Sluicing for Gold

Sluicing for Gold

sluicing for gold

sluicing for gold

Sluicing for gold is the process of taking river gravels and passing them through a sluice box – this acts like a concentrator. The sluice box gets rid of the lighter and worthless river material yet retains the heavier and hopefully expensive materials such as gold and platinum.

How to begin Sluicing for gold

To sluice for gold you will need – a sluice box, obviously :) , a shovel, decent river flow, a shovel/spade, a gold pan for testing areas and some elbow grease.

You should begin by taking test pans of certain areas along and in the river bank, you can learn more about where to find gold in a river here, you could also check the banks of a river for bench deposits.

Once you have found what you think to be a decent gold producing area you can begin sluicing for gold. This involves taking spades full of river materials, sorting them by size through the screens of the classifier and then passing them through the sluice box. The sluice box will then act as a miniature river system and hopefully leave the gold and heavier materials behind.

Setting up for sluicing gold

The sluice box must be perfectly set up in the river to extract as much gold as possible. Although 100% gold recovery is virtually impossible (some pieces of gold can be microscopically small) there are some simple things to remember to minimize gold losses –

The water must be running over the sluice box in an even flow, any turbulence in the sluice box may disrupt the gold recovery. It is best to have no white water or foam being produced by the sluice box, these are areas of high turbulence that may lose you your gold.

The riffles in the sluice box must be set to the correct angles, otherwise large gold may be lost. If you have made the sluice box yourself you can change these angles easily. If you bought the sluice box then everything should be OK as the manufacturer would have taken this into account.

Expanded metal should be placed below the riffles to collect smaller gold than the riffles will collect.

There should also be miners moss beneath the expanded metal, this will catch the smallest of gold.

It is also recommended that V Mat be used at the start and end of the sluice box – the v mat at the start can be inspected to see if gold is being fed into the sluice box and the v mat at the end can be inspected to see of gold is being lost back into the river.

Once you have finished sluicing for gold you can empty all of the remaining contents into a large bucket, you can ether bring these home and pan them out or if you can, pan them on the spot. Some people like to use gold separator wheels for this and other types of fine gold recovery equipment, all work equally well.

Advantages of Sluicing for Gold

The advantages of sluicing for gold are many –

  • quicker gold recovery than panning
  • more efficient gold recovery (less time wasted panning out large materials)
  • larger volumes of materials can be passed through the sluice box
  • not as much work as panning gold
  • several people can use one sluice box
  • they can be easily homemade
  • they are cheap to buy
  • you get more gold in less time :)