Recreational Gold Mining
I have previously heard about people like Raffi Stepanian, who make a living by scavenging around New York and looking for miscellaneous items (mostly jewelry) – here is an article about him from Daily Mail.
And while it is still possible to find something worth a pretty penny in Vancouver, there are other ways to look for valuable items. Today I learned that there are several places around BC, that may be used for mining gold and minerals, recreationally.
No Registration Reserves
The No Registration Reserve (NRR), previously termed No Staking Reserve (NSR), prohibits a free miner from registering a mineral claim and/or a placer claim over a parcel of land. A Coal Land Reserve (CLR) prohibits a person from applying for a coal license over a parcel of land.
You can either reserve a piece of land for your own use, or go to the Recreational Panning Reserves. The Ministry has created a number of those around the Province that are open to the general public to use for recreational gold panning. The tools used are 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 (for obvious reasons).
Here is the Recreational Panning Reserves list from the Ministry of Energy and Mines (with maps). Most of them are located in the Southern Part of BC. The closest to Vancouver are Hope Recreational Gold panning Site (about 150 km), and Yaletown Recreational Gold Panning Site (about 180 km).
Below is a Google Maps location listing from an unofficial source.
View BC Recreational Gold Panning Sites in a larger map