Black sand concentrates are what you end up with after first processing of your gold bearing material. It is usually a combination of minerals in the iron group: Hematite, Fe3o3, with a specific gravity of 5.26, an iron mineral that is non-magnetic and Magnetite, Fe3o4, with a specific gravity of 5.20, is magnetic. These black sands will weigh a third (1/3) to a fourth (1/4) the weight of gold (Au). Gold has a specific gravity of 15 to 19.3. A cubic foot of wet black sand will weigh 225+ pounds or 26.7 pounds per gallon.
These heavy concentrates present the major problem in the gold recovery process for the average recreational gold prospector and for many commercial miners too. Gold with a specific gravity of 15 to 19.3 and black sand at 5 to 6+, when classified to the same mesh size, will allow the gold contained to be easily recovered. Proper classification (sorting by size) is the key to fine gold recovery form black sands. Without classification, gravel three times the size of gold will be recovered with the gold, hence the necessity for proper classification. Using a set of classifier sieves (see below) will help you greatly.
Try one of our black sand magnets for quick and easy gold panning cleanup.
And practice your clean up with one of our gold panning bags loaded with real gold.
What other prospecting tools are there to clean up black sands?
Besides the inexpensive gold magnet (see below) you can move up to a mechanical gold wheel or blue bowl.
We need your black sands for testing new equipment! Sell us your black sand concentrates (with or without gold). Email firstname.lastname@example.org with how many pounds you have available.
Why Use A Gold Wheel?
The Blue Bowl
Of all the black sand separation methods, the Blue Bowl will probably save the finest gold without resorting to mercury or other chemicals. It used to be called the D.A.M. Bowl but Pioneer Mining in Auburn, CA acquired the patents and the molds and now it's just called the Blue Bowl (I can't imagine why). They work best with material that will go through a 30 mesh screen but I have had pretty good luck with material between 20 and 30 mesh. Any of the black sand separators mentioned on this site or a gold pan will work OK for material over 30 mesh. You can buy just the bowl or in a couple kits one of which has virtually everything you need.
We need your black sands for testing new gold recovery equipment! Sell us your black sand concentrates (with or without gold). Email email@example.com with how many pounds you have available.
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