Gold prospecting has always been an adventurous and exciting activity for many people. With the right equipment, you can uncover gold nuggets hidden in Western Australia’s mineral-rich soils. In this article, we will discuss the best gold detectors to use for gold prospecting in Western Australia, focusing on Minelab’s top models: the GPX 6000, GPZ 7000, SDC 2300, and GPX 5000. We’ll also explore the importance of coil size and how to navigate challenging terrains like regolith, duricrust, and iron-rich soils.

1. Minelab GPX 6000

The Minelab GPX 6000 is an excellent choice for prospecting in Western Australia. This detector uses pulse induction technology, which makes it particularly effective at finding gold nuggets in mineralized soil. The GPX 6000 is lightweight and easy to use, making it perfect for beginners and experienced prospectors alike.

Key features of the GPX 6000:

  • Pulse induction technology
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Excellent performance in mineralized soil

2. Minelab GPZ 7000

The Minelab GPZ 7000 is another top-tier gold detector that boasts impressive features to help you find gold nuggets in challenging environments. This model is designed to handle the highly mineralised soils and laterite terrains found in Western Australia.

Key features of the GPZ 7000:

  • Superior depth and sensitivity
  • Works well in mineralised soils and laterite terrains
  • Waterproof coil for use in shallow water

3. Minelab SDC 2300

If you’re looking for a compact, all-terrain gold detector, the Minelab SDC 2300 is your best bet. It’s perfect for those who want to cover vast areas quickly, as it can easily be folded up and transported. The SDC 2300 is also effective in iron-rich soils, making it a great option for Western Australia’s goldfields.

Key features of the SDC 2300:

  • Compact and foldable design
  • Works well in iron-rich soils
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet

4. Minelab GPX 5000

The Minelab GPX 5000 is a versatile and powerful gold detector that offers excellent performance in a wide range of terrains. With its pulse induction technology and adjustable settings, the GPX 5000 can be customised to suit your prospecting needs.

Key features of the GPX 5000:

  • Pulse induction technology
  • Adjustable settings for optimal performance
  • Suitable for various terrains

Understanding Regolith

When gold prospecting in Western Australia, you’ll encounter various types of regolith, including nuggets in regolith, duricrust, saprolite, and iron-rich soils. These conditions can make it challenging to find gold nuggets, but understanding the terrain and using the right gold detector can significantly improve your chances of success.

Nuggets in Regolith

Gold nuggets in regolith are often found in the weathered layer of bedrock. The GPZ 7000 and GPX 6000 are excellent choices for detecting nuggets in regolith, thanks to their superior depth and sensitivity.


Duricrust is a hard, iron-rich layer that forms in the soil. The SDC 2300 and GPZ 7000 are both well-suited for detecting gold nuggets in duricrust, as they can effectively penetrate this challenging terrain and locate gold nuggets hidden within.


Saprolite is a soft, clay-rich layer of soil that can be difficult to prospect. However, the GPX 5000, with its adjustable settings, can be tailored to effectively detect gold nuggets in saprolite conditions.

Iron-rich Soils

Iron-rich soils are common in Western Australia and can create challenges for gold prospectors due to the presence of ferrous materials. The SDC 2300 and GPZ 7000 are both adept at handling iron-rich soils, allowing you to successfully prospect in these areas.

Importance of Coil Size

When choosing a gold detector, it’s crucial to consider the coil size, as it can significantly impact your prospecting results. The most common coil sizes for gold detectors are 11-inch, 17-inch, and 19-inch. Each size has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your specific needs.

11-inch Coil

The 11-inch coil offers the best balance between sensitivity and ground coverage. It’s the perfect choice for beginners and those who want to cover a moderate amount of ground while maintaining high sensitivity for small gold nuggets.

17-inch Coil

A 17-inch coil provides greater ground coverage, allowing you to scan larger areas more quickly. However, it may be less sensitive to smaller gold nuggets. This coil size is ideal for experienced prospectors who want to maximise their chances of finding gold in a shorter amount of time.

19-inch Coil

The 19-inch coil offers the largest ground coverage but may sacrifice some sensitivity to small gold nuggets. This coil size is best suited for professional prospectors who need to cover vast areas quickly and efficiently.


Gold prospecting in Western Australia can be a thrilling and rewarding experience if you have the right gold detector. The Minelab GPX 6000, GPZ 7000, SDC 2300, and GPX 5000 are all excellent choices, each with their unique features suited to the diverse terrains and conditions you’ll encounter.

Remember to consider the type of regolith and coil size when choosing a gold detector, and happy prospecting!

By Editor