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Gold recovery pumps offer all prospectors a fast inexpensive way to recover hard to reach gold in almost any location. I faced the same problems you do. I was working the gravel banks of streams and rivers using the usual shovel and sluice box method. I was looking out into the rapids or behind large rocks, knowing that there were nuggets and an accumulation of flake gold there, but was not able to reach them through the fast current without being swept away. I was also finding cracks and depressions everywhere and trying to use a hook or wire to gently lift out any gold pieces that might be there (HUGE waste of time). After losing a particularly large nugget off the end of my hook and being extremely upset, I knew there had to be a better way. I watched videos of guys using expensive powerful suction dredges to "vacuum up' the bottom of the streambed and was very impressed. There was one part were the dredge operator "sucked clean" a bedrock crack and you could hear a different clink sound coming from the aluminum nozzle when he cleaned out one of the larger cracks. When he cleaned up his sluice he pointed out a gold nugget and said that it was probably responsible for the sound that we heard while he was working the bedrock crack. So I figured I would have to buy a dredge to get the nuggets and increase my recovered gold. So I started shopping, however a complete small outfit started at $1,000.00 and went up from there. Then I found out that suction dredges are illegal where I was prospecting and the whole setup was too large anyway. I wanted to hit choice spots along the river where others could not reach. The river had water worn depressions, cracks and narrow rapids that were 3 to 4 feet deep. The video I saw showed a guy in a wetsuit using his dredge underwater. You couldn't do that in a lot of the spots I was looking at.
I had just returned from a gold panning outing when I looked across the street and saw the neighbors son pumping up his bike pump. A PUMP! I went across the street to take a closer look. I use an air compressor to inflate tires so I probably looked new to the planet to him as I stared at the pump closely. This pump was an older model and used a leather diaphragm for pumping air. (The newer pumps use plastic diaphragms or "o" rings). This type of air pump draws air through a hole in the top and the diaphragm is the one way valve. It was obviously completely unsuitable for what I had in mind. Anyway, after four failed attempts I finally had a pump that would move water and sand. Out I went to my favorite river. I was all proud as I walked up to the first medium deep pocket. I started to pump and it jammed. A little force freed it up and I directed the flow into a gold pan, so I could see what I was getting. What I got was a little sand, a couple pieces of gravel and one shredded "o" ring. The gravel had torn the edge of the ring within 10 seconds of use. So much for being proud.
The broken pump sat in my basement for nearly a year before I looked at it again. The solution or break I was looking for came from industrial production equipment. Industrial equipment uses heavy duty 24 hour a day production requirements. I looked at specific industrial vacuum systems to come up with a design.
I wanted a pump that will:
- Last for years
- Have a very high suction rate
- Be very portable
- Be inexpensive to make
- Won't be against the law (non mechanized (no motor))
- Be fast
- And of course, it had to suck up nuggets easily
- It also had to be able to clean out bedrock cracks and pull gold that was down ten feet (or more).
The first gold suction pump I simply called the Gold Recovery Pump. It works like a charm.
- It won't rust or oxidize
- Has a Heavy Duty design
- Has a never jam design with it's oversized exhaust port
- Is a continuous system so there is no need to stop
- It vents water so you keep all the "heavies"
- Has interchangeable suction wands 2 - 10 feet in length (comes with standard 2 foot wand)
- Uses the "Everlast" Gold Pump Diaphragm.
and added in some enhancements like:
- Has a direct line of suction for maximum suction gold pull
- Features a see through valve for on the spot nugget checking
- Has a quick remove gold capture cartridge (designed for miners and geologists)
- Has an industrial screen over the vent port so there is no lost gold!
- Designed for gold, platinum, diamonds and other gem stones
- Has optional additional capture cartridges if desired.
The Gold Hornet is much more portable than the Gold Recovery Pump which allows you to quickly move from spot to spot sucking up gold laden materials on the fly.
With the Gold Hornet there is no need to shoot your materials into a gold pan or bucket. The capture cartridge catches all your valuable minerals until you are ready to separate your materials. The cartridges are interchangeable to you can change them at a moments notice.
In a new area? Pull material samples from a few choice spots and you will know instantly if there is decent gold there.
The Gold Hornet has a very fast break down design which just requires you to remove the suction wand and it is ready to carry or be stored away.
I am not saying that there is no need to use a shovel anymore, but, if you can suck out choice gold pockets over a wide area quickly, do you really need to move cubic yards of material for a few flakes of gold?
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