Tools and Techniques for Mining

By Kryzjhynn

During the gold rush period, miners used different tools and techniques to mine for gold.

Panning for Gold

Panning for gold is an easy technique to use and most people/miners use it. In a plate shape container, grab gravel, soil or sand and put it in. Pour an appropriate amount of water into the container, so as you are swirling it around, all the lighter rocks/sands will rise to the top, and all the gold or heavy gravel will stay at the base of the bowl. Gradually drain out the water and you will see the gold or heavy rocks that has been left.

Cradling for gold

A cradle is a tool the miners would mostly use. It has a rectangle shape at the bottom in a diagonal angle. In a square shape, there is a strainer that will make the gravel, soil or sand through as you pour water into it, as you rock it back and fourth. The ridges at the bottom, will stop the gold or large gravel from coming through the water, but will keep the lighter rocks flowing with the water as it passes through.

Dredging/Sluicing for Gold

To dredge or sluice for gold, you would need a hose to suck up all the gravel, sand or soil from the river, and combine it with a sluice box in a diagonal angle. The sluice box will have ridges, to stop all the heavier gravel, sand or soil and keep the lighter ones flowing gentely back into the river. You can stop in sections of time, so you can collect all the gold or can clean it out, and whenever you're ready, you can keep the engine going.

Shaft Mining for Gold

Shaft mining requires hard work, and strong men. To do this technique, you have use a shovel to dig out a hole on the ground. Once you have reached at least 3-4 metres down, you can start digging left to right to create a tunnel. As you are digging through the tunnel, use planks of wood to hold all the dirt from falling on top of you. Keep this proses working until you are ready to mine out gold from the side of the tunnel, you were making before.