Sniping - tools or techniques to expose bedrock


Here’s a question regarding sniping. Do you have any tips on tools or techniques (dredge excluded) to help exposing bedrock when it is covered with a layer of rocks and gravel? I find it tedious to expose it when the material keeps falling back into the pit when removing it by hand.

(screenshot from this YouTube video)

/ C

1 Like

Hi mate. You need a gravel pump!
Dan at Dredge NZ has 2 sizes.
I put a rock in a bucket…So it can be submerged under water.
The pump will work under water.
I can fill a 10 litre bucket with around 8 to 10 pump fulls of gravels.
Bigger rocks will need to be moved.
Maybe a basket of some type you can fill up and drag out with some strops??
The gravel pump will definitely improve your problems with overburden.

1 Like

My intention is to do pure bedrock sniping, i.e. selectively exposing and picking pieces from the bedrock and its crevices, so I’m not interested in the material above it. Feels like this kind of pump would be a bit inefficient for that purpose? And risk of sucking up gold (I have no intention of involving a sluice here).

A good old fashioned garden hoe - a drag one - or of course a shovel. A strong garden hoe with a large blade drags rocks out just fine.

1 Like

I just use a garden ho and get raking after youve moved the big boulders, small shovel will do the trick also but sometimes if its too deep you wont win that battle.

1 Like

very true after watching alot of tassie boys prospecting i see levi using alot of really cool tools and like you say the rake with a cut down handle and i think they may have even shortened the length of rake itself real handy tool and they have a heap of other handy tools that you can purchase designed especially for sniping but yea i think they call it craike the rake check them out really great channel with plenty of tips and tools and tricks…

1 Like

I vote for short handled shovel + funnel the current into the section that you’re working if possible

2nd funnel the current, a large piece of black plastic and some rocks as a dam work well

Using a garden hoe a long handle is far best for two reasons - 1) you can use it as a walking stick going up and down the slippery river bed, through tussock’s etc and 2) it means far less effort as the long handle means you dont need to lean over so much nor do you need to put as much pressure on it. Just the other day I took a three foot handle out and replaced it with a full length one. It was only three foot long because it had been broken and slowly whittled down until it was too short.


For larger rocks we used this device and it was good. This was pre diving days early 1960s - still got it but warn now and no handle. Old time bent garden fork.


Picked up this kids rake from miter 10, 700mm long and head width is 150mm, should be good for those longs walks in the bush

Forgot to post the pic


I’ve seen rock walls constructed on the outside sections of bends in historically mined creeks. I understand the intention here is to constrain the channel and increase the velocity which removes the overburden.
Kinda depends if you have a claim or a secluded spot as I’d imagine it could/would take a few hours/days/weeks to clear out and would suck to have it worked by someone else. Also likely filled back in by the next flood……
All about letting the river do the harder work for you :wink: