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Kathy Sykes' Diary

Day 28: Extracting gold

Photo: Kathy skimming off dieselFelt really grumpy today. A cold began in the night. Throat is sore, limbs feel heavy, joints feel still worse and nose is snotty. Joy! Everyone seems to have been sick or is fighting off sickness - Mike L feels foul and is getting shakes in the night; Ellen has had sinusitis and had to take day off; Jonathan just feels really tired; Mike B is the worst though and stayed at home after much persuasion. So a very subdued day - people quiet or coughing. I was working alone - which is quite nice. I just amble along, getting things done. But was feeling so pathetic - I really was not very fast.

This morning, the stuff I'd skimmed off the liquidised diesel and black sand actually contained a fair bit of gold! Only had a tablespoon of stuff in my bowl and yet there were 40-50 bits of gold. I was very excited. It was the most I've seen in a pan yet! So the liquidity worked really well! But after feeling so sick with the diesel fumes - I just am not prepared to do two full buckets using it!

Photo: Kathy with sluice boxSo I built another sluice box but this time purpose built for sand. Instead of punga wood, I'm using corduroy and fleece material. There's a 'splash board' to tip the sand onto, a bit of narrow pipe with holes to squirt water out of, and a board to 'catch' the gold in draped in black corduroy and black fluffy fleece material. Just about got it finished today so tomorrow I have to get to work pretty hard and do the final tweaks.

So my plan is: finish it off (and get it filmed) in first two hours, get all sand down it before lunch, after lunch dismantle it and wash the material (and pan out), and get help maybe burning off the material.

Jonathan and Ellen are just about ready for their treasure hunt so I can get them to help again tomorrow.

But now I am very, very, very tired. It's only 9.20 pm - but I think I need to sleep!

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Photo: Kathy Sykes
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