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goldrat

GOLD CUBE vs any SPIRAL GOLD PANNING MACHINE

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Hi Forum Members ,

                               I am a SDC 2300 owner and detect in the Golden Triangle in Victoria . I've always had an interest in panning but only occasionally . For the past 6 months I have been on several diggings finding very small gold with the SDC ( smallest being 0.015 grams ) The mullock heaps consist of pipe clay and red clay . I wish to purchase a recovery machine that I can take to the diggings . Battery operated and recycled water . Looked at all the spiral wheels but not a close look at the gold cube . Looking for advice , what would be the best recovery unit .

Thanks in advance .

Cheers

goldrat

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8 minutes ago, goldrat said:

Hi Forum Members ,

                               I am a SDC 2300 owner and detect in the Golden Triangle in Victoria . I've always had an interest in panning but only occasionally . For the past 6 months I have been on several diggings finding very small gold with the SDC ( smallest being 0.015 grams ) The mullock heaps consist of pipe clay and red clay . I wish to purchase a recovery machine that I can take to the diggings . Battery operated and recycled water . Looked at all the spiral wheels but not a close look at the gold cube . Looking for advice , what would be the best recovery unit .

Thanks in advance .

Cheers

goldrat

Sorry to continue I have just noticed the advert in GPAA Gold Prospectors for the "LIL Gold Spinner" Electric Bench Model any views on this machine .

Thanks again

Cheers

goldrat 

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 Just wakin up, over here.  Give it awhile...

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Look up Henry Henry Poop Tube.  They work most well .

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I have a spiral wheel and a gold cube.  The gold cube wins hands down, but the dirt must be classified to 8 mesh or less prior to running.  For me, I can only classify a five gallon bucket an hour from digging, to classifying 8 mesh and less to running through the gold cube.  The gold cube I can put a bucket through in 5 minutes, but the hard part is getting the dirt to the correct size.  The gold cube only produces about a cup worth of cons.

 

For the spiral wheel, I've seen advertisements of 5 gallons an hour with setting up at the creek and putting the scoop from the creek directly into the wheel, but I've never done it.  I've had the most success with the wheel by classifying the dirt to different sized like +1/4 inch, +8 mesh, +50 mesh, +100 mesh, and -100 mesh.  I only use the wheel to process cons, and it takes forever to classify the cons to the mesh sizes I mentioned.

 

If you can deal with a bucket an hour the gold cube is good.  For me the wheel much slower.  Neither is a true production machine.  There are a few mini-trommels available to run on top of the gold cube that will speed up production.  The small trommels I've seen were kind of a let down.  You may be in a place you don't need to classify and can toss the dirt right on in the gold cube.

 

After a couple of years prospecting wet with an Eliminator Trommel using 60 gallons of water in the desert, I found the only way to move dirt here in central AZ is with a dry washer.  Just can't move enough dirt otherwise.  I was measuring in minutes per bucket when I needed to be doing buckets per minute.

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On 3/28/2017 at 6:37 AM, goldrat said:

Hi Forum Members ,                             
Cheers
goldrat

Hi Goldrat -- welcome to over here..

First off: Can the assumption be made that due to the clay content it's already a known it'll be slow going regardless what's used for recovery but also ok because it's off-set by Au return potential..?

Between the items you mentioned it's no contest: The Gold Cube wins hands down..

Before buying anything though, especially if you're still checking values and the possibility of needing to do multiple run-throughs or an up-front trommel-type wash, Homie's suggestion is quite valid: A Henry Poop tube can be put together quickly and for next-to-nothing.. I've run material containing barely visible ( -100 on down ) Au through mine and never had any make it past the 7th corugation.. None of the material had much clay though, so you do have that additional wild card to deal with..

Anyhow, just offering an on-the-cheap testing suggestion, along with my recommendation between your two mentioned methods..

Swamp

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On 3/30/2017 at 2:19 PM, chrisski said:

I have a spiral wheel and a gold cube.  The gold cube wins hands down, but the dirt must be classified to 8 mesh or less prior to running.  For me, I can only classify a five gallon bucket an hour from digging, to classifying 8 mesh and less to running through the gold cube.  The gold cube I can put a bucket through in 5 minutes, but the hard part is getting the dirt to the correct size.  The gold cube only produces about a cup worth of cons.

 

For the spiral wheel, I've seen advertisements of 5 gallons an hour with setting up at the creek and putting the scoop from the creek directly into the wheel, but I've never done it.  I've had the most success with the wheel by classifying the dirt to different sized like +1/4 inch, +8 mesh, +50 mesh, +100 mesh, and -100 mesh.  I only use the wheel to process cons, and it takes forever to classify the cons to the mesh sizes I mentioned.

 

If you can deal with a bucket an hour the gold cube is good.  For me the wheel much slower.  Neither is a true production machine.  There are a few mini-trommels available to run on top of the gold cube that will speed up production.  The small trommels I've seen were kind of a let down.  You may be in a place you don't need to classify and can toss the dirt right on in the gold cube.

 

After a couple of years prospecting wet with an Eliminator Trommel using 60 gallons of water in the desert, I found the only way to move dirt here in central AZ is with a dry washer.  Just can't move enough dirt otherwise.  I was measuring in minutes per bucket when I needed to be doing buckets per minute.

Hi Chrisski ,

                  Thanks for your interest in helping me . I'll start by mentioning that just prior to retiring ( 2 years ago )I purchased a Keene's 151 dry washer and a Keene's spiral gold wheel from USA . After relocating to the Victorian goldfields I soon realised that I was dealing with predominately clay material.   Consequently neither machine has ever been unpacked and viewed from the manufacturers original packaging . They are going to be sold to finance my future machines . You mention gold cube requires material classified to #8 mesh . ( can you explain in part inches what size is this material )  Following this question up with another , the gold cube trommel that has been manufactured to use with the gold cube . What size material ( clay ) can I shovel in and what size does the trommel classify to . You mention the trommels have been a let down , maybe for your reasons you would not purchase one  . Reading into this maybe , how do you classify for the cube . 

The gold cube battery powered and recycling water should suit the areas I detect in . Not having thought of the size of the material in depth I'm assuming from the gold I am detecting in it ( guessing ) 90% clay . Hopefully your reply will take me a step closer to a decision .

Cheers

goldrat

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4 hours ago, Swampstomper Al said:

Hi Goldrat -- welcome to over here..

First off: Can the assumption be made that due to the clay content it's already a known it'll be slow going regardless what's used for recovery but also ok because it's off-set by Au return potential..?

Between the items you mentioned it's no contest: The Gold Cube wins hands down..

Before buying anything though, especially if you're still checking values and the possibility of needing to do multiple run-throughs or an up-front trommel-type wash, Homie's suggestion is quite valid: A Henry Poop tube can be put together quickly and for next-to-nothing.. I've run material containing barely visible ( -100 on down ) Au through mine and never had any make it past the 7th corugation.. None of the material had much clay though, so you do have that additional wild card to deal with..

Anyhow, just offering an on-the-cheap testing suggestion, along with my recommendation between your two mentioned methods..

Swamp

Thanks Swampstomper Al ,

I appreciate your reply , I will be taking in my own water so will this make a Henry Poop tube feasible in my case . I'm sure I can water down the clay with a drill and paint stirrer before the trommel , Jenny will spend some time on this while I am detecting . Will always be close by if she needs assistance . I'm going to pan a bucket at home this weekend to see the potential .

Cheers

goldrat

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8 mesh is 1/8 of an inch. 

I have not processed clay in the gold cube.  The key would be to have the clay in small enough pieces that it would "dissolve" in the water, otherwise too much clay would be mixed with too little gold to settle in the gold cube.  I would think the with a good amount of fresh, non-circulated water, you could run it through there. 

I have panned silty water before, but after the puddle I was using got too much silt in the water, almost the consistency of mud, it became no good.

Since it looks like you're recirculating your water, the gold cube may not be practical if the water gets too much clay in it.  Might be best like swamp said to start with the poop tube.

If you're thinking large production, then if you break even with the gold cube, and the streak was wide and long enough, then you'd be sitting good with heavy equipment

 

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Much like a spiral wheel a Henry Poop tube isn't a production option when using gutter-size corugated tube.. It works well enough for my needs though, since the material I was working with at the time had already been semi-concentrated via sluicing (drop-riffle usually) in the field and was then classified prior to running after returning to FL.. I didn't run anything larger than 12 minus through it.. Usual breakdown was: 12- - 20+; 20- - 30+; 30- - 50+; 50- - 70+; 70- - 100+ and 100- to un-seeable.. The 8- - 12+ got panned and larger than 8 (which was almost always 4- - 8+) visually inspected.. This breakdown is for three sources in NC where the Au is fairly plentiful but also small-to-tiny.. Only ever recovered a couple pieces larger than 8+ and a smattering in the 8- - 12+ range.. The majority fall into the 20- - 70+ range.. Metal detectors never even enter the picture at these locations..

I'm running a recirculating setup.. While clay isn't a problem, much like with Chrisski's example silt is.. Running on a limited space small enclosed back porch I'm only able to use a very simple 2-stage 3 gal within a 15 gal water catch, with a 500 gph pump running off a constantly charging motorcycle battery being more-than-enough to do the job.. I'm thinking if you use a larger two or three stage stepped water catch setup you should be able to run a decent amount of time before needing to stop to muck out the lead catch, or possibly not needing to stop at all by mucking on the fly..

Again, I'm making some blind assumptions here.. You've said how small a piece of Au you've gotten; you didn't say how plentiful it is regardless of size though.. I certainly wouldn't mind having a spot where I could both detect for nugs while running its impregnated matrix at the same time.. :)

Swamp

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The Henry is so simple it's crazy.  With parts in hand you can have a working model in less then 30 minutes of time.  I use one in the field or at home to do sample runs.  With or without natural water available .  You can run quite a bit of material with just 20 or so gal of water being pumped if clay's not a issue.  A squirt of Jet Dry helps.

 

HF

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I agree with Homefire. Small sluices are perfect for recirculating. Wheels are a joke, save your money. The Gold Cube seems to be a good choice for cleaning large amounts of concentrates. (Its just a fancy sluice box)

However none of the above seems appropriate for what you want to do. Clay is VERY difficult to deal with when wet and will clog your water supply faster than you think. Unless you have a abundant source of water, you need a drywasher. If you process that material dry, you will move far more material and recover more gold than putzing around with the recirculating gimmicks. 

I am of course assuming Victoria has an arid climate. If its wet...then you're stuck with traditional water based separation systems. Bring lots of water and don't recirculate it. :m2c:

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Some times it pays to think out side the box ! 

Box.PNG

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I like it HF been there done that. AzNuggetBob

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To tell ya the truth one time we considered bringing in a cement truck. to deal with the clay, not kidding. AzNuggetBob

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   Yep, Load it.  Run it with some rocks to churn.  Wet to the top.  Every half hour dump off the top third and keep repeating .   Hand Pan the bottom third when it's cooked.  You can do this with modest amounts of water.  Clay or No Clay, run it long enough any gold will be in the bottom in time.  If you run it backwards the paddles don't push any heavies towards the top.  Goes much faster.

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I've thought for a long time a ball mill would be the about best way to break up large amounts of dried clay. I know of a few prospectors using the cement mixer though and apparently it works decently.

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Yep,  It works some what like a ball mill  if you put some tumbler rocks in it.  But it's Light, Easy to Transport .  Crunches and fines up Caliche   good too.

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On 3/28/2017 at 6:37 AM, goldrat said:

...Cheers

goldrat

Slow down gents, and let's bring this convo back into the affordability zone..

First off though -- goldrat: I'm guessing there's probably a thousand spots near-by that're a thousand times easier to work than this clay.. So, why the clay at all..? The only answer I can come up with is these mullock heaps as you call them must be some kinda rich in Au.. Is this actually the case..?

Assuming, yet once again, the answer is 'yes, they are', here's a couple other things I didn't mention / get to in my last reply:

Your paint stirrer + a 90% clay-based host: Is the other 10% just not clay but still fine or is it gravels etc larger than 1/12" to 1/8" in diameter..? If it's fines, nothing additional up front needs to be done; if it includes larger gravels, a stir-and-screening needs to be done prior to running.. (You're using a Henry Poop tube as the processor right now..)

A normal size poop tube is by its very nature kinda slow, but definitely the quickest way to get material through one is in the form of a slurry.. I'm making another assumption that after blending and before pouring, the largest piece of matter bigger than 1/12" will be gold missed while detecting this same material (because regardless whether or not you need to pre-screen to remove the larger-than 1/12" dross and Au, if the material tor running isn't all super-fine you'll want to classify to at least 30 mesh, with 50 mesh being even better in consideration of the large volume of clay..) A Henry Poop tube functions best when the largest material in a run is like-sized and 'neatly' classified.. It doesn't work well at all with material larger than 12 mesh; all that does is scatter a portion of the Au further down the riffles instead of having (nearly) all of it drop out in the space of two-to-three riffles..

I'm of the belief that, with the exception of this clay being sooo light and fine it doesn't like to easily settle, enough should drop out that running recovery in a closed-loop recirculating system shouldn't be a problem.. It's also the reason for setting up stepped / tiered water catches -- they'll function as settling ponds as well.. Sure, the recirculated water will cloud up to the point you won't be able to see what's going on in the 'riffles'.. At the same time though it won't thicken up to the point the flowing water messes with what drops out where.. As Homie noted, add some jet dry.. Clay-B-Gone is probably a waste of money, although I really can't say that for sure since it could help the lighter clays fall out..

A super inexpensive initial outlay method of recovery best suited for initial testing: Regardless of the reason(s) for now wanting to also recover the fines as well as nuggets from this clay, which I'll assume is because the values showing up make doing so a worthwhile endeavor is: Have you ever heard of the two-bucket method..?

It's a form of centrifugal force recovery, with probably a bit of centripetal force coming into play somewhere along the line as well.. If you have access to free buckets the entire cost of initial set-up can run upwards of ninety-nine cents, or whatever the going rate for 2" test caps over-and-down your way is these days..

Here's how it works, y'all:

Get three buckets (let's say two-gal pickle buckets).. Starter hole + drill / cut a 2" hole dead center in the bottom of one of 'em and plug it with the test cap.. Place the capped bucket into one of the other buckets.. Fill it a bit over half-way with water then add some jet dry plus a tiny amount of preferably powdered laundry soap but liquid will do too..

Add a couple small handfulls (for the first couple of buckets at least, until you can judge better) of as dry and broken up as possible material (if what you have are muddy chunks and that's what you have to work with add it that way & break up in the bucket..)

Go find yourself a nice head-thumping stick approx 2' + - in length.. Stick the stick in the bucket and swirl things up realll good.. When the rotation slows down a bunch, swirl it back up again.. You should be able to hear the solids settling into the test cap.. Two swirls should do it, but with 'sticky stuff' a 3rd may be in order..

When things settle down, reach into the bucket, gently 'sweep' off the "overburden" in the center until level with the bucket bottom and then pull the cap.. Water and 'dirt' will drain into the catch bucket and you'll have a cap filled with however much Au had been in your handfulls, along with most likely some other solids as well..

Odds are the first couple times you're going to want to satisfy your curiousity about the rest of the material not in the cap.. With the possible exception of some very sticky clays etc that didn't completely break apart during swirling, you won't find any missed gold -- the dross'll be barren..

Dump the cap material into a gold pan, replace cap and put that bucket into the one not yet used.. Put a couple handfulls of material into the capped bucket and pour the water from the first catch bucket into the capped bucket, stopping just before the dirt begins to ride over the lip.. Get your stick and begin swirling anew, while at some point dumping and rinsing the first bucket to become the catch bucket next time around..

Repeat, repeat, repeat repeat...

At some point you'll most likely need to add some water and a bit more jet dry, maybe a bit of detergent too..

The reason you keep re-using the water is at the end of the day you end up with a bucket of micro-gold too.. I'm thinking you'll be able to find something to dump it into, for evaporation if nothing else.. Odds are it'll end up somewhere near your unprocessed black sands storage.. Not nearly as much as when dredging, but bet ya still have one going..

Swamp

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Thanks to all your reply's . You have given me more detail than I've had in a life time , and I humbly appreciate it .

I will take it all in and then I will report back . The several diggings I have been referring to are all clay tailings , so I now realise I could have a difficult time with it . I am going to bring a bucket off each area home and pan out to see the results for the fine gold a SDC can't see .

Just out of interest we have a bucket style machine here that may suffice instead of purchasing a trommel to partner the gold cube . You probably have the same or similar in US . If you have time have a look at this . Google "Cresswell's MGC Gold Prospecting Unit" . This will bring up several forums with info . Cresswell's don't have a web site .

Weekend here going out with the SDC immediately for several hours on an ancient river bed .

Cheers

goldrat

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1 hour ago, goldrat said:

Thanks to all your reply's . You have given me more detail than I've had in a life time , and I humbly appreciate it .

I will take it all in and then I will report back . The several diggings I have been referring to are all clay tailings , so I now realise I could have a difficult time with it . I am going to bring a bucket off each area home and pan out to see the results for the fine gold a SDC can't see .

Just out of interest we have a bucket style machine here that may suffice instead of purchasing a trommel to partner the gold cube . You probably have the same or similar in US . If you have time have a look at this . Google "Cresswell's MGC Gold Prospecting Unit" . This will bring up several forums with info . Cresswell's don't have a web site .

Weekend here going out with the SDC immediately for several hours on an ancient river bed .

Cheers

goldrat

Looks like what we would call a Rota-Pan.

cress.jpg

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