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Tuesday, November 15 2016
The Mountain Goat Trommel is not new to the prospecting industry by any means, but it has just recently been field tested by Kevin Hoagland, host of the GPAA-produced TV series Gold Trails. Kevin's complete Field Test was published in the November/December 2016 issue of Gold Prospectors magazine. Below is an excerpt or you can Download the complete Mountain Goat Field Test here (6-page .pdf).
Invented by the late great Angus Niccolls who started Camel Mining, the Mountain Goat Trommel has a long history of excellent gold recovery and easy of use. It will handle .5 inch minus material with the optimal recovery being material that has been classified to .25 inch. It’s best to use wet material when you use a wet system such as a trommel. It has been aptly named the Mountain Goat because “it eats anything and goes anywhere.”
The Mountain Goat is a variant of the Archimedean Screw, which is a tube surrounding a rotating screw used to pull a column of water up a grade. This makes it possible to easily lift water. In the Mountain Goat, the outer tube is lined with the screw, and as gold-bearing material is stratified by a stream of water and run through the tube, the heavier gold-bearing material is deposited into the reverse screw and brought to the top of the unit. The lighter waste material is continually washed and pushed through the unit into the tailings.
In other words, when material enters the hopper, the gold goes one direction and the water goes the other. It’s really no different than huge trommels, except that the Mountain Goat does all of this in a unit that weighs less than 20 pounds, and recirculates about 10 gallons of water all day long. And if set up properly, the manufacturer says it can handle about two yards of material in a long day of running.
The Mountain Goat Trommel is cleverly designed. It’s compact and almost completely assembled when you receive it. The carry handle is molded into the unit, making it easy to transport (especially if you are riding a quad or other vehicle). The trommel tube is pre-mounted to the unit with the nugget trap installed, needing no further assembly. The legs are collapsible and can be set to two different heights. Plus, the front legs are further adjustable to allow you to fine tune the unit to the material you’re working.
The pump is 12-volt, and the flow rate was chosen to offer the best recovery possible. It is recommended that you use some sort of filter on the pumps inlet side to assure that trash is not drawn into the system where it can cause clogs and lost time. The recovery trap sits on the unit and does not require any mounting tools. The hopper slides into the trommel and uses wing nuts mounted to stabilizer bars that quickly connect the entire assembly together. Set the Goat in a large tub if you’re using as a recirculating unit, add water, hook it up to a battery and you are almost ready to run material.
But before you use it for the first time, or if it has sat unused for a while, be sure to clean the unit with hot water and a little unscented dishwashing soap. Hook up the unit and allow the soapy water to do its job of removing the release agent that comes on just about any product that has been molded. Sponge down all surfaces exposed to water and the outside of the unit, too. This simple cleaning step can prevent gold loss. You might want to clean the machine outdoors as the soap bubbles can go everywhere!
As you use the Mountain Goat, continually test the tailings. You should not see any gold. If you do, you may need to increase the angle of the unit by turning the screws on the front legs. It’s a bit of trial and error, just as it is when setting up a sluice in a stream. The Mountain Goat can be paired with the Desert Fox Spiral Wheel for a complete two stage concentrator and final recovery unit.
Nugget of News Blog
Sunday, January 11 2015
If you're looking for a proven fine gold recovery tool that has been on the market for decades, consider the Desert Fox Spiral Gold Panning Machine. It's easy to use, and recently Kevin Hoagland, Executive Director of Development for the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) conducted a field test review which was published on pages 14-17 of the January/February 2015 issue of Gold Prospectors Magazine. Here's an excerpt of Kevin's findings and you can also click on the image at the end of this post to download a complete copy of the field test review (4-page .pdf).
"... The Desert Fox ships in an Action Packer case that is the storage, transport, and water container unit. It provides excellent protection for the Fox while giving you a true compact recirculating unit that can be transported easily. Unpacking the container was simple and for those of us that spend little time looking at the way something comes out of a container, the manufacturer has included a photo in the manual to show you how to repack the unit so it's back to being travel-ready in just a few seconds. In the container you will find:
Setup takes just a few moments. The wheel frame is a single point A-frame that sits perfectly in place in the container and allows you a stable, easy-to-set-up base for the spiral unit. The A-frame construction also allows the unit to be set up directly in a stream. Stand the A-frame in the container, lift the drive unit to a beginning angle, slide the double-wall wheel into the slot on the drive motor, attach the spray bar, fill with water, hook up to a 12-volt power supply (not included), and after a couple of fine tuning adjustments, the Desert Fox is ready to start running your concentrates. Total time from cased to running is about two minutes!
The A-frame mounted drive motor allows you to easily make small adjustments to the angle of the wheel. This ease-of-use factor can become critical when running materials that require more precision. Water flow is controlled by a single-point knob on the spray bar assembly, and the speed control is located on the back of the unit. These 3 adjustments are all you need to ensure efficient gold recovery. Before first use, be sure to clean with a good quality dish washing soap to remove all the manufacturing oils (mold-release agents from the plastic parts). Do NOT use a citrus-scented soap because the scent is derived from oils, which is exactly what you are trying to remove. Use hot soapy water and a non-abrasive pad.
Spiral panners work in reverse of traditional hand panning. Instead of gravity separating gold from concentrates with the heavies sinking to the bottom of a pan, a spiral machine uses speed, water, and the angle of the spiral wheel to keep lighter material in the bottom of the wheel, while the heavier black sand and gold is brought up the leads. When set correctly, the sands drop off at the last moment and only gold is moved through the center of the unit and recovered in the cup.
I recommend classifying your dirt to a minimum of .25 inch to 1/8 inch mesh. Once classified and prepared to run, feed the material slowly into the bottom of the wheel. I've found it best to use a tablespoon. Increase the feed rate after all necessary adjustments are made.
Starting with the water first, find the lowest water pressure that will clean the light material from the leads as it climbs up the pan, adjust the angle and speed as needed so the heavy sands drop off at the right spot and you're ready to start processing your concentrates. After completing the basic setup, I adjusted the speed to keep the unit tuned in to variations in the types of material I ran. There are two models of the Desert Fox— a constant speed ($339) and a variable speed ($359). Since the difference in price is just $20, I highly recommend the variable speed model.
The Desert Fox is a straight-forward and simple spiral wheel system that recovers gold efficiently, and has been manufactured by Camel Mining since 1969. It is compact, weighs about 10 pounds, and is ideal for carrying into the field. Gold recovery is exceptional and the learning curve is short..."
Click here to learn more about the Desert Fox Spiral Panner on this website. Click image to download .pdf of field test review.
Nugget of News Blog