Monday, February 7, 2011

Power Sluices and Hibankers

Click to enlargeHighbankers - Power Sluices

Power Sluices and Hibankers are available at the bottom of the page - scroll down. The inlet valves / Highbank: A supply valve, sometimes called Highbank or hibanker is a piece of gold prospecting equipment that uses a pump to force water through a sluice box to mimic the natural flow of a streamwater. Sometimes, a hopper with spray bars and a screen classifier (or grizzly) is used. The gravel is added slowly to the shovel into the hopper and washed on a screen classifier to remove pieces of rock that are too large to pass through the lock. 
The water pump can be either electric or gas powered. If the unit is designed to catch and recirculate the water it is called a recirculating power sluice, or recirculating hibanker. These are generally powered by 12 volt batteries available at Walmart for around $19.
Benefits of highbankers:
Rather than haul material to the water, you can bring a lightweight, efficient power sluice to the source. The power sluice can work remote placer deposits hundreds of feet away from the water source. In the case of recirculating units they can be operated in desert areas with very little water.
The typical hopper design washes clay and debris with a high pressure washing spray bar and all washed material becomes classified to less than 1/2 inch for impoved recovery of smaller gold. The spray bar may be equipped with a water valve for ease of controlling the flow in the sluice.
The sluice box itself is constructed like a normal stream sluice except it is equipped with an adjustable independent leg support system that enables the power sluice to be assembled on any type of terrain in a matter of minutes.
Combination Dredge / Power Sluice:
IIf a feed valve engine uses a high pressure gas, it is relatively easy to adapt so that it can also operate as a dredger small. The combination of the popular power sluice and portable dredge creates a recovery system that can be used effectively in most situations. Generally, these dredges have a 1 / 2 to 3 inches and suction nozzles are designed to operate in shallow waters without needing equipment scuba diving or air compressor (hookah). 
The sluice can also be modified for dredging with more riffles Hungarian style to accommodate the increased water flow and speed. Other changes may include adding foam mats or special juvenile and ribbed rubber mat to catch the fine gold.

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