Panning is the oldest method of gold recovery.
It takes skill, perseverance, and patience to collect the tiny flecks of gold carried by river currents. Over the years, this mining technique turned into a hobby similar to metal detecting, and with this change came competition. People wanted to test their gold panning skills against others.
In stepped the World Gold Panning Association (WGA).
Founded in 1981, the WGA now hosts gold panning competitions all over the globe from Austria to Australia. The sport follows a standard set of rules that regulate, among other things, the type of pan used, the panning pool sizes, and the amount of gold to be recovered.
Each competitor (or team) has their own panning pool with a set number of gold pieces hidden in its waters. Heats of up to 20 competitors pan as fast as they can to find all the gold in their pool—and the first one to recover all the gold wins.
The 2019 Australian Gold Panning Championship
In the heat of February, 100 gold panning competitors faced off in Blackwood Victoria, a small township an hour’s drive from Melbourne. The Championship hosted eight different categories, including U12, U16, novice, skilled, and team.
As a sponsor of the event, Sepro’s Australian office was out in full force to support all of the competitors. We hope that everyone enjoyed their day of competitive fun!
Rise In Prospecting
In the province of Victoria, there were 3,000 registered gold prospectors in 2005. Last year the province issued over 14,000 gold prospecting permits.
Australia has always been one of the largest global producers of gold, with the Boddington Gold Mine and Kalgoorlie Super Pit helping produce 310 tonnes of gold in 2018. The gold craze seems to have caught on at an individual level as well.
For individual prospectors, panning for gold is a great way to get outside, enjoy the day, and maybe recover some gold. For large commercial operations, Sepro Mineral Systems can help maximize gold recovery with equipment like the Falcon SB Gravity Concentrator. It takes gravity separation, the same science used in gold panning, to the next level. Using forces between 50 and 200Gs, the Falcon SB can recover gold down to 20 microns in size. To learn more about the science of gravity separation or the Falcon SB, check out some of our latest gold recovery blogs.