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Sluice boxes: Gold prospecting equipment

Discover the secrets of expert prospectors

Finding precious gold can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, even if you do have your metal detector. Taking out all the unnecessary elements to get these precious metals can take days, weeks, months, and even years. Typically, you would have to go with larger equipment which is less accessible and more expensive to use. But with a sluice box, you can eliminate some of these headaches and still find success.

Sluice Box For Gold Prospecting

The sluice box is an essential piece of equipment for the gold prospector. It is used to separate the lighter sands, and other materials from gold-bearing gravel panned or shaken through a series of riffles until the gold is captured.

Sluice Box Matting

Sluice box matting is essential not only in a basic sluice but also for high banker mat. Riffles do a great job of slowing down the gold, but some type of matting underneath the riffles is required to hold the gold and help prevent it from flowing out the bottom along with waste material.

The most common sluice box matting is a carpet-like material. This works well; however, newer types of gold sluice matting developed over the years have helped improve recovery rates.

Keene Sluice Box

The design of these sluice boxes was inspired by the most delicate gold prospecting sluices and offered the best efficiency. These lightweight and compact sluice boxes are ideal for getting the most gold possible with minimal effort.

Keene Sluice Boxes have a unique three-stage system that helps ensure that gold is collected efficiently. It features heavy-duty latches rolled top edges for greater strength and safety and a more extended rubber.

Mini Max High banker Combo

The new and improved Mini Max Power Sluice Concentrator is the multi-tool of prospecting. We’ve upgraded our latest machine to have a single, larger pump instead of a double-pump system.

The new pump provides not only greater water flow and higher head lift but also a larger diameter pressure hose which creates a higher flow

Visit our website to check out our collection of tools and equipment designed for your gold prospecting needs.

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Top 5 Metal Detectors for Treasure Hunters

The Best Metal Detectors You Can Buy Right Now

Are you planning for your next gold prospecting trip?

For many prospectors, searching for gold is a great activity that offers a rewarding feeling. It can be exciting to travel to different places searching for these precious metals. But to be successful in gold prospecting, having the right tools is crucial.

If you’re looking for the right tools and equipment for your prospecting expeditions, DredgeNZ can help. We offer state-of-the-art tools and equipment for gold prospectors – like you – allowing you to detect pieces of gold the easier way.

In this article, we’ll share a roundup of the best metal detecting tools to help you with your gold prospecting.

Using metal detectors for gold panning

The Importance of Tools for Gold Prospecting

The right tools are paramount to the success of a prospector. They are needed for detecting, digging, panning, and sifting gold-bearing sand and gravel. There are many different metal detectors on the market, and some are better than others for certain kinds of finds.

Here are the top 5 metal detector models to help get you started on your journey to finding Gold Nuggets.

Gold Monster 1000

  1. If you’re looking for super sensitive gold performance at a great price, then this is the detector you’ve been waiting for! The Gold Monster is a real Monster when it comes to finding the tiniest piece of gold. One thing though, you don’t want to use this detector on the beach or in a park to find coins or treasure otherwise you will be leaving the park looking like a dug up potato patch. The Gold Monster is so sensitive that you will get signals all over the place.
  2. Equinox
    Minelab has earned a reputation for manufacturing the best metal detectors in the gold prospecting industry. Equinox Metal Detectors provide innovative and all-new multi-frequency technology and are designed to withstand harsh environments. The smaller coils are well suited for gold enthusiasts.
  3. SDC
    SDC metal has advanced technology features, perfect for locating elusive sub-gram nuggets on land and underwater. It has an MPF (Multi Period Fast) technology that incorporates high-speed Pulse Induction switching between Transmit (Tx) and Receives (Rx) detector signals.
  4. Vanquish
    Even though not a designated “gold” detector the Vanquish Metal Detectors can be used for hunting the elusive gold nugget.  These metal detectors feature a sleek design, easy-to-use controls, and are made of lightweight material, making them ideal detector if you are on a budget.
  5. GPX 6000
    All gold. All soils. All the time. Find all gold, big and small, with this incredibly powerful gold detector. With advanced GeoSense-PI™ technology and two included coil options, you can detect gold more clearly with less interference. The GPX 6000 is not only very light but also features Bluetooth technology so you are not always tied with your headphone cords to the detector.

If you’re looking for the best and most affordable tools to help you with gold prospecting, DredgeNZ is an excellent choice. With various selections from our store, you can start planning for your next prospecting adventure right away.

Visit our website to check out our collection of tools and equipment made to meet your gold prospecting needs.

Shop Now

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Top 5 Gold Prospecting Equipment

gold prospecting equipment

Gold Prospecting Equipment

In the last 10 years, the price of gold has tripled, and the long-term price trends still point up. If you’re looking for a hobby with potential financial benefits, gold prospecting is a great choice.

Having the right gold prospecting equipment will change your entire approach to this fun activity. With the right tools and equipment available, your chances of finding this precious metal are much higher. Here at DredgeNZ, we’ve gathered all the necessary equipment that you’ll need to start your panning and prospecting journey.

PROLINE 6″ Dredge

If you’re thinking about starting your gold prospecting operation, a Proline Dredge can help you gather more gold nuggets and flakes in no time for exploration and mining projects. The best part is that it can be operated by one person.


Using the classic gold pan on its own can take a lot of time. That is why we recommend using a Sluice Box to gather all the gold without any hassle. Our Sluice Box has been a trusted tool for decades, allowing you to work on panning and prospecting at full capacity.

Gold Hog Stream Sluice

Our Gold Hog Stream Sluice features a regular flow mat and a low flow mat, making it easier for you to filter all the gold pieces and solid rock particles separately. It’s a powerful tool to increase mining productivity.


For lightweight gold panning and prospecting projects, nothing beats the Tee Dee EZ-Sluice. With its new flare design feature, your first gold nugget will get trapped in the exposed surface area of the box which is ribbed for further gold catching.


Le Trap Sluice Box

If you’re just starting your gold prospecting and panning journey, it is important to begin with handy tools and equipment. Our Le trap Sluice Box is made of lightweight wear-resistant green plastic, making it easier to take it with you to any location at any time.

Visit our website to check out our collection of tools and equipment for your gold prospecting needs.

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Searching For Gold: Gold Panning Beginners Kit

Metal detectors for gold panning


For many gold prospectors, the enjoyment and excitement of prospecting is not merely the hunt for gold, but also the adventure and opportunity to interact with nature. Gold prospecting is a great hobby that offers the chance to discover nature’s abundance as well as a chance to hit the jackpot.

If you’re new to the world of gold prospecting or struggling with prospecting, DredgeNZ is the right store for you. We are committed to supporting you in your gold panning and mining efforts. We offer a variety of reliable tools to make your search faster and easier.

Basic Gold Panning Equipment


Gold prospectors know that prospecting requires extensive patience and dedication. Unlike many hobbies that require a large investment, gold panning and prospecting can be inexpensive. Most of the equipment and tools may be found around your home.

A few basic pieces of equipment should be enough to help you begin your gold prospecting journey. Here are some of the most basic and inexpensive tools and equipment to get you started.

  • The Gold Pan

Considered the most basic tool in gold panning, the gold pan is also one of the most important and effective tools to help you with your prospecting.

  • The Sluice Box

While the gold pan is one of the most effective tools in panning, it could take you time to pan all the gold in a particular location, making it difficult to get them all in a day. To speed up the gold panning process without taking up too much of your time, a sluice box can be useful.

  • The Shovel

Shovels come in different sizes for different situations. Finding the right size for a particular location could help you locate gold without the hassle of wasting your time only using your bare hands.

  • The Pick

In gold panning, environmental and weather changes can be your greatest enemy.  Gold is often washed away and mixed with old river stones and soil, so to help you quickly get the gold from hardened rocks and dirt, a pick is a great tool.

  • The Classifier

Since pieces of gold are mixed with gravel and sand, the classifier is essential to reduce the material that needs to be put through the sluice or has to be panned by hand. The classifier is a round screen that fits perfectly on top of a gold pan or bucket to separate the finer material from the bigger rocks.

  • The Gold Map

If you would like to spend more time and money looking for gold, the gold map is crucial and a must-have in your prospecting journey. It helps you locate gold easily without scratching and excess effort. All it takes is your persistence to dig, identify and process the gold.

Gold Panning Kit: Sluice Box

Whether you are a beginner or struggling using the classic gold pan, a Sluice Box is a perfect tool to help you with your panning. Sluice Boxes come in different sizes and materials that are very handy for gold prospectors.  They are designed to easily screen all the rock materials with suspected gold.

If you’re looking for the best and inexpensive tools to help you with gold panning DredgeNZ is an excellent choice. With various selections from our store, you can start planning for your next prospecting location right away.

Visit our website to check out our collection of tools and equipment for your gold prospecting needs.

Visit Now

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Where can I pan for gold in New Zealand?

Gold Panning has inspired thousands of people to become amateur gold hunters. Many of them are spending most of their time in search of high-value gold so the quest for gold has fueled a surge in the sales of gold panning tools.

Although panning has a downside on panners’ safety and the environment, it has brought a notable impact on a country or community’s economic growth. In New Zealand, a lot of prospects are in search of high-value gold. Although this may seem like a test of luck for many, professional panners have discovered the best spots to pan for gold.

Thankfully, innovation has helped in the discovery of these elusive metals. A wide range of equipment is used to locate gold quickly. And here at DredgeNZ, we are with you in your quest for gold panning and mining. We offer a variety of reliable tools to make your search faster and easier.

Based on our knowledge and experience, here are some of the best spots for panning, dredging, and mining in New Zealand:

Otago and Marlborough

Otago New Zealand - Gold panning destination

Usually, gold mining requires a permit from NZP&M. However, most Marlborough and Otago areas are safe spots where you can freely enjoy recreational gold mining without the need for a permit.

Otago and Marlborough’s best resource is Alluvial golds – a kind of gold found in soils when beds of rivers or streams are scooped and panned for gold dust.

Golden Bay

Golden Bay New Zealand - Where to go gold panning

Golden Bay is not named for its sunshine but its gold. As early as 1853, traces were found in the Aorere Valley. As the name suggests, Golden Bay was once a gold rush town, and the Aorere Goldfields Track will take you back in time to the old gold-mining days.

Coromandel Peninsula

Coromandel Peninsula - Gold panning in New Zealand

Coromandel was one of the first places in New Zealand to discover a rich history of golds, causing prospects to migrate to the area in search of fortune. Gold helped develop the early economy on The Coromandel by attracting people, investment, shipping, and resources.


Hokitika - Where to pan for gold in New Zealand

Hokitika is one of the best spots to look for gold. There are a handful of areas remaining in Hokitika set aside for recreational gold fossicking. Some have a picnic, barbecue, and camping facilities, and most are easy to access. Alluvial gold is present in all these areas, although the concentrations are low.

The community in Hokitika is also rich in artisans and cultural heritage, making them one of the best spots not just for gold panners but also for travelers worldwide.

If you’re planning to start a quest for gold in the places we’ve mentioned, make sure to list down essential tools to help you in your journey in locating these high-valued treasures. We recommend buying from an expert like the DredgeNZ to ensure that you get the right tools and helpful tips to guide you on your expedition.

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How profitable is panning for gold?

Using metal detectors for gold panning

In recent years, the value of gold has been steadily increasing. Thanks to the success stories of miners and panners, many prospects are inspired, hoping to make a fortune from their gold hunting journey.

If you are just a beginner in gold mining, chances are you won’t find any rich ground to mine without serious research. Now don’t get us wrong; there is rich ground out there that is still open and unclaimed. You need to get out there and find it, though, and that takes time and experience.

Having the right equipment and tools can go a long way in helping you with your gold-digging experience. At DredgeNZ, we are committed to supporting you in your gold panning and mining efforts. We offer a variety of reliable tools to make your search faster and easier.

Gold Panning Weigh

What is panned gold worth?

Experienced prospectors understand that one must weigh gold to find its actual value. So while panning, a scale would be necessary to see the exact amount.
Some experienced prospectors that have tallied gold often are able to visually estimate the value of gold while still in the pan. They use their pricing experience to know the value of gold when they see it in the pan. Since it’s an estimate based on size rather than weight, they usually hesitate to discuss this technique too much.

How does gold panning work?

Unlike many pastimes, panning for gold is a small investment for a potentially large reward.
Rivers go through seasonal cycles, from the spring flood stage to reduced flow rates in late summer and fall. Gold breaks loose from streamside banks and bottoms with each high-water process, landing in places where the water slows down.
The principle behind gold panning is straightforward. Gold is heavy. Just about everything else is lighter. If you load a pie-pan-shaped container with gold-bearing gravel and sand, proper agitation in water should cause the gold to sink to the bottom while washing away the lighter stuff that rises to the top.
To make it simple and easier to understand, here is a step-by-step way to pan gold.

Metal detectors for gold panning

1. Gather all the equipment needed for gold panning.
2. Locate the spot to do your gold panning. We recommend that you search for more information about the area.
3. Once you’ve found your perfect stream, you need to find a place to pan and places to dig.
4. Pan Out Your Paydirt and Recover the Gold
5. Clean Out Your Snuffer Bottle and Enjoy Your Gold

Gold prospecting methods

Today’s state-of-the-art gold detectors are capable of detecting tiny pieces of gold. Although searching for gold requires patience and persistence, professional gold panners have methods to make their search easy and convenient. Here are some of the methods used for gold prospecting

Gold panning techniques

1. Biological Prospecting

Plants, humus, and microscopic organisms have been effectively utilized to help mineral prospecting, and under specific conditions, they may allow the miner to find covered mineral residues. Many factors are involved, however, that is not possible to predict conditions under which biological prospecting will be helpful.

2. Geophysical Prospecting

Geophysical prospecting combines physical science and geography studies to help the miner in investigating both mineral and energy fuel stores. Utilization of a portion of these strategies and procedures requires complex and exorbitant instruments.

3. Magnetic Prospecting

Magnetic Prospecting depends on the characteristic attractive properties of certain minerals like magnetite. When held near a magnetite-rich rock, the needle in a compass behaves erratically because the Earth’s magnetic field is distorted by the magnetic field of the rock.

Metal detectors for gold panning
Gold panning tips

The best way to learn about panning for gold is to observe the techniques of successful panners. You should also remember that prospectors have been scouring the deserts and mountains for a couple of hundred years now.

Most of the significant gold districts have been found already, so researching and finding these historic gold mining areas is necessary. Once you’ve found a gold-bearing spot, now the fun begins! Select the right equipment for the job and start mining. Keep at it, and you will be successful.

Happy prospecting!

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Minelab releases first VANQUISH Software Update

Software Upgrade 1.1.
Get more from your VANQUISH.

At Minelab, we understand your passion. Your need to hunt in all terrains and our pursuit of perfection, means VANQUISH is now better than ever.

What is new?

VANQUISH just became more powerful. For the serious detectorist, new Iron Volume Control in the VANQUISH 540 puts you in charge of how much iron you want to hear, making trashy and mineralised soils easier to conquer. For greater control and a simply better detecting experience, hit the download button on the new update now.

VANQUISH 540 Iron Volume Control

Detecting in heavy iron trash is enhanced with the new Iron Volume Control feature. 10-step adjustments let you decrease the volume of iron all the way down to a whisper, while leaving desirable targets (non-ferrous) loud and clear. To engage Iron Volume Control, simply hold down the All Metal button, while simultaneously using the Volume buttons to adjust to your liking.

General Improvements for All VANQUISH Models

The upgrade also includes improved battery handling capability for all models, as well as a new low battery alert.

Do not use the battery charging cable which might have come with your detector, it won’t work for downloading the update. You will need a USB to micro USB data cable. If your Vanquish came with a charging cable for your headphones then use this.

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EQUINOX Software Update 3.0

EQUINOX Software Upgrade

A new Single Frequency of 4 kHz has been added to the existing 5, 10, 15, 20 and 40 kHz options. This new 4 kHz frequency enhances the detection of large deep targets, particularly those found in parts of Asia. As a result of optimising for these conditions, this new frequency may respond differently for users compared to the other single frequencies.

All other single and multi-frequency settings are unchanged in their performance.

In addition to the 4 kHz upgrade feature, various stability enhancements have been included.

Minimum System Requirements:

USB 2.0 port
EQUINOX USB Charging Cable with Magnetic Connector

Windows 10

50 MB of hard drive space
20 MB of RAM


Greater than 10.13 High Sierra
50 MB of hard drive space
30 MB of RAM


  • Only one EQUINOX can be connected to your computer during the update operation.
  • The EQUINOX must be ON during the software update.
  • Any custom detector settings will be preserved while performing the update.
  • An internet connection is required to download the Minelab Update Utility to the computer, however, an internet connection is not required to update the EQUINOX and this can be done offline.
  • The EQUINOX coil must be connected to perform the update.

Important: Do not turn off or disconnect the EQUINOX during the update process. For step-by-step instructions on how to install the software update, please refer to the above brochures.

Should you encounter problems with the download, please do not hesitate to contact us on 021 205 5272.