Like most things you learn in your life, it comes to us progressively. It has been just like that for me learning about Sluices Boxes and recovering fine gold. This progression took me through some real “eye opening” experiences as I have written in previous articles, and am continuing to do so with this latest installment. Sometimes old ideas and practices die hard – keeping an open mind is paramount.
As I said in the last part of this article – this guy comes up to me at the Salem Gold Show and says, “Do you want to see something?” “Sure I would like to see something” I said – not knowing that my life was about to change forever. Bending down, this guy takes a strange looking sluice box like device from his wheeled case and then asked me if there was Gravel and Black Sand in my Gold Tub. I said that anything in a river is in my Tub. Taking that strange device over to the Tub, he put it just a little bit under the water then scooped up an amount of gravel from the bottom and dumped it on the strange device. Shaking this sluice box device, the gravel started to fall off the two open sides that it had leaving what looked like a thin veneer of Black Sand.
Lifting the sluice box device out of the water he pointed it at me to have a look. To my total amazement I saw gold flakes stuck into the Black Sand layer of the device. It took me about 10 seconds to drop two years of research as I realized that no matter how well I could make a Miller Table, or for that matter, anything else work, it wouldn’t ever compare to what I just saw. The future had arrived! But what was it that I was seeing anyway? Asking if I could take a closer look at this strange new device, the guy handed it to me too observe.
Taking it into my hands I asked him what do you call this little eye opener? “The Inventor calls it the “Prospector” sluice box he said as I stared at the gold flakes stuck into what looked like Corduroy Pants made from the Black Sand. “Is this magnetic?” I asked turning the device one way then another. “Yes it is.” he said. “The magnetic current holds the Magnetite in the Black Sand to the pattern you see there. When something heavy like gold falls into the layer it forms, it gets stuck and then descends towards the bottom surface because the substrate is not solid.”
What all of this means is revolutionary, I was thinking. It was like having a three-dimensional non-fixed matrix Miller Table on Steroids. Wow! The concept was so simple yet so dynamic. I needed to know more about this exciting approach to an old problem and how far can you push it as a gold recovery device. To do this I needed to talk to the Inventor to learn more and see what was known and what was available to try. Getting the information for contacting the Inventor, I thanked my new friend and continued to finish the Gold Show while still thinking on what I had just seen.
A few days after the Gold Show I phoned up the Inventor and introduced myself. I explained to him that I had seen his Prospector Sluice box work and wanted to know if I could visit him to learn more about his invention. He consented and we made an appointment for that weekend. The time finally came, so I drove to his house which was only a few blocks from the Ocean. The inventor, a dedicated Microscopist, is well known on the Beach for running and experimenting with his invention to recover micro gold particles from the Black Sands of the Ocean. After our first greetings he suggested we go to the Beach and see the Sluice Box in action. All that day I watched the magic of his Sluice working the Black Sands of the Beach.
Finally we finished up and returned to the house for a clean up of the days take. Watching the clean up was quite an experience. All of that Black Sand was reduced to a small hand full of material and then panned out with a skill that only a few folks have that I’ve ever seen. And the show wasn’t over yet. Taking me to another room, he sat down at a table that had a Microscope the size of a small child and preceded to make a Slide of the gold he had taken from the Beach. Now putting the Slide onto the holder of this Microscope, he made some adjustments, and then motioned me over to have a look. Putting my eye to the Microscope, a whole new world opened up to me.
The little specks that I saw in the Black Sand were now like giant nuggets with unique and various shapes. Commenting on this to him, he pointed out that these shapes could tell the history and source of their origin. (He believes as many Scientists do, that gold has arrived here from outer space and is still an, ongoing event.) I was also later to learn that shape of the gold particles does have an effect on the recovery of them. So went the rest of that day, leaning and trying to absorb as much as I could. Before leaving, we discussed a possible business deal and what I could do selling his technology as a product. I was now hooked into what I consider to be the future of a gravity system for the recovery of Micro Gold. The lessons I was about to learn were considerable and eye opening even to this day.
…To be continued.
The Fossicker 2015
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