Viw Magazine

Business Coach

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More than half a million Australians watch Aussie blokes like Vo-Gus Prospecting or Sluice Box Karl pan for gold and precious finds in remote creek beds and abandoned villages.  We watch eagerly as they sift and sort through piles of pebbles to find those shiny crumbs of cash.  Australia was built on fortunes found in the ground and our favourite new hobby, is seeking our own.

All you need is a fiberglass sluice box, or a steel wet washing sieve and you’re off!  Get your gumboots on and pull up next to a picturesque creek and start panning for gold.  Well, as the influencers will tell you, it’s not quite that simple.  You’ll need some insight into where gold accumulates in creeks, locations yet to be completely “picked over” and how to accurately value your nuggets using a certified scientific sieve.  But, you get the picture.

It's all about the location.  Influencers share some creek names and history can provide a list of gold rich locations, but the real finds aren’t shared with half a million followers, nor are they mentioned on reality TV shows.  These are the creeks that contain more than enough gold for everyday fossickers, but not enough for mining companies to invest.  The sweet spots.  The big deposits have been mined – from the gold rush in the 1850s to major mineral exploitation since, these spots are pretty dry.  But the creeks and rivers that flow nearby may be a different story and gold is regularly found, in small nuggets, up to 90kms from the original source.

Any Geologist will tell you that if you want to look for gold, look for quartz.  The same process that created gold millions of years ago, created quartz.  Look for low points in a creek or river where pebbles have accumulated, including quartz pebbles.  Crack out your sieve and get to work!

But why is gold fossicking suddenly Australia’s favourite past time?  Well, the rise of the Van Life trend means more travelers on the road in remote locations. Advances in off road caravan design means grey nomads can explore remote creeks without hitching a tent.  And, the craziness of the last five years, the economic uncertainty and the ongoing housing crisis all add up to lean financial times.  Fossicking for gold may not guarantee riches, but it does take you to beautiful places and the odds of a win are better than the lottery!

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