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Cleaning up concentrates


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Im sure this topic has been discussed a million times but I'll start it up again anyway haha. How do you guys deal with your drywasher or dredge concentrates? I will soon be back to dealing with piles of black sand and the idea of drying screening panning and repeat doesn't seem like fun anymore. I also don't want to spend hundreds on a spiral wheel or shaker table. I've used a miller table in the past and it seemed okay but kind of pain to get just right. I'm just curious how yall deal with buckets of cons without investing in high priced equipment?

Edited by Ahorton10
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Black Magic here, A10.. Think I paid $119.95, or whatever it's original selling price was.. They've gone up $10 or $20 since introduction.. It catches as small as I can see, somewhere around 150 to maybe 200 minus or thereabouts, and when done I 'paint' up what I can't see n snuffer that up too.. The gold's pretty fine for the most part here in the east, but can be plentiful in places.. Since I don't get to spend a lot of time even in the eastern gold belts I've never invested in a dredge or high-banker or combo, so I know I don't get much of the really fine stuff -- and that may be why the Black Magic works well for me.. Hopefully someone else will chime in who's into a lot of fine gold and uses a Black Magic as at least one of his cleanup tools and we'll be able to get further input.. I can attest to it working great down to the edge of visibility..


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As far as I know, the company that made the black magic is out of Business. The were located in Youngtown, AZ and the shop closed up so they could open Kickin Donkey in Prescott AZ. I tried looking for that shop, and I think its out of business also. Store owner's first name was Travis, but I don't know where they're at now. The Black Magic was a miller table with some sort of rubber coating similar to a chalk board or slate that caught the gold, and let the black sand and other stuff run out. The Kickin Donkey page was still open on Facebook, but not active.

I still screened to -20 for the Black Magic before I ran it. It does work good. If you have that much concentrates and use the black magic, you'll still have to screen. I ran a bucket of black sand through it before, pre-screened to minus 20 and it took hours. I could only add a teaspoon of material at a time.

I do love the Black Magic, but their can't be too many concentrates or it'll take forever to run.

I always run the buckets through something else first to get it to more concentrated, and then put it over the miller table / Black Magic. I have the Gold cube, but that gets screened to an eight of an inch, or a trommel, that gets screened to a half inch.

If I use my partner's dry washer and we have buckets of concentrates, we'll run that through the dry washer again, and pan the concentrate tailings to make sure we got enough.

Edited by chrisski
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As far as I know, etc..

Bummer about them being out of business; the setup works very well..

Ditto on the screening to -20 too Chriski.. Depending on where we'd been it could easily get to -70..

And you are right about it taking a long time to run the cons.. The super concentrating helps a lot,

yet I don't think I ever ran 5 gal or more at one time.. It does take a while to get 'em through..

A10, as long as we're talking miller table and you're looking for inexpensive, just within the past 3-4 days

on YT I've seen some vid & discussion about homemade miller-type tables and different coatings, what

they think works better etc.. You may want to give 'em a look-see.. Easy search, n ya may end up

building something on the cheap first.. Might not need to spend $$s on something already mfg'd at all..


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Chriski and swamp, I've made one in the past. I had a mirror meant for a medicine cabinet from I used to install mirrors and shower doors. It was 12x24 inches in size. I made a frame out of wood and used a tripod from a laser level to adjust the tilt. The back of a mirror has a coating similar to primer and I sprayed chalk board paint over that. The glass is the perfect substrate because it's perfectly smooth. It worked great however it was still very slow and I never fully trusted it to catch all the fine stuff. It seemed like if the gold didn't drop down fast enough it could be swept away. Perhaps I just need to learn pacience haha, the screening part drives me crazy. I have a very nice set of calibrated screens but almost never use them.

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Adam, I've used most of the devices made. Still go back to using a small Angus MacKirk clean up sluice. Bring your cons over next time you're out this way and run them through mine. Try a few different things before plunking down hard earned dough. I do have a Blue Bowl I use on the real fine stuff.

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I use my green bowl(1/16"-25 mesh) and blue bowl(50 mesh-) and all is good. Proper classification to the unit utilized is the real secret and learning what your unit needs changed to do what you desire. I process all my fines in the winter as mining time(and water) are scarce in the summer. John

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Nononononononooooo....!!! Dude, if yer down into the fines ya gotta classify yer material..!

Especially true if yer cleaning up in a finishing pan, which isn't the case here -- but still: Why make

things harder on yourself than you need to..?

For example: Let's say I'm in a spot in NC that I know almost all the Au I'm gonna catch

will be 20- to 70-.. When I get home, because like Hoser John sez mining time is limited so all I'm doing

is collecting cons while I'm there n will finish when I get back, if I only classify to 20-, when I'm done all I

have is a more super concentrate -- a smaller neater mess if you will.. I don't have anything resembling

clean gold, I have a bunch of 70- gold buried in 20- boulders.. Makes much more sense screening to 20-,

30-, 50- & 70- to begin with..

Incidentally -- Arctic Dave: I do like me an Angus MacKirk finishing sluice.. :D Under other circumstances

I'd have one.. Started out finishing in a poop tube and never saw any reason to do it differently.. If ever

on the road cleaning up in streams tho that's what I'd get..


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I'm using the gold cube, fines down to minus 200 mesh.

Ran a batch of processed ore at minus 20 then classified the tailings to minus 20 +50, minus 50 +100 and minus 100 to check recovery rate.

Didn't find any gold escaped the Cube.

Don't really like the twitchyness of the Blue Bowl although I haven't set up a very consistant water delivery system when I used it, from the tap and a few times with the pump.

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I will probably take you up on that dave, I've never used a drop riffle sluice and have always been kind of curious to try one. I also probably made my riffles a little too big on my drywasher which equals more cons than necessary. I have an idea for a set of clean up riffles for my drywasher that I think im gonna experiment also.

Hoser John, the blue bowl is something I'd like to pick up and try, I have a spot where I get a lot of really small stuff and the blue bowl is much more affordable than alot of other options.

Thanks for all the input fellas!

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Hey boulderdash, I know you like to run your cons back through the drywasher. When you do that do you fill it with dirt first? I ask because in my experience the sorting action doesn't really work right until the the whole riffle tray has a layer of material over it. I'm affraid I'd blow away gold if I dumped cons in through the hopper into an empty tray. Keep in mind my only experience is with homage drywashers though so maybe the 140 doesn't have the same effect.

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I'm the first house house on the right as you enter the Nuggetshooter compound. I have a bluebowl too, so you can use both. Just give a heads up and I'll set them up. Been too wet for much drywashing lately...but it's finally starting to dry out :brows:

I classify with only 2 screens. For the gold here it works well, for other area's different screen sizes might be more appropriate.

bigger than #12 = Pan

between #12- #30 = Sluice (This is the bulk of cons in LSD)

smaller than #30= right into the Bluebowl.

the big deal with a blue bowl is consistent water feed. The little valves they come with suck! So does a battery powered pump. It doesn't take long for the voltage to start dropping and your pump slows with the voltage drop. I use a 120v sump pump so I can have consistent water pressure. Tried hooking it up to the tap, but the water is hard and without a surfactant the fines liked to float off. A good tub with some Jet dry is the ticket.

Edited by ArcticDave
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  • 1 month later...

Hey y'all, 

Alex from Utah here...

I'm brand new to the group here, and fairly new to prospecting, so I was hoping to learn from some of the old pros here.

Just was wondering about people's thoughts on the Blue bowl concentrator. From what I've read it seems like a great way to separate those concentrates with ease. 

As some of you are probably aware, the majority of Utahs gold is pretty fine, and this method seems like a good one.

anyone have any input on this?

any other suggestions?

I'd love any help on some good locations to work over near the Salt lake valley, if anyone has any input, I'd appreciate it.

thanks everyone


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50 mesh minus paid for my sons degree-NEVER underestimate them fines. Screen to 50 mesh, keep for them boring rainy winter days and then get'm!!!:old: John

Edited by Hoser John
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For our daughter's wedding 10 years ago I wanted to come up with some type of party favor that you couldn't buy in a store, not to mention one that would impress our new South American in-laws-to-be.  So I dragged out several 5 gallon buckets of post-dredging sub-50 black sand cons that had been neglected and had been accumulating behind my shed for several years.  Out came my trusty blue bowl and a few six packs of beer.  It took me two days of almost around the clock monotonous efforts before I wound up with enough fine gold to place 64 individually bow-tied one-DWT vials at each wedding dinner place setting.  During the process I developed some techniques to improve recovery rates.  These included a "tapping method" of inducing gentle shock waves (by means of a screwdriver handle with one hand while holding on to a can of beer with the other) to the sides of the blue bowl that resulted in just enough induced agitation to accelerate the black sand departures down the vortex without losing any gold.  Also, I became proficient at continually adjusting the different valves I installed on my recirculating pump system (to compensate for the slowly diminishing water pressure as the battery gradually lost power, as well as adjusting the water velocity as the black sand "bars" slowly melted away).  I loved the outcome but I can't honestly say I ever want to pull another double all nighter like that again.

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