Homemade sluice in Amazon w/ GoldHog Mats
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  1. #1

    Nov 2012
    29
    106 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Homemade sluice in Amazon w/ GoldHog Mats

    After pulling most of my equipment out of Tacacoma (only flood gold on surface, nothing on bedrock) I ventured to Yungas province of La Paz Bolivia to visit a mine I recently sold a 320C excavator to. These friends have scores of tailings, as a result of mediocre washplant that blows out almost all the fine gold. Upon arriving since my last visit they had moved their washplant, and I had some lumber brought in to make a quick sluice to test the GoldHog mats Ive had in storage for about a year. This mining area lies east of La Paz and is only about 2 hours away from my home, making it much more accessible by SUV (only 3 streams to cross, and my SUV is pretty low to the ground).

    Heres a view of the valley
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    Heres a view of the Mine from Above (flooded hole where they reached bedrock)
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    The washplant as seen from below
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    Tailings the new locations
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    I went with 46.5cm mats, cutting down the 36 inch mats into 2 and joining them in sections. The idea to run two 3.6mt planks quickly fell apart once we tried unloading the boards off the dump truck. A hardwood named Achachira, the 46.5cm x 2inch x 3.6mt boards must have weighed about 200#s each. You can hit them with a sledgehammer and it wont make a dent. The idea being to add a sluice run below their existing plant (everyone thinks their runs are perfect, and refuse to adjust them) with a 1/2 screen to classify the material coming out of their run and into the new boxes.

    Here you can see the lumber and first box installed.
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    The screen never made it (was left behind), so we adapted sheet of expanded metal and gutter tin as a classifier. Not the best setup but it worked decent (would have liked to have a higher pitch but we did everything by hand in the middle of the rain before lunch). Once it was setup we ate lunch (staple of rice, boiled potatoes and a piece of boiled chicken), and went to work as soon as the rain stopped. I was concerned that it would continue raining as the streams grow my car would have trouble crossing them back out. After lunch they ran one dump truck, and the makeshift classifier worked great.

    Here you can see the classifer working and the waves over the Scrubber mat.



    IMO they run too little water for their 80cm sluice. I pointed that out to them, but they are using water from a pond up above the mine as they dont have the funds for diesel to run the pump below the plant. The area they worked orginally had flooded and with the rainy season upon us its pointless to try to pump it out.

    The clean out from the first truck was good. Scores of fine gold in every batea (wooden pan).
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    Here the gentleman panning it down in the batea


    We ran into a hiccup on the second truck. The screen at the plant is a perforated sheet of iron with 2" holes. They are afraid that if they go down in size a lemon-size piece of gold will blow over. It results in 80% of the material the truck being run thru the sluices. And with the little water they use at the moment it clogged up in the bottom of the box. Taking a long stick to it resulted in a tsunami of material blowing out and running down their sluice and burying the sluice I installed. Like literally buried under 1' of material.

    Heres the aftermath after digging it out by hand
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    All in all it was a good experience, I am scheduled to return on Sunday when they have promised to build up a platform to put the new sluice run.

    Interestingly enough, the first run had fines in it as seen in the picture. The later stuff out of the trucks had mercury covered fines. Not a single speck uncovered. Since the mines upstream are hardrock mines and crush their ore and use mercury to recover it we can only assume thats where the mercury covered gold is coming from.

    I think with time and a little elbow grease adding on a good size run can help these guys increase their recovery rates. In the meantime Im waiting on my Raptor and Champion pump to arrive so that on the weekends I can head out there and spend some time just working the tailings.

    Total recovered is maybe 1 gram, but considered we used an old 5 gallon bucket with Hydraulic fluid residue and did everything on the run it was a pretty good....

  2. #2

    Mar 2016
    1,992
    3066 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Great information.
    Looks like an easy way to feed the material. Does someone wash it in with a fire hose?


    Can you post up some close up pictures of how this works?


    2" screen is pretty big!! They must have already found some large pieces of gold to warrant running the rocks through the sluice.
    What are they using for a nugget trap?
    Last edited by IMAUDIGGER; Jan 19, 2018 at 11:16 AM.
    wildminer and kcm like this.
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  3. #3

    Nov 2012
    29
    106 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by IMAUDIGGER View Post
    Great information.
    Looks like an easy way to feed the material. Does someone wash it in with a fire hose?


    Can you post up some close up pictures of how this works?


    2" screen is pretty big!! They must have already found some large pieces of gold to warrant running the rocks through the sluice.
    What are they using for a nugget trap?


    Heres the guys washing material down. The dump truck dumps it , the guys use hoses to water it down, it goes to the vibrating screen with 2" holes and into the sluices. No nugget traps. None what so ever...

    And OSHA would have a field day it they saw this. No PPE, a 40ft+ drop etc....


  4. #4

    Jan 2008
    249
    269 times
    Aescal, I have tried the Gold Hog matting and then tried the Vortex Dream Mat and found it held onto the much finer gold all the way down to foil gold that has always just floated out of my sluice. I hope you give it a try. Here's a video from an Australian Highbanker Manufacturer who switched from Gold Hog matt to Vortex Dream Matt:www.youtube.com/watch?v=McK_UMsOUbE
    Reed Lukens likes this.

  5. #5
    us
    Aug 2013
    730
    533 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Aescal, thank you for sharing your story, please keep posting, starving for reality, you will likely do well with gh mats, they have been Proven, its about tweaking your setup to run them

  6. #6
    us
    Feb 2017
    North California
    Angus MacKirk Recon, GGT Nugget, Gold n Sand Hand Dredge, Pans and classifiers.
    23
    26 times
    Prospecting
    Yes, please keep this thread updated. The pictures and videos are great.
    wildminer likes this.

  7. #7

    Mar 2016
    1,992
    3066 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by aescal View Post
    Heres the guys washing material down. The dump truck dumps it , the guys use hoses to water it down, it goes to the vibrating screen with 2" holes and into the sluices. No nugget traps. None what so ever...
    Thanks! That's kind of the way I figured it would work. Probably not the most efficient since it probably overloads the sluice box routinely.
    Looks like the operation would benefit from more water, but you can only do what you can afford to.

    How about a shot of their box when it's empty? I'd like to see the riffles/screen/matting that they are confident with?

    Actually nuggets larger than 3/4" would be pretty easily recovered if they spread the oversized gravel around and detected it at the end of the day.
    Have they actually found some impressive nuggets so far?
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  8. #8
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,511
    12003 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    the shaker screen should regulate feed.

    I would for sure talk them into a nugget trap and run the first sluice with a 3/8 to 1" undercurrent

    My opinion is 1 inch max in the slurry with a good pre wash is about the best compromise for a small to medium op.

    If I was running two inch slurry I would definitely have a two stage box as the initial sluice.

    You can run some two inch bar in the second sluice at the end for a nugget trap also.

  9. #9
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,511
    12003 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    the water over the scrubber is way to shallow for that speed and is causing major unwanted turbulence.

    More water would help as you mentioned.

    What kind of recovery set up is in the sluice run that is fed directly by the shaker?
    Last edited by Goldwasher; Jan 20, 2018 at 10:28 AM.

  10. #10

    May 2013
    789
    2345 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Now you know why we require a video to speck out most commercial ops.
    A picture is worth 1000 words, a video is worth 10,000
    We get emails ALL THE TIME with ops sending "estimated specks" about sluice size, width, approx gph, etc, but until you ACTUALLY SEE... water running through the sluice,
    it's almost impossible to speck out properly. Again, we deal with this on a daily basis with over 25 countries. Personally... now that I SEE the system, I would have used a different config and possibly run
    different matting configs in each sluice, with a varying pitch in each one. i.e. --- each sluice would have a different job focused on different size gold. Commercial ops are a different game all together
    as most run 10 - 12 hour shifts and you really have to worry about high volume, IMPACTION, and long term exchange.
    Doc
    Example:
    Gold Hog Sluice Matting and Highbankers www.GoldHog.com

  11. #11
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,511
    12003 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    How much gold are they getting per truck?

  12. #12

    Nov 2012
    29
    106 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Im back from a trip to a copper mine and refinery due SW of La Paz to analyze copper ore milling. My friends at the mine in Palca have finished placing the sluice run, and took my advice on upping the water input (you can see the water volume has increased in the pics). They have asked me for an additional 2 meters of moss, so today Ill work on buying the angle iron and having it welded to make riffle bars. In total there will be 5 meters/ 16.5 feet of GH mats, and 3ish meters of moss with riffle bars. I do have a container coming out of Miami with 10 sheets of expanded metal, but that wont be here for about 2 months.

    The configuration they are using right now yields them about 1 gram per truck, running 10 trucks per hour (they only have one truck), running 2 x 10hr shifts. So ballpark 160-200grams per day..(which is why I cant understand how they are 3 months late on payments for the excavator)

    Im hoping this additional setup will increase that yield. Heres the pics to look at, Ill go back in Tuesday at 5am and stay the whole day. Will post more pics and vids...

    Thanks for looking


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  13. #13
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,511
    12003 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Yikes so, like a gram for 8 to 10 yards or more....oof!?

    I know there's a feed hopper,. Are they stockpiling pay at the feed area or like actually going truck by truck..I guess you did say ten an hour.

    So I guess there's no where to stage pay......
    Last edited by Goldwasher; Jan 22, 2018 at 11:58 AM.
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  14. #14

    Nov 2012
    29
    106 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Got back from the mine late last night. Kinda disappointed that my instructions didn't come across clear enough. "Clean the mats out TWO times per day". Somehow that turned into "Clean the mats out EVERY two days" down the grapevine. Oh well. Did a semi clean out once I was there. Filled a 5 gallon bucket about 3/4 full, but most of the material came out of the first 4 feet of box under the screen, where I put riffle bars over moss. A lot of silt in the mix, which is actually fun to watch (not clean) since the smaller specks of gold sit on top of the muck when we dumped the big red bucket into the 5 gallon one. They are stockpiling that material to pan out once per week.

    Here we have cut the water and getting ready to pull the mats


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    Using a laundry clothes bucket to clean the mats ( I would like to have a 55gallon barrel cut sideways with legs welded on and a nice rubber spray on coating for the future)

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    Here you can see the new config we set up to create a little more turbulence in the run as the angle is a little steeper than I would like.

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    I was kinda shocked to learn that they only plan to clean out their sluice every quincena, 15 days. During my 6 hours there I watched them run approximately 35 trucks worth of material. I walked back to where they are loading and it seems Antonio, the excavator operator, is carefully sorting out the rocks larger than say a medium size yoga ball. No wonder it was taking so long. I spoke to the guys about cleaning their run out (expanded metal over moss) every three days and just stockpiling the clean out to pan together. During a break I had them cut the water and pointed out the moss impacted with material, explaining that all the new material they feed is just gliding over the expanded metal and has no where to settle. Hopefully they took it to heart.


    Heres lunch for day, rice potatoes a sliced tomato and boiled meat. The odd times I do stay at mine for a week or two I end up losing 5-10 pounds. The Mrs. doesnt complain about that or the gold I bring back, only the time that Im gone....

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    Later on before leaving we had a sit down to talk about the late payments and the option of them giving me a stretch of riverbank 1/2 klick downstream to work (I like this idea because Id pay 20% in royalties but end up keeping that as payment for the excavator). Cigarettes, coca leaves, and swigs of rubbing alcohol as we discussed business

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    Then it was time to leave. The fog had really settled in by 4pm and I had to pick up the Mrs. from her english classes at 9pm, which would give me to get home and S,S & S.

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    I went in with my mechanics brother who wanted to see the land for himself and decide whether or not to bring in his backhoe to help out. He had never been back this way and took some incredible video with my phone. Ill post them later on as I upload them but here the trip back as we dodge cars and motorcycles on the mountain road in heavy fog and drizzle.



    Thanks for looking guys and Ill get more stuff posted by Tuesday when I wanna head back. I did have a Goldhog Raptor ordered but somehow my freight forwarded shipped out a transmission instead, so they are resending it air freight and I hope to have it by the time I head back in.
    oldbones, Oddjob and danec71 like this.

  15. #15
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,511
    12003 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Swigs of rubbing alcohol??

    To activate the leaves or for like drinking

    They aren't moving much material daily they should do a clean out daily.

    The moss should clean on its own it still sounds like too little water.

    Or they have shut down more than once and not told you, I imagine they shut down for the night.

    So, they fire up with compacted moss and it stays that way...more of a factor than amount of material fed I'd wager.

    So again how much dirt per truck? As in yards per load. Just curious.
    Clay Diggins likes this.

 

 
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