I went to Costa Rica last month, one of the areas we were staying in was famous for gold mining. Large scale gold mining is banned in Costa Rica but panning in the rivers is still allowed for the locals. The rivers are full of fine gold. I went out a couple of times for a few hours with the father of the hotel owners we stayed at. He had been mining gold in Dos Brazos for 50 years, it was amazing watching him pan.
Here is a video I made of the gold panning. I didn't take as many shots as I would've liked as I was too busy enjoying being 5ft deep in water shovelling rocks to get to pay dirt.
I also bought some gold from local miners for £28 a gram, I would’ve emptied my bank account if there was a cash machine but we were in a small village in the middle of no where.