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The Dream Nugget: Gold Classification & Recovery

Understanding why gold classification is important

Classification is an essential part of good recovery technique, but understanding why to classify is equally important. Most miners classify to reduce large rocks from building up in their sluice. Classifying also allows you to reduce the water flow and pitch of your sluice bed. Smaller / lighter material requires less “force” to push it down and out.

Reduce water flow and pitch by classifying

Most miners will have riffles in their sluice. Larger rocks can easily stop in front of, behind, or between these riffles. When this happens, the ARMP (active reduction and minimization process) action of the sluice is effectively reduced to zero. Vortexes collapse, matting is covered, and no flow is occurring.

By classifying down to very small material, you can reduce the water flow and pitch, which creates a better “sluice environment” for catching gold, especially fine gold.

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A Short Primer on Black Sand Gold

Black Sand Does Not Guarantee Gold

I’ve seen and heard an awful lot of discussion about black sand, and what its presence really means to a prospector. For as long as there have been miners, there has been a love hate relationship with black sand. A tremendous amount of time and energy is invariably spent on doing everything possible to remove it from the heavy metals. Some black sands separate reasonably easily from the heavier metals, and some do not.
The presence of black sand in an area does not guarantee there is gold in the area. The presence of black sand simply means there is heavy mineralization in the area. But black sand can often be a solid clue as to where to start looking for gold.

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