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Old 01-24-2011, 09:35 AM   #1
OldWoodsLoafer
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Default Western Oregon Gold Panning

With the popularity of that Gold Rush show, I was wondering if anyone has ever tried gold panning in western Oregon? The Sandy or Clackamas rivers could show a little color, couldn't they? Just wondering if anyone else has ever thought of this.

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Old 01-24-2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

I have panned many W. Oregon/Coastal streams and rivers. Nearly all produce some color. Southern Oregon more than northern.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

Some of the guys at work used to pan the Molalla River

I panned Quartzville Cr. once, got a small amount (1 Flake)but it was the first time I tried, plan on going back someday
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

There used to be a guy that came out from Portland every summer and headed up into the Trask River headwaters. He would come down and showed some of the farmers, whose property he crossed, the gold he found. If you check some of the books written about the indians that traveled in the area, they too would come down from the area with gold and would trade it at the stores. I panned the Trask a couple of times but only found flowerr gold. Now I am too old to bend over and pan the water.

I would recommend panning the small creeks that drainj into the ocean, esp. if there is black sand.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

The Molalla is about as close as you can get for really fine flour gold. The source has been considered the Ogle Mt. Mine and the creek and river have been dredged many times over. There is still some gold there but you really have to look hard.

There is a great story about the lost gold mine of the Tillamook Indians which was referred to above. Google it, it is a good read.

Closest place to really find any gold is Dole Bar down in Myrtle Creek.

I think with the onset of inflation, we will start to see the money that went to gold for safety come out and move into commodities. What I am saying is, "get your gold now!"
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

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Closest place to really find any gold is Dole Bar down in Myrtle Creek.
thatís not true there is good gold panning in the opal creek drainage and along parts of the North Santiam river. Also you have the Quartsville area out of Eugene no need to go all the way to Myrtle Creek for gold.

Here is a great web site that list Gold districts county by county in Oregon
www.oregongold.net

I have been reading up for about a year on gold in Oregon and there is a lot more gold to be found then people know about rp
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

I was hunting the woods of SW WA this fall and came across some wierd signs on trees in a couple places. After closer inspection they were notices of mining claims, and I hadn't remembered seeing them in the past. I even came across an old mineshaft in a hillside.

I don't know any more about gold panning than what I've seen on tv, but might give it a try next time I pass some creeks in my local hunting haunts.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

When I lived in Crescent City we panned the upper reaches of the Smith River,above big flat. found a old mine. There is gold up there.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

My dad (who is 65), kind of a well known person in the small town that I grew up in, talks about a guy who brought in to his office a great big quartz rock the size of his fist with gold all through it. Pretty near the Quartzville Creek area, as that is where I grew up. I didn't see it, but that would have occurred in the mid eighties I would expect. So there must be some bigger stuff out there, anyways.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

I got this on the Travel Channel site. It's about prospecting on the Umpqua. Get's me going.

"This video was filmed on the 1st bar beneath the I-5 bridge over the Umqua River, Oregon. 6 lbs of gold was recovered in the summer over a 3 month period and there are many, many pounds left. The Umpqua River bars are very rich in gold, having been passed over by the large steam dredges of the 1800's-1930's. Good luck!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lPYg5U4P6s
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

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I was hunting the woods of SW WA this fall and came across some wierd signs on trees in a couple places. After closer inspection they were notices of mining claims, and I hadn't remembered seeing them in the past. I even came across an old mineshaft in a hillside.

I don't know any more about gold panning than what I've seen on tv, but might give it a try next time I pass some creeks in my local hunting haunts.
I suggest folks who want to dip a pan or shovel some dirt do some research first. Any stream that is worth panning has probably got claims the length of it. Start your research at oregon usgs website or blm lr2000 website. There you will find maps of claimed land which is not 100% accurate as the county land offices have the official records up to date on claimed mineral rights. I would suggest joining a local prospecting club to learn the ins and outs of regulations, and there are lots of em, regulations that is.

Obviously the price of gold has led to a resurgence of mining and those that follow these kinds of things have been busy for a few years now securing a patch of dirt to mine on by way of mining claims. Lots of johnny come latelys wanting to dip a pan here and there don't realize they are breaking federal laws and can be prosecuted.

Enjoy your prospecting why you can, many dont want you to enjoy the outdoors in this state. By looking at alot of monikers here on I fish I would say most members support the organizations that dont want you mining in this state. It's too bad people don't educate themselves on modern mining and the regulations in place to protect our states. Alot of scientific studies thrown aside by an ad on tv showing ancient mining methods, scare tactics more or less. Kind of like the ban on bear and cougar dog hunting.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

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I suggest folks who want to dip a pan or shovel some dirt do some research first. Any stream that is worth panning has probably got claims the length of it.


That being said, check into Quartzville above Green Peter Reservoir, where there is some areas open to public panning. You can also join the Gold Prospectors Associate of America Cooperative that opens up a lot more sites and gives you some good information about recreational gold prospecting...you even get a gold pan!

There's show on the Outdoor Channel called Gold Fever hosted Tom Massie (Co-Owner of the Outdoor Channel and the GPAA) that gives you lots of good info on recreational gold prospecting. They even did a show in Oregon recently where Tom went to Quartzville, hit some beach sites and did okay in Southern Oregon also. Welcome to Gold Fever!
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:56 PM   #13
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thatís not true there is good gold panning in the opal creek drainage and along parts of the North Santiam river. Also you have the Quartsville area out of Eugene no need to go all the way to Myrtle Creek for gold.

Here is a great web site that list Gold districts county by county in Oregon
www.oregongold.net

I have been reading up for about a year on gold in Oregon and there is a lot more gold to be found then people know about rp
To each his own. I have tried the North Santiam and haven't had much luck, but I am not a very good prospector. For the time and effort, Dole is easiest...IMHO.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:02 PM   #14
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I suggest folks who want to dip a pan or shovel some dirt do some research first. Any stream that is worth panning has probably got claims the length of it. Start your research at oregon usgs website or blm lr2000 website. There you will find maps of claimed land which is not 100% accurate as the county land offices have the official records up to date on claimed mineral rights. I would suggest joining a local prospecting club to learn the ins and outs of regulations, and there are lots of em, regulations that is.

Obviously the price of gold has led to a resurgence of mining and those that follow these kinds of things have been busy for a few years now securing a patch of dirt to mine on by way of mining claims. Lots of johnny come latelys wanting to dip a pan here and there don't realize they are breaking federal laws and can be prosecuted.

Enjoy your prospecting why you can, many dont want you to enjoy the outdoors in this state. By looking at alot of monikers here on I fish I would say most members support the organizations that dont want you mining in this state. It's too bad people don't educate themselves on modern mining and the regulations in place to protect our states. Alot of scientific studies thrown aside by an ad on tv showing ancient mining methods, scare tactics more or less. Kind of like the ban on bear and cougar dog hunting.
I totally agree with you! There is so much misinformation out there it is scary.

Try and dredge in Oregon. You just about need to hire a lawyer to get the permit, a secretary to handle the paperwork and another lawyer to argue with the misinformed LO's trying to do their best. A real mess.

Cut it, catch it, grow it or mine it. That is about all there is for creating wealth. The rest of the wealth is made by taking it from others. Again....IMHO.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

I live in Cowlitz county and I find gold in several of the local streams and rivers. I find most of it right in my own back yard! Its not like I'm getting rich on what I find but it does add up. I have built a self feeder panning system that I am posting a link to on this post. I don't pan any of the concentrates. The self feeder blue bowl does it for me. I have greatly improved this self feeder since this video was made but you will get the general idea. I plan on posting a new video of the improvements. If you click on my name at the top of the video window it will take you to my YouTube channel where I have some videos of me doing a little mining in the local area....FFM2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PWBVkcON7I

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

When I was a young lad, dad used to drag us to rogue river, sixes river and cow's creek to dredge gold. Never got rich, but it kept us off the streets. Didn't care for of too much, but I was a teen. Saw some neat corners of Oregon most folks never will though.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:37 PM   #17
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If you're new to this recreation I'd say go to Quartzville recreational area first. There is gold there. It's not big gold but it's there and can keep you busy. Plus it's an excellent place to learn. Northeast and the SouthWest part of the state are best.

Please do your research and get any of the permits you may need. Read up on current mining laws. We're fighting for our rights to prospect ....it's about as bad as the Marine Reserves if not worse! AND make sure you are not on someone's claim. Claim owners do not take things lightly and you can bet they are armed, some heavily. As was said most heavily ladden areas are mostly claimed up. I'd also suggest Dole Rd in Myrtle creek as a good place to start. My best day ever was within 20 miles of Dole Rd.

If others are interested I'd be willing to do a trip to the Quartzville recreational area to help a few beginners out. I have some pans(5or6) that I'd be willing to let you use. I'm by no means a pro but I seem to find something each time I go. Might only be the size of a . but hey color is Color!

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Old 02-10-2011, 07:35 PM   #18
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NOPE! There aint noooo gold in oregon!
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:11 AM   #19
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

YEP! there is gold in Oregon you just gotta know where and how to get it.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:17 AM   #20
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Understand that some miners have misconceptions of what their rights are, and see our outdated mining law, regardless of how they misinterpret it, as reason to attempt to kill.

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs...WS07/102110346
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:01 AM   #21
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Thar's gold in them thar miners!
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:20 PM   #22
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My homemade Gold Lab

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PWBVkcON7I
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:36 PM   #23
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The Dam at Applegate lake has submerged over a billion dollars of gold and platinum.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:30 PM   #24
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If you're new to this recreation I'd say go to Quartzville recreational area first. There is gold there. It's not big gold but it's there and can keep you busy. Plus it's an excellent place to learn. Northeast and the SouthWest part of the state are best.

Please do your research and get any of the permits you may need. Read up on current mining laws. We're fighting for our rights to prospect ....it's about as bad as the Marine Reserves if not worse! AND make sure you are not on someone's claim. Claim owners do not take things lightly and you can bet they are armed, some heavily. As was said most heavily ladden areas are mostly claimed up. I'd also suggest Dole Rd in Myrtle creek as a good place to start. My best day ever was within 20 miles of Dole Rd.

If others are interested I'd be willing to do a trip to the Quartzville recreational area to help a few beginners out. I have some pans(5or6) that I'd be willing to let you use. I'm by no means a pro but I seem to find something each time I go. Might only be the size of a . but hey color is Color!

My Gold Fever is about as bad as my Tuna Fever!
I'd love to go sometime. I read several books about panning 10+ years ago, but I got side-tracked and never got around to trying it. I have a pan, a pick, a prybar, a snifter bottle, and probably some other misc. stuff; I just never had anyone experienced to show me the ropes.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #25
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There is a local gold club at the sportsman show booth 201 stop in they will tell you all about it.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:03 AM   #26
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Do a google search for lost mining districts of Oregon. Apparently rock creek out of the west hills also the lower salmon river all had gold claims around 1900. I might go do some sample panning this weekend. Rp
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #27
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There is a local gold club at the sportsman show booth 201 stop in they will tell you all about it.
I stopped by the booth Sunday
and picked up a flier

It is the North West Mineral Prospectors Club

I won't post a link but if you wanted to find their web site you would probably use something like ???.NWMPC.co?
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:33 AM   #28
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

The Boy and I will be hitting up the North Santiam in the morning if anyone wants to meet up! Let me know RP
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:19 AM   #29
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The Boy and I will be hitting up the North Santiam in the morning if anyone wants to meet up! Let me know RP
Whereabouts will you be?
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:26 AM   #30
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We may head to Quartzville after the kids football game and may camp overnite weather depending.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:37 PM   #31
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Well we had a good time we panned the north fork of the santiam and found like 6 small flakes all came from washing the dirt from moss. Were not rich but we had a good day! And that's what counts. RP
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:56 PM   #32
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me and a buddy were looking around for some gold activity on the beach yesterday, i had a coffee cup with me and filled it with some hand picked sand, (half of a pan) and found this
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:00 PM   #33
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wow nice!
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:35 AM   #34
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That's more than I have ever found at once. Mostly just a coupler flakes. My brother and I plan on busting out the dredge and diving gear this year. He has found a good amount in the cascades over the years. Still haas it all too.

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Old 02-24-2011, 07:34 AM   #35
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Roosevelt: Looks like you can quit your day job. That's great find.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:46 PM   #36
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Roosevelt: Looks like you can quit your day job. That's great find.
yeah, i wish gold is one of those things, if you find it, there probably is no legal way to get enough for any monetary gain. beach gold is like trout fishing, you will always have something to show for your efforts, but it takes alot to add up.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #37
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went beach mining today and me and a buddy got 8 pennyweight(20 to a troy ounce)of gold and 2.5 pennyweight of platinum. we ound a good spot. i let him keep the gold and i kept the platinum
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:17 PM   #38
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Sounds like a good day! rp
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:03 PM   #39
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So there has been a lot of talk about the legalities of panning in certain areas. Is it legal to hit any public property for a day of panning? I spend a lot of time steelhead fishing on the north Santiam in the summer time, on public property, and thinking bout taking a break or two and give this panning thing a try!
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:29 PM   #40
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So there has been a lot of talk about the legalities of panning in certain areas. Is it legal to hit any public property for a day of panning? I spend a lot of time steelhead fishing on the north Santiam in the summer time, on public property, and thinking bout taking a break or two and give this panning thing a try!
as long as you are not on a claim (the Little North Fork Santiam) has a few claims you can pan or run a sluice box on public land. rp
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:42 AM   #41
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My dad and I used to do quite a bit of dredging, mostly on our own claim here in SW Wa. Here`s some results, the big nugget was found in Alaska. The rest in SW Wa.



If you join the G.P.A.A. they give you a book with listed claims you can work, provided you have the neccessary paperwork/permits. Bill
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:53 AM   #42
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

Cool story, the nugget second row, first on the left, I found mossing with a pan. Pulled a bunch of moss off the rocks, washed the sand out of it in my pan, and the first swirl that beauty was laying right on top. I FREAKED, usually with mossing you find small pinhead gold, never expected something like that, it`s thin but a trophy none the less. Another time I was running the dredge, turned over a table sized rock and sucked the silt off the bottom, about a softball sized chunk of gold appeared. I spit out the mouthpiece{hookah} and tried to breath water in the excitement. Came out of the water and called my dad over for a look before I plucked it from the depths, turned out what I thought was a solid chunk was actually about a dozen nuggets clustered together in one spot. A good find but not the softball sized chunk I had envisioned. Bill
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:04 AM   #43
Ryan Pultz
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

That is some great looking gold! Roosevelt I would love to see a picture of the platinum you found.
We did ok this past weekend Mossing the boy would rather dig and break cracks apart but we find more gold in the moss lol RP
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:02 PM   #44
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

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That is some great looking gold! Roosevelt I would love to see a picture of the platinum you found.
We did ok this past weekend Mossing the boy would rather dig and break cracks apart but we find more gold in the moss lol RP
on the left...this is what we got yesterday
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:10 PM   #45
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

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on the left...this is what we got yesterday
may i ask what type of separation system you use?
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:29 PM   #46
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

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may i ask what type of separation system you use?
my buddy designed a cool little clean up sluice we ran the concentrates through, then we took those concentrates and panned a spoonfull at a time with a clean up pan, into a tub of course, then sniffer out the clean gold/platinum and repeat until we were happy. seperate the platinum magnetically, done cleaning the concentrates took about 3 hrs or a little less. my buddy is the gold guy, but i have learned alot. i just go with him because the steelhead rivers closed around here.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:38 PM   #47
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

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my buddy designed a cool little clean up sluice we ran the concentrates through, then we took those concentrates and panned a spoonfull at a time with a clean up pan, into a tub of course, then sniffer out the clean gold/platinum and repeat until we were happy. seperate the platinum magnetically, done cleaning the concentrates took about 3 hrs or a little less. my buddy is the gold guy, but i have learned alot. i just go with him because the steelhead rivers closed around here.
thats awesome. Do you run your sluice on the beach? Or do you collect & bring home to separate?
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:43 PM   #48
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thats awesome. Do you run your sluice on the beach? Or do you collect & bring home to separate?
run one on the beach, most local/oldtimers bring home material, we just run it there. that way you only have a small amount of material that is very rich. my buddy has made about 5 prototype sluice boxes
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:06 PM   #49
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

that is some great looking color! rp
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:43 AM   #50
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Default Re: Western Oregon Gold Panning

Here is an interesting piece of equipment is found today. Take a look.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf8AuNDm2NM
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