The panning tray is a quest item used in the digsite to pan for gold.
Can also be used before the quest if you bribe the Panning guide with a cup of tea.
It is needed in the Digsite Quest to retrieve a special cup, and there is a chance of finding an opal, which is also needed in the quest.
When panning, players can find gold nuggets, an oyster, an uncut opal, an uncut jade, and coins. Panning provides 2 Fishing xp and 2 Mining xp.