Gold mining is divided into industrial and non-industrial. In the latter case, artisanal methods are used that make it possible to extract gold in a fairly limited amount. As a rule, they are practiced by single gold prospectors or small groups of several people.
The way gold is mined largely depends on where it is located. In most cases, prospectors search for this precious metal along the banks of rivers and streams, as the availability of water is a prerequisite for its effective separation from waste rock.
Before the start of flushing, the prospectors first look for an area with a sufficiently high gold content - usually a few grams per ton of rock. To do this, pits with a depth of several meters beat along the banks, the rock taken out from one or another depth is washed out. If it is possible to find gold, its content in the rock is determined and a decision is made to start mining.
Gold mining with the simplest wash pan
The simplest wash tray is made of wood or metal and looks like a large bowl with a rounded bottom. Films about gold prospectors often show a gold digger scooping up gold sand with a tray and washing it in a stream or river. But in practice, gold-bearing sand is very rare, usually a mixture of gravel, small pebbles, sand and other rocks.
It is this mixture, mined in the pit, that is scooped up by the tray. Having approached the water, it is necessary to lower the tray into the water and begin to rotate the rock in it with smooth movements. Interestingly, large stones do not sink to the bottom of the tray, as one might expect, but move to the edge and fall out. Gradually, all pebbles, including the smallest ones, are washed out of the tray, so-called concentrate remains in it - particles of solid minerals of high density. It is black in color; particles of gold are very clearly visible in it - if they were in the washed rock.
Extraction of gold with the help of a projectile
More professional and profitable is gold mining with the help of a prohodnushka - a wooden tray knocked down from several boards. It is installed at the very stream, water is supplied to it. As a rule, it runs by gravity along a makeshift water conduit; water is taken just upstream.
The tray is at a slight incline, with ribbed rubber mats on the bottom. A sheet of iron with holes punched in it is placed on top. The rock is poured onto it and stirred with a shovel - small fractions fall into the washing tray, and large stones are raked from the sheet to the side.
During flushing, gold particles are retained on the rugs, waste rock is carried away by water. After a certain time, usually several hours, the rugs are carefully removed, and the gold is collected from them.
Modern equipment for artisanal gold mining
Nowadays, many companies offer modern efficient equipment for artisanal gold mining. In the catalogs you can find a wide variety of installations that can greatly facilitate the work of the prospector. There are both the simplest pass-throughs, light and convenient, and sophisticated expensive equipment that pays for itself only if you work in gold-rich areas.