Day 12: Auto Panning System
Not feeling very positive
about today. Wearing two pairs of trousers, two T-shirts, 2 fleeces and
a pair of waterproof trousers and still cold!! We decide to set up the
waterwheel and cradle in yesterday's location as we have little time and
need to get cracking and we could easily use it all up trying to get everything
to work perfectly.
The waterwheel spun
round slowly today, so we set up some wooden sheets in the water to direct
the water into the blades of the waterwheel. This helped a lot but again
used up time. When it was connected up to the cradle it rocked it like
All of us were tired
and so we tried our best to load up the machine but it was hard work.
The best gold digging area for the mud was some way from the best place
for the sluice, and so we had to dig and carry buckets to the machine
- very hard work! Kathy seemed to have energy and she spurred us on. We
spent about 2 hours feeding the cradle with sand and rocks from the river.
All the while the machine rocked and we poured on water.
was very sceptical that we would catch anything in such a short time.
We decided to go on till about 12 and then take it all apart very carefully,
collect as much of the wood, punga and silt from the machine and then
pan that to see how much we had got. When we panned the result I was amazed
at how much we had got. Within a few mins the main bulk of the lighter
stuff had been thrown away and in about 10 mins we had a pan of lovely
In just 2 hours of
using the machine properly we had got about 0.6g of gold - not bad. I
was really pleased. What I had thought would be a bit of a disaster turned
out to be a really nice project.