Philip & Sandra Box
- Oct 10, 2014
- Reaction score
- Cue, WA
We have the new GPX6000. It's super sensitive, finds tiny gold deep and of course any other metal that's there as well. However since getting this detector a year ago I've continually wondered whether it is really doing the job as well as our previous detectors.
We started out like most, ignorant nubies with big dreams. I'm not sure when we purchased our first detector but it was just a few weeks before the release of the SDC2300. ( MINELAB RELEASES SDC 2300 GOLD DETECTOR 09 Jul 2014 )
We were trying our luck at panning at 6 Mile on the Tanami Track just south of Halls Creek in Western Australia. We were getting the tiniest of specks of gold and I couldn't see that sort of result in my future. I climbed to the top of a mullock heap, googled metal detectors, called Ray at Karratha Minelab and ordered an SDC2300. Ray said that he would have it delivered directly from Minelab. The next day I called again to be told that the SDC would not be released for another couple of weeks. I thanked him, hung up and called The Prospectors Patch in Perth and ordered a Garrett ATX. It was delivered to the freight depot in Broome a couple of days later.
We never found anything but hotrocks and rubbish on our way home to Capel but we were already several thousand dollars out of pocket so seriously committed. One thing was clear, Mrs M needed a metal detector as well so once home I ordered a Whites GMT for her.
It soon became very clear to me that we needed help from others with experience in metal detecting for gold. We joined the Detecting West Australian Gold forum and put our name down to attend their annual Muster. This was a week out with a small group of dedicated gold seekers at the Niagra Dam near Kookynie. I was a little surprised and disappointed to see how little gold was found, in fact some didn’t find anything at all.
We got lucky and with a bit of guidance and good advice by the end of that week we had our first nugget, a nice little 0.8g piece of gold. Shortly after we were prospecting off on our own so nobody could see us making a fool of ourselves when the ATX picked up a huge signal under the caprock. The rock was not terribly hard but still took ages to dig down to the coke can in the bunny burrow below.
By the time the group broke up and headed home we had the fever so there was no going home for us. We’d learned enough to know how to find a pending lease so we headed north to try our luck on a new patch. We continued to dig bullets and rust until Mrs M lost interest and wandered off up a steep rocky hill nearby. Once again the ATX detected a deep target, it wasn’t loud but clear enough to have me dig a hole about 400mm deep to uncover our second nugget. I yelled to Mrs M “We’ve got gold” she called back “How big” I replied “An ounce”. Well it took her just moments to make her way down that rocky hill and join in the celebration. The nugget weighed in at 35g.
The next morning we left and headed further north to find more gold. We ran into a couple and showed off our find. Their response was “What are you doing here? You never leave a spot like that” so back we went. That same day I pulled out a 6g piece less than a metre from the first and nearly as deep.
After a thorough search for more we moved on to a new pending patch. There Mrs M found her first nugget, a 2.8g piece with the Whites GMT.
We went home with swelled heads thinking we knew it all....
After several more trips out we worked out that Mrs M needed a better detector so we bought our first SDC2300. It was my original choice anyway and after a frustrating start it proved to be a good choice. We bought it new from The Prospectors Pick on our way to the airport. We were flying out to Hawai and planned to detect the beaches for war relics. It was a huge disappointment because the SDC was way too noisy to use with the supplied earphones and embarrassingly noisy to use without. We ended up throwing it back in the boot and detected with the beautifully well behaved Garrett ATX.
Some time later I we made friends with a couple, he had an ATX and his wife had the GPX5000. They worked out that the Minelab was finding more gold and by that time I’d noticed the difference in the gold we were finding. I was finding bigger and deeper gold and Mrs M was finding small surface gold that the ATX couldn’t detect. Our friend sold his ATX and bought a GPX5000 and encouraged me to do the same. I did.
I sold my lovely Garrett ATX and bought a second hand GPX4500 fitted with a Coiltek 14” Elite coil. It was a good move because the Minelab detector still found the big nuggets but also found a lot more smaller nuggets.
This photo of Mrs M holding our finds was taken 2/10/2016. It was our first trip away with the GPX4500 and the SDC2300. We were still learning how to detect for gold but every year after that was better.
I first noticed how well we were doing when our friends traded their GPX5000s for a GPZ7000 each. They were well experienced detectorists by then but the results of their change was not encouraging. Then my brother decided to buy a detector and joined us on our annual trip away swinging a GPZ7000.
His finds were disappointing even though we were on the same ground but I put it down to his inexperience. The following year the result was the same, and then the following year. He didn’t usually come out for the same period of time but while he was there working the same ground I’d constantly find near double the gold with the GPX4500.
Now you might say some people find more gold than others. That’s true but we’ve spent half of our lives together and we usually do equally as well at whatever we do.
This year told the story. My brother saw how much small gold I found with the GPX6000 last year so this year he turned up with a GPX6000 as well. The result was that we found almost exactly the same amount of gold in the same time. The results pretty much confirmed my original thoughts. When he bought the GPZ7000 he spent all his time digging tiny pieces of gold and rubbish that I couldn’t detect with the GPX4500. Instead I walked on covering a lot more distance but finding a lot more gold because I only dug the bigger pieces.
This is the gold I found last year on our annual trip away. Mrs M was not there but I was armed with a brand new GPX6000. I got 800 pieces for 169g. Not near my usual 500g with the GPX4500 but I was only away half of the time.
Every year the Garrett ATX or Minelab GPX4500 found gold nuggets in excess of 20g in size. So far the biggest I’ve found with the GPX6000 is 10g. Now I’m not saying that the GPX6000 and GPZ7000 can’t find big gold. Of course they can but we spend all day digging microscopic pieces of rubbish, lead shot and tiny nuggets that the older detectors ignored. Because of the extra ground covered in the same time the GPX4500 found big gold on a regular basis.
I recently revisited a patch where Mrs M and I cleaned it out and brought home about 80g or so of gold. I got the bigger gold with the GPX4500 and Mrs M got all the small stuff off the surface along with an awful lot of shotgun pellets using the SDC2300. This is the result of my revisit swinging the GPX6000. I spent a morning digging about 40 shotgun pellets that were too deep for the SDC2300 and three tiny nuggets that I couldn’t detect with the GPX4500 and Mrs M most likely missed.
I’m not leaving the GPX4500 at home next time......