Remove Black Sands – Final Gold Recovery with the Blue Bowl Concentrator
Panning gold can politely be described as an incredibly tedious process. This is definitely true if you are using a pan for final cleanup of concentrates. If you’ve got buckets full of black sands that you need to get the gold out of, you need to find a way to speed up the slow and tedious separation of gold dust from black sand.
One solution to this problem is the Blue Bowl Concentrator. In addition to making separating out the gold less painful, the Blue Bowl does a much better job than traditional panning as it is able to recover much smaller particles than most gold panners are able to recover. Plus the process of using it is much quicker and won’t wear out your wrists.
This gravity concentrator is very light and easy take carry, so you can bring it out into the field or use it at home. Most prospectors prefer to keep it at home to use for final cleanup later.
Setup and Preparation of the Blue Bowl
The Blue Bowl Concentrator comes in a kit that includes a 12-volt submersible pump, which provides a low-pressure water supply. If you bring it on your prospecting trip, a 12-volt battery can provide power. When using the Blue Bowl at home, run the 100-volt AC power through a simple battery charger that is rated for at least 3 amps. Most chargers will be at least 6-10 amps, so it will be very easy to find a 3 amp charger.
Before beginning to use your Blue Bowl, follow some simple set-up procedures. First, remove any oiling residue by washing the interior with a mild dishwashing detergent. Be certain never to use any kind of abrasive when scrubbing the Blue Bowl to avoid damage to what will soon become your very best friend when it comes to separating gold dust. The best way to use the Blue Bowl is to set up your own personal re-circulating recovery system. This would include:
Up and Running and Getting Gold
Place the Blue Bowl over a five-gallon plastic pail inside an 18-gallon tub. Attach the hose from the pump to the Blue Bowl, and then level it. Position the pump inside the tub next to the pail. Put the pump on a brick or some flat surface while raises it about 2 inches or so from the bottom. This will help keep trash out of the pump. Fill the pail with water first; then fill the tub to within approximately two inches of the rim of the bucket. Then add Jet Dry to the water before starting the pump.
Once the pump has been started, adjust the water flow so that the water is running close to the top of the outer rim of the Bowl, but not over flowing. Try to create a swirl pattern around a center cone (vortex). Keep the water inside the bowl. This allows the vortex to maintain its strength, which will remove the black sands.
Before adding any of the material you want to separate, pre-screen it using a classifying sieve. Keep the material wet with water and perhaps an emergent like “Jet Dry” to break the surface tension so you don’t lose any fine gold from floating over the top.
If material does flows over the edge out of the bowl, remain calm. This is why you have a bucket and a big tub. Keep an eye on your vortex. If the water flow rate is too great, reduce it. If it is too low, increase the flow. Watch the discharge over the rim of the inner cone; if you see micro gold being swept over the rim, slow it down a little.
Gradually add more of the back sands to the bowl. Due to its weight, the gold powder will fall through the vortex to the bottom of the bowl. When you finish there should be gold (assuming your concentrates contained gold of course), which was separated from the black sand with much less pain and far more quickly than if you had separated it yourself.
When you look at the nice little pile of gold dust, cleanly separated for the other materials you will be impressed with the efficiency of the Blue Bowl.