Archive for July, 2011

If you are considering some new prospecting equipment consider this. Last year my wife bought me a Keene A52 sluicebox for my birthday I was very happy with its performance, I retrieved some nice gold with it. As you are running your material through you can see the gold being caught in the ribbed matting at the top of the sluice. There are add ons that you can get for the A52 so that you can upgrade. Over the past year I have purchased these upgrades. First I bought the leg stand, then for Christmas my wife got me the highbanker- dredge conversion kit and then the pump. The dredge is a two and a half-inch. Everything bolts right on to the A52. This set up gives me the ability to use it three different ways. I can use it for sluicing, for highbanking or for dredging depending on the situation. I am getting ready to test it out in Maine.

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Hillbilly John and I are both GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) members and in May 2010 we went to the Loud mine outing in Georgia and that was quite a drive from New York. When we got down there we met up with Hillbilly John’s uncle Stan, who had his camper already set up. Stan is a long time LDMA (Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association) member.  The LDMA owns the Loud Mine. The outing was a three-day event for us. Our first morning there every one met at the club house, there were probably a couple hundred participants some first timers like me and others who have been many times. We got the rundown of the schedule. The common dig. The common dig consisted of two four-hour shifts; AM and PM. There were a number of different makes, models and types of highbankers set up for the common dig and one trommel. There were huge piles of material to run through by each machine and when the piles ran out they would bring more material to run. All the gold from the common dig would be split up at the end of the outing between those who participated in the common dig. There were other events scheduled throughout the day as well, events like classes on gold panning, things for kids to do like a treasure hunt with metal detectors and a whole lot of other fun. They also had piles of material set up in various locations to run through your own equipment. You could sluice, highbank, dredge or just pan what ever you wanted. Uncle Stan had his highbanker set up so we opted to do that after our shift was over. The Am shift started at Eight in the morning Hillbilly John, Uncle Stan and I were all on that shift. It was great we got on a highbanker and worked it the whole morning,there were a few other people on it with us. We were shoveling like mad men with a bad case of gold fever. Noon time rolled around and we broke for lunch then went to work on Uncle Stan’s highbanker. We worked until about Five and then did our clean up and brought the concentrates back to the camp site. We had some dinner that Stan’s wife Bertha had made and then it was time to go through the concentrates. We found GOLD!!! The next day same routine except Hillbilly John and I made sure we had a crack at every type of highbanker and the trommel. It was a real education and met a lot of good people. That night a pot luck dinner was held at the club house and all the food was delicious. After the meal there was a bon fire and socializing. The next day was the Gold split. It was done in this way: you draw a number between one and two-hundred the lower the number the more gold you got and along with the gold you also got a baggie containing black sand and fine gold. I picked a number in the seventies that was pretty good I thought. A young man from Pittsburgh PA drew the number one, he got a nice size nugget I think it weighed in at eleven grams , we were happy for him. It was a great event, a great place for beginners to get their feet wet. You can find more Information about the GPAA at www.goldprospectors.org