Napo Province Gold Prospecting
by Brian Kanis
Hi Guys, I think it's been a while since anyone has posted in this forum, but for anyone who is still out there, this is for you...
I am currently in Tena, Ecuador with the hopes of finding gold. I am new to prospecting and I although I thought I had an idea of where to start, I am now somewhat discouraged. I purchased a gold pan in Quito and I plan on heading up the rivers to a nearby town in the Napo province, then I will be setting out into the mountains to camp for a few days.
The only piece of equipment I have is the pan, however, if all goes well, I plan on building a compact sluice and the returning to areas where I find a higher concentration of gold. Panning seems to be the most labour-intensive / time-consuming process to find gold, but if I pick the right areas, it should be a good way just sample, right? Another piece of equipment that I am now thinking of constructing is a hand dredge, however, I am unsure on whether the local Ferreteria will have all of the parts I require.
If anyone has any information or would like to join me on the adventure, please email me. I'm 20 years old in good physical condition, and I'm determined to find gold to fund my adventures. If anyone already has a sluice or hand dredge for sale in Ecuador, I would gladly take it off of your hands. I plan on staying for 3 months, but if I am able to at least cover my daily expenses, I may never leave. I'm looking forward to any response :)
Stan's response: Hi Brian, you remind me a lot of myself. It seems like only a short time ago (it was actually 25 years ago) that I arrived in Tena with a gold pan and a dream.
My journey there lasted nearly 10 years. I think I must have prospected up every river and stream in the Province. I found gold nearly everywhere I went.
My biggest recommendation for you would be to first study how the Natives pan and produce gold along the Jatunyacu and Napo Rivers. Copy what they do. Almost all of them can pan a gram or two in a few hours. That will get you started.
Be aware that there are several different sources of gold in the area. My favorite gold is found in the ancient river channels. It is big and coarse.
The Anzu River erodes many ancient channels and carries a lot of big gold. Between the Jatunyacu and the Anzu, you could be very busy for years to come. You just need to get a good start and become self-sustaining as soon as possible.