Wednesday, November 12, 2008

AzAirSluice - Fine Gold Dry Wash Project

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Tired of loosing all that fine flour gold in the tails
and having to run it again?
Panning & Snuffing for hours to separate fine cons?
Wish there was a cheap easy way to do it?


Fine Gold Dry Wash Recovery System
Do-It-Yourself Project

We're not going to spout off percentages of fine gold recovery from this machine but it's way up there. We've had some of the best panners in AZ try to find any gold in the tails and none have yet to recover even a speck after running material thru the AzAirSluice.
We designed and originally built this machine back in 1998 when we discovered a lot of extremely fine gold in a wash here in Southwestern Arizona. We had been conventionally dry-washing it and discovered that most of the fine gold, less than 100 mesh, was being pulled by the larger material into the tails. The fine gold we did get was just being trapped 'accidently' as the Fine Gold just didn't have enough weight to compete with the larger stones for position in the bottom of the riffle bars. 'Pickers' were in traps, but most of the fine gold was going out with the tails. Every time we checked the tails there was that elusive fine powder gold that had been washed from the riffles by the push of the larger material down the sluice.
Classification seemed to be the answer as we had no real values, a picker or two, in the larger material. Gold better than 1/4" and they were easy to spot when screening and picked out without the clutter of fine material covering them up. We eventually set up a plastic chute for the oversized material and put a metal detector over the trough to detect any metals in the tails leaving primary grizzly.
In this particular area and the fineness of the material being dug we realized we were loosing was about 20-25% of the fine gold per run! About $150-$200 per ounce that was being lost. I didn't want to spend several hundred or even thousands of dollars on a machine to 'see if it would work' with this material, but just couldn't leave all that fine gold on the ground.
That is when the AzAirSluice was born. I needed a machine that could process the fine sands and separate the fine flour gold from them that a conventional drywasher couldn't catch.
New riffle board design allows for 60 SECOND clean up. No Joke. Release the 4 latches, lift out riffle tray, dump it in a bucket, couple taps on screen and back into the machine, snap down latches and continue processing!
The trick of this verses other dry washers is that the action of the riffle tray is in an upward circular motion and not side to side like conventional dry washers. This allows material to 'hover' in the air stream allowing even the smallest heavier particles of 'heavies' to reach the 'safety' of the bottom of the riffle and not being caught in the top flow and washed out.
Static electricity is created in the air flow and on surface of riffle tray grating, charging the lightest ground quartz sand materials allowing them float right off and keeping material in constant 'fluid' motion.
Since the price of gold is up right now more dry washers are worried about loosing the fine gold that adds up in the pocket and would take hours to pan out and snuff up pan by pan. Guys and gals that are using dry washers have been amazed at how much fine gold they are loosing in their tails after running it thru this machine. Now they screen tails coming off the dry washer to 1/8"- 3/16" and running them thru the AzAirSluice capturing the finest 'lost gold' in the cons, and getting it all!
I have been using this machine for past 10 years now and it has gone thru some evolution over this time. I had not thought of offering plans but demand of locals who have seen it work have been driving me crazy to build them one. I just don't have the time to do production of the unit and now spending so much time now running others concentrates I can't get out to the mine as much as I'd like.
This unit can be built from off the shelf items purchased at any Hardware or Home Improvement store for about $50 and a little time. Even less if you're a good scrounger!

Plans are available to 'Build It Yourself' at:
WufStuff Mining

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