Anyone may pan for gold using only a hand shovel and a gold pan in any watercourse in B.C. except in or on a claim/lease, park, protected area, reserve or heritage site, private property, or First Nations land.
You can use the government’s Mineral Titles Online (MTO) system to make maps that show you where there are claims, private property, parks and First Nations Land.
The government has established a number of Recreational Panning Reserves for hand panning. Using metal detectors and camping in these reserves is not allowed.
A shovel and gold pan are the only tools allowed if…
- you are not on a claim, or
- you want to dig in, or within 3 metres, of the stream.
All legal prospecting or placer mining that is not on a claim is done under the rules for Recreational Hand Panning.
Most of the hand panning rules are from Recreational Handpanning for Placer Minerals.