This here is our little trommel wash plant that we use to run samples in. It a bit clunky, not quite round, but hey nobody is perfect and it works just fine just the way it is. How it works, we will set it up at base camp and after I have dug a sample Hole I will fill my backhoe’s excavator bucket up with the dirt of interest, carry it back to where the trommel is located and then shovel the dirt from the bucket into the trommel. Once we have run the whole bucket through the trommel the we perform a clean out, it is never a lot of gold, but what it does is give us a snapshot of what the ground contains, gold wise, and depending on what we get out of the trommel we will decide to dig or not to dig?……Boy, that seems like a recurring question in this blog. This trommel seems to have very good gold recovery. We did have some grounding issues when we first started operating, if you would touch the trommel you would get a nice electric shock from it. As you all know electricity and water does not mix well. We have since solved that issue because getting shocked every time you touch the machine, just won’t do. These photos are prior to having any of the pluming installed. I will try to find a picture of the complete unit to show off.
At the end of the day we do a clean up of the material we ran all day. We take the concentrates from the big red and blue wash plant, then run that dirt through a small mini high-banker to concentrate the material even more, we call this the end of the day clean up. After that about a gold pan of material is left to have to work, and that is what My mother and father in law are doing in this picture, they are also the ones that take care of most of the equipment construction, like the Wash plant, Trommel, High-Banker and Bunk House. We would not be able to mine without them.
Here is a good front back and side view of our wash plant. Antonio did an excellent job constructing this gold finding monster, he also made our trommel, bunk-house and he wrote another book(which is available on amazon) called “Talking Ice.” All this he did last winter so we were ready for the next season of mining as soon as the ground had thawed. We did not want to break it so we loaded the gravel very slowly most of the summer, till we found out that it can handle a full loader bucket from the Kubota. After that we flat moved some dirt, Very useful tool!
Here we are dropping a load in the wash plant, The wash plant runs off of a two inch pump, the hopper has a vibrator motor attached to the bottom to assist in getting the dirt to slide down the hopper and fall into the sluice box, the vibration also help to break apart clumps and shake the gold stuck to rocks off. All of our water runs off into settling ponds, you can see part of one in this picture. We built the wash wash plant, although we will be constructing a larger one for next season, the more dirt you can move the more gold you can find.