Gold Prospecting & Fossicking | PMT RefineryFirst Steps for the Beginner Prospector

Like trying anything new for the first time – a bit of advice can go along way to ensuring your first gold prospecting experience is a good one. You will need some local know-how, good prospecting equipment and some gritty determination.

The traditional method of gold prospecting is to pan for gold in streams. This is how you find gold nuggets, which are almost always found on the surface. There are many locations around the world where gold panning in streams is still yielding great results so go for it!


*Receive the best price for your gold nuggets! When you’ve found for your first gold nugget, contact PMT for accurate analysis and prompt payment. PMT are the preferred buy for a large number of Australian prospectors.

Gold Panning

The first step is to purchase yourself a gold pan, a large shallow dish usually dark in colour to help you easily pick out the gold. Find a good area where gold is known to be found, and use your pan to scoop sediment from the shallow river bed. The technique for gold panning involves gently swirling the sediment and water around in your pan, separating out any gold that you find. Gold is heavier then the sediment and will sink to the bottom of your pan. Keep practicing your technique, training your eye to spot genuine gold and take the opportunity to learn from an experienced gold prospector if you can.

Using a Metal Detector

Prospectors may also prefer to use a more sophisticated gold metal detector to hunt for gold. A metal detector works by generating an electromagnetic field which is altered when it detects a metal in the earth and the prospector is alerted. Basic metal detectors could waste you a lot of time and have you digging for rusty nails to other less valuable metals. Not fun! Make it worth your while and invest in a more advanced metal detector built to locate gold, even at significant depths.

Basic Gold Prospecting Equipment

Gold Prospecting & Gold Panning | PMT RefineryDon’t forget to equip yourself with some basic gold prospecting equipment before you head out. Here’s a brief list of what you will need:

  • protective clothing and boots
  • sunscreen and plenty of clean drinking water
  • gold prospecting pan
  • quality metal detector
  • a spade, one large and one small
  • a mobile phone with coverage or a radio communication
  • a map of the area your are in, and reliable compass
  • gold prospecting licence (for the state you are in)

Find out more about Prospecting for Gold in Australia.

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