March 25, 2013

Monday Geology Picture(s): Gold Reef City– Panning for Gold

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

"Panning" for "gold" at Gold Reef City.

After passing through the mining-themed entrance, going on an underground mine tour, and watching a gold pouring demonstration at Gold Reef City (a gold mining themed amusement park in Johannesburg, South Africa), my husband and I decided to try the “Gold Panning” activity. I must admit, we were somewhat disappointed in this activity, which involved “panning” for some shiny metal (but not gold– it was very different in texture, density, etc.) in a fake stream filled with some quartz sand. My husband and I both work for a gold exploration company, so we have experience panning for real gold in the field. We found the Gold Reef City “Gold Panning” experience to be less-than-satisfying. But we took a picture of me “panning” anyway.

Stay tuned… there will be more pictures from Gold Reef City next week!

Here are some pictures of real gold panning in Alaska:

My husband Jackie panning for gold on the beach in Nome, Alaska, Summer 2012.

Me, posing with a bag of heavy mineral concentrate (and gold!) on the Nome beach. That's an old gold mining dredge in the background. Nome, Alaska, Summer 2012.

A gold pan with garnet-rich sand and little flakes of gold. Nome, Alaska, Summer 2012.