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Different gold pans


garimpo

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Most bataeas are wood. Crosscuts from a mahogany tree. The rough end grains get rougher when they get wet and really hold the gold.

I have seen a few aluminum ones with heavy machine marks but it seems they would be a bit fragile and you would wind up with a taco instead of a gold pan if you did not load them carefully.

The bataea is used everywhere...All of the americas except the U.S. and Canada. In Africa as well as Indonesia too. They don't call it a bataea but it is the same...a crosscut of suitable wood shaped into a gentle funnel with some mean texture inside.

They concentrate faster because of the diameter and grab the gold a lot better. But they are tougher to clean up a little bit of fines as you can imagine.

Gteat for miners but not the tool for a weekender playing with a few specks of color.

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Adam both of the pans in the pic are mine and it's been years since I bought one and they come in about 4 different sizes

but I can find out what one cost.

If you really load one with a lot of material like the guys here do they are back breakers because it takes forever to work

that much material down and the little almost half bubble in the very bottom will catch really fine gold much better than

our plastic ones do. It's really an art to watch these guys that have been making their living for years using these bataeas.

On one of the outdoor type TV channels here they showed women using the large bataeas while they worked in water waist

deep but the material was so rich each bataea yielded 1oz of gold.

When I'm dredging the guy in the pic above is Andrea, he stands behind the dredge all day and keeps the stuck rocks cleared

out. When I do my clean up at the end of the day he uses the bataea for the final up.

Valcyalegre010.jpg

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Valcyriver006.jpg

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You wrote,"When I am dredging the guy in the pic above is Andrea..." I just thought his name might be something else when you weren't dredging.

Hey, what is with the funny looking lump of sponge in the photos? You might explain to those who are not familiar how the gold lump got to looking like that. It used to be placer gold but it is not anymore. Care to elaborate on that??

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I wonder where they originated from? For some strange reason I've always associated bateas with the gemstone placers of southeast asia. Did have a chance to use one once and it felt very odd. Mine was at least 20" in dia and must have been 3/4" thick. I could never get used to something like that.

When you put a wood bataea under water it floats helping to make the load lighter. You only load as much material in one to offset the buyancy. They become weightless in the water. Not so with a metal pan.

The wooden ones take a thick layer of grease in the texture to trap hydrophobic gems. They are ideal and faster than a grease table.

No doubt the first bowls were wood and the shape was adapted for gravity extravtion. Most undeveloped countries do not smelt metals and all metal items need to be imported. So wood bataeas are the natural solution for extracting and seperating minerals and gems. The metal ones are probably cheaper to produce ship and market so they are probably more common in the retail market. In the bush where people make stuff themselves you will see only wood ones. It is a matter of what is available.

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In the pics above the golden globs are the same piece of gold.....in the clean up Andrea saves the larger pieces of gold and sells it to the gold buyer in town. The ones in the pic are the super fines that only a bataea can save in the little half bubble at the very bottom. He saves them in the metal bowl in the bottom pic and at some point in time he decides to "fire" the fines by putting a large green leaf on top of the fines so the torch he uses won't blow the fines out of the bowl. By the time the leaf is consumed by the fire the gold has been melted into the foam looking shape above.

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In the pics above the golden globs are the same piece of gold.....in the clean up Andrea saves the larger pieces of gold and sells it to the gold buyer in town. The ones in the pic are the super fines that only a bataea can save in the little half bubble at the very bottom. He saves them in the metal bowl in the bottom pic and at some point in time he decides to "fire" the fines by putting a large green leaf on top of the fines so the torch he uses won't blow the fines out of the bowl. By the time the leaf is consumed by the fire the gold has been melted into the foam looking shape above.

Thanks Don! It was plain that the gold had been fired crudely or amalgamated and fired. That might help some guys here figure out why that gold looks so funny.

Down in Chihuahua the use a heck of a lot of mercury and sodium amalgam in those pans. They finish with a copper pan or bowl and then burn that cheesy sodium amalgam off over a fire and then when the amalgam burns off they blow. air from a bellows until the particles fuse or sinter. The product looks exactly like your bubbly little button.

I figured the process used was similar.

Thanks again for explaining it!

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A bunch I am sure. It has been used to amalgamate iron based. gold ore for over a hundred years on all continents so don't worry...not only Mexicans were killed. Sodium amalgam or "charged mercury" was very commonly used. It was easy and effective especially on manganese and hematite hosted gold ores.

It makes the mercury sit in a chunk and the water causes the sodium to decay and the gold to go into the mass.

A great way to make mercury more effective. They make it with salt water and a car battery. A nail as a cathode and gallon milk jug vessels. The stuff looks like metallic cheese and a small glob will turn a pan full of water caustic in a hurry. The gold is reduced along with the oxides instantly as long as the sodium decays. When the reaction is over you have plain old mercury left with your gold inside.. Just like regular amalgamation but many times more effective.

So it seems I have hit upon something that you did not know about mining. It is so valuable to be able to share some knowledge between us rather than hostility. If we spent time sharing knowledge rather than sniping at each other we would both be a lot smarter and this forum would have found. some valuable treasure.

While we are having a tender moment I will teach you something else. A free bonus fact! Sodium amalgam is the perfect rust remover. You can literally erase rust from steel with it. It reduces iron oxides completely and instantly. Make yourself a little gob of it and try it. It is quite amazing!

So now. I have given you two great nuggets of knowledge as a peace offering. No use thanking me and you are welcome in advance!

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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More like the 2 bucket method. Swurling settles the gold and moves the fines in. Helps there's a funnel there to move them to the bottom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75VXI9uEgl0

True, but the same physics seem to be involved with each.

The swirling water is key of course.

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Interestingly, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas a somewhat comparable looking screen-batea thingy is sold locally for hand processing diamond bearing materials at the nearby Crater of Diamonds State Park. They also can be rented at the park. They are quick to work in one of the panning tubs. When finished you invert and bang it down gently on a heavy wood plank. Tiny pebbly stones of a whitish color form a "ring" near the center of the dumped material. This is where to look to see if any are greasy looking -- those would be the natural diamonds.

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Martin,

The diamond screen you're referring too is called a Saruca, it can be used for gold larger than the screen mesh as well as other gemstones,

Here's a video of a friend of mine (Jerry A.K.A. indyme2) in North Carolina showing how to use a saruca for getting gold, of course any gold smaller than the screen mesh will be lost.

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That is cool Skip! Exactly like dry panning in a canvas except you flip it rather than pull up one side of the canvas and roll it off to see the mineralization.

I let a pan of concentrates freeze one night and the ice block had the black sands in a pattern just like that. What a hoot to get to see what is actually happening down there where you are concentrating.

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Dang it all -- a saruca!!! Yes, now that my old and withered neurons have been jostled that name now emerges from a long, long sleep in a long, long forgotten memory crevice. Thanks Skip for helping to snipe that old nugget free of Father Time's embrace.

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