Where does Gold Come From & Gold Panning – Part 5
. Gold is found in primary and secondary deposits.
. Primary deposits formed when silica-rich deposits carrying gold (and other valuable minerals) were forced up into fissures in the earth’s surface and solidified into quartz veins or lodes. The orebodies in which these veins or lodes are located everywhere from a few metres below the surface to several thousand metres down.
. Secondary deposits are alluvial (or placer). These deposits are much younger and comprise gold dust, particles or nuggets produce by the primary deposits and found in gravel beds along the sides or bottom or rivers.
. Panning is the classic and simplest method of mining alluvial gold. Gravels from a stream bed are washed in a pan, rotated by hand with a circular motion, casting the lighter sand and gravel to spill out while the heavier particles of gold settle to the bottom. It is the most popular method of obtaining gold during the Gold Rush as it is low in cost.