New mining equipment questions

Sugarcultmillionare

Tenderfoot
Sep 26, 2018
6
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Hello all I’m a fairly novice gold prospector and my current setup is a stock Keene a52 sluice and I know I losing gold. For the most part I’m not worried about it but I’m going out to find gold not give half of it back. I know it could be I’m not setting up my sluice correctly but I’m considering a few other options for better gold recovery. One is converting my sluice box to hog mat setup which I know be better. Another is a grizzly gold trap fluid sluice and from what I’ve seen they work pretty good. My only concern with the fluid sluice is how does it do with clay? The clay is not super thick but it does clump together after classifying. Another thing I was thinking about is has anyone ever thought about or tried using a scrubber or V matting in the fluid sluice to help break up clay.
 
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mytimetoshine

Bronze Member
Jun 23, 2013
1,574
3,362
El Dorado County
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Most people when starting out worry about "losing" gold way to much. I love fluid bed sluices but the Keene is a tried and true, proven sluice. Every sluice losses "some" gold. The tiny amount you may or may not lose is insignifigant and not worth worring about. Shovel more worry less. Just set the sluice so it is exhanging material out at your desired feed rate. If your on gold the Keene will catch it.
 

KevinInColorado

Gold Member
Jan 9, 2012
7,030
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Summit County, Colorado
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Fluid beds handle clay just fine since the gold is hiding at the bottom of the fluid bed.

Today Grizzly Gold Trap announced plans to shut down production due to increasing production costs. Sad day.
 

Actionman

Full Member
Dec 21, 2013
165
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Central Oregon
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Wow sad to hear about GGT, luckily I have one. I think a lot of people are like me, buying the equipment and tinkering with it is half the fun. When all we need to do is shovel more. Nothing works as good as actually spending some time out prospecting.
 

akflyer

Full Member
Jun 29, 2017
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I am pretty sold on using gold hog matting. I ran a bunch of dirt through my high banker that had sharp nasty decaying bed rock in it that was odd shaped and large flat pieces that slipped through the grizzlies and would get hung up in the sluice run making nice big riffles and bare spots on the matt below it. I was pretty convinced that I had blown gold out of the box due to these issues. I used my smaller high banker again with the GH mats in it and re-ran all the tailings from the first run. I was pretty sure I would find lots of gold in it. After an hour of shoveling I found 3 flakes when I cleaned it up. Nothing but hog mats will be in my sluices in the future.
 

Goldwasher

Gold Member
May 26, 2009
6,058
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Sailor Flat, Ca.
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How do you know your losing gold?

Clay only matters if the gold is in it. if it is it will roll on out of any sluice clay is light if gold is in it out she goes.

Fluid beds aren't magic!!!

Vmat or gold hog do not..in any way "scrub" clay.

Gold settles out of flow right away in any stream sluice. If it has somewhere to drop into it will and it will stay.

Save money use the sluice you have it is catching way more than 50% unless its upside down.

Worry about finding better ground, you will get more gold
 
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Sugarcultmillionare

Tenderfoot
Sep 26, 2018
6
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I keep thinking about how I can run more material as efficiently as possible. That was my reasoning behind getting a fluid sluice that would eliminate classifying (minus the material that is too big). I don’t know that I’m losing gold but I know I’m not setting up my sluice correctly in the river. I can get it “close” to where the exchange rate looks good, but I’m seeing too far few fines. It would be easier to setup once a get a stand. The Keene works good I’m just wanting something with more capture zones and something that is going to break up the clay before the clay clumps rolls out the end of the sluice.
 

N-Lionberger

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Dec 1, 2013
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In my Keene A52 I cut out most of the riffles and welded in a piece of 4# heavy expanded, it has lots of capture zones and sheds bigger rocks easily. I typically only classify dirt if I have to carry it any distance. I think the big rocks tumbling through rattle the sluice bed settling the heavies deeper into the moss. If you have clay containing gold it has to be dissolved before being introduced, the old timers would build a puddling box to break up clay and evenly feed their sluices. I also put an adjustable stand on my sluice to ease in setup.
 

Bonaro

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Aug 9, 2004
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A standard Keene A52 sluice, when properly fed, is about 98% efficient. This means if you are using it properly you should only have 2% of your values lost to the tails.
If you are noticing losses that exceed 2% then you need to learn how to properly use the sluice you have, not spend a lot of $ on additional gear.
 

Goldwasher

Gold Member
May 26, 2009
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Sailor Flat, Ca.
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In my Keene A52 I cut out most of the riffles and welded in a piece of 4# heavy expanded, it has lots of capture zones and sheds bigger rocks easily. I typically only classify dirt if I have to carry it any distance. I think the big rocks tumbling through rattle the sluice bed settling the heavies deeper into the moss. If you have clay containing gold it has to be dissolved before being introduced, the old timers would build a puddling box to break up clay and evenly feed their sluices. I also put an adjustable stand on my sluice to ease in setup.


yep. riffles cut out. Replace with larger expanded. welded a couple pieces of flat bar and round stock in for a course could trap.

Over moss and vmat that's glued in.

I WILL NOT classify unless I have limited flow.
 
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Goldwasher

Gold Member
May 26, 2009
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Sailor Flat, Ca.
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I keep thinking about how I can run more material as efficiently as possible. That was my reasoning behind getting a fluid sluice that would eliminate classifying (minus the material that is too big). I don’t know that I’m losing gold but I know I’m not setting up my sluice correctly in the river. I can get it “close” to where the exchange rate looks good, but I’m seeing too far few fines. It would be easier to setup once a get a stand. The Keene works good I’m just wanting something with more capture zones and something that is going to break up the clay before the clay clumps rolls out the end of the sluice.

No three foot sluice with any type of matt or riffle breaks up clay to a noticeable meaningful degree. Because of the matts set up a certain way.

If you really want to break up clay you need slower water and harassment of the clay mechanical or by hand.

For most situations it is not improving your take to spend the time with it.


Try this save the clay in a bucket on your next few trips.

don't trip out over the ones you can't catch.

break them up and pan at the end of the day.

Compare to the take from your box.

Do this a couple times and you won't worry about clay balls anymore.


The main thing is to find out if the gold is in the clay or on the clay. So, sample and work accordingly.

Gold is typically on or under clay. If its "in it" its usually a thin layer on bedrock that isn't hard to break down.
 
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N-Lionberger

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Dec 1, 2013
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Mining on the North Yuba we encountered a red clay which contained gold that was quite rich.
 

Goldwasher

Gold Member
May 26, 2009
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Sailor Flat, Ca.
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Mining on the North Yuba we encountered a red clay which contained gold that was quite rich.

For sure there is clay with gold in it. its just not common enough to warrant breaking up all clay you find because it may have a few specks in it.


You were probably running near the output area of an old hydraulic/sluicing operation. Most in stream clay layers in Gold Country found in present times... were deposited from a nearby upstream mining op.

Unless it is actual virgin ground.

A sluice wont break it down for you if it is there.

Like I said sample and work accordingly.
 
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Sugarcultmillionare

Tenderfoot
Sep 26, 2018
6
6
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In my Keene A52 I cut out most of the riffles and welded in a piece of 4# heavy expanded, it has lots of capture zones and sheds bigger rocks easily. I typically only classify dirt if I have to carry it any distance. I think the big rocks tumbling through rattle the sluice bed settling the heavies deeper into the moss. If you have clay containing gold it has to be dissolved before being introduced, the old timers would build a puddling box to break up clay and evenly feed their sluices. I also put an adjustable stand on my sluice to ease in setup.

Do you mind posting a picture I’ve been trying to picture what you did but there’s so many different ways I’m curious as to what it looks like.
 

N-Lionberger

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Dec 1, 2013
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image1 (3).JPG

The light blue chinese moss is crap, the actual 3M product is far superior this is an old picture. If I were to do it again I would reverse things riffles first.
 

Panman

Jr. Member
Sep 8, 2013
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First, how do you know you're losing gold? Unless you're checking the tailings going off the sluice you don't really know. Before you spend a bunch of money, I'd learn more about setting up your sluice. The Keene A52 is a good piece of equipment. I agree that too many people worry about losing some tiny , tiny gold way too much. It's a hobby, enjoy it.
 

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