Panning for Gold

Faces of the Gold Rush

What's the meaning?

You be the Judge...

Thompson River First Nations

Mining Terms

Assay Office
a place where the mineral content of gold can be evaluated using chemical analysis

refers to the bank of sand or gravel that extends into a river OR a bar of sand in the middle of a river. (In British Columbia, the community of Boston Bar was established along a bar on the Fraser River.)

solid rock beneath the soil

unrefined gold (raw material); also refined gold in bars and coins

a unit of weight for gold; one carat = 200 milligrams

a piece of land staked out by a miner for working. He has the only right to mine on that land.

term used to indicate finding evidence of gold; also a term forgold flakes

an early mining term which refers to a claim being worked forgold

gold in a powder state as found in placer mining

any place rich in gold

gold in very small bits

gold fever
the excitement and rush to the gold fields

a vein of metallic ore (e.g. gold) filling a well
defined fissure in the rock.

mother lode
the main lode, or vein, of gold.

a lump of gold, any size, usually larger than a match head.

a shallow and wide metal dish used for panning gold.

A method of mining using a pan. Gravel is lifted into a pan from the stream. The gravel is washed in the pan by gently moving the pan from left to right and using a swirling motion. The lighter materials and water flow over the sides of the pan and the heavier gold particles settle on the bottom of the pan.

pay streak
the bottom of an old stream or riverbed filled with goldflakes or nuggets.

pay dirt
An expression to describe gold rich ore taken from claims.Earth or rock that has enough metal, such as gold, in it to be worth mining.

placer gold
Name given to loose gold carried down the river or stream from a hill. Rain loosens the gold particles and washes them into streambed deposits called placers (pronounced plass
ers). It tends to collect on the curves of the stream.

The amount of gold dust or nuggets that a miner owns. This gold isusually carried in a leather poke or pouch.

a person who prospects for gold.

rocker box or rocker
A wooden rectangular box on rockers used by gold miners. The rocking motion moves dirt and water through the box. The gold flakes or nuggets are caught on riffles (grooves or slats).

sluice box
like the rocker box but much longer. A water source is directed down the sluice box to wash the gravel which is shoveled into the sluice box. Gold is caught by riffles similar to the rocker box.

an old-time, experienced prospector or miner in northernBritish Columbia and the Yukon

a wooden peg driven into the ground every 25 feet (7.62 meters)to mark the boundaries of a claim.

the waste left from mining

a part of a mine or area where work has been done

(Source: The Gold Rush Frenzy. Louise Steele. Module 1; The Gold Seekers, Claim Stakes in the Gold Fields. 1994. Creative Curriculum Inc.)

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Last updated 31 August 1998.
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