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Panning for gold?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by raindog, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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    I heard a discussion on the radio today about a guy who pans for gold in rivers. With current prices, he says he makes $100-200 a day. I forget what state he was in (it was back East).

    From the discussion, it was evident that he was up in some mountain stream, frogging around in ice-cold water.

    The host did mention that it is possible to pan for gold in all fifty states (though personally I'm not sure about Rhode Island ;-)

    Curious if anyone has done this. As I live in PDX, by the time I bought the gear and drove East for a few hours, burned that gas, spent a few days, drove back, etc. I doubt it would be a money-making operation. But it might be fun to try sometime.
     
  2. MilitaryMan84

    MilitaryMan84 Mcminnvile, Oregon Member

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    My Dad was an avid gold panner for a few year a while back. Just about every stream or river in the coastal range he has panned. Sure he would find gold but never enough to make it worth the trip to go back up there and get 5 or 6 more bucket fulls of sediment. I am not saying don't try but you can find gold just about anywhere up in them hills;):thumbup:
     
  3. hm1ing

    hm1ing 97051 Member

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    metal detector might be faster....
     
  4. jeddedia

    jeddedia Wilsonville, Oregon, United States Member

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    There's enough around that my friend was able to purchase pontoons, pumps, magnets, toy & toy hauler, and more goodies to turn out even more gold. He brings in about $1,500-2k a month, but he's retired and doesn't do much else hehe.
     
  5. 56kninja

    56kninja Portland Member

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    I've talked to someone here in portland, awhile back.. who said their husband.. brother, father.. I forget which, said he was into panning for gold.

    100-200 a day? Nice. I'd gladly do that, that's some nice cash, more than you can make at a minimum wage job.
     
  6. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    In my twenties I had a Federal mining claim and did some placer mining with pan and sluice. COLD water even in Summer; shoveling gravel and rolling rocks; swishing and sloshing, troweling and tweezering. I made no profit. There WAS gold there, but it would take a serious suction dredge outfit to get it out of the cracks in the bedrock, and I would not want to work next to a roaring engine all day or worry about where to put the waste gravel without harming the downstream waters---there's a LOT of Federal pollution regulations to follow carefully.

    Sure, gold is up to one thousand dollars an ounce now. Sounds like easy money. But gas for your four-wheeler and expensive camping kit is nearing three dollars a gallon again. If you live far from your claim you will lose. I lived on mine, a Summer operation only. And now-a-days if you have to park far from your dig you will find your truck stripped while you are gone. There are wild people in the wild places now.

    There are free State Lands panning sites where you don't need a claim, but there is not much gold there. Otherwise you need your own legal claim in a Federal mining district, and you need to defend yourself there---and DON'T work on anybody else's claim! You will need a lot of expensive equipment, like a dredge, and especially a good metal detector, to make it work. I recommend a three person crew---two to work, and one to watch your truck!

    The jolly people you see in the TV news features are usually RENTING the use of a backwoods resort-connected claim, and they pan until they get tired and go back to the resort. All through US history there have been endless con games about panning for gold and getting rich easily. Probably more money has been spent than was gained from gold....................elsullo :(
     
  7. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have panned for gold as a hobby in California and had some great times. I have a family member in North Carolina who is retired and successfully dredges for gold. I find that the proven gold bearing fields in Oregon and Washington are a little too far away for me to drive to on a hobby basis.

    However.....I was at a jewelry shop in Portland last year and a Gentleman came in to sell some placer gold that he claimed came from somewhere along the Sandy River. Maybe he lied.

    If you want to do some panning I suggest that first you go to your local public library and mine it for information. Good luck!
     
  8. .45's and .38's

    .45's and .38's Happy Valley OR Well-Known Member

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    My grandpa has land in Yuma,AZ. He bought the huge side of this rock mountain. It paid for this huge house in the desert. 350ZZ, quads, custom pool. All from a piece of gold he found. The whole area he bought looks as if its been hit with dynamite. I think that means that land will be passed down to me. And its a lot of area.
     
  9. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    Normal day panning . You wont make gas money.
     
  10. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    :thumbup:

    My dads hobby was gold dredging in Northern California, he did it every summer for the last 20 years. He's gotten plenty of gold but I wouldn't say he hit the motherload.

    FYI California just passed a law closing down all the gold dredging with a stroke of Arnies pen. Good thing my dad is passed on or he would be pissed!
     
  11. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    "Gold and Silver in Oregon" is a book put out by the state in 1968
    that lists all the old mining claims/areas. Interesting read---there
    is gold in all parts of the state. The trick is to find it in a high
    enough concentration to pay for your gas to get there:)

    I panned and dredged (2" Keene) the coast range and cascades
    in the sweethome area for a couple of years. Got to see some
    nice country, did lots of camping, and had a lot of fun.

    Lots of small pieces and "dust". Biggest chunk is a 1+ pennyweight
    nugget I got dredging in the China Flat area down by Powers.
    Had a loop put on it and my wife still wears it on a necklace.

    Never did make gas money.:laugh:
     
  12. jdub75

    jdub75 PNW Well-Known Member

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    $100-200 a DAY?? Please. Whats a "day" for this guy? 12 hours?? And thats at current $1100 an ounce prices. Imaging when its back to $300 an ounce...you'd make more at a 12 hr shift at Taco bell AND get free Grilled Stuft Burritos! YUM :)
     
  13. roguebowhunter

    roguebowhunter medford Member

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    if your tryin to make money dredging is the way to go... but i like to pan and or use a sluice box ... find a little here and there .. and keep the kids productive and not on some stupid gaming system .. Don
     
  14. Randini

    Randini Salem Member

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    I think I have that book, maps in the back cover....could be time to go panning ;)
     
  15. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, like that's ever going to happen!

    Honestly, if you were able to make a living, or even a decent existence panning/sluicing/mining gold, would you tell anyone??
    I know I wouldn't!
     
  16. ajf1

    ajf1 beaverton Member

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    Latest news report shows gold will keep increasing not only from our leaders and our spend habits but also ore yield is done.. I would be interested in doing some of this. It looks like a neat way to spend some time outside.
     
  17. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Send us your gold !! We'll send you an envelope, put in your old broken dusty useless gold jewelry, mail it to us, and we'll send you cash !

    "I'd much rather have $69.50 spending cash in my hand then a bunch of dusty gold in my jewelry box!" ..........:thumbup:
     
  18. ajf1

    ajf1 beaverton Member

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    Yes I have thought of doing that also. It does not look too hard to pull the gold plating off items. I plan to experiment with reverse plating this winter..
     
  19. Randini

    Randini Salem Member

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    Or how about, send us your GOLD thats going up in value and we'll send you CASH thats going down in value.
     
  20. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    :thumbup: