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question: if i wanted to go to one of b.c.s many recreationalpanning sites,do i still need a free miners certificate? also,how many days can i stay at one site?how much gold am i allowedto keep?


--- Quote from: pvinny-65 on July 19, 2009, 11:58:34 AM ---question: if i wanted to go to one of b.c.s many recreational panning sites,do i still need a free miners certificate? also,how many days can i stay at one site? how much gold am i allowed to keep?

--- End quote ---


No, you do not need a Free Miners Certificate to pan for gold at a recreational panning site.

There does not seem to be any limit to the number of days you can pan at a recreational
panning site in B.C., but you certainly would not be able to stay at or camp at the site.
Camping in a Provincial or private campsite is usually available nearby.
(I think AB has a 15 day limit for panning at any one site.)

You can keep all the gold you find in your pan - there is no limit.

Have a good trip and happy panning.  :)


Here is a recent bulletin from the B.C. Dept of Energy and Mines

                                        Mineral Titles Branch
                                          Information Update

           No. 2 – Recreational Handpanning for Placer Minerals

                                                                 Revision Date: November 30, 2006
The Mineral Tenure Act provides that hand panning in a watercourse for placer minerals as a
recreational activity can be carried out by an individual without the necessity of holding a Free
Miner Certificate (FMC). Hand panning is a comparable activity to rock hounding and hiking.

Hand panning means to wash mineralized earth and gravel by agitation in a hand held pan so as
to separate and recover those minerals or placer minerals having the greatest specific gravity. No
equipment or tools other than a hand pan can be used in recreational hand panning.

Use of equipment such as a sluice box, rocker box, shaker and suction dredge is strictly regulated
in British Columbia. Such equipment must not be used except on a valid placer title and then
only with the approval of the District Inspector of Mines.

The only specific restriction in the Mineral Tenure Act governing where you may hand pan is the
provision in section 9(2) which prohibits panning on a valid mineral or placer title unless the
person has permission from the recorded holder of the mineral or placer title. However, other
uses of the land may prohibit hand panning.

Hand panning should not be carried out:
    1. Within a park, unless permission from the park warden or agency responsible for the park
        is first obtained;
    2. On an Indian Reservation or Treaty Settlement Lands, unless permission is first obtained
        from the Band; and
    3. On private property without the owner’s permission.

Paul K:
Thanx Greg, Hope to be sliding through next summer. In Beijing ,P.R.C. right now but flight back is to Van. and I was going to buy a truck there and head east. Talk to you later. <-good_>

Go to the Mineral Titles Online site, click on most asked questions, that will take you to a new page, look on the left for recreation panning reserves, click on this it will take to the page with the maps...Guest

What Do I Need for Recreational Gold Panning?
To take the trip and go recreational gold panning there isn’t a lot of equipment needed, gold pan and a shovel with maybe a screening device to classify the gravels down to 5mm size to make panning easier.  But now there are some things that the novice or recreational panner should know about as far as the rules and regulations go for recreational panning in the Province of British Columbia, these are the condensed versions:
Recreation Panning is allowed on any creek, stream, river, or body of water as long as the property that you are panning from is not, placer or mineral claimed, private property, unless you have the tenure or property owner’s permission.
Recreational Panning is allowed in most Provincial Forestry Campsites, unless this area is placer or mineral claimed.  
Recreational Panning is not allowed in Provincial or Federal Parks unless first getting permission from the park warden or agency responsible for the park, on an Indian Reservation or Treaty Settlement Lands, unless permission is first obtained from the Band.
Note: Permission is also needed to cross private land, Indian Reservations and Treaty Settlement Lands, to do otherwise would be trespassing and is against the law of British Columbia.  Cutting locks off gates to use existing roads could also be trespassing as this usually signifies that it is either private land or under lease for some purpose from the government and that the surface rights are taken up in ownership.
Okay finaly can across the only intake size defined in an act for intake size of pumps for the purpose of handmining, knew I had seen it some where

Environmental Management Act
Placer Mining Waste Control Regulation
[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 321/2004]

  1  Interpretation
  2  Exemptions
  3  Classes

1 In this regulation, placer mineral has the same meaning as in the Mineral Tenure Act.

2 A person who carries out a class of operation, activity, industry or work referred to in section 3 is exempt from section 6 (2) and (3) of the Environmental Management Act in respect of that class if the person meets the conditions and circumstances set out in section 3 and provides to a director on the director's request information the director considers sufficient to determine the existence and extent of the discharge.

[en. B.C. Reg. 321/2004, s. 22.]

3 The classes of operations, activities, industries or works referred to in section 2 are discharges into the environment of waste from mining a placer mineral where the discharges are from

(a) hand panning for gold,

(b) testing for the presence of placer minerals by means of equipment movable by hand where

(i)  neither mercury nor chemicals are used,

(ii)  the diameter of the intake of a washwater delivery system does not exceed 38 mm,

(iii)  tailings are discharged to a tailings pond with a minimum of 0.5 m freeboard, and

(iv)  the water in the tailings pond

(A)  is pumped back to the operation for reuse,

(B)  is left in the pond and allowed to seep into the ground in a manner which does not result in suspended solids entering a body of water at any point downstream of the operation, or

(C)  is partly pumped back as referred to in clause (A) and is partly left as referred to in clause (B), or

(c) mining production where neither mercury nor chemicals are used to recover a placer mineral, and

(i)  the mine is located, as shown on the National Topographic System of Mapping, on Birch Creek 104N/11W, Boulder Creek 104N/11W, Ruby Creek 104N/11W, Otter Creek and its tributaries 104N/11W, Wright Creek 104N/11W, Quartz Creek 104N/11E, Spruce Creek and its tributaries 104N/11W and 104N/12E, Pine Creek between Birch Creek and Atlin Lake 104N/11W and 104N/12E, McKee Creek 104N/5E and 104N/6W, Snowy Creek 104P/5E, or Dease Creek 104J/9E, or

(ii)  the mine is not located on a creek referred to in subparagraph (i) and the tailings are discharged to a tailings pond where the water is disposed of as set out in paragraph (b) (iii) and (iv).

Thi is the only thing I've been able to find that is definite.........Guest
So before going recreational panning, either go to a friend’s placer or mineral claim, or go to the
Mineral Titles Online Website and check out the area that you wish to go panning at, or go to one of the following Provincial Recreational Panning Reserves.
The Ministry has created a number of recreational panning reserves around the Province that are open to the general public to use for recreational gold panning.  Recreational panning is restricted to hand pans, hand shovels, and metal detectors.  The use of sluice or shaker boxes, suction dredges, and other mechanical devices are not permitted.
The following maps are all in Adobe pdf format:
Barnes Creek BCGS Map 082E.090 & .100 (  118 kb)
Cayoosh Creek (near Lillooet), BCGS Map 092I.061 (  149 kb)
Erickson, BCGS Map 082F.008 & .018 ( 158 kb)
Goldstream River, BCGS Map 082M.068 (  101 kb)
Hope, BCGS Map 092H.033 (  127 kb)
Kennedy River, BCGS Map 092F.013 (  101 kb)
Lytton, BCGS Map 092I.023 (  130 kb)
Princeton, BCGS Map 092H.048 (  221 kb)
Quesnel-Fraser River Junction, BCGS Map 093B.098 (  167 kb)
Spruce Creek, BCGS Map 104N.052 (  93 kb)
Van Winkle Flat (new Lytton), BCGS Map 092I.022 (  112 kb)
Wild Horse River (near Fort Steele), BCGS Map 082G.052 & .062 ( 124 kb)
Yale, BCGS Map 092H.053 (  137 kb)  Mineral Titles Online Website; Recreational Panning Reserves.
 What Do I Need for Prospecting?

The first thing you will need is a Free Miners Certificate, these are available through your local Government Agents Office, the cost is currently $25.00 and I will explain the requirements that will have to be met to take to acquire a FMC.
You will need two pieces of Identification.
 You must be 18 years of age or older and ordinarily a resident of Canada for not less than 183 days in each calendar year, or be authorized by the federal government of Canada to work in Canada (proof of authorization must be provided).  A Canadian citizen, regardless of where he/she resides, is authorized to work in Canada by virtue of their citizenship.

As Holder Of A Free Miner Certificate, You Have Certain Rights Set Out In The Mineral Tenure Act And Mineral Tenure Act Regulation.
These Rights Come With Responsibilities.
You may enter onto mineral lands for the purpose of exploring for, developing and producing minerals or placer minerals.  “Mineral lands” is defined in the Act as meaning those lands in which minerals or placer minerals or the right to explore for, develop and produce minerals or placer minerals is vested in or reserved to the government.  In some cases, this may include private surface.  However, you must recognize the following:
•   The right to enter does not extend to land within the curtilage of a dwelling house, land occupied by a building, cultivated land, or orchard land.
•   You are liable to compensate the owner of private surface for any loss or damage caused by the entry, occupation or use of that land by yourself or an agent.
•   You must give written notice to the owner of private surface if you intend to perform work with mechanical equipment that will disturb the surface.  A copy of this notice must be provided to the Chief Gold Commissioner and the regional Inspector under the Mines Act within 30 days of delivering it to the owner of the surface.
•   It is strongly recommended that you provide advance notice to the owner of private land before you enter upon that land for any purpose related to a mineral title.
•   Section 19 of the Mineral Tenure Act sets out the provisions governing any dispute between a recorded holder of a mineral title and the owner or occupier of private land respecting your entry onto that land.
You may use the surface of a mineral or placer title for mining purposes only.  A claim or lease does not convey any residential or recreational rights to the holder.
A permit under the Mines Act and Code is required before you commence surface disturbance work by mechanical means on a mineral or placer title.  A permit is required from the appropriate agency before you cut trees, use water, etc.  No work should be commenced without approval from the regional Mines Act inspector.
A FMC does not authorize you to hunt, fish, or acquire or carry a firearm.

The next step to complete before you head out to the hills to go prospecting is to go online and check out the Mineral Titles Online website, through this site you will see what areas are open to placer staking as well as which lands are already claimed or staked.  The maps on MTO are colour coded; here is a simple explanation of what the colours represent:
Green Shaded Areas: Parks, Ecological, and Indian Reservations or Treaty Settlement Lands.
Gray Shaded Areas: Private or Leased Property.
Light Pink Areas: Placer Staking Areas.
Outlined Dark Pink: Staked Placer Claim.
Blue Shaded Areas: Water

Mineral Titles Online Map, yellow outlined area; Authors Placer Claim

Area   202,432.0 sq. metres
Point 1:   122° 15' 28" W
52° 15' 30" N
Point 2:   122° 15' 50" W
52° 15' 30" N
Point 3:   122° 15' 50" W
52° 15' 45" N
Point 4:   122° 15' 27" W
52° 15' 45" N

Now it is possible to get the GPS coordinates by selecting the area measuring option and then moving the cursor to the corners of the claim and clicking on the individual corners, these will be in Longitude and Latitude measurements which you can write down and program into your hand held GPS device.  Or you can copy and paste the whole arrangements to your copy of the map for us in the field.  This will aid you in the field so that you don’t end up being accused of claim jumping.
               Mineral Titles Online Map, Fraser River – Williams Lake - Soda Creek Area

Now on this MTO map you are able to see the different private, Indian Reservations, Placer Claims and there is any area along the Fraser River that is also a Recreation Reserve, this doesn’t mean that you cannot stake a claim here, what it does mean is that the surface rights of recreation users must be respected and allowed.
The pink area are open to placer claim staking and all other areas other than the before mentioned Park, Indian Reservation, Treaty Settlement are open for Prospecting as long as you obey the rules and some simple common courtesy’s.


Have added a PDF file so that there are acouple of picutres to explain everything may take some time to open


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