If you are a placer gold miner, then you will eventually figure out that you need to learn how to capture micro gold. I’m talking about the small stuff – the dust – the specks – those teeny-tiny little particles of gold that you can barely even see.
Many prospectors take pride in their setups that they use to recover extra-fine pieces of micro gold. Big nuggets, pickers, and flakes are relatively easy to recover using standard equipment, but the small stuff is a challenge. Not only do you need specialized equipment for the job, you also need to learn how to set it up properly for maximum gold recover.
Here are a few different ways that miners are able to recover those tiny specks of golden goodness! Check out the videos and see what it takes to operate them properly. Each type of gear works a little differently, but the ultimate goal is the same. Catch and recover that small gold.
1. Blue Bowl Concentrator
The Blue Bowl is one of the simplest and most popular pieces of gear that a miner can use. Getting the proper setup is important, but once you’ve got it dialed in it does an excellent job.
2. Gold Cube Concentrator
The Gold Cube does a great job of catching very tiny gold. It generally isn’t used as the final step, since it will also catch and retain black sands too. The huge benefit of using the Gold Cube is that you can feed a lot more material into it than any of the other equipment in this article. It will leave you with some “super concentrates” that are very rich with gold that you can run through a final cleanup to clean out the gold.
More: Catch the Smallest Gold with the Gold Cube Concentrator
3. Micro Sluice
There are a lot of different makes and models of micro sluices out there, but they are all relatively similar in their design. They are just like a regular stream sluice, except they are designed to run only super fine material at a low flow. This way you can get the black sands out of your gold in a contained environment. These are sweet for the final processing of your concentrates. Just keep in mind that you feed them SLOWLY or else gold will blow out the bottom.
4. Spiral Panning Wheels
These nifty inventions have been around for quite a while and they are a really neat tool for micro gold recovery. Basically the constant spiraling action will allow larger and lighter material to drop out and will retain only the heaviest material (i.e. gold). This video shows it quite well, and how they can be used with both dry and wet material.
5. Miller Table
These sweet little shaker tables are great for fine gold recovery, particular when you are processing gold that is very flat and flaky in texture it works exceptionally well. The water will flow over it while the rounder material will roll right off the table. Some very large commercial mining operations use large shaker tables for their final processing.
Also Read: Using Shaker Tables for Fine Gold Separation
6. Gold Pan
Of course I can’t forget to mention the trusty gold pan! Yes, all of the equipment above will work faster to process larger amounts of concentrates, but it is amazing just how well you can recover even the finest micro gold if you use a skilled panning technique. This video does an excellent job of showing a technique to use a simple pan to recover even the tiniest micro gold.
Next: How to Prevent Fine Gold from Floating Out of your Pan