Golden Times by dfgh4bnmu


									Golden Times
      Newsletter of the
World Goldpanning Association

          Autumn 2010
                                                                                 World Goldpanning Association
                                                                                                 Golden Times
                                                                                                 Autumn 2010

Welcome!                                                                                         This issue:

Welcome in the first Gol-       If you feel inspired to make                                   1. Let me tell you...     2-3
den Times issue from the        a contribution and share a
new board! We have wor-         great story or picture with    Golden greetings,
                                                                                               2. North Queensland       4
ked hard to put together        the goldpanning world in                                       Championships 2010
this issue and hope you         the next edition of Golden     Your Communications
will all enjoy it.              Times, please send it to       Committee:                      3. 10 years of fun        5-7

We would like to thank all      esther                                                         4. South African Cham- 8-9
                                                               Esther van Diggelen             pionships 2010
the people who submitted
articles and other contri-      @worldgoldpanning              Georgina Friend
butions. It is because of                Gonneke Cornelisse              5. Visit to a quarry in   10-11
you that it is such a nice                                                                     Xanten, Germany
                                                               Kim Hillier

                                                                                               6. Australasian           12
                                                                                               championships 2010
1. Let me tell you…
                                                                                               7. Winterpanning in       13-14
                                                                                               Czech Republic
Dear Friends,                   taken in Zlaté Hory itself     magazine, the Golden
Although winter is almost       and in Prague on my way        Times, is now in the hands
                                                                                               Photos from WC 2010       15-16
upon us, my thoughts and        there; photos with all the     of Esther who will lead a
                                                                                               in Zlaté Hory
very probably yours too         friends who shared the         new Communications team
are still full of the colours   journey from Italy with me     and I’d like to wish them
and flavours of the last        and also the hundreds of       the very best in their          8. My first WGPC          17
                                friends I met up with again    endeavours to publish two
World Championships.            at the competition arena.      issues a year so that you,      9. WGA AGM 2010           18-25
It was an excellent event,      I’d like to savour them        dear readers and gold
organised to the highest        during the winter months       prospectors, will be kept       10. Italian Goldrush      26-28
standards by our Czech          ahead, when the weather        better informed.
and Slovak friends. There       confines us to the house                                       11. River Goldpanning     29
was marvellous                  and when going on the                                          World Championships
participation by both           river is not an option…        The greatest number of
competitors and public as                                      changes were introduced
well as great support from                                     during the A.G.M. where         12. Golden streets of     30-32
the Zlaté Hory local            The year which has just        we modified a series of         Złotoryja
Administration. So it’s a       concluded in Zlaté Hory        rules that for years had
good memory to treasure         (doesn’t it seem as if the     needed clearing up – off
in our hearts for a long        World Championships                                            13. Champion panning      33
                                                               with the dust!!                 @ WGPC 2011
time to come.                   were a new kind of New
                                Year’s Eve party? –don’t
                                YOU think so too?)             From now on we will have
Personally, I now intend        brought many changes and       World Championships that
spending some time              innovations to our             are more complete in that
collecting and cataloguing      Association.                   all categories will assign a
the hundreds of photos                                         world title including, let us
                                In the first place this
                                                                                                Golden Times—Page 3

not forget, the Classic.         without qualms, make           you who opted for change
This brings to an end years      proposals and have             and in so doing, took risks
of discussion and trials as it   discussions with Board         but, as I said during the
will now to all intents and      members on any topic           meeting, nothing lasts
purposes be an official          related to gold                forever and, if the purpose
category. I would first like     prospecting, competitions      of the changes is to
to thank the W.G.A. Board        and rules, by-laws and         improve, then I will never
whose members
supported my requests and
                                 roles.                         be the one to oppose
                                                                them. What is important
                                                                                                     “Zlaté Hory
who gave due                                                    is that the objective must             is a good
consideration to the             Holding a position within      be to improve and not
wishes of many                   the W.G.A. does not and        merely to change.
                                                                                                      memory to
participants. Then I would       should never entitle one to
                                 privileges but, if anything,
                                                                                                      treasure in
like to extend my thanks
to all the delegates who         should denote a willingness    As we approach the year’s            our hearts”
attended the A.G.M. in           to serve, upholding the        end- the calendar year,
Zlaté Hory and who took          roles and duties necessary     that is- I would like to wish
an active part in the            for the correct functioning    all of you and your families
deliberations and in the         of the Association and         a happy Christmas time in
rapid adoption of the            giving maximum support to      the company of friends and
innovations. Their spirit of     local organisers of            relations. …And may the
participation and                European and World             new year, apart from
cooperation pleased me           events in such a way as to     taking us back again after
greatly and showed me all        obtain the best results.       10 years to Zlotoryja, fill
that is good about our           Such results should be         our pans with gold chips
Association as regards           interpreted in both a          and new golden friends.
both ideas and people.           strictly organisational        Why not?
                                 sense but also on a            See you in the next issue
                                 political level where they     of the Golden Times in
The W.G.A. that I see is an      enhance the image of and
organisation open to new         win favour for the nations     spring 2011.
ideas and change, where          making up the W.G.A.
there is a global exchange
of information and where
anybody can, openly and          I again thank all those of     Arturo
                                                                 Golden Times—Page 4

2. North Queensland Goldpanning Championships 2010

The tablelands township of      Chairman of the North
Mareeba, in North               Queensland miner’s
Queensland has played           Association and his crew
host to the NQ                  of volunteers continue to
Championships for last 10       host a wonderful event
years. Since its inception in   that aims to serve small
2000, the championship          miners and prospectors
has attracted a steady          and gold panning
number of return panners        enthusiasts such as myself.
and enticed newcomers
into the competitive side
of gold panning. North          Also amongst the crowd,
                                were seasoned world                        A sport for all ages!
Queensland has a colourful
mineral history and             Gold Panning participants
Mareeba was the gateway         Fred and Gloria Olsson.
to the well known Palmer        They wowed the crowd
River Gold rush of 1873         with their speed and their
with Tin; Zinc, Copper          knack for quick recovery,
and Gold all firmly             and their Ferrari pans
cementing their places in       enticed many onlookers to
North Queensland Mining         take an interest in the
history.                        day’s proceedings.

It was here in 2007 that I      Gloria went on to claim
had my first taste of           the Skill Women’s Title                  The winner takes it all
competition gold panning.       and I am excited to have
My efforts in 2007 were
                                placed second to her. We
nothing short of slow and
painful. But with firm          had already panned off
coaching from my husband        against each other in the
Kim Hillier, I have             Australasian Finals in
continued to improve on         March. It’s safe to say that
both my time and                I am well and truly
recovery.                       addicted to this sport and
                                attending regional gold
The wonderful thing to see      panning events provides
at any gold panning event       the opportunity to come
is that age or gender is no                                    Fred Olsson in competition mode
                                together and enjoy the
barrier. At this year’s         competitive atmosphere.
event ; 90 year old Tim
Land blitzed a very fast
field of young and
seasoned gold panners to        Georgina Friend
claim the Open Title.
When I spoke with Tim
after his presentation, I
noted that he still pans
with a classic Klondike pan.
Tim is living proof is that
technique is definitely the
name of the gold panning
game. Ralph De Lacy –
                                                                        Practice makes perfect
                                                                                             Golden Times—Page 5

3. 10 years of fun

As it was suggested to me,     Then we grew organized         serving tray
I thought it could indeed      and we tried to make of        after having
be a good idea to recall a     every edition a better one.    drunk the beer
few good memories about        Having started from a field    mugs that were
the ten years the Belgian      open to anybody we ended       on it. Some
Goldpanning                    up with a free camping         drank fast,
Championship lasted.           ground with electricity,       some panned
                               toilets and running water.     fast, few did
                               The panning troughs were       both well and
It all started in September                                   efficiently but
2000 an apocalyptic year as    also more and more
                               controlled. Since we           what a laugh.
it was because it never                                       This will be the
stopped raining and the        panned in the river we had
                               to try to keep the water       memory I'll
courageous competitors                                        keep. We had a
were drenched from head        level as correct as possible
                               which proved a feat in         good time!
to toes. There were only
Belgian panners because I      times of heavy rain (It
knew that if we wanted to      tends to happen quite          Thanks to all
have at least once a Belgian   often in Belgium).             those who
national champion we had                                      made it possible.
to keep the foreign            We also tried all sorts of     Competitors, organizers
panners away for one time.     sands and gold flakes. We      and spectators.
Don't blame me! Hardly         combined as much as we         Finally, I take advantage of
                                                                                                “It was during
anybody in Belgium had
ever panned in river, let
                               could a strict observation     this occasion to                       those
                               of the international rules     congratulate and
alone taken part in any        and our own logistic and       encourage all the                 championships
panning competition.           economic possibilities. In
                               the beginning some
                                                              organizers of all the
                                                              goldpanning competition
                                                                                                 that Belgium
So only the second year        competitors found bits of      across the world. It is a          invented the
                               bricks in their sand or        very difficult job and we
was an open competition
                               some unwanted gold             owe you a lot of fun.
                                                                                                 world famous
and a few countries were
already represented            flakes. Every error was        Thank you!                          Night Beer
                               corrected and we learned
(France with the faithful
                               as competitions went.
Bonnaire Family, Germany,
Luxemburg, ... Amongst         The competitors were           Bruno van Eerdenbrugh
them were also the             great, almost every of
Netherlands, attending         them very understanding
their second or third          and benevolent. People
competition ever (Rookies      extremely rarely got upset
newbies but champions to       and we had a good time
be as we all have witnessed    every year we met. This
since then) I especially       was also the occasion to
remember Sam Sosef who         make new friendships,
couldn't care less about       share experience and most
winning or competing           of all have a lot of fun.
against the time and
smoking a cigarette on the
bench looking amused at        It is also during those
the frantic competitors.       championships that
Yes, he has changed a lot      Belgium invented the
…                              almost world famous Night
                               Beer panning which meant
                               panning for gold in a
                  Golden Times—Page 6

10 years of fun
during the day
 Golden Times—Page 7

10 years of fun
during the night
                                                                                         Golden Times—Page 8

4. South African National Championships: All the winners!

Another marvellous              also very much a cultural
National Gold Panning           event, as it revives the
Championship took place         many memories of the
during Heritage weekend         early diggers all over the
in the quaint town of           world.
Pilgrim’s Rest. Close to a
1,000 eager participants
came from all over the          The weekend of the 23 –
country to be part of the       26 September started off
South African                   with the very popular
Championships. It was           Street Parade. Dignitaries
organised by the Dept. of       like Dr. Mafika Lubisi,
Culture, Sport and              Chief Director of Cultural
Recreation in co-operation      Affairs in the Dept. of
with the South African          Culture, Sport and
Gold Panning Association        Recreation as well as Mrs.
(SAGPA).                        Patience Chima, Ward         School. The different
                                Councillor in the Thaba      goldpanning teams added
                                Chweu Municipality, were     lustre and colour to the
The 926 official                transported to the Gold      parade.                          "In 2012 the
goldpanners who                 Panning site in Vintage
registered, are nearly a        cars.
150 more than those who
participated in this event in
                                                             At the Gold Panning site, a
                                                             programme of
2009… a sure sign that          Floats from Down Town,       entertainment awaited the       Championships
goldpanning is alive and        the Diggers Daughters as     excited crowd. The JDP
well in South Africa!           well as TGME formed part     Group opened the
                                                                                               will be held
Goldpanning has been            of the street parade. They   Championship with their          right here in
recognised as a world           were joined by Staff from    beautiful version of the
sport already 33 years ago      The Royal Hotel,             National Anthem. The            Pilgrim’s Rest!"
and it is being practised by    Wheelbarrow Patterson        Diggers Daughters (can
at least 23 countries. It is    and the scholars from the    can girls) gave a lively show
                                Pilgrim’s Rest Primary
                                                                                             Golden Times—Page 9

and were clearly a crowd       Proficient Ladies:
favourite. Ms. Sendra
Mthuke, Chairman of            Sendra Mthuke
SAGPA, was guided to the       Essie Mogane
stage by the Ithumeleng
                               Kyla Goodwin
Choir. Dr. Mafika Lubisi
delivered the keynote          Joyce Mashego
address and subsequently
wished all the goldpanners
a successful panning           Juniors:
weekend.                       Filile Mathebula
                               Primrose Mohlala
The crowd was there to         Bridgetee Mashailenem
stay and they were not
                               Dian van Heerden               success and everyone is
disappointed. They were
entertained by the Ga                                         already looking forward to
Pharea Traditional dancers,    Traditional panning:           the competition in 2011.
the Aaja Nachle Indian
dancers as well as the hip     Chester Mukutu
hop rock group Blue                                           And then in 2012, the
                               Carmen Goodwin
Noise. The opening event                                      WORLD GOLD
was concluded by the                                          PANNING
Phoenix Fire and Drum          Veterans:                      CHAMPIONSHIPS will be
group. And then it was                                        held right here in Pilgrim’s
                               Francois Groenewald
back to business on Friday,                                   Rest!
as the gold panning started    Elna Gundry Barrows
in earnest.
                                                              Isabel Jacobs
                               All the participants and the
During Friday, Saturday as     whole of Pilgrim’s Rest
well as Sunday each and        would like to thank each
every goldpanner did their     and everyone who worked
utmost best to win his /       so hard to make this
her specific category, be it   Championship such a
Proficient men / Ladies,
Juniors, Traditional
panning, 3 man team / 5
man team, the couples
category or in the veteran

And the winners who won
tickets to attend the
World Gold Panning
Championships in Poland
in 2011, were:

Proficient men:
Coen Vermaak
Danny Brink
Bright Malatjie
Dave Khatz
                                                               Golden Times—Page

5. Visit to a quarry in Xanten, Germany

Ever since I caught gold       a sand and gravel quarry –
fever in Arrowtown, New        a Sand und Kiesgrube. This
Zealand I try increase my      company collects sand and
gold collection with as        gravel from the river using
many different samples as      suction pumps. This
possible. Preferably also      material is then
originating from many          transported and processed
different countries.           to separate the sand and
                               gravel. And as we gold
                               diggers know this sand and
 Normally, I combine the       gravel also contains plenty
urge to collect more gold      of gold dust, very very fine,
with a goldpanning             but pretty!
competition somewhere in
Europe. In this way we
have collected nice            We tried our luck there –
samples from Slovakia,         plenty of goldbearing sand.
Italy, Switzerland, Austria    Normally people panned
and Belgium. Although the      for gold underneath the
gold from Belgium is very      conveyor belt. Due to the
small and difficult to find,   shaking of the belt light
several years of               material is shaken of the
perseverance result in a       belt, leaving the heavy
nice sample for the            material, like gold and
collection! Occasionally I     heavy minerals behind. The
trade some, receive            most heavy material is
presents and buy some          concentrated at the end of
gold and before you know       the conveyor belt – the
it you have your own small     best place to look for gold.
gold museum!
                               Luckily the quarry had
In an attempt to add to the    moved a kilometer and left
collection I planned a trip    some kind of elevator
to Xanten in Germany.          behind from which we
The old town of Xanten         were allowed to get
once was a Roman border        sediment.
town along side the river
Rhine. Nowadays it is
located in the proximity of
                                                                 Golden Times—Page 11

The places around the            my eyes a nice sample for
conveyor were very poor          my collection. When my
in gold content, but this        little museum is ready it
elevator machine turned          will get a special place. If
out to be a real goldmine!       you would like to come by
                                 and admire it, please make
                                 an appointment and you
Apart from buckshot,             are more than welcome!
plummet, corroded lumps
and even a spanner the
machine contained loads of       Frenk Hink
black sand, which is a good
indicator for gold in this
setting. And yes, after
washing black sand away,
the gold literally floated in
my pan. The gold dust is so
small that its weight is not
able to break the surface
tension of the water and
therefore floats.
                                 “This machine turned out to be a real gold mine!
After a couple of hours I
quitted and headed home
– tired, but satisfied with in
                                                                                          Golden Times—Page 12

6. Australasian Goldpanning Championships, Ballart, 2010

The shores of Lake                and jeering, battle lines      podium with top placings
Wendouree in Ballarat             were clearly drawn. It         in the 3 person team
provided the perfect              seemed almost unpatriotic
                                                                 challenge, Women’s
backdrop for a renaissance        to allow a visitor to our
                                  shores to depart with the      Skilled, and Veteran’s
in Australia’s gold panning
circuit. The Australasian         coveted title and trophy.      category while Marcus
Championships was                 Even though our Kiwi gold      Binks was crowned the
literally the first cab off the   panners were                   overall Australian
rank for Aussie gold              outnumbered in the event       Champion. Another
panning events. World             they let their pans and        highlight worth mentioning
Gold Panning personality
Gerard Tobin emceed,
                                  quick hands do the talking.    is the midas touch of            “Even though
                                  Hopefully in 2011, the
whilst (X) men, women             Aussie participants can
                                                                 Giulio Rasmini. Guilio took      our kiwi gold
and children got down and                                        out the Men’s Skilled event
dirty in an effort to claim
                                  recover their pride and the
                                                                 and admitted to not              panners were
                                  coveted Trans-Tasman
the title of 2010
                                                                 touching a pan for a             outnumbered
Australasian Champion.                                           number of years. Clearly,
                                                                 he hasn’t lost his touch,
                                                                                                   in the event,
This year the Open
                                  A bevy of sponsors jumped      beating competitors in a         they let their
                                  on board to throw their
Winner won a return               support behind a new
                                                                 clean cut time of 2:52:40.          pans and
ticket to the 2010 World                                         Events such as these
                                  rejuvenated championship
                                  and many thanks must be        engage the community in           quick hands
Championship in Zlate             passed on to Marcus Binks,     an important part of our             do the
Hory. However, the gold           President of the Victorian     mining and prospecting
panner had to secure the          Gold Panning Association       heritage whilst bringing
win by performing the best        for hosting a fantastic
aggregate time in the                                            together old and new
                                  event.                         friends.
Skilled and the Classic
(traditional) pan A total of
90 competitors from               Besides gold panning,
regional Victoria,
                                  competitors and                Georgina Friend
Queensland and even New
Zealand converged in the          spectators participated in a
troughs with their sights         “stake your claim “. A
set firmly on the shiny gold      section of land is marked
stuff, and the top prize.         out and the treasure is
                                  registered at
                                  predetermined coordinate.
This year the pressure was
on with the Trans-Tasman          Participants had to stake
Challenge. Australian and         their claim as close to the
New Zealand have always           coordinates to claim the
shared a healthy sense of         prize, which consisted of a
rivalry in all things             $500 voucher from an
competitive with gold             Outdoor Adventure
panning being no different.       company. Winners from all
                                  categories received,
Gold panners lined the            trophies, medals and a gift
bays as Gerard Tobin              bag of prizes from the                   The New Zealand & Australian Flags hang respectably
engaged the crowd.                sponsors. At the end of                  alongside a reminder of the Eureka Stockade of 1854.
Amongst the sloshing
                                  the day, Fred and Gloria
water; scattering buckets
                                  Olsson dominated the
                                                               Golden Times—Page 13

9. Winterpanning in Czech Republic

Když konečně trochu                Před půlnocí se nečekaně
přituhlo, domluvili jsme s         objevil kolemjdoucí Tom a
Honzou výpravu na                  přidal se k našemu
zlatonosná pole do okolí           táborovému ohni. Nebyli
českého Dawson City –              jsme napevno domluveni a
Velké Lečice. Zdržel jsem          tak jeho největší obava
se v práci - zdejší                byla, že bychom akci vzdali.
zlatonosná pole přece jen          Tom unexpectedly appeared
neposkytují dostatek zlata         in our camp before midnight.
na obživu.                         We did not settle the
Na břehu nejmenovaného             meeting for sure, so his
přítoku Klondiku (Kocáby)          major fear was that we had
již hořel oheň, ale před           given up the trip.
námi byla dlouhá a hlavně
studená zimní noc.
                                   Než Honzovi umrzly ruce,
As soon as the temperature
                                   hladil naše duše kytarou.
was finally well below the
freezing point, we went at         Honza played guitar until his
the goldfields surrounding         hands were completely
Czech Dawson City – Velka          frozen.
Lecice. I was delayed in the
office, local goldfields are not   Při teplotě –20 st. Celsia
rich enough for full-time          jsme přečkali noc celkem v
goldpanning.                       pohodě, ovšem snídani
The campfire on the bank of        jsme připravovali
an unnamed tributary of            netradičním způsobem:
Klondike (Kocaba river) was
                                   Loupání zmrzlých vajec je
already lighted, but               podobné vařeným, jenom
we had awaited a long and          to jde o hodně hůř. Vejce
cold winter night.                 jsou zespodu smažená a
                                   svrchu zmrzlá.
Zajištění ohně bylo                We survived the night at –20
samozřejmě prioritou č. 1,         deg C quite well, but the
šli jsme připravit nějaké          breakfast was prepared in an
                                   unusual way: Frozen eggs
                                   peeling is more demanding
Fire is priority No. 1, of
                                   than peeling of the boiled
                                   ones. The eggs are fried from
                                   the bottom and frozen from
Že Honza UMÍ připravovat           the top.
skvělé bowle je obecně
známo, ale horká varianta
                                   Zmrzlý chleba nejde ani
byla opravdu znamenitá.            mačetou ukrojit či
It is known, that Honza            useknout, naštěstí máme i
prepares an excellent bowls,
                                   jiné nástroje.
but the hot one was really
                                   The frozen bread cannot be
                                   cut or chopped even with a
                                   machete; fortunately we have
                                   a better solution.
                                                             Golden Times—Page 14

Pokud si chcete opéct na         Specifika zimního rýžování:
klacku v zimě špek, pak
                                 - zlato přimrzá k pánvi
vězte, že akumulátorová
                                 - píst k pumpě
vrtačka je nezbytná.
                                 - ledová násada krumpáče
Accu drill is a must when you
want to roast your bacon in      klouže jako ďas
the winter.                      Winter panning is unique:
                                 - gold is frozen onto the
Během snídaně se oteplilo        pan
na –18 stupňů, takže             - piston to the pump
vzhůru do práce.                 - icy pick handle slides
During the breakfast the         easily
temperature rose to –18
deg. C, so we could start the
                                 0,00006 kg zlata. Batohy
gold prospection.
                                 jsou plné k prasknutí,
                                 můžeme jet domů.
Odebíráme žhavý základ           0,00006 kg of gold.
pro sekundární oheň u            Backpacks are full to the top;
potoka. Dole na fotografii
                                 we can go home.
je má oblíbená sýrová
fondue. Nová zkušenost:
při této teplotě na ohni
prakticky nelze připravit.       Tak zase příště –
We set on the secondary fire     AuRum
close to the creek. See in the   See you next time!
bottom: my favourite cheese
fondue is being cooked.
New experience: practically
impossible to prepare fondue
on the fire in such a low        Jirka Dunovsky

Návštěva denních
zlatokopů: Zdeňkův
80%rum pěkně hřeje
Visit of day-only goldpanners:
the 80% rum from Zdenek
warms up our bodies.

„Bonanza je deset palců ve
skále, bílej potok na kost
promrzlej, radši bys to
přečkal někde v lokále,
nepřeje ti štěstí osud zlej.“
Country song Bonanza

Zlato, zlato, zlato, zima…
Gold, gold, gold, cold
          Golden Times—Page 15

More pictures and classifications are available at
          Golden Times—Page 16

More pictures and classifications are available at
                                              Golden Times—Page 17

8. My first World Goldpanning Championships

                                                  Hi everybody,

                                                  In Czech Republic I got
                                                  acquainted with the world
                                                  of goldpanning for the first
                                                  time. Together with my
                                                  mom and dad I traveled a
                                                  thousand kilometer to
                                                  Czech Republic for my first
                                                  holiday. And I liked it very

                                                  The camping was great and
                                                  I apologize for any noise
                                                  before 6 a.m…. Although
                                                  some say that my father
                                                  made more noise early in
                                                  the morning…. And I also
                                                  want to thank all of you
                                                  for letting me sleep in the

                                                  I did not really like the
                                                  goldpanning yet (first
                                                  things first: learn to walk,
                                                  learn to talk and then learn
                                                  to pan) but I really liked
                                                  the people I met, and off
                                                  course the swing near the
                                                  competition area. And my
                                                  parents bought me my first

                                                  This experience will
                                                  probably be the first one in
                                                  a long row, for my parents
                                                  will off course take me to
                                                  Poland next year. Maybe I
                                                  will be able to participate

                                                  A kiss and a hug from
                                                  Daan van Wijhe
                                                              Golden Times—Page 18

9. WGA 2010 Annual General Meeting

According to the WGA           - Spain and Finland put in
tradition the Annual           bids to host the 2012
Meeting for the                European Championships
representatives from all
Member Nations is held         - Italy put in a bid to host
each year during the           the 2013 World
World Championships.           Championships
The organizers in Zlaté
Hory did an excellent job
in accommodating the           To make sure that all the
2010 AGM!                      gold panners know what is
                               going on, the Minutes of
                               the Annual General
Every member nation has        Meeting are published in
two representatives. The       the following pages.
representatives from all
member nations together
from the WGA Council.          Again we would like to
The Council makes              thank all the
decisions and is allowed to    representatives for their
vote, for example on           attendance, active
changes in the competition     participation and
rules, hosting countries for   constructive discussions.
future World and               We hope to see you all
European Championships         again at next year’s AGM
and for the appointment of     in Złotoryja!
new WGA Board

Each member nation has 2-
5 votes at the Council,        WGA Board:
depending on the number
of goldpanners attending
the last two World             Arturo Ramella
Championships. Member          Ken Karlsson
nations are also allowed to
suggest subjects for           Pirjo Muotkajarvi
discussion, which can be       Marlise Luedi
put on the meeting’s
                               Eugene Swanepoel
                               Esther van Diggelen

The most important points
addressed during this
year’s meeting have been:

- Team categories official
or fun event?

- Traditional category
Golden Times—Page 19
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                                                                                         Golden Times—Page 26

10. Italian publication on historical mining and panning (preview)

It already seems ages since    “The Italian Gold Rush (1848-1915)” by Aldo Rocchetti
we all met at the great
World Championships in
                               - A brief and partial adaptation, translated by Anthea Lacchia,
Zlaté Hory this year so it’s           Biella Goldprospectors’ Association, Italy
probably a bit much to ask
readers to cast their minds    Upon hearing the words
even further back to           gold rush, one’s mind fills
                               with images of a cowboy,
August 2009 in Biella.
                               spurs on his boots and
                               beans sizzling on a pan
However, what I’m hoping       nearby, working the
is that many of you- 54 to     famous creeks of the
be precise- from various       Klondike or riding a golden
nations, will recall the       stallion in the Australian
excursion we made              sunset.
together to the Monte
Rosa/Anzasca Valley area
where we visited the La        However, in the second
Guia mine and, following a     half of the 19th century,
delicious, sun-soaked          Northern Italy too was
picnic lunch, headed off to    suddenly transformed into
pan on the Anza river at       a true “Eldorado”, a mecca
                               to be exploited by avid
Piedimulera. Got it?
                               panners and miners from
                               all parts of Europe.
However, even those            The Italian gold rush took
readers who missed the         place in the valleys in the
outing will certainly find     north of the Piedmont
plenty of interest in the      region, in the shelter of
book we are introducing        the Monte Rosa massif and
here. It was published in      close to the border with
Italian in time for our        Switzerland. The Monte
Championships last year.       Rosa massif itself is the
The English translation is     primary deposit, giving rise
almost complete and, as        to all the secondary and
soon as the promised           fluvio-glacial deposits of
Regional funding comes         this area.
through (fingers
crossed…), you will be
able to find it through our    The necessity of extracting
local Association so, keep     as much gold as possible,
a look out!                    led to the birth of many       banks of water courses.         or, once extracted, in the
                               mining companies from          The further upstream the        form of large nuggets,
                               various countries. The         gold is panned, the larger      usually still clinging to a
Geraldine                      quest was for both native      the particles; conversely,      chunk of rock.
                               gold, which is found in        gold found far down
                               rock and is extracted by       stream tends to be in the
                               mining, and alluvial gold,     form of tiny particles called   Even the amateur geologist
                               which originally was native,   “flakes”.                       can easily spot the white
                               but has been transported                                       quartz among darker
                               and transformed by the                                         rocks. Of course, the
                               work of glaciers and rivers,   Native gold often nestles in    visible part of the quartz
                               and is found in particles of   quartz veins and can be of      vein is but the proverbial
                               varying sizes along the        microscopic dimensions          tip of the iceberg. It is
                                                                                    Golden Times—Page 27

thanks to these small clues     ecosystems of
in the rock that the wider      old.
presence of gold can be
                                Of course, the
                                dangers didn’t
Before the gold rush,           stop here; miners
which is described here,        often used
took place, both local          pneumatic drills
inhabitants and, about          that led to
2000 years ago, the             pulmonary
invading Romans had             problems and,
already plundered the gold      naturally, the
fields of Northern Italy.       threat of rock fall
“The Bessa” (GPS: N             was always a risk.
45,50046° E 8,00764°),          Among the many
near Biella, Piedmont, was      important gold
the oldest open-cast gold       mines active in
mine in Europe in Roman         Northern Italy in
times (it is now a Nature       the last three
Reserve of important                                          between 1900 and 1901,      Entrance to the La Guia Mine,
                                hundred years were the
historical, archaeological      Alagna Gold Mines and         the Company encountered   part of the Pestarena Gold Mines
and geological interest).       those of Pestarena, both of   financial difficulties,
Returning to more recent        which we will here briefly    Robinson set up two new
times, gold mining                                            companies, the “Rimella
companies sprang up in any                                    Gold Mining Company
site that was potentially                                     Limited” and the “New
                                Mine cultivation in Alagna,   Monte Rosa Gold Mining
                                situated to the South of      Company Limited”.
                                the Anzasca valley, which
You are probably aware of       leads off from the Monte                                             The Anzasca Valley
the technique traditionally     Rosa massif, can be traced
employed in separating          back to the Middle Ages.
gold from rock: first of all,   The veins were worked
the rock containing the         most intensively in the
gold was ground up in a         18th century, under the
large crusher to which          management of the House
mercury was added.              of Savoy. Sadly, the mines
Obviously, since gold           were later almost
amalgamates with mercury,       completely abandoned,
it was easy to separate the     before passing into the
precious metal from the         hands of various mining
unrequired rock and the         companies. The real
surplus mercury was either      turning point came at the
dumped in a river or            very beginning of the 19th
reutilised. Today’s             Century, when the
environmentalists would         property was taken over
be askance with horror,         by an Anglo-French
were such a procedure to        Company, purposely
take place!                     established by the South
                                African banker George
Mercury, which was used         Robinson, the “Monte
in many places up to            Rosa Gold Mining
relatively recent times,        Company Limited”.
represented a danger to         Tunnels were restored,
physical as well as mental      buildings were repaired
health and must have            and galleries were
played havoc with               lengthened. When,
                                                                                           Golden Times—Page 28

In 1906, work quickly          and intensely
resumed under the              worked in the
technical direction of         middle of the
Engineer Pierre Catzigera,     1800’s. Little is
of Greek origin.               known about the
                               early years of
                               activity but the
The far-sighted Engineer       renowned
took a great interest in the   engineer
workers of whom there          Francfort, who
were about 100, arranging      had studied in
for them to undergo a          both America and
thorough medical               Germany, came
examination once a month.      to Italy in around
He saw to it that they and     1857 and made a
their families enjoyed free    study of the local
medical assistance and         mines. In
medicine. Moreover, he         particular, he
promoted a healthy living      discovered that
environment and lifestyle      gold was present on pyrite,    despite the fact that             Panners at work on the river Anza
among the men, awarding        in the form of microscopic     average gold content had
prizes for order and           particles.                     decreased from an initial           largely abandoned.
cleanliness.                   He thus convinced some         30 g/t (or perhaps more)
                                                              to 20 g/t and subsequently          However, gold fever still
                               English entrepreneurs to                                           strikes prospectors in
                               back him financially and in    to 15 g/t in Pestarena and
The mineral treatment                                                                             Northern Italy, where all
                               1863 the “Victor Emanuel       10 g/t in Val Toppa.
plant was modified in such                                                                        rivers contain alluvial gold,
a way as to recuperate         Company” of London                                                 to a greater of lesser
90% of the gold, as            bought the mines.              Work in many concessions            degree.
opposed to the 60-70%          Following detailed studies     was so extensive that
recuperated under the          of the valley’s                boundaries were reached.
previous system. The new       mineralization, he                                                 It’s interesting to consider
system involved the                                           Unfortunately, from 1898            that between the two
                               introduced a new system        onwards, production
cyanidation of the mineral     for working the mineral,                                           great World Wars, people
                                                              diminished and, the                 in Piedmont eked out a
in French vats.                consisting in great            following year, the
                               amalgamation mills which                                           living by panning for gold,
                                                              “Pestarena United Gold              but this activity today is
                               led to a reduction in the      Mining Company” came
1903 was the year in which     quantity of gold lost due to                                       mostly done for fun, rather
most gold was extracted,                                      into financial difficulties and     than as a means of securing
                               the use of Piedmont-style      many workers were laid
as much as 12 Kg;                                                                                 a livelihood. All you need is
                               mills.                         off.
however, in general, annual                                                                       a spade, a gold pan and a
yield did not exceed 1 kg                                                                         thirst for that glimmering
and funds dried up soon        Soon, different companies                                          metal!
enough, until work was                                        In an attempt to resolve
                               merged to form the             the situation, a new
almost completely              “Pestarena United Gold
suspended. As if this                                         Company, the “Pestarena
                               Mining Company”, the           Mining Company” was
wasn’t enough, in 1915, an     largest gold company in                                            References
avalanche seriously                                           established. This was of no
                               Europe, if we do not count     help however, and in 1901           “La corsa all’oro in Italia, 1848-
damaged the principal          two mines in faraway                                               1915“ by Dr. Aldo Rocchetti (of
building and this was                                         the new Company was                 the Ecomuseum of Gold and the
                               Czarist Russia.                forced into liquidation. So         Bessa, Zubiena, Biella) is due for
followed by the death of
                                                              ended the most significant          publication in English.
George Robinson.                                              and lucrative aspects of the
                               Among the many mines of
                               the English Company were       Gold Rush.
As with the Alagna Gold        the Val Toppa, the Cani                                            The author has kindly given his
Mines, the six mines of                                                                           consent for this article to be
                               and the Crodo gold mines.      It is said that every golden        published in Golden Times.
Pestarena, located at the
mouth of the Anzasca           Production often               age has to end, and indeed,
valley, were already known     surpassed 200 Kg per year      the once thriving mines in
                               in the following decades,      Northern Italy are now
                                                                                             Golden Times—Page 29

11. River Goldpanning World Championship 2011

After a long hesitation I       goldpanning skills itself, but   To carry:
decided to pronounce the        also on prospector´s             personal belongins,
Pikovice 2011 event as          experience, estimation,          firewood, musical
the                             and of course - a bit of         instruments, a tent
                                luck. Also panning of raw        for competition: gold pan
                                river sediment with stones,      according to rules
                                clay etc., or 15 minutes of      of World Championship
                                competition time makes it        and a scoop (not bigger
                                different.                       than the CZ military
                                                                 entrenching tool).
                                6th anniversary GOLD
It may stay as a fun event,     WASHING IN PIKOVICE-             Competition rules:
or not... But in France they    LAGOON,                          There are 15 competitors
call one event "RIVER           This time as the RIVER           in each round.                  the final round.
GOLDPANNING                     GOLDPANNING                      Every competitor is             (In case of doubt, the
EUROPEAN                        WORLD                            allowed to start more than      referee is right.) :-)
CHAMPIONSHIP". It may           CHAMPIONSHIP 2011                once, until he gets tired.
be only a question of time      10th September 2011              After the group starts          Honza Basta
to evolve into a real,                                           from riverside,
official competition. But       Gold-panner´s meeting            there is a limit of 15
when we will be the first,      9th–11th September               minutes, in which the
we will have the advantage      ...a campground in Pikovice      competitors should pan as
of OUR rules and                (near Prague, Czech                                              Registration:
                                                                 many gold flakes from the
competition system, which       Republic),                       river bottom as possible        in place
we are used to. Of course,      A bank of the Sazava River       (use only scoop, gold pan       Start fee:
rules in time should            and mostly in the Sazava         and own knowledge/craft)
develop similarly, as in case   River                            and stick them on a             20 CZK for 1 start
of "normal" competitions.
                                                                 received sellotape-card.
This may be an alternative      Schedule: 10 AM - 3 PM                                           Contact:
to modern specialized                                            After the round is finished,
                                qualification rounds             the competitors give their
competitions. Back to           4 PM final round
prospecting, where success                                       cards to the referee. Ten
                                5 PM award ceremony              best competitors go into
depends not only on
                                                                                           Golden Times—Page 30

12. Golden streets of Złotoryja

There was an article on        Złotoryja, a gold tiara from
the Internet titled            Sichów and monuments
„Archeologist found gold”.     dated from the Early
If he had found a treasure,    Bronze Age II. Rich
it may cause sensation. But    treasures appeared later
he found gold in our area,     too. Bronze bracelets,
and in this case, a better     pots and weapons were
discoverer would be a          discovered near
geologist, who having          Jerzmanice Zdrój. They are
found a new rich deposit       dated from Middle Bronze
of this noble metal, may       Age II A. Was Golden
have given Złotoryja a new     Fleece used to obtain gold,
economic impulse. Just like    just like in the mythological
eight hundred years ago.       Colchis?

Gold in prehistory             Looking at pans used by
                               the members of PGGP,
                               lined with carpet-like
People had been founding       fabric, we can acknowledge
nuggets near Kaczawa and       that almost every kind of
Skora river before the         animal skin with thick
medieval and modern gold       bristles (especially
mining destroyed the           sheepskin) can be used to
remarks of prehistorical       obtain gold.
mining. Probably, some
shallow excavations were
made and tiny specks of        Local gold (Lat. Aurum) is
gold among sand and            divided into:
gravel were found there.       - flour gold (fraction < 0,5                                     Golden nugget found by Irena Drozd
Still, in river beds, after                                    goldfields. They were
taking out stones, gravel      mm)
                                                               also watching over the
and loose sand, one can        - gold sand (fraction 0,5- 3
                                                               safety of gold tributes. The
find a deposit of loam with    mm)                             presumptions were
the precious ore.              -nuggets (fraction over         confirmed by the
                               3mm)                            archaeological
                               1 litre of pure metal           excavation .They found
During one of such
explorations of Skora river    weighs 19,28 kilos
                                                               weapons and, unknown to
                                                               the local people, north-
                                                                                                     “Almost every
bed, Irena Drozd (Polish
Guilt of Gold Prospectors)
                                                               Czech and Slavic ceramics             kind of animal
                                                               inter alia in a village called
found a nugget. Its copy is    Slavic gold diggers
                                                               Rzymówka. It means that               skin with thick
placed in the Gold Mining
Museum in Złotoryja.
                                                               the areas were initially              bristles can be
                               Before the specialists from     controlled by Czech dukes
                               Europe came, the Silesians      and later by the first Polish         used to obtain
How do we know that            had been panning for gold
                               since the Middle Ages.
                                                               rulers. A Polish chronicler
                                                               Galllus Anonymous (early
people started to look for
gold in early Bronze Age?      How do we know that?            12th century) describing
Too intensive settlement       There were five                 the reign of Boleslaw
in this upland area            strongholds built at a very     Chrobry, mentions a great
indicates it. There are also   short (just 20 km) distance     number of gold objects at
material evidence such as a    between Złotoryja and           court. Some of them came
bronze sword from              Legnica. Their crews were       probably from sacking or
                               guarding the route and          exchange, but some of the
                                                                                            Golden Times—Page 31

objects were probably           according to the specialists
made of gold from               from Akademia Górniczo-
Złotoryja. The old names        Hutnicza in Kraków its
of towns also suggest the       forming started in the
mediaeval gold                  Middle Ages.
exploitations of gold , for
example Kopacz (Eng.
digger). Józef Domański in      Gold story about a
“Szkice Legnickie, vol.3”,      bucket
writes ”the name of a
village - Kopacz suggests
that the place was initially    This story comes from the
settled by gold                 Piast dynasty times. Roman
                                Heck in Szkice Legnickie,
                                vol.9 writes ” Prince
                                Bolesław II Rogatka unfairly
Mediaeval miners                sentenced a man from
                                Legnica to beheading . The
                                court willing to save the                                                     Basztowa Street
                                                                In 14th century large
When Władysław II               man, sent him to Złotoryja.     deposits of gold started to
Wygnaniec`s sons came           Some time later Prince          run out. Later, there were
back to Silesia, things         came to Złotoryja and met       some attempts to revive
changed. Local people who       the man carrying (with          gold mining, but expenses       “Inhabitants of
had been panning for gold       another convict) a bucket.
were replaced by the            He asked if the man was
                                                                overran profits. Copper
                                                                started to be mined but
specialists from the
empire. The reason the
                                the one who was to be
                                beheaded and why he was
                                                                gold has never been              walking every
                                                                forgotten. When Silesia
miners came to Złotoryja        still alive. The crowd said     came back to Poland, the         day on streets
was mainly the                  he had risen from the
contemporary name of the        dead.” Putting aside the
                                                                scientists from Wrocław -         also walk on
                                                                Andrzej Grodzicki
town- Aurum (Lat.               ironic and sarcastic vein of    (member of PGGP), J.                 gold!”
gold).New ways of mining        the story, one should focus     Kaźmierczyk and T.
gold brought great benefits     on the convict`s attribute-     Dziekoński officially
not only to the miners but      a bucket. In the Middle         started to study old gold
mostly to all the dukes.        Ages the miners who did         mining. Local enthusiasts
Władysław II Wygnaniec`s        not drain mine shafts were      of geology went out
descendants became the          punished. A man with a          looking for the precious
richest dukes in the area. It   bucket was the easiest          natural treasures of
happened because of             pomp removing water             Kaczawa Foothills.
Peter`s Pence. Peter`s          from a shaft or an              Probably, some of their
Pence was collected in          excavation. Such a convict      houses has enriched by
silver coins by the parishes.   was a very precious             found gold. Nowadays, the
The coins were exchanged        mineworker. Saint Hedwig        miners` traditions are
for gold from Złotoryja,        sent convicts to build a        maintained by the Polish
because Roman Curia did         monastery and Prince            Guilt of Gold Prospectors
not accept denars and           Bolesław started doing the      in Złotoryja, annual
other silver coins              same, turning the capital       organizer of the Polish
manufactured in Poland.         penalty into work in mines.     Goldpanning
Then the gold was sent to       Prisoners did many              Championships. In 2011
Rome as gold coins or gold      different works, for            the World Golpanning
ingots. The gold sand           example turning treadmills.     Champioships are going to
called aurum de polhiola had    A fragment of such a                                             Gold found at Basztowa Street
                                                                be organized in Złotoryja.
lower price than ingots.        treadmill is displayed in the
Running out of alluvial         Gold Mining Museum.
stratum, the miners were                                        They walk on gold
made to dig a gold mine.                                        every day
The gold mine “Aurelia “ is     After gold rush
considered to be dated
from 17th century but                                           Inhabitants of Złotoryja,
                                                              Golden Times—Page 32

walking every day on           were mentioned sands
streets, do not realize that   and gravel brought here? It
they also walk on gold.        is probable that they came
Not the hypothetical one       from local goldfields and
and hundreds meters            according to prof.
underground. Gold is just a    Grodzicki they are from
meter under cobblestones.      Sępów surroundings.
How did they find golden       When? At the twilight of
dust? By accident, of          the Middle Ages for sure,
course. One day, an            because the embankments
archeologist and a member      cover layers of the
of the Polish Guilt of Gold    mediaeval material with
Prospectors met at a           the modern ceramics
building site and decided to   above them. It was
check if there was gold in     believed that spreading
the excavation made by         sand was done to cover
the builders. The result       mud on streets and it was
was interesting, because       taken from a moat.                  Tadeusz Wasilewicz at work...
they found dozens of
golden specks. The
discovery was a good           But it was a very expensive
reason to check all the        and difficult task and
gravel-sand embankments        people had to have an
in the town.                   important reason to do so.
                               In the second half of 15th
                               century, after Hussite
Next panning (Piłsudski        invasions, the stream of
Street) was done by the        pilgrims was moving
World Golpanning               through Silesia to take part
Champion - Tadeusz             in celebrating the jubilee
Wasilewicz in 2000. The        years in Rome ( 1450,
amount of found gold was       1475 and 1500). People
astonishing.                   were also making
                               pilgrimages to the tomb of
                               Saint Jacob in Santiago de
Later, all the                 Compostela. Thousands of
embankments in Złotoryja       people were walking                      Gold from Chopin Street
were checked: Basztowa         through the streets of
Street, Chopin Street,         Złotoryja. Maybe,
Górna Street and Town          spreading gold bearing
Square. It turned out that     gravel and sands on the
there are 2 grams of gold      streets did the inhabitants
in every tonne of gravel. It   of Złotoryja proud. Just
was estimated that gold        like in the apocalyptic
under Old Town may             Jerusalem in Gospel of
weigh about 5 kilos! It is     John, where the streets are
worth a lottery prize -        gold.
about 1.000.000 PLN
(around 250.000 EUR)! But
mining gold here is            Witold Łaszewski
unprofitable, because
expenses overran profits.

Gold on streets

                                                                     Gold from Złotoryjan streets
Where, when and why
                                                                                       Golden Times—Page 33

13. Special competition for champions at WGPC in Złotoryja 2011

Next year Poland is hosting the next World Goldpanning Championships in Złotoryja. During this event the organizers
would like to have a special category just for previous World Champions
from the categories Proficient Men and Proficient Ladies. This category will be
called the Masters Trophy. All former World Champions Men and Ladies are
invited to join this special competition.

If your name is on the list, please contact Zdsislaw Herba by email
                                     World Goldpanning Association
                                                     Golden Times
                                                     Autumn 2010

         World Goldpanning Association


Please send contributions for the next Golden Times to

        World Goldpanning Championships

                 22-28 August 2011

                 Złotoryja, Poland

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