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Find More Gold: Tips On How To Use Sluice Box Properly

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Extraction of gold from deposits was previously accomplished using manual separation techniques such as gold panning. As a result, large enterprises conducted most mining activity in the 20th and 21st centuries, utilizing large-scale equipment. However, due to the price of gold, millions of prospect miners are working on small scales across the country using sluice boxes again to strike it rich.

The gold sluice box is a time-saving alternative to the traditional panning for gold because it enables the prospector to sort through a significantly greater quantity of sediment efficiently. A sluice box, also called a gold chute, is one of the most dependable methods for separating gold. 

Furthermore, a sluice box is a popular and reliable piece of gold recovery equipment. As a result, it has a substantial presence in the gold mining industry, both large and small. Below, we’ll look at the best ways to use a sluice box.

How Does A Gold Sluice Box Work
How Does A Gold Sluice Box Work

If you want to check out the best sluice box for gold panning, you can find it here (Amazon link).

How Does A Gold Sluice Box Work

Most metal gold sluice boxes are lightweight and feature a riffle tray that you can easily remove. The term “sluice box” refers to equipment with baffles or riffles running down the bottom edge of its most significant side. 

The carpet gets laid below the riffle tray in the sluice box in the hopes that it will capture any flecks of gold that may be present. In addition, the angle at which it sits in the stream will allow the natural current to wash the particles through the box. 

The rocks’ size and shape, the sand’s volume and composition, the style of the riffle, and the depth of the water flow are just a few of the variables that affect the slope or grade of a sluice.

Each situation necessitates a unique sluice gradient, which can be optimized through trial and error by beginning with an angle of about 1 inch per foot of length.

They are either placed along a river or stream or have water pumped into them to better manage water velocity without washing out previously collected gold from the bottom.

As the material collected from the streambed moves through the main body of the sluice box, the riffles cause gold particles denser than the other materials to fall through the mesh screen and onto the sluice box mat beneath.

Once the gold particles have reached the bottom of the sluice box, they can be safely collected and stored.

When you’re ready to empty your sluice box and retrieve the gold, remove the riffle tray from the bucket and clean the carpet. After that, the material will be placed in a bucket and panned later.

How Do You Set Up A Gold Sluice Box

The first step in using a sluice box, as with gold panning, is to find an excellent location to work it. First, identify an area near the gravel you intend to deal with in the stream. Next, you’ll need a location to dump the sediment so it can flow through the sluice box.

The slope angle and water flow over the sluice should be adjusted so that gravel, including larger cobbles, can continue to flow over the box’s various baffles and riffles.

The standard slope you want for your sluice box is about a 1-inch drop for every foot of sluice. So, for example, if you have a 3-foot sluice box, then you want your sluice box at a 3-inch slope.

TIP: You need to know something about how gold deposits occur to understand which rocks to look for when prospecting. Find out the answer in the article below:
5 Rocks You Need To Look For When Gold Prospecting (+ Why)

How To Use A Sluice Box For Gold

How To Use A Sluice Box For Gold
How To Use A Sluice Box For Gold

Now that the gold sluice box has been installed and the water is moving through it without obstructions, it is time to add the gravel. Transfer the stone and dirt directly to the sluice box’s front end using a scoop or shovel. 

Be careful not to pour too much gravel into the container, as doing so may result in losing gold. Instead, add the stone and sand in a quick enough manner such that you are always able to see the tops of the riffles.

Whenever you notice a sizeable accumulation of black sand on the riffles inside the sluice box, it is time to clear the gold out of the box and remove it. 

It is recommended that the sluice box be elevated above the water. Utilizing the sluice, transfer the black sand to the bucket at your disposal. You presently have a bucket full of concentrates in your possession. Get a gold pan, and begin separating the gold from the concentrates.

What Angle For Gold Sluice Box

When constructing a sluice, it is essential to employ the appropriate angle. Because the slope is generally between 5 and 7 degrees, it is simple for most spherical rocks and pebbles to navigate their way through. However, you want the sluice to go through at a slower, more random pace rather than flow too quickly.

TIP: Metal detectors can be another helpful tool when gold prospecting. Check out how to use metal detectors properly in the article below:
How to Actually Find Gems with a Metal Detector? It’s Easy!

Using Sluice Box For Gold Tips & Tricks

Invest some time in emptying the exit of the sluice box of any large pebbles or other things that might collect there and cause it to become clogged. Not removing these larger rocks and other items could cut off the water flow and extract the gold from the riffles.

When there is an accumulation of black sand in the sluice box, it is vital to clean it out; however, you must be careful not to lose any of the black sand still in the sluice. The black sand may contain gold.

What Is The Best Sluice Box For Gold

You can choose from a few sluice boxes, and here are a few you can look at.

  1. Stansport Aluminum Sluice Box

The hardware of the Stansport Aluminum Sluice Box (Amazon link) is made of zinc and aluminum, which provides the box with strength and ensures that its performance is long-lasting. Gravity and water flow are two of the most effective methods for finding gold. 

The 24” Compact Sluice Box is ideal for quick and thorough sifting and efficiently concentrates large amounts of material. It features integrated side handles that make it easy to carry this light aluminum sluice box. In addition, the replaceable riffles let you adjust the box to your needs.

  1. Sluice Fox Mini Pocket Sluice Box 

The Fox Sluice Box (Amazon link) is a small sluice box that measures 12 inches in length, 3.5 inches wide, and 1.5 inches deep and it can be a cool portable alternative for the full-size sluice box. It weighs only 0.75 pounds, making it the lightest and most portable aluminum sluice box available.

Under the expanded metal, you can utilize both miner’s moss or v-trap matting. They are put together in the United States of America by a team of seasoned prospectors and outdoor experts at Sluice Fox. 


Previously, gold was mined by hand, using panning. Because of the price of gold, millions of artisanal miners in the Global South operate on a small scale. The gold sluice box saves time compared to traditional panning because it quickly sorts through sediment. Sluice boxes, also known as gold chutes, are reliable for finding gold.

TIP: Natural pyrite is usually known as fool’s gold but sometimes, even the pyrite can be imitated. Find out the main differences between real and fake pyrite in the article below:
Real vs. Fake Pyrite: Focus on These 7 Differences