Sluice Boxes Riffle-less Systems Part 6

Solving complex systems is difficult, but sometimes one gets lucky and finds the solution through throwing a dart at a problem and finding that it stuck to the target. This is how I felt when I finally found the right combination to solve my problem with gold loss in my Sluice System.

“There must be an answer”…that’s what I was thinking looking at the results of my experiments to find the perfect combination to solve my gold loss situation with my Sluice. (See Part 5.) Though I was getting good results simply using Raised Rubber Ribbing with my Cleangold Sluice, it still wasn’t up to the goal I was seeking. What was that goal? To keep most, if not all of the heavy material passing through my Sluice from 1/4” on down into the invisible range. What I thought was needed is some type of material or perhaps device to cause a change to the angle of attack for flat and barrel shapes running down a sluice.

Explanation: Water pressure pressing upon an object causes that object to react to that pressure depending on the weight and shape it has. An example of this effect is when a light particle, particularly, let us say, a flat thin round object confronts a pressure such as from water, it has a tendency to act like let’s say, a surf board, and ride the current at the level conducive to its weight and shape. Fundamentally, this is one of the reasons why a Riffle or like objects don’t have much success with capturing various weights and shapes.

Placer Gold Recovery Research, Final Summary, Dec. 1990, Randy Clarkson P. Eng., Pg.16

Placer Gold Recovery Research, Final Summary, Dec. 1990, Randy Clarkson P. Eng., Pg.16

Sometime later while doing a gold show, I was approached by someone with a sample of gold and black sand mix. He told me that the sample was ran through a new device that used only Matting, and was wondering if Cleangold could get better results. Not being able to check out any difference at a gold show, I decided to take a quick look at the Matting being used in this new device. Fortunately the inventor of this new device was present, so I had a talk with him and obtained a piece of the Matting being used. After the show was over, I found time to trace where to obtain a piece big enough to check out its performance in real conditions.

About a month later, the spring weather was just right to take my experimental, Cleangold Highbanker down to a river for a workout. Everything was the same set up I usually use except I added a full plate of the new Matting I obtained for experimental purposes. Putting a large tub in front of the mouth of my Highbanker to catch the tailing for further inspection of gold loss, I turned on my motor and pump, adjusted the pitch, roll and flow on the Sluice, then started shoveling bank gravel into the Hopper. After several hours of shoveling gravel, it was time to check the results of my experiment.

As the water flow stopped running down my sluice, I could see a fair amount of gold on the first plate which consisted mostly of a Slick Plate with Raised Rubber Ribbing. The next plate was Cleangold which needs to be processed to see the gold, and the last plate was the new Matting which also needs to be processed to see the results. Before checking the last 2 plates of the sluice materials, I decided to see what was the gold loss from the sluice that would be sitting in the tailing tub. It took us some time to break down the tailing, (yes I do have “sidekicks” on hand), but to our surprise, we couldn’t find any loss. What!? How can that be? Finally I broke down the remaining 2 plates of material on the sluice and examined the results hoping to find why I didn’t lose any of the gold. The only knowledge that came from the experiment was that the lead plate material caught most of the gold and the second caught somewhat less and the third plate caught what was left.

Hint: When checking your Sluice for efficiency, examine for gold along the edge of the sluice mouth. If gold is present, chances are that you are losing gold. One solution that some Sluice/Highbanker manufactures do to solve this problem is to sell you an extension piece called a “Long Tom.” In the old days Sluice/Long Tom combinations could run from 250’ to 2000’ long! One reason for this was that they were using their Sluices not only for capturing gold, but to also for classifying the cobble/gravel mix as well as an attempt to handle the water pressure problem.

There was much to think about. If I’m not losing gold, is it the sequence of the material on the sluice or is it the materials itself or what?

Another week went by and with much thinking, it was decided to switch the sequence of the plates with their different materials and try it again. Once again at the same spot on the river the Highbanker was set up just like before except that the material plates were arranged in a different sequence. After another run of the same gravels, the tailing was panned for gold loss. To everyone’s surprise the results were the same as last week including the lead plate collecting most of the gold! It appeared that the sequence of the different matting’s wasn’t the reason for its superior performance. Perhaps it is Synergistic compatibility that is one of the keys to its success. What am I talking about?

Explanation: Explanation: When designing a working system like let’s say, a racing car, and other systems are involved to complete it, these systems must compliment the actions of each other in order to work in a proper way. These systems working together in a complimentary way would be called Synergistic. The reverse of this, for instance in the mining world, we can find situations that reflect just the opposite of synergistic systems as let’s say, putting Riffles on top of Expanded Metal. These 2 systems work well onto themselves, but combining them into one unit by stacking one on top of the other defeats the outcome of their purpose. Why? Because each system works at different water pressures, which makes them un-synergistic so they work against each other. Is there a solution to this particular problem? Yes…run them together, but separately by proper design parameters. Picture2

With the success of the initial experiments, it was now time to find out just how little of the different materials was needed to do the magic before they failed and what sequence of the materials was needed if any. Without going through all of the experiments that were done, what has been settled upon is my Cleangold Products which I offer on the market to you. With the new revolutionary Cleangold Sluices and Highbankers, you can take on mining recovery situations from beach to the river with amazing results from total black sand to regular gravels in the 1/4”to the deep invisible range such as many Hard Rock Mines are processing, and can process from 10 to 20 pounds a minute clean up system to 10 tons an hour production use. In conclusion: if you have any questions about our system, or if you think that you have a better system in recovery as well as the economical cost, please bring it on head to head with us. Any takers?

Cheers.

The Fossicker,
Dennis Katz

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sluice Boxes Riffle-less Systems Part 5

Dennis Katz showing the dust and micro gold that can be captured with the Cleangold System. Some of the particles shown are actually invisible by themselves. The only reason you can see them is because they are clustered together to make what looks like a larger solid object.

Dennis Katz, using his Maverick Finishing Pan, shows the dust and micro gold that can be captured with the Cleangold System. Some of the particles shown are actually invisible by themselves. The only reason you can see them is because they are clustered together to make what looks like a larger solid object.

It has been quite an experience reaching the level of understanding I now possess. Like most folks, being trapped in “the box” of conventional thinking and technology, it was the drive to find something better, if that was possible, and attempt to do something different to achieve it. From that first Sluice I used on the Arrow River in New Zealand to where I now find myself working in what appears to be the evolution of that technology, I’m now locked in and it appears there is no turning back to the past.

After several lessons with the Inventor of Cleangold running a Beach Box Sluice on the beach, (read Part 4.) I began working with it by myself. At that time here in Washington State, you were not allowed to mine on the beaches so I had to go down to Oregon in order to pursue my interests. In Oregon, also at that time, and even to this day, you are only allowed to Ground Sluice as it is not allowed to use any mechanical or circulation systems on the beaches there. The strange conundrum of this law is that if you are off of the beach line, you can Highbank or do other pursuits not allowed on the beach. So far the only answer I’ve had from any authority on this subject is that they think that anything but Ground Sluicing interferes with tourism there. Go figure! Since this article isn’t an argument with the law, I will not go into what I think of their stand on this issue, but to be fair, I will mention that it is now legal here in Washington State (after a long fight and testing period,) to beach mine on a recreational level with almost any style of equipment though you must have a permit first to do it. (This permit is not difficult to obtain.) The reason I mentioned the stand of law in my area of the North West, is that it had a big effect on my development of the Cleangold product beyond beach use which I handle today.

Over time I did many trips to the ocean testing and getting used to my Cleangold Sluice. This was proving difficult as I live far from the Oregon beaches which was the only place to go then. This problem started me thinking about producing a Cleangold Sluice/Highbanker that could handle just about every environment, be portable and handle 1/4″ on down gravels in regular to very heavy black sand situations. (The Inventor of Cleangold advises and also builds large inland and river systems for large operations worldwide.) Since that element of the Cleangold system is covered, I wanted to focus more on the recreational and small mining operators. It was now time to see what was possible. The first problem that concerned me was that Cleangold works best with very fine and micro gold yet not so well with flake “Surf Board Type Gold.” (Most systems suffer from this shape.) I decided to see if this problem could be addressed and eliminated. Rejecting Riffle Systems, I decided to try various matting’s. Since I had good luck with Raised Rubber Ribbing in the past, plus seeing that it was somewhat popular with the beach sluicing crowd, I installed a large section of it on my new longer Slick Plate and attached this to my now “Slide Together” Cleangold Sluice. I then proceeded to install adjustable legs to address making a Highbanker later. It was now time to test my sluice.

Standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean, I picked up my new Cleangold Sluice and climbed down the path to a popular stream below on the beach. This particular stream ran particular stream ran fairly shallow, but fortunately a Cleangold Sluice can run very well under those conditions with minimal water pressure. Finding a good spot and setting up my sluice there, i found some layers of black sand and shoveled it into the Slick Plate in a timely fashion watching the water carry the sand down the Sluice. As I fed the sand, I could see tiny gold particles showing up in the Raised Rubber Ribbing. With a big smile, I continued to feed my hungry sluice in a timely fashion dropping a black sand slurry from side to side on the Slick Plate. So it went for the rest of the day until the sun was just a dot on the horizon. Taking up and cleaning off my sluice, I could see it was a good day indeed and the new addition of Raised Rubber Ribbing was diffidently a plus addition. It was now time to test the Cleangold Sluice as a Highbanker under river conditions, but first I needed to do a few modifications to my set up.

Building A Highbanker Sluice

Building A Highbanker Sluice

Designing a new and different Highbanker called for some major changes. The first was to add another piece of Cleangold Sluice to the set up including an extended Slick Plate. To this I added a custom Hopper of my own design, (most Hoppers on the market are stupid at best,) and a 1.5HP motor with a very good pump to drive the Spray Bars with water for the Hopper and Sluice. Now to put it too the test.

Traveling all day, I reached a river in another State away from ocean conditions that I was familiar with. Having been told in advance of a good place on this river to try out, I set up my new experimental Highbanker there and fired it up. Water started flowing from the Spray Bars set on my Hopper then proceeded through a 1/4″ Woven Steel Screen down to a Special Classifier, then to a Secondary Plate which directs the water to the back of the Hopper, then drops around a Curved Rubber Sheet and onto the Slick Plate and down to the sluice. With this configuration the water speed is not broken and the classified gravels will not fall in a clump upon the Slick Plate causing water flow and sorting problems. After several adjustments to the water pressure, level, pitch, etc, I started feeding raw gravel into the Hopper.

Everything worked just as it was made to do and gold capture was very good though I was still losing some of the flat round shapes and barrel types out of the sluice and back to Mother Earth with the tailing. Even though my recovery ratio was satisfactory, this was frustrating as my goal was to get every drop of gold if that was possible to do. There must be an answer – I had to keep looking.

…To be continued.

Cheers,

The Fossicker 2015

_____________________________________

copyright © 2014-2015 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sluice Boxes Riffle-less Systems Part 4

beachLike 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.

The Prospector by Cleangold Sluice Boxes

The Prospector by Cleangold

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.

black sandA 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.

Cheers,

The Fossicker 2015

_____________________________________

copyright © 2014-2015 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Sluice Boxes Riffle-less Systems Part 3

Finding and retrieving gold of any type is not that easy for most of us. It is especially true for fine and micro gold, which in reality is a good part of what is out there to be recovered.

Micro Gold

Micro Gold

This was on my mind for some time since I was noticing that all of the gold I am finding, is ¼” and under. (See part 2.) Talking to other Prospectors/Miners about this, I found that recovering the small stuff was more the rule – not the exception, and the smaller the gold – the more difficult it was to capture easily. I really liked my present Sluice (see part 2.), but what if I’m missing out on extra gold and don’t even know it? Also, just what size is considered Fine and Micro gold anyway? Looking at the MESH TO MICRON CONVERSION CHART (go here), and knowing that a good eye can only resolve to around 270 Mesh, I settled on anything beyond 200 Mesh to be micro gold. “So how can I get these small particles and what’s out there to do it with?”- I wondered. Starting to research the subject, the first device I came across was called a Miller Table.

A Miller Table is basically a flat roughened plain that you put on a slant, and then run a certain amount of water down this surface with your fine gold and gravels being poured onto it. As the water moves the lighter material away, the gold, being heavier, gets caught up on the roughened surface. The original Miller Tables were made of Slate and were used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians to process powered hard rock and also by the Old Timers of yesterday.. Though this system has some success at gathering fine and micro gold, it lacks speed to get the job done in a timely way with any bulk volume of concentrates. In spite of this problem, Miller Table like devices, going under many fancy names, are still used today, but by mostly recreational type miners processing small amounts of gravels.

Jason and the Golden Fleece

Jason and the Golden Fleece

Another approach I found to claiming fine and micro gold in a Sluice was to use a knurly type material. This technique goes way back to probably one of the first ways humans sluiced for gold in a commercial sense. Remember Jason and the Golden Fleece? (Probably sheep skin.) This story goes way back to BC. Times and no one really knows just how old it is, but it seems to me that the reality of the story is set in symbolism and fact. Surprisingly, the idea of the Golden Fleece relating to gold collecting is still alive and well today and survives in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. In fact there is a Touring company there in Georgia that will take you into the Mountains where the locals are using this traditional method to capture the gold just like in ancient times. Pretty cool I think. See more here: Explore Outdoor Other cultures have also used knurly materials like for instance Hemp and Cotton bring used for Sluices in Japan, Burlap used by the Chinese in the Snake and Columbia Rivers of the U.S.A. and elsewhere, including Blankets used by many different cultures as well. In modern times many miners use Miners Moss, Carpeting, Astroturf and various Belting in an effort to catch fine and micro gold.

At this point I should mention another method that was very popular for many years, but is now mostly phased out by Law, was to coat Copper Plates with Mercury then run crushed gravels or beach sands down the plates with water which are held within a Sluice. When finished, the Mercury was scraped off the Plates, then they Retorted, Shammed or “Potato-ed” the Mercury from the gold.

All of these methods work to one degree or another, but with most systems, they have various drawbacks. After careful consideration I decided to see if perhaps there was a way to make a Miller Table work at a faster rate so to make it more commercially acceptable. To this endeavor I spent a lot of my time seeing if it was possible. I was slowly making progress with this project when one day while I was demonstrating (like the video below) the Pyramid Pro Production and Maverick Finishing Pans at a Gold Show in Salem. Oregon, this very large man came up to me and changed my life by saying “Would you like to see something?”

To be continued…….

Cheers,

The Fossicker 2015

Above: Pyramid Pro Gold Pan & Maverick Pan Demo by The Fossicker
Joey from The Prospecting Channel shot this video demo

_____________________________________

copyright © 2015 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Green or Blue Gold Pan?

It is surprising how many folks ask me which is the best color to use to see gold in a finishing Pan.

The Maverick Finishing Pan

The Maverick Finishing Pan

Your gut reaction would be that whatever is the opposing contrast color to gold would work best. Though this seems logical, it appears that it doesn’t hold true in reality when it comes to the individual. To look at what is on the market today and what you see folks using, Green seems to be the color of choice. This choice seems to fly in the face of a contrast color to gold. Green is more akin to Red by the Color Wheel. Violet to Blue is akin to the color of gold by the Color Wheel. So why is Green more popular? I personally think, “It’s in the eye of the beholder.” What I mean is that the Eye itself is probably the reason why certain folks see gold better in Green yet others see gold better in Blue.

I am certainly not an expert in the science of the eye, but I do know that seeing colors to various individuals can vary to even seeing only in Black and White. Since I am an Inventor and Producer of gold pans, I was curious to find what color/s to produce my pans for the market. Since Green seemed to be the color of choice, this was the path I finally took. This was okay, but I started to notice Blue being used by others including some folks I know. I decided to try out the color Blue on myself and found it to work best for my eyesight. Taking this into consideration, I decided to produce a limited number of my Maverick Finishing Pan in Blue and take them to the Gold shows with me to test the public. What I have found so far from this experiment and also from a few of my Dealers is that Blue is almost even with Green by individual choice. Go figure, but this is the reality of what I discovered. Because of this, I now offer the Maverick Finishing Pan in Green and now, also Blue. After all, color – “It’s in the eye of the beholder.”

Edwin H. Land  founder of The Polaroid Corporation

Edwin H. Land founder of The Polaroid Corporation

Post Script:
Years ago I worked on an experiment with Holographic Color Information. Without going through lengthy explanations, what I did was create all colors from only one color. Believe it or not, I found that one color carried all the information to produce any other color that it reflected from. Sorry, what you learned in school was not entirely correct. For those of you that are interested in this subject I would suggest starting with the articles listed below based on the work of Edwin H. Land who was known for his inventions and contributions in the fields of polarized light, photography and color vision. He was the founder of The Polaroid Corporation… see PDF of his science paper The Retinex Theory of Color Vision from Science America. Also Harvard’s website has a good article about Land by F.W. Campbell, F.R.S. called the  Theory of color vision.

Early Polaroid Land Camera

Early Polaroid Land Camera

Coming up next:

Sluice Boxes Part 3 Riffle-less Systems.

Cheers and Happy Holidays,

The Fossicker

December 3014

_____________________________________

copyright © 2014 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sluice Boxes Riffle-less Systems Part 2

The Skykomish River

The Skykomish River

The sun was rising and there I was going up-stream careful not to slip on the slimy cobbles that line the River’s edge. I was excited to get to a spot I knew had gold, so I could try out my new Sluice Box. (Read Part 1). As I went along, I kept wondering if the strange little Sluice Box was going to work. I finally reached the spot I was seeking and started to look for a place to set it up. I read somewhere that it only takes half the water pressure to run Expanded Metal Riffles over Conventional Straight Bar Riffle Systems. If that is true – I was thinking, then why do almost all Sluice Boxes on the market run Straight Bar Riffles on top of Expanded Metal Riffles? Go figure! (More about this later.) Knowing this fact about water pressure, I looked for a spot that had more moderate water flow than I normally use. After some time I finally found a spot that looked shallow enough to set a Sluice Box up and also had a moderate water flow.

As with any Sluice Box, it took some fiddling around to get it set up and the water flowing through it at what seemed to be the right amount. Lucky for me, the place I found was right near the spot where I knew there was gold to be had. Digging up and classifying a few 5 Gal Buckets of gravel, I took them over to the Sluice Box and started running the material through it. Almost right away I could see gold showing up in the Raised Rubber Ribbing Strip I installed on the Slick Plate. Noting this, I stuck a gold pan at the mouth of the Sluice Box to collect the tailing shooting out that end to see what I was losing – if anything.

It is always exciting to see gold in your Sluice Box right away – especially when you are trying to test a new piece of equipment. I finally ran the rest of the buckets of concentrates through my new Sluice Box, which moved smoothly along in a timely fashion. Now it was time to see how I did and how my new Sluice Box performed. After cleaning up and panning the concentrates, I then checked out the Pan left at the mouth of the Sluice Box.

To my delight I saw very little loss compared to my conventional Sluice Box. What was most interesting though was that I was catching much smaller gold particles than I was getting before. Another observation I also made was that just about all the gold that I have ever recovered including what I recovered today was under ¼”inches in size. (This did not include my Metal Detecting). Since I was classifying at ½”, where is the nuggets I see in the magazine advertisements that are displayed as typical finds.

Long Tom Sluice Box Dakota 1889

Long Tom Sluice Box Dakota 1889

I guess I’m not that lucky or they’re just not that typical! (This observation proved to be truer than I understood at that time. 98% of the recovered gold in the world is ¼” and under, including invisible gold. What is invisible? The human eye can resolve gold particles down to 270 Mesh – that is with good eyesight. Many of the gold producing mines in the world today are working with particles well under this Mesh.) I was certainly happy with my new found Sluice Box set-up, but what about all of that very small and micro gold that is out there to be recovered. After all, it is a known fact that the “Old Timers” didn’t bother with collecting it or used ridiculously lengthy Sluice Boxes called “Long Toms” to collect it. (This fact did not include the Chinese Miners.) If this is true, I wondered, is there a way to collect these small and tiny left over treasures economically and in an efficient way… To be continued in Part 3.

Cheers,

and if in the USA Happy Thanksgiving,

Dennis Katz

_____________________________________

copyright © 2014 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gold Panning As Therapeutic and Healing

Kelowna BC

Kelowna BC

“The short motions ranging out to large ones in panning for gold is great physio therapy… And activity is cancer and disease fighting.  Cold water immersion is healthy and healing – in fact most top athletes have cold water baths (including ice cubes) – so immersing yourself in a cool stream may have unknown or unresearched advantages.” ~ Colleen


Before I publish the next part on Sluice Boxes – Riffleless Systems, I want to share a touching story and testimonial from Colleen, a client from Kelowna BC, about how gold panning and working with the Pyramid Pro Pan in particular has helped her therapeutically with cancer recovery. ~The Fossicker

____________________

Gold Panning As Therapeutic and Healing

  by Colleen

My name is Colleen, and I grew up being extremely active. I loved being outside – hiking or trail riding or traveling. A few months ago I noticed that I wasn’t able to use my hands as freely as I once had. They were not only weak, but fine motor movements were becoming increasingly difficult. I began to struggle to do everyday activities. Long story short – I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. My life radically changed in a short amount of time. I was losing the ‘joy’ of life. I felt largely stuck inside the house, and dependent on others for a lot of tasks that I used to easily be able to accomplish by myself.

I often found myself extremely frustrated that I could not seem to do even the simplest of tasks. I was demoralized and depressed. I decided that I needed to do something to improve my own quality of life. There is a stream right beside my residence that is gold-bearing. It is legal to pan the creek, so I thought I would get a little gold pan, and see what happened.

Being out, in nature, with the sun shining and the creek’s gentle gurgle was refreshing. I believe that nature has a way of healing the body – and I could feel a sense of strength and calm outdoors that I had been missing.

I struggle with keeping attention and focus, so having a task (gold panning) kept me outside longer (otherwise I would have gotten ‘bored’ or sick and would have returned indoors to lie on the couch.). I found a traditional pan aggravating, as holding it was hard (soooo many dropped pans!), and it took too long to get the overburden off. I also found it hard to separate the gold from the black sand and heavier compounds. It was also hard on my body. It was frustrating physically and emotionally – but I loved being outside!

Enter the pyramid pro pan. Now, I understand that when the Fossicker designed this pan, he did not intentionally design it for mobility impaired people – but it is perfect for people who have limited use of their limbs (as well as mental deficits!). The bars (or handles) are perfect for people whose hands are compromised – they are easy to grip in several different ‘holds’ (which are easy to modify), and the design of the pan is basically fool proof! Moreover, because the pan essentially floats in the water (as opposed to the way you need to support a traditional pan) it takes less of a toll on the body. (You don’t need as much strength or endurance.). The Fossicker has also put a lot of thought on how to support the pan with your body (resting arms on legs). I have found that if my legs are sore, that I can use the frame of the chair I bring to support my arms. The design of the pan also makes it easy to rest. I just set it between a couple rocks, and it holds itself upright (which is great for loading it as well!).

The Fossicker with the Pyramid Pro Pan

The Fossicker with the Pyramid Pro Pan

One of the major benefits of the pyramid pro is also how much material it can hold, and how quickly it processes material! I think I would have given up on gold panning if I had stuck to a traditional gold pan. But this is quick, easy, and you can seriously go through a lot of material in a short time, with minimal effort. The constant rotation of ‘jobs’ keeps me going, rather than losing focus. I also believe that I was loosing a lot of gold out of the traditional pan, whereas now I feel like I am retaining all, or at least the vast majority, of it.

It doesn’t take a lot of skill to operate – if the gold is there, it will be in the pan at the end of the day. A traditional gold pan actually takes a bit of technique, and a steady hand. And focus. The pyramid pro is so simple to use, and I don’t really think there is any way to screw it up, or – even better- to break it.

I used to come home with a quart or more of concentrate every day, because it was too frustrating to pan out. But between the pyramid pro and the maverick, I come home with less than a teaspoon of gold and gems, and black sand. (I want to keep some of the black sand for a project.).

I still feel like I have done something, and gotten some exercise and fresh air that I otherwise would not have gotten. It has given me a purpose to get outside. I also believe that the more I push and use my body, the less mobility I choose to give up. (Don’t get me wrong, there are good days, bad days, and a general slow decline, but I am NOT going to surrender. And this helps me fight!)

I still drop the pan occasionally – but I don’t lose all of my hard work because the design of the pan is such that it has always landed right-side up, and the riffles, or perhaps the depth of the pan, have kept my hard earned pay dirt from completely flying out! (Not to mention that all the ‘good stuff’ is probably in the bottom anyways – so there is probably a greatly reduced chance that anything major has gone flying out!). Moreover, you can fill the pan again and again without emptying it!

I credit the pyramid pro pan with changing my life. Even if I am really not feeling good, I try to go out and at least do one full ‘pan’. Often, once I get out there, I am distracted enough by the possibilities that I stay longer than I had intended. The fresh air and activity is making me stronger and healthier – not to mention the joy and relaxation gold panning offers!

The pyramid pro pan has taken away the major obstacles I found with gold panning. First of all, it is not as tedious. Secondly, the pan is a lot less effort, for a lot bigger pay out. And thirdly, it is so simple to operate that even if my body is not responding well, I can still get out and have a good time (without feeling like a failure). I think it has restored some self confidence and independence in my life. Truly an invaluable asset – I can’t even clearly express my thanks, or how it has impacted my life.

Okanogan_RiverI moved to a new city because I was ill (access to treatment). Gold panning has helped me to meet a lot of people. There is a walking trail right along the creek, and people often stop to chat and see if I have ‘gotten anything’. There are also a lot of fellow panners. The social interaction is reviving. I have always been a people person, and the more limited I became, the less I got out. But now I am proud to show what I have found, as well as how I have found it. Often people can’t even tell that I have impairments. And I often don’t even tell them. I often felt discounted because of my limitations. Now I feel empowered as to what I can do.

I would strongly encourage anyone with mobility issues to consider this pan. The method is easily adaptable to any number of mental or physical challenges. And the pride and freedom from being able to do this by yourself… There are no words to truly express the rewards.

Colleen.
Kelowna BC
October 2014

_____________________________________

copyright © 2014 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sluice Boxes Riffle-less Systems Part 1

The Swiss Brothers and Friend Prospecting in New Zeland on the Arrow River

The Swiss Brothers and Friend Prospecting in New Zealand on the Arrow River

Fifteen years ago I bought a Fold Up Sluice Box to take with me on a trip to New Zealand. It was going to be my first attempt at using a so-called Standard Sluice arrangement in the field. Up to that point my Prospecting experience had been done with a 2” Dredge, a device called a Roto Pan and a Le Trap Gold Pan. Upon reaching the gold fields in South Island, New Zealand, I found myself teamed up with two Brothers from Switzerland. To make a long story short, one of the Brothers built a simple Sluice Box out of wood with small square pieces of wood for Riffles. Many times we used both my store bought Sluice and his home built Wooden Sluice Box next to each other.

Folding Sluice Box

Folding Sluice Box

One of my observations made at that time was that both Sluice Boxes seem to perform about the same. It never occurred to me to check the Tailings of these Sluice Boxes; I just assumed that all Sluice Boxes catch the gold put through them. That experience was a long time ago and since then my education and experience with gold recovery equipment went into high gear. Much of this was driven by one of my jobs, which was working for International Prospecting Supply of Seattle owned by now deceased, Eddie Barrett. Most of my job for some time was training customers in the use of Metal Detectors which I knew very well and had taught since 1991 for Eddie.

Wood Sluice Box

Wood Sluice Box

Since the store sold more than Metal Detectors, I took interest in other types of equipment that is used for gold recovery. Even though I had access to most pieces of gold recovery equipment I, like many of us, assumed that most of these worked more or less, well. This had to be true as all of the books and magazines I read seemed to back this thought up. All of this came to an end when one day while panning for gold with a new designed pan, I decided to check my tailings since I was working in a tub at that time. To my surprise I found that I was losing almost half of the gold! This event made me start examining and studying the equipment I’ve been using. One or these pieces of equipment was the Sluice Box. Using my conventional Sluice Box, I started to keep my tailings to see how well it was working. Sure enough, I was losing gold – especially the fine and micro particles.

I decided to ask a good friend of mine who had a lot of experience with Sluice Boxes, (he made and sold them,) what could I do about this problem. It was then that he showed me the Sluice Box he personally used. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. The Sluice Box was only 2 feet long by 1 foot wide. (The original was 4 feet long.) The first foot was basically a Slick Plate Area followed by a Water Fall Drop into another foot of Miners Moss topped with Expanded Metal. How could this work? My friend said that he had another one so if I wanted to try it he would give me one of the originals. I eagerly accepted his offer and took it home. After looking it over for some time, I decided to do the same thing that my friend did, so I cut it in half, installed some Miners Moss and topped it with Expanded Metal. As an after thought, I put a narrow strip of Small Raised Rubber Ribbing across the Slick Plate Area. It was now time to try this almost Unconventional Sluice Box out…

To be continued…

Cheers,

Dennis Katz

_____________________________________

copyright © 2014 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sluice Boxes, Riffle-less Introduction

Just what is a Riffle? Traditionally a Riffle is an obstruction. In the mining equipment world the Riffle was, and still is, generally used to obstruct and slow down the movement of gravels to cause the dropping out of the heaver materials in it. Read a book about prospecting or mining, go to a gold show, look at just about any prospector type magazine advertisements, articles and what do you see – mostly Riffled Slice Boxes of so called traditional and not so traditional Riffle shapes, sizes, etc. usually installed in what is called a Sluice Box.

If you are new to the mining world and eager to learn what is what about mining equipment, there is a ton of information in books and the Internet on this very subject to go through. If it wasn’t for my knowledge and experience (which is an ongoing event,) on various subjects within the mining world, I would probably overdose on reading too much while trying to sort out the reality from the hype presented on just this subject of Riffles. Since this is not a straight forward subject, I have decided to break it down into installments, which you the reader can hopefully make sense of for yourself and perhaps help you make more informed conclusions when making a choice on what is the best equipment to use for your particular situation in Sluice Boxes. Stay tuned and follow my blog for the future installments on this subject… Feed back and constructive thought is encouraged from you, the reader. You can also check out, on our website, our own line of sluice boxes and the cleangold line of sluice boxes. Cheers.

The Fossicker,
Dennis Katz

Above Video: by Joey Wilson of Prospecting Channel on Cleangold Mercury Free Mining… Sluicing with The Fossicker.  Below: The Fossicker with 16″ Beach Sluice Box by CleanGold.

16" Riffleless Sluice Box by Cleangold

16″ Cleangold Riffleless Sluice Box

_____________________________________

copyright © 2014 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment