sluice 49er

Alluvial Gold Mining methods & techniques

Two methods for mining alluvial or eluvial raw material from river basins:

1. Hand digging pits & hand feeding Au machine:

Always move Gold machines close to material being dug (excavated)! Work close and around the pits so workers just hand sacks or buckets out of pit directly into hopper. I see just the opposite so many times. It kills high live production capacity.  Move machines, not material!

I like continuous feeding to see the gold coming out and not handling the material twice. But different crews have different ways that also work well for them and attain same production.

The local diggers know this; in this example their crude ground sluice is next to their pit just 2 meters away. Their water source is 300m away. Water can be pumped any distance for processing the dug material. They choose to pile and shovel feed later to save on petrol and pump time. See photo:



They lose 100% of their fine gold and 75-85% of their fine to medium gold. They get pickers and sometimes large nuggets (+-10g) in this rich eluvial system (the weathered zone) next to a weathered reef.

In this next photo I would set up two of my GoldHarvesters, one on either side of this exposed weathered reef. I would work along it, as deep as possible and at least 100m north and south of this structure:

reef 2....1 meter wide at top

Water is 150m away and this is beautiful flat terrain. This site is full of various sized gold nuggets. See site gold photo:


Their method of hand digging & ground sluicing (70-90% gold loss) could possibly give them a live production capacity of 10t/day and that is being generous. My designed mining plan here would be 10t/hr or 80t/day x 50% = 40t/day with a 95-98% gold capture rate. If I double up it would be 80t/day. This is an ideal site and a good business for anyone.

  1. Dredging:

Our GoldHarvester machines can be fitted with 3” pipe and hose for dredging with 3” Suction or Power Jet nozzles depending on application. It can be quickly done in less than 10 minutes in the field. See photo:

Suction n Power Jet nozzle

A river like this one with this terrain is ideal for dredging:

Photo3293 Photo3295

High live production throughput can be attained by using a 3” dredge on this type of gold bearing river alluvial material (clean quartz sand & gravel).

To maximize live production throughput on this river, it is attained by doing both dredging and bucket hand feeding at the same time. This river with the GoldHarvester 30T, a proper mining plan & crew can process up to 30t per hr. especially when pushing 60 tons/hr of water through the machine for processing the gold out.

A Gold Master quote:

“All rivers are like women, all beautiful, all different!” See photo:


Gold Master Africa

PS: In a future post a Gold Master exclusive: How to dredge gold the fish pond way?

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