Recreational gold panning is allowed in Saskatchewan; however, there are no specific regulations for recreational gold panning or placer mining in the province. The Mineral Tenure Registry Regulations are applicable to any Crown mineral rights issued for the exploration and production of gold by any means, including placer mining.
Using a pan to test the presence of gold can be done without authorization where Crown mineral rights have not been already issued to somebody else. Mineral rights belong to the Crown, except where they are the property of a third party, who would authorize the exploration.
Only the surface land owner can grant surface access rights. Anyone wishing to conduct gold panning must be aware of who owns the land and obtain permission from that person or entity to access the land.
All recreational gold panning must be done with a gold pan. Sluice boxes, concentrators, jigs, trammels, screens and dredges of any size or design are prohibited. No equipment, including hand shovels, can be used to move material to be panned.
The use of any equipment other than a simple pan requires a mineral claim. If mineral exploration activity goes beyond recreational panning, please use the Mineral Administration Registry Saskatchewan (MARS) system to obtain proper mineral claims or leases, or to check the availability of land for mineral exploration.
You may also contact the Mineral Tenure Branch for information about obtaining a mineral claim or a mineral lease. Please provide the land description (i.e., legal subdivision, section, township, range and meridian).
No damage is to be inflicted to the bed, bank or boundary of any water body or water course. If you have questions regarding gold panning in Saskatchewan, please contact one of the following Ministry of Environment offices: