My idea for a new method of seperating gold from dirt.
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Thread: My idea for a new method of seperating gold from dirt.

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  1. #1

    Aug 2013
    8
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    My idea for a new method of seperating gold from dirt.

    First let me state that I have no experience gold mining and I'm not a professional engineer. That being said, I think I understand the very basics of each. My idea is for a machine that could more efficiently extract gold from dirt without the need for water and pumps. I got the idea from how some people mine diamonds. From what I've read, the diamond bearing ore travels down a conveyor belt and the ore is blasted with X-rays. Since diamonds fluoresce when exposed to X-rays, photoelectric sensors precisely can spot the diamonds and blast them with a jet of air down a separate path. My theory is that you could feed the dry gold bearing pay dirt into a machine and with gentle vibration the pay dirt would pass through a magnetic induction coil (induction heating gold is common). This coil would cause any metals in the dirt to heat up at least 10 or 20 degrees. Now after the dirt passes through the coils it would then slide down a large slotted tray with many strategically placed infrared thermal sensors. These sensors would look for anything that's above ambient temperature and kick them down a separate path ending up in a bucket. Now infrared sensors can detect as little as a tenth of a degree difference. So, to the sensor, spotting little specks of warm gold would be as easy as spotting fireflies on a moonless night. I feel like this would allow you to isolate and get every last bit of gold out of a yard of dirt. Also, wouldn't it allow you to mine in desert areas where water is unavailable? I'm sure you would save money on gas for the water pumps too. Without miners moss you wouldn't have to stop to do clean ups. You just empty out your bucket of gold. So how does my idea sound? Any engineers out there have any thoughts? Do I just have no idea what I'm talking about? This is just a theory from an outsider so don't judge too harshly I feel like there has got to be a better way to separate gold from dirt. There is just too many things that go wrong with sluicing. You set it at the wrong angle you lose gold, too much water not enough water you lose gold, you wait too long to clean your carpets....you lose gold. There must be a more fool proof way to do it. Well, thanks for reading!
    Goodyguy and Alex Burke like this.

  2. #2
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
    3,636
    6325 times
    Prospecting
    Hi Wes, and first off....WELCOME to T-Net!

    Your concept is an interesting one. Would you mind if I played
    "Devil's Advocate" and pointed out a couple of hindrances to
    making it all work as described?

    Along with the gold in that aggregate blend are many other metals,
    especially iron. The black sand will heat up at nearly the same speed
    as the gold, or even faster, and this would be problematic for the
    sensors to differentiate one metal from another.

    If I understand correctly, we wouldn't need to bring water along to
    run a recirculating sluice or other water-fed system, but we would
    need to bring in a large enough generator to power the induction
    coil and other sensitive equipment. That generator would need to be
    running very clean power for those sensitive sensors, so if it's a regular,
    off-the-shelf generator you can also add in at least one 30A power filter
    (about $450). Bigger the induction coil, the more juice it'll take to operate
    it.

    Biggest hurdle I can see though is the black sand and gold heating up
    together. Much of that gold is fine to micro stuff (-50 to -200 mesh),
    and I just can't quite picture a mechanical device that is going to reach in
    and remove that micro-fine stuff from the black sand and gold mix.

    Once those hurdles are overcome it might be something worth a try
    on a very small scale. Know anyone with a lab you can use to develop
    a prototype?

    You're thinking though, and that's where great ideas get started!
    Last edited by DizzyDigger; Aug 19, 2013 at 02:04 AM.
    TerryC, calisdad, loco oro and 2 others like this.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

  3. #3
    us
    TerrysKnifeStore.com

    May 2010
    White Plains, New York
    Minelab GPZ 7000; Equinox 600 -- Teknetics EuroTek PRO -- Grave Digger Tools Nemesis shovel, Sidekick hand digger -- Bunk's Hermit Pick
    17,267
    24159 times
    Metal Detecting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Sounds very expensive. A drywasher and a gold pan is still the way to go in my opinion..

  4. #4

    Jan 2013
    Nevada
    Gold Bug Pro & Lobo
    215
    90 times
    Metal Detecting
    To save time on cleaning out your moss matting ( and the worry of over loading it )
    Spend the money & buy a few more mats. When you think your mats can't handle
    any more material, roll it up, place in a bucket, install another one.
    Take them all home to clean. Saves lugging water too. Works for me !!!
    TerryC likes this.

  5. #5
    us
    This isn't a hobby! It's hard work!

    Feb 2013
    Golden Valley Arid-Zona
    Fisher / Gold Bug AND the MK-VII eyeballs
    3,465
    6156 times
    Prospecting/Mining and protecting our rights to do so.
    Welcome Wes,

    I agree with Dizzy that it's an interesting idea but highly problematic for field work. Instead of going out in a pickup, you'd need an 18 wheeler to haul the equipment. Now for a static plant setup it could work if (and it's a BIG if) you could afford to run it and still make a profit. I just can't see that happening unless you're onto some really REALLY good diggings. There are all kinds of high costs that go with something like this that the normal person seems to over look in the final calculation of profits. If you can't turn a profit on it then you don't do it unless it's only on a recreational scale.
    http://www.mylandmatters.org/
    The one stop place for mining matters on public lands!

    "Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" John F. Kennedy

    When I joined the Army I took an oath to protect this country from enemies both foreign and domestic. To the best of my knowledge I've never been relieved of that oath and will continue to follow it to the best of my ability.

  6. #6
    us
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
    6,856
    10828 times
    Prospecting
    I suggest you try building a small demonstration unit to test the idea. The process of building and testing will be fun. Also if you get it working I bet there's a market for a workbench sized unit among the weekend mining community...us guys will buy almost anything that catches gold...and some of us like new toys to play with
    donb0078 likes this.

  7. #7

    May 2012
    nevada
    1,929
    1526 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi Wes - welcome to the forum. A variation of your idea would be to pass a thin line of dry dirt under a series of Gold Bug 2 type coils which would activate the "puffers" of air for separation. Lighter weight, less power, and proven technology. I'm sure it would require a lot of R & D. Regardless, the videos of
    re-circulating muddy water in desert settings brings out the "eww" response in me. There's gotta be a better way.

  8. #8
    us
    Dec 2012
    Arizona
    211
    223 times
    Prospecting
    This is not exactly the unit I saw before, but there is already a machine that will sort ore particles by color. Along the same line though.

    quartz sand color sorting machine, View color separation machine, Wanbao Product Details from Hefei Wanbao Optoelectronic Technology Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com
    Tyranny is seldom grandiose or obvious. It comes in small doses generally, like a very subtle poison in your day to day life, administered by those near you who have been brainwashed, who are unknowingly acting as a proxy for the tyrant at the top, far removed. Think about that the next time someone gives you a rational reason to modify or restrict or license your rights, 1st, 2nd or any other. This can only benefit the real tyrant ultimately.

  9. #9
    us
    This isn't a hobby! It's hard work!

    Feb 2013
    Golden Valley Arid-Zona
    Fisher / Gold Bug AND the MK-VII eyeballs
    3,465
    6156 times
    Prospecting/Mining and protecting our rights to do so.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fullpan View Post
    Regardless, the videos of re-circulating muddy water in desert settings brings out the "eww" response in me. There's gotta be a better way.
    Well we love that dirty water.... aahhhhhhh The desert is our home!
    http://www.mylandmatters.org/
    The one stop place for mining matters on public lands!

    "Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" John F. Kennedy

    When I joined the Army I took an oath to protect this country from enemies both foreign and domestic. To the best of my knowledge I've never been relieved of that oath and will continue to follow it to the best of my ability.

  10. #10

    Aug 2013
    8
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by DizzyDigger View Post
    Hi Wes, and first off....WELCOME to T-Net!

    Your concept is an interesting one. Would you mind if I played
    "Devil's Advocate" and pointed out a couple of hindrances to
    making it all work as described?

    Along with the gold in that aggregate blend are many other metals,
    especially iron. The black sand will heat up at nearly the same speed
    as the gold, or even faster, and this would be problematic for the
    sensors to differentiate one metal from another.

    If I understand correctly, we wouldn't need to bring water along to
    run a recirculating sluice or other water-fed system, but we would
    need to bring in a large enough generator to power the induction
    coil and other sensitive equipment. That generator would need to be
    running very clean power for those sensitive sensors, so if it's a regular,
    off-the-shelf generator you can also add in at least one 30A power filter
    (about $450). Bigger the induction coil, the more juice it'll take to operate
    it.

    Biggest hurdle I can see though is the black sand and gold heating up
    together. Much of that gold is fine to micro stuff (-50 to -200 mesh),
    and I just can't quite picture a mechanical device that is going to reach in
    and remove that micro-fine stuff from the black sand and gold mix.

    Once those hurdles are overcome it might be something worth a try
    on a very small scale. Know anyone with a lab you can use to develop
    a prototype?

    You're thinking though, and that's where great ideas get started!

    Thanks for the warm welcome and the thoughts Mike!

    Couldn't this fine iron sand be removed with some large neodymium magnets before it gets to the coils?

    As for the power, I was thinking some solar cells with concentrating mirrors might be nice since this would most likely be a desert set up. Sure they're costly up front, but once they're payed for, the rest is all profit. I don't really see this thing being for the "one man on a weekend" miner. This would be more for the medium size multi-person operation. A pan or small sluice is more than good enough for one person. When you have a million dollar operation though an extra 5 or 10 percent is a lot of money. Don't a lot of the bigger guys stay out of the desert because there's no water? Is there such thing as a large dry sluicing operation? If there aren't any big desert guys, then doesn't that mean there must be plenty of fertile virgin ground out there?

    The closest thing I have to a lab is a friend with a fresh phd in physics.

    Thanks again!

  11. #11

    Aug 2013
    8
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by LP13 View Post
    This is not exactly the unit I saw before, but there is already a machine that will sort ore particles by color. Along the same line though.

    quartz sand color sorting machine, View color separation machine, Wanbao Product Details from Hefei Wanbao Optoelectronic Technology Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com
    I feel like sorting visually by color would be less precise and more problematic. That's just my instinct. Thanks for the thoughts.

  12. #12

    Aug 2013
    8
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Fullpan View Post
    Hi Wes - welcome to the forum. A variation of your idea would be to pass a thin line of dry dirt under a series of Gold Bug 2 type coils which would activate the "puffers" of air for separation. Lighter weight, less power, and proven technology. I'm sure it would require a lot of R & D. Regardless, the videos of
    re-circulating muddy water in desert settings brings out the "eww" response in me. There's gotta be a better way.
    The problem I see with using a metal detector is that its incredibly imprecise when in this situation you need ultra precision. It's great for finding a ring in the sand but you need to find a grain of sand in the sand. Thanks for the input!

  13. #13

    Jun 2013
    49
    22 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I find your idea interesting, and it could probably be made to work for more coarse gold. A lot of commercial grade wash plants already use metal detectors to check the over size material that doesn't go through the jigs. Perhaps your idea could be adapted there. As for having the sensitivity detect and sort the very fine particles of gold from the rest of the dirt....I'm doubtful.

  14. #14

    Aug 2013
    8
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Sly1_U View Post
    I find your idea interesting, and it could probably be made to work for more coarse gold. A lot of commercial grade wash plants already use metal detectors to check the over size material that doesn't go through the jigs. Perhaps your idea could be adapted there. As for having the sensitivity detect and sort the very fine particles of gold from the rest of the dirt....I'm doubtful.
    What if the machine was built to classify the pay dirt into lets say 2 sizes.... Regular and fine. So, there would be 2 sections of the machine, each tuned and made to target and separate gold of a certain size. The induction coils in the fine gold section might be set to heat the smaller particles of gold to a higher temp so they would be more visible to the thermal cameras and because the finer particles would cool off quicker. Maybe in the fine gold section, before the coils, there could even be a spinning vertical drum to amp up the centrifugal force so that you could air blast the lighter sand out of the machine. I'm just brainstorming out loud here. My gut tells me that there's a way to configure this hypothetical machine to extract the fine gold dust in addition to the larger bits. It would just take a modified approach.

    What I'd like to know is what's the limit to how small of a gold particle that a normal sluice box can catch?

    Thanks for the comments!

  15. #15

    Jun 2013
    49
    22 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I regularly find gold in my sluice that will pass through a 100 mesh screen. That's small enough I can hardly see it in the pan.

 

 
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