Ghost Mine Case Notes

Mystery at Ghost Mine an Ace Detectives Mystery Adventure

Alluvial gold and nuggets

Alluvial gold in panAs the earth changes and moves over time, gold and other minerals are squeezed up into cracks and crevices in rocks at the bottom of streams and rivers. This is alluvial gold.

Over time, many of the old waterways become shallow trickles or dry up. On the goldfields, pieces of alluvial gold can be found with other minerals, by scooping soil and stones from the riverbeds and sifting or “panning” the material in water to separate out the gold.

Panning for gold in streamIn the 1800s, larger amounts of material were sifted using equipment called a cradle or a sluice. The alluvial gold mine at Ballarat was the richest in the world back then.

Alluvial gold is easier to find than gold that is still trapped in seams in rocks underground, but the pieces are smaller, and are often only flecks in the soil. The larger nuggets come from the underground seams, such as the “Welcome Stranger” found near Ballarat – the second largest nugget ever found in Australia.



Hand sluice for alluvial goldUsing hand sluice for alluvial gold

Gold nuggets discovered in Ballarat area

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