Gold and Prospecting
In Australia, New Zealand and Cornwall, fossicking is prospecting, especially when carried out as a recreational activity. This can be for gold, precious stones, fossils, etc. by sifting through a prospective area. In Australian English and New Zealand English, the term has an extended use meaning to "rummage". The term has been argued to come from Cornish.
In Australia, "fossicking" is protected by a number of laws which vary from state to state. In some states such as Queensland, fossickers must obtain a licence but in others, (e.g., New South Wales) no licence is required.
In South Australia, fossicking is defined as "the gathering of minerals as (a) a recreation; and (b) without any intention to sell the minerals or to utilise them for a commercial purpose", and these activities are considered as not being affected by the Mining Act.
Generally, this activity is regulated by the relevant State Government Department with certain rules to be followed. These typically include requiring the landowners permission for access, use of hand (non-powered) tools only and restrictions on the amount of material that can be removed in a day.