The Stream Hopper is a simple, fast, light-weight sluice box designed to be highly portable and very easy to use. Once you have the basic angle worked out all you need to do is adjust water flow and slightly “tweak” the angle of your sluice if needed. Most miners know that a sluice box will have a “sweet spot” when properly set up. That is where you will get maximum gold recovery in the minimum time. I’ve been through it too. You have to guess at what would be the best angle to start with which is typically between 11 to 15°.
By the way, with correct water flow, the flatter or shallow where the angle, the more fine gold you can potentially recover. You are giving “the lighter stuff” more of a chance to settle in a low-pressure pocket or fine gold capture media. Of course, if you found the bedrock stop for some pancake nuggets [squished glacial gold nuggets] you won’t need such a shallow angle to quickly retrieve them. We want the gold but we don’t want the black sand. Since the angle of your sluice becomes much more critical in order to accurately separate the magnetite from the gold, setup is crucial.
The Stream Hopper was designed to be an affordable, lightweight sluice box you can still in the back of your car or truck wherever you travel. A handy carry handle makes it the lightest luggage you’ll probably ever carry. Maybe you’re camping and you do a test pan out of the creek. Maybe a drought has lowered the water levels below normal and you find a nice flake rich hidden bedrock location. This is the perfect setup for the Stream Hopper as it will process much more gold bearing materials been gold panning ever would. This means in a day of sluicing you could fill over five vile bottles full of flake gold. That would more than pay for your “relaxation time” in nature.
Have you noticed little waterfalls the poor off the side of mountains and hills? Practically no one ever test these little elevated streams yet, these small waterways are often indicators of what up top. Test panning these little gems can sometimes revealed garnets, black sand and traces of gold. That’s nice but up higher on the hillside there are often little DIP switch gather an accumulation of gold. Think of it like this, it would take your considerable length of time to explore all the hills or mountains searching for gold. Any drainage or stream will naturally concentrate gold and its associated minerals. When you find gold [and if you search you will], follow the waters path up to a recess or depth and bring the Stream Hopper up with you. Test pan the drainages gravel in these dips. When you find the nice quantities of gold setup your Stream Hopper sluice box and make short work of this buried gold. Of course you will find gold with every side streams and you see but as you test these little waterways you will find a few the show good sign. This series of sluice boxes was created with quality and fast recovery of gold in mind. This is one of the reasons I offer you two different sizes of gold capture screens the come with every sluice box.
The larger expanded open metal screen is for all around general purpose sluicing but it is inevitable that you will find some flour gold. When you do slow the water flow down and use the fine gold recovery screen. This multi-matrix gold capture screen hits the fine gold on its own level. Each raised low-pressure pocket makes it impossible for “the small stuff” to get through. Lighter Sands and small gravel will wash through but fine gold will not. When using this “Fine Gold Recovery Screen” it is recommend you classify down to 1/8 inch minus for maximum performance. By doing this water flow needed to wash away with waste sands becomes much less and flour gold retention is greatly increased.
Lastly, the subject that most other sluice box producers don’t like to talk about, the classifier. My personal view about your whole sluicing operation is this:
The more gold materials you can successfully processed per hour the more gold you will get.
It’s just simple math and yet icy multitudes of miners out there with buckets, screen sieves and other time-consuming classifier methods working and splashing way. The less I have to “play with” all the shoveled sands and gravels the better. It’s fun to be out in nature but I would at least like the choice to choose whether to simply relax a gold mine.
I’m a lazy gold miner; more gold with less time. This relates back to the design of all my sluice boxes. The classifier make size selection of gravels and sands easy and fast. I’d rather spend a lot more time designing a fast way to process gold bearing materials them playing with all the materials in order to make them feed through my sluice box.
As prospectors we are out there to recover gold as much as possible. We only shovel “earth” to separate the gold from all the other stuff. I think it would be easier just to chop gold straight out of a large gold vein however, regrettably, there aren’t many of those things just kicking around so sluicing rivers and streams is the next best thing. Like any good mining tool is a right tool for the job.
The Stream Hopper is a lightweight multiuse aluminum sluice box that will offer you years of trouble-free service not to mention nice quantities of gold. The real beauty of this unit is that you can have it stowed away in your car or truck when you travel so you can take a break from traveling beside a mountain stream. You can do some test panning and find some nice color and then out comes the Stream Hopper for flake or small nugget gold recovery.
Another favorite of mine is when they dig up the landscape to put through a new road, logging road or secondary route. Or, new bridge with piles of gravel up on the bank, that was extracted when they drilled down to bedrock to build the bridge foundation. If this bridge was built anywhere near gold country definitely sluice the extracted material. Generally larger nuggets can be found from these drilled piles that panning all this gold bearing material would be insane so the sluice box can earn you a fair bit in gold.
Ever wonder how much fine gold is left in tailing piles? Processor material and test for volume of gold left behind. When I’m working in the Yukon there are masses of old tailing piles everywhere. I looked the darkest ones and test sluice those for good sign as a darker tailing pile is one which contains the most magnetite usually and potentially gold. If I find some good fine gold all seek out the claim owner [if it hasn’t expired] and asked permission while holding the micro Stream Hopper sluice box in one hand. Every time the owner has laughed at me and told me to go ahead, except for once. That one time the guy wanted $8000.
This 8" x 24" Basic Sluice Box comes with Ribbed Matting Capture Media.
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