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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Tool for Prospecting: The Gold Cube

Introduction to the Gold Cube:

The shores of Lake Superior contain gold in the form of small flat flakes that are hard to recover this is what Mike Pung while on a prospecting trip discovered in July 2009 while mining gold from the beaches of Lake Superior.  Instead of complaining Mike decided to do something about that gold.  From this trip to Lake Superior Mike invented a new way to recover virtually 90% of the placer gold in the world called the “Gold Cube.”

Mike’s invention is not a stand alone device, but is used with other gold mining equipment such as a high-banker or sluice box.  The final cleanup from the Gold Cube is a common gold pan.  The Gold Cube is used for the clean-up at the end of a gold mining expedition or used at home to process gold bearing sand at your leisure you have brought back from your last gold mining expedition.  The Gold Cube is made from a series of nesting trays that are 5 x 12 x 15 inches that are stacked in a zigzag fashion usually three segments high.  The Gold Cube is designed to work in about 90% of all gold bearing sands in the world.        

How it was invented:

When most people think of prospectors their minds turn right away to California during the 1849 gold rush, but they have plenty of modern compatriots these are people that hold another job, but go gold prospecting or mining during their time off. 

One of these gold miners was Mike Pung while prospecting for gold along the shores of Lake Superior in Upper Michigan.  Like all small scale gold miners Mike doesn’t want to say where, because it would quickly attract other miners possibly starting a gold rush like the one in Hemlo, Ontario a few years ago that is across Lake Superior on its opposite side.

The gold that is found on the beaches of Lake Superior was brought there by the great continental glaciers having their origin in Ontario where one of the great gold provinces of the world is located, the Abitibi Gold Province.  This is where most of the placer gold found in the northern mid-western states had its origin.

While working with a high-banker and a sluice box Mike had a bright idea to make the  gold miners life easier.  The result was the invention of the Gold Cube that was dreamed-up during a prospecting trip in July, 2009. 

What it does:

The Gold Cube is not a panacea for gold mining it is just one of many tools that have been developed over the years making the gold miner’s life easier.  As a tool the Gold Cube has been designed to recover a kind of gold that occurs as small flat flakes one of the most common kinds of placer gold in the world accounting for about 90% of all the placer gold in the world.  It will allow the miner to process about 1,000 pounds of gold bearing sand per hour with a very rate of gold recovery. 

How it works:

The gold cube has three stackable components made from low density polyethylene (LDPE) whose decks are permanently covered with a type of fabric used for making conveyor belts.  This particular fabric is one of the most effective gold traps in use.  The whole unit weighs about 20 pounds making it completely portable with three sections that are stackable in a zigzag configuration.  The top section has a built in hose connection using from 800 to 1,100 gallons per hour making completely usable in the field for cleanup mining operations.

Once the unit is setup with water running the gold bearing sand is fed into the Gold Cube one scoop at a time.  The running water carries the sand down through the zigzags trapping the gold on the fabric covered decks on the way down.  The unit has a further trick for the recovery of gold before the sand and water slurry can reach the next section a baffle on the bottom of section forces the mixture to rise up before it can reach the next segment.  This has a space in its bottom where gold can settle, and the lighter sand is carried on to the next segment.  The assembled Gold Cube will process about 1,000 pounds of gold bearing sand at 8 mesh size per hour.  

After the gold sand has been run the Gold Cube is disassembled and the individual segments are washed out in a tub of water.  What little is left in the bottom of the tub is mainly gold with some other heavy minerals that can be separated with a conventional gold prospectors pan.

How to get a Gold Cube:

Gold Cubes can be bought directly from their website goldcube.net The website has an excellent video showing the Gold Cube in action as well as many other sites of interest to placer gold miners.     




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