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 Sluice Box Matting 

Quality sluice box matting is important not only in a basic sluice, but also for highbanker mat, and on a suction dredge. Riffles do a great job of slowing down the gold, but some type of matting underneath the riffles is required to hold the gold and help prevent it from flowing out the bottom along with waste material. The most common sluice box matting is a carpet-like material. This works well, however, newer types of gold sluice matting developed over the years has helped to improve recovery rates.

Most gold prospectors have upgraded their old carpet matting to higher quality miners moss, ribbed rubber matting, or a combination of several types of sluice box matting. It is a good idea to experiment with different water flows, angles of the sluice box, riffle types, and types of matting to increase fine gold recovery. When finished sluicing for the day, carefully remove whatever gold sluice mat(s) you are using, rinse out in a bucket or tub to release the concentrates, and then process those concentrates to recover your GOLD. Scroll to bottom of this page for tips on sluicing and clean up.

    Miners Moss for Sluices

    Miners Moss - Multiple Sizes

    Tuff-Stuff Deep V Grooved Mat

    Tuff-Stuff Deep V Grooved Mat

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    Trimmable Sluice Box Matting


    Low Profile Ribbed Mat - Multiple Sizes

    Sluicing and Clean Up Tips

    Place the sluice in the flow of a stream or river so that the water enters the flared end and flows through the sluice. If the current is strong you may need to lay some stones against the edge of the sluice to keep it from washing away. The sluice should be set at a downhill angle that allows the material to briskly flow through the sluice. The higher the volume of water available, the shallower the angle will be. Shovel material into the sluice at the flared end as close to the end as possible so that the material is washed over the entire length of the sluice. Do not overload the sluice with material. Pace your shoveling so that the sluice has time to clear before you add more material.

    Under ideal circumstances, most of the gold will be captured in the first few riffles of your sluice. If you notice that much of your gold is getting caught at the bottom, then you are likely losing gold. This will be especially true for the fine gold that is toughest to capture. To prevent clogging of the riffles and matting, don’t feed the riffles to fast. Slowly add gravel into the head of the sluice to allow the small gold to get down into the matting. If your material is loaded with heavy black sands, you will notice that the riffles fill up quickly, especially at the head end of the box. When this happens, it is a good indication that the riffles are not functioning at peak efficiency.

    When to Clean Up Your Sluice Box Matting

    Look at your sluice as you are feeding material. If it seems like the riffles at the head of the box are still functioning properly, then there is no need to do a clean-out just yet. If the sluice box appears to be functioning properly, continue adding material, but if it seems like it is getting loaded down with black sands, it’s time to clean out your miners moss or other gold sluice mat. Another tip that will help with your gold recovery efforts is to always classify your material before running it through your sluice. This removes those larger rocks and debris first, and helps your sluice operate at its maximum efficiency. This will ensure that you capture all of the possible gold available, and reduce your losses!