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Sampling techniques


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Hi All

I am setting up a recirculating sluice setup with a hopper to hold the dirt/soil, the water flow will be directed at the base of the hopper & will create a self feed system, the hopper will be made to take 2 bucket fulls of dirt, classified to say 4mm ( I will check tailings with a Gold Bug Pro, new aquisition for another post ).

The reason for setting this up is so that I can sample the small gullies running into the larger creeks to narrow down the search for patches, I know there is gold about but my limited time in the field requires that I cover all bases, a couple of ours digging sample hole's could lead me to the richest area's quicker.

1. If I make the sluice 600mm x 150mm, how many buckets could I feed through it before cleaning it out??

2. Say if I sample 1 bucket what sort of values would be considered good ???

3. 4mm classified would this be the way to go??

Please feel free to make any comments or suggestions so we can all learn something.



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Welcome to the forums!

The sluice you describe sounds a little narrow at 6" wide for fast classifying. It might work better as a finishing sluice but not necessarily to work rough samples quickly. A 4mm screening again seems a bit small. Unless you're working fine, dry gravels or sandy material, most of your samplings will end up getting tossed in the screening. It's about impossible to screen moist soils that fine and the rocks can have fine gold clinging to it that dry screening won't release.

OTOH, a recyling sluice will clog up with the tailings, so I can see why you'd want to reduce the amount before feeding it in.

What you run though it will determine when cleanup should be done. A properly set up sluice that isn't allowed to clog up could run for hours in an area with little gold or heavies and not need cleaning. But then that might be your sign to move to a new spot!

Other than worry about losing some gold, you don't really need to clean until the black sands are accumulating to the point they are covering say half the height of your riffles.

Trial and error is your best guide as everybody's workings and methods are all a little different. My setup is a 12" by 36" sluice and we have a gold pan size screen with 3/4" openings. We pick out the rocks from the sluice by hand. There's about a million ways to doing it, so there's bound to be a way that works for you.

Good luck out there!


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Hi Ed

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah your right the reason for the relatively small size of material is to get better economy out of it most of the time this will be used to sample dry creek bed's in our dry season, it may be moist but not wet, thanks for the heads up on stuff sticking I will keep an eye out for that.

The reason for the hopper is that I plan to fill it up, then start the pump which will be on a timer (length of time will be worked out during trials) & let it run through it's cycle whilst I am either digging up more dirt or off detecting, some of the larger creeks that the little gullies run into have been excavated & run through a trommel which paid quite well ( not me ), so I'm thinking the source or nugget patches could be tracked down with a bit of had work & sampling, will also do a bit of work with a small hand post hole digger.


Happy nuggets to you


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