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Sluicing for diamonds
amethystguy
post Feb 23 2011, 12:18 PM
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I was wondering if your forum duiamond expert, John Tonko, or any of the other can answer a few questions for me.
Any pertinant info on Diamond sluicing? I was told one time before that miners moss was the way to catch diamonds. What about the riffles? What size, shape, angles do the riffles have to be at to catch diamonds? How do you determine the angle of the sluice. I know the amount of water running through will determine the proiper angle set. What about material like grease and beeswax which diamonds stick to. Should that be put into the sluice/riffles? I thought i had read that alluvial diamonds didn't stick as well to grease as did hardwork material. Is that true or does it make that big a difference? Any other info you can provide?
jason


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ScottKS
post Mar 22 2011, 02:26 PM
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Makes me want to be at the Crater Of Diamonds State Park right now....i saw this story on the noon KSN News just awhile ago. happy088.gif


http://www.katv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14292503
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ASTROBLEME
post Mar 22 2011, 04:26 PM
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Hi jason,

Many diamonds will be lost when using a sluice box but the feed rate for processing is much higher than panning or any other field recovery method that I am aware of. That is an acceptable trade-off in my opinion since larger diamonds will be retained better than smaller ones. One big diamond is far more valuable than hundreds or thousands of tiny ones…

I prefer to use two "over the counter" 6 foot aluminum sluices that are ran together. That is one feeding directly into the other. I set them up at an angle much less than one would run for gold. However, in those remote locations where I find diamonds, running water is rare to non-existent most of the time. In order to assure an adequate water supply for sluicing, plan the prospecting trips around runoff events. The standard removable metal sluice ripples over miner's moss will work fine as long as it doesn't saturate with clay. Clay buildup will carry the diamonds out of the sluice just like clay balls do with small gold. The reality is that one will need to make the best of the conditions that are present. You should find diamond indicators and with any luck a diamond or two if you’re in the right spot!

I don't like using any beeswax, paraffin, grease or petroleum jelly in the field. Anything with carbon will stick to it like a diamond should if it is completely free of the matrix. The problem with the sticky wax type coating is it fills with bugs, small sticks, and all sorts of stuff that would otherwise pass through the sluice. When used in mine production, the coatings work fine but in the field, they are more problematic than I can tolerate.

Take care,

Johnny Tonko


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Mrs.CP
post Mar 23 2011, 07:52 AM
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happy088.gif Thanks Johnny, great info!


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amethystguy
post Apr 25 2011, 10:18 PM
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Thanks once again, john...I appreciate all the help. I have been speaking with Rafal Swiecki about the matter and came to realize after 30+ years of him mining alluvial diamonds all over the world that only 2% of diamonds 2cts and under are recovered from a sluice and less than 1% larger than 2cts are recovered. Portable dredge and sl;uice is not a platform for any type of real diamond recovery system. Jig is the only practical and reliable diamond recovery system. He was just on a project, he was telling me, in the DRC(congo)
where a grease recovery system costing 1 million 200 thousand
dollars was purchased by a Canadian company in RSA and it was loosing 85% of
diamonds while a $9 thousand dollars jig was and set at
the end of "the grease machine", recovered it all! They actually take diamonds and count them out and toss them into the mix to be washed and sent through and thats how they tell the amount and percentages of recovery

Her said the grease machine is still there at the Badibanga site as the monument
to... [quote] "a poorly informed choice"[end quote]
The same Canadian public company, later taken over by Mwana Africa
from RSA, after seeing the efficiency of the jig Rafal supplies (the 6 inch dredge and jig) to bulk test the alluvial deposit in Badibanga,
DRC will now use it in all of their projects. Geologist in Zimbabawe recently started using this same set-up.

I got a lot of information from 3 diff. companies about recovery systems. The consensus seems to be dredges and jigs work the best for alluvial mining of diamonds. I got printout of every single piece, screw, and part for a 4", 6", and 8" dredge and jig and even all the info for large diverless river dredges which won't apply to me but still wanted to have.
Price for the whokle set-up of a 4" is $29,308 with out broker fees, packing fees, freight, and insurance. weight is roughly 2,800kg's. (6" $53K and diverless is $247K) Looks like I need to save up some money before I can go to guyana or sierre leone to mine for diamonds..LOL
Thanks again for the help, john. How are you kimberlote hunts going out in ole state line district?



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Diamond Digger
post Apr 28 2011, 02:06 PM
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Hi Jason,
If you are serious about finding diamonds I can tell you how to build a proper washpan so you can find all the diamonds small and big. The small ones pay for all the expenses while the big ones will buy that Ferrari!
However the Pan is not small nor cheap and you will need a proper front end loader to feed it.
Anyway it is worth it!
One 5 ct stone will cover your expenses.
Cheers

DD

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amethystguy
post Apr 28 2011, 03:05 PM
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Thanks bro..much appreciated. PM sent


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ScottKS
post Apr 29 2011, 09:43 AM
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Another one found...This one even BIGGER....smiley-shocked003.gif

http://www.9news.com/news/sidetracks/19576...7CFRONTPAGE%7Ct

Dang now would be the best time to go...they must of plowed up some good dirt off of the pay layer because people keep finding them.
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Diamond Digger
post May 2 2011, 03:44 PM
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Finding diamonds is not that difficult but you do need the proper gear to wash it out of the gravels. A sluice will not do it, it has been tried by old miners and several other companies but some diamonds float and that is a fact! So with a sluice you will only get about %2 of the stones the rest will wash away. It is not the right gear to find diamonds with.
DD
Sorry to say.....
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ASTROBLEME
post May 2 2011, 05:01 PM
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QUOTE (Diamond Digger @ May 2 2011, 04:44 PM) *
Finding diamonds is not that difficult but you do need the proper gear to wash it out of the gravels. A sluice will not do it, it has been tried by old miners and several other companies but some diamonds float and that is a fact! So with a sluice you will only get about %2 of the stones the rest will wash away. It is not the right gear to find diamonds with.
DD
Sorry to say.....


Diamonds do float; I've seen it for myself. They are "non-wettable" and can hold a static charge on their surface that make them appear to repel water. One must use extreme caution with the sluice; it isn't intended for commercial applications...only for prospecting or specimen collecting!

Here’s a link that everyone might find helpful.

http://www.wsgs.uwyo.edu/Topics/Gemstones/...ndsPamphlet.pdf

JT


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"Some day this crater is going to be a greatly talked about place, and if the above credit is due, as is certainly the case, I would like to have it generally known for the sake of the children." Daniel Moreau Barringer 2/1/1912 in a letter about the Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona USA
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Diamond Digger
post May 3 2011, 05:02 PM
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A short discription of How To Find Diamonds in a streambed.
Research is everything, there must be a known Kimberlite area upstream.

It is the oily layer on the outside of every diamond that cause it to remain dry.

However all is not lost! I have added a picture of a diamond sieve, the results and how to do it:
First you need a flat hard wood plastic surface covered with a thin hard carpet (The cheap ozite type Brown color will do)
This could be placed on two rocks/makeshift stand in the shadow Not in the sunlight.
Then you need a sieve as per photo.
A shovel
A small builder’s trowel as per picture.
Two plastic bottles one full of Hydrofluoric acid and one empty (Check warning at the end)
One plastic tea sieve
A small bottle with screw cap to hold the diamonds

A strong back. Ok all the gravel on the bedrock must be shovelled into the sieve, remove the large rocks Unless it glints!
Then you have to gravitate the heavy material to the centre of the sieve. This is accomplished by dipping the sieve in water and rotating it fast from left to right make sure you do not spill any gravel over the sides. Ok while you do this you will be bend over sieve in both hands and make a shaking motion up and down at the beginning of each half rotation in order to lift the gravel and help with the rotation. The heavy materials will settle in the middle of the sieve. After ten or so rotations (It gets easier) You have to see the gravel move from left to right in a circular motion then you know you are doing it right!

You need to drain the water out of the sieve by just resting it on a rock for a few seconds.
Now take the sieve over to your carpet covered (Table) in the shade and with one swift move upend the sieve on the carpet. Now shake the sieve and bang it lightly onto the table to dislodge all stones from the sieve.
If there are large diamonds in the middle of the sieve it will be easy to see and will be surrounded by black gravel/stones/Ilminite/feldspa etc.
You will see the diamonds no matter the color immediately it will pick up the sunlight and reflect it into your eyes! Like a torch being switched on at midnight! (Almost)
If there is one or even a few pick them up with a tweezers and place them in a plastic bottle. Many old timers Like me put the diamond in their mouths, it is a reliable way of testing whether it is a diamond or just a shiny crystal. However a diamond does not get wet a crystal does a diamond does net get warm either a crystal does!

Ok lets say you did not see a diamond now use the trowel to attack the round flat topped pile of gravel carefully from the side and flatten it on the brown carpet looking carefully for a diamond, by shine shape and color.
The more diamonds you see in the rough the easier it gets. An experienced Digger will go through a pile in a matter of minutes. However till you are experienced take it easy. A small stone can pay for your mortgage!
If you find nothing do not despair look for the indicators if you see them keep going you will find a diamond at some point.
Wash all the gravel out of the streambed until you get to the bedrock and keep going. Diamonds can be anywhere as they do not behave the same as gold remember that
To test your diamonds right there in the field you can buy an Ultra Violet light that is battery operated. Diamonds in their natural form fluoresce blue it does not take steam from your breath or does not get warm so try a lighter if it burns your hand it’s not a diamond!
So persistence is the way to go unless you can afford to build a proper wash-pan.
If you find a 5 ct stone you can pay for the manufacture and have some change left!
I will be happy to help just get hold of me anytime, get out there and do your research try and find rivers that run through known Kimberlite areas! Research is everything then stake your claim!


Picture 1 The sieve
Picture 2 what it looks like before you start in with the Trowel.
Picture three Rough stones before you immerse them into Hydrofluoric acid.

A BIG warning here!
Hydrofluoric Acid is the strongest out there do NOT get it on your hands or in your eyes YOU will LOOSE an eye if it splashes into your face. It is the only acid that can get rid of the oily layer and gravel and dirt still sticking to your diamond, it comes out stunning after the acid bath.
So wear goggles and gloves (Acid proof) when using the acid.
I buy two bottles and keep one empty I just dump the diamonds into one bottle then leave it overnight in the acid in the morning I use a plasctic tea sieve to pour to acid out into the other botle and catch the diamonds. I always do this in a non metalic zink.

Have fun!
DD
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