Sinking a Placer Test Shaft: "Greywolf's" Method

(Old timers working a gold mine in the Cariboo District.)


A good portion of my readership is from Canada and I consider myself fortunate to have come into contact with a number of Canuck placer gold miners. Like my Aussie "fossicking" friends, I've found Canadian miners to be forthright, hard-working, and folks that let nothing stand between them and getting the gold.

Gold Panning Kits
Mining Equipment

One Canadian miner I'd like to bring to your attention is Eric "Greywolf" Brigden. "Greywolf" works a series of claims in the Cariboo Mining District of beautiful British Columbia, and he's no slouch when it comes to to getting the job done, no matter what it takes.

Now I know you've heard me tell you many times that small-scale gold mining is very hard work. Lest you still doubt that fact, listen to what "Greywolf" has to say and then take a look at the video links he sent me showing him and a "pard" cribbing a placer test shaft:


 "Here's a little series I shot at one of my claims in the Cariboo, B.C. area of Canada. They show how I do cribbing and work my way down a test shaft. Mainly I get real fine gold this way, about a gram per yard. You can see the gold in the last couple of videos and the methods I use to crib the shaft, close it in for safety, as well as cutting the cribbing timber from raw beetle killed pine trees."

"This is in a area that was not prospected during or after the Cariboo Gold Rush and it doesn't show up in any of the old mining's just something I stumbled across in my travels. Maybe you'll find something useful in the videos.....I will be going back come Spring to do further testing and highbanking."

Video 2: Sinking and Cribbing the Shaft

Video 3: Setting Up the Windlass and Some Gold

Video 4: Highbanking and Gold Clean Up

Getting the Job Done

What you've just seen on these videos is a "miner's miner" getting the job done the old-fashioned way. I also suspect many of you out there have never seen this sort of mining preliminary work being done step-by-step.

"Greywolf" is being modest when he says that "maybe you'll find something useful in the videos." You mining novices out there take takes hard work to get the gold out of the ground and don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

You can find more of Greywolf's videos on YouTube and he can also be found on the Canadian Gold Prospectors' Forum. My thanks to "Greywolf" for providing this valuable info and instruction (and a shout out to Jen for helping things along!).

Good luck to all.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Canadian Miner Hits Gold in Glacial Till (Part 1)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Thanks Greywolf and JR... Nice addition to the toolset, if turning into a serious gopher becomes necessary what I learned from Greywolf's video's should help keep big chunky bits where they belong!


  2. Thanks for the comments Charlie. Yep, "Greywolf" knows mining and lots can be learned from him. J.R.

  3. J.R.,
    As you may have found out by now, the guy that has the Canadian Prospector Forum was open to having me post a link to this blog on the forum, in fact he got so twisted about things, (his political motives)that I didn't believe in or support that, dang the bugger banned me, anyway have a video for the folks that follow your site and would mention that I have started a new forum for gold and mineral prospectors, THE GOLD PROSPECTORS FORUM, yes it is based from BC Canada, but we're looking at invloving the world wide web in this, so if ya all want take a look and maybe join in, just launched it on the 31st of Dec 2011, so still working on the theme and modifications, so give me a little slack, I'm an computer illiterate redneck, just learning the ropes of this computer stuff, heres the link if you want...........Greywolf

  4. I'm sorry to hear about that BS Greywolf. You know I'll support you any way I can. Will take a look at the site and recommend that all my readers take a gander. Best of luck and don't let the bastards grind ya down! J.R.


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