What is a Highbanker?
A highbanker is basically a sluice box with mobility and added height. It is mounted on a 4-legged stand that gives the sluice box the correct slope. Instead of being put right in the creek like a sluice, an engine with a water pump and some hoses transports the water up from the stream into the highbanker. Gravel is then shoveled into the hopper, which is mounted at the top end of the sluice box. Inside the hopper is a "grizzly" which is a series of sloping rods that filter out larger rocks. Also in the hopper are spray bars that shoot water onto the gravel that is shoveled into the hopper. In addition to the ability to go just about anywhere, the highbanker also is able to run more material in less time than a regular sluice.
Highbankers are available in a large variety of styles and sizes. And there are many choices of riffles, spray bars, carpets, miner's moss, engine-pump combinations, hoses, and frames so you can find the highbanker (also called a Power Sluice) that meets your needs. The smaller models often come with a pack frame so it can be backpacked if your gold claim or favorite stream is in a remote location. Highbankers For Sale here.
Equipment Used for Gold Prospecting
Prospecting for gold can be done in various ways. The simplest way is to use a gold pan like the old time prospectors did in the days of the gold rush, with simple metal pans equipped with small ridges on the inside to help trap gold. These days pans come in many varieties and sizes, and plastic pans have become very popular due being lightweight, and design seems to be better and gold holding efficiency increased. Pans are inexpensive ranging from $10 for the simplest metal pans and even the best pans on the market can be found for under $50. This is a pretty simple and inexpensive way to begin searching for gold.
Another piece of equipment which will allow a much greater amount of material to be panned effectively is a sluicebox. These were used extensively in the old days of prospecting and were usually homemade, built with a log or wooden frame, and placed in the shallow water of a river bed allowing water to flow through. The material was then shoveled into the sluice allowing it to flow down over a set of ridges, or riffles on the bottom, creating eddies which trapped the heavier rocks, such as gold, which is one of the heaviest minerals on earth.
These days an amazing variety of gold sluices are available, and are usually constructed of lightweight metal, with special rubber mats incorporated to provide much better gold retention than the original sluices. They can be found in a variety of sizes from folding models, which can be carried in a backpack, to much larger one piece sluices used in larger commercial operations. Still affordable, basic sluiceboxes can be found from $50 to $150.
Going one step farther, power sluices and highbankers are now a popular item for those involved in small to medium size operations where enough revenue is being generated to warrant the use of more powerful and of course more expensive methods. Incorporating small gas engines usually, they can suck up large volumes of material from a creek or riverbed to supply to the sluice box, and use this water supply to wash the material through. Huge amounts of material can be run through this way in a day, which is then removed from the sluice and the smaller, more concentrated volumes of material can then be panned traditionally.
One other accessory within the scope of this article, which is quite popular as well, is the metal detector. Normally used on the beach or in public areas for finding lost items, this piece of equipment has become very popular with gold prospectors as well. Even big companies are using detectors now to supplement traditional techniques in known mineral reserves. Some amateur prospectors have had great success using them in old mine workings, where resources were overlooked previously. Gold detectors vary in price, depending on the features you are looking for.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Terrence_Knight
Terrence Knight is a full time pilot, and recreational prospector and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys writing articles relating to these fields. Additional articles and bio can be found on his blog at http://www.goldisfun.blogspot.com/
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