to worry about?
Also, is insect repellent near a pan not smart either? The sandflies are unbelievably persistent, but I noticed the water gets a bit greasy it seems from the repellent and I wonder if that’s not good for the gold to stay in the pan.
And is it extremely rare to find a little nugget in the arrow river with just a hand shovel? The flakes are pretty cool and shiny in the end, but would love to find at least one little nugget as well!
Oh, last question, in the beginning I sucked up too much stuff that’s not gold with the snuffer bottle, so currently I have a mix of gold and other stuff in the bottle. What is the best technique to separate the gold out of the bottle?
I’m really enjoying this so far. It’s so much more fun than I thought. Thanks for your time!
Edit; adding a picture of the gold from two days clowning around as a newbie!