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Forum Home > Gold Prospecting > DRY-LAND DREDGING or using a vacuum for gold

Posts: 72

There is a fairly new method of mining out there in the mining community that is rapidly gaining in popularity, with good reason. It is called "Vacking;" and, as you might suppose, involves vacuuming material.

As a suction dredge vacuums material from the bottom of the river, this is a type of dry-land dredging. It involves using a small, lightweight unit to vacuum cracks and crevices of exposed bedrock, moss on exposed bedrock or boulders, or material in a dry wash in the desert. For this "dry land dredging," however, there are no uncomfortable and expensive wetsuits to don, no heavy prospecting equipment to carry and then set up, and no long period of learning how to operate the equipment, or learning where to find gold.


Anyone who is familiar with mining knows that there is a much larger proportion of fine gold deposited than large gold, in almost any area. Each winter, as the rivers swell with winter rains and snows, much fine gold is washed down them. The fine gold, since it is much lighter in weight, is deposited much higher on the banks, or in the material of the river. As the high waters recede with the onset of spring and summer, much of the areas where the fine gold is deposited is left exposed up on the banks of the rivers.


The new units consist of a two-cycle gasoline engine mounted on a five gallon container, which is equipped with a suction hose and a crevice nozzle. They are very efficient at pulling the fine gold from moss, and at cleaning out crevices. Previous efforts to accomplish this by hand were slow and painstaking, and not very efficient. Collecting fine gold has always been one of the greatest challenges facing any miner, and some people spend years attempting to perfect their fine gold recovery.


Not only does "vacking" do an excellent job at recovering fine gold -- it is a lot of fun! It is so fast, simple, and easy to use, that it seems to take all the work out of mining. You are still out in the great outdoors, still getting healthy exercise, but all that's left when you remove the excess work is the fun.


Dennis M. O'Connor

December 5, 2010 at 4:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Peter Gill
Site Owner
Posts: 311

Do you have to pan the stuff that has been sucked up? I am sure that most would be soil / gravel etc.... Great article... Thanks Dennis.


God Bless


December 6, 2010 at 10:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 134

My 1 gallon shop vac wont work then? I have an inverter for power, but who is going to carry a car battery around. Guess i could mount it all on a dolly.........I have a hand held vac also.........this is some good stuff here.

December 23, 2010 at 2:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 72

A shop vac will work fine, just get or make a needle nosed nozzell for the end of it....yes everything will need to be panned out Peter...I just dump it all into my home made ore crusher, and then pan or sluice it is a lot of work but gold recovery is not an easy thing...have to be willing to put time and a lot of effort into it and sometimes you come up with nothing more than pretty rocks to put in the flower to take the bad to find the good.


Dennis M. O'Connor

December 23, 2010 at 9:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 2

In the last week for several days we've been prospecting on some of our friends claims here in Arizona; and one in California. Here's a spot where someone recently dug a hole and dry washed a lot of the tailings where the gold amalgamation table was in the 20's. We found photos of the mine in a restaurant here in town of all places and located the area where they processed the ore.


Here's the hole ---



We did a little digging in their tailings and found what at first looked like lead splatter probably from bullets. The nugget in the photos is to show the color difference. The gold in the pan (blue encircling it) is ashen gray.



Of course the above looks like lead flakes and I'm sure the person(s) who dry washed this ore thought so too. When we scrapped it a little with a knife ---



The bigger nugget came from earlier in the week over in California at a placer mine site and weighs a little over 1/4 ounce.



Gold Mining Equipment


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July 9, 2013 at 12:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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