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Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Recreation/Gold Prospecting - Advanced

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Gold Prospecting - Advanced
General Conference


Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 2008

1. Have the Gold Prospecting Honor

This Wiki has a page with instructions and tips for earning the Gold Prospecting honor.

2. Describe the following types of prospecting equipment.

a. Sluice box

A sluice box is a shallow box into which ore is shoveled. The box features several transverse barriers along the bottom called riffles to trap the heavier gold particles as water washes them and the other material along the box.

b. Rocker box

Similar in principle to a sluice is a rocker, a cradle-like piece of equipment that could be rocked to sift sands through screens, which was introduced by Chinese miners in British Columbia and Australia, where the practice was referred to as "rocking the golden baby".

c. High banker

d. Bucket dredge

e. Suction dredge

f. Dry washer

g. Trommel

A trommel is composed of a slightly-inclined rotating metal tube (the 'scrubber section') with a screen at its discharge end. Lifter bars, sometimes in the form of bolted in angle iron, are attached to the interior of the scrubber section. The ore is fed into the elevated end of the trommel. Water, often under pressure, is provided to the scrubber and screen sections and the combination of water and mechanical action frees the valuable minerals from the ore. The mineral bearing ore that passes through the screen is then further concentrated in smaller devices such as sluices and jigs. The larger pieces of ore that do not pass through the screen can be carried to a waste stack by a conveyor.

h. Beach box

i. Metal detector

A metal detector is an electronic device designed to detect metals, ferrous and non-ferrous. They range in price from $100 to $3,000 dollars and normally will locate small nuggets up to about 6" deep depending on the quality of the metal detector. They will locate your lost keys or watch, lost in the sand at the beach (very useful), but from experience, most of the gold you find is smaller than nuggets. Considering that most of the gold in the world is in gold ore (less than 10 oz per ton) and requires heat or chemicals to extract, the metal detector is normally not a wise tool for prospecting unless you have a lot of gold. The device was invented to locate old coins.

j. Jig

k. Shaker table

3. What government requirements, if any, are there to use the equipment listed in number 2 above?

The answer to this question will vary by state or province. Usually some kind of mining license and mining claim is required for at least some of these devices. Search it out.

4. What are the advantages or disadvantages to the equipment listed in number 2 above?

The answers to requirement 2 cover this information.

5. Use at least two of the types of equipment listed in number 2 above to prospect for gold.

The practical part of the honor. Have fun and strike it rich.

6. Pathfinders are supposed to take only pictures and leave only footprints, but prospecting requires moving rocks and digging large holes. How can you reconcile these two conflicting requirements?

The Bible speaks positively about gold, right from the Garden of Eden

Genesis 2:10-12 (ESV) "A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there."

Gold was extensively used in the tabernacle and temples as well as a store of wealth. As long as you don't make your gold more important than God gold is well worth acquiring.

We already know that digging is required to get gold and established that gold is worth having. So how do we justify gold prospecting? There is a difference between wanton destruction for no purpose and legitimately accessing resources. A Pathfinder would never carve her name in a tree but there is no reason not to cut an unprotected tree down to build a house or get firewood. Similarly we can't build roads without mining gravel or get oil without drilling for it. Gold prospecting is no different. When we gold prospect we should do it legally and environmentally responsibly. Don't harm fish or poison the water. Use settling ponds to reduce sediment. Build access roads properly and generally do everything the right way and you can prospect for gold with a free conscience.