Hog Sluice Mats
Using the mats, common questions and some specs.
Please read the new book...
This is where one question…….. turns into 3……….then turns into
20………..then turns into hundreds….
Why, because there are SO MANY variables that it is VERY hard
to cover them all. Much of what you will do with YOUR set up, will be based
on your equipment, the conditions, and materials run. Each situation and
each person will have their own “perfect” settings. However, let’s give you
some info that will help you along.
What is the best flow rate? What is the best angle? What is
the best riffle set up? These are just some of the questions we get and you
can just imagine trying to answer all of them for each type of equipment,
location, and material. Not an easy task. So while the following might be a
little “vague” or broad, it should help you better understand.
The Biggest Mistake...
Most people start our mats at a medium water speed. They check for losses
and find a few specks in the tailings. So they slow them down. WRONG
procedure. First our mats like shallow FAST water. You
should try and get the mats to run BARE. Yes, we said nothing held in them.
Then slowly lower the water speed. The mats must stay very active for the
proper exchange to happen. If you keep lowering the water SPEED... the
groves will fill up and no exchange will happen. Material, including
gold, will simply run over the mats that are now "clogged" with material.
Yes, this goes against everything most people feel in their GUT about
recovering gold. But if you want to move large amounts of material and pull
out very tiny amounts of gold, this exchange must be active.
The Scrubber mat is the WORK HORSE of your sluice box.
The UR mat should be placed under your header box and if you have room a
section set up with expanded metal, riffles, or riffles, expanded and UR.
We like to see a ratio of 3 to 1.
Let’s reverse the questions. We get asked all the time about
best flow rates, angles, etc. However, we want you to understand something
VERY important. If you ask us “What is the best flow rate?” we want to ask
you in return… How did you come up with the “best flow rate” for your
current equipment? Most will answer the same. For most, they allow just
enough flow and pitch angle so that larger and unwanted material is clearing
the sluice bed. They often look at riffles and make sure that “some
material” is being held and worked. This is what we often refer to as
“Kentucky Windage”. A BEST GUESS or
adjustment on the fly to fit the current conditions and equipment being
used. Make sense?
There is no “perfect” setting or “one shoe fits all”, so we
will give you some information that will help you “dial in” for the best
Gold Hog UR Mat:
(Make sure you have read the above first.)
The UR mat is an “active exchange mat” meaning that it uses water flow to
create active zones and within these active zones an exchange occurs. While
you are running, lighter material is constantly being replaced with material
which is heavier. This is the A.R.M.P. process. (Read more in our study
This process starts as soon as the mat becomes “active”. The mat becomes
active at a rather low flow rate. As long as the entire mat is covered with
flowing water it is now active. This means that the mat can be run with
very little water. However, unlike passive mats or other active mats
without “protective channels”, our mat can take VERY high water flow rates.
Most mats start to suffer losses as water flow is increased. We often refer
to this as “blow out” and it occurs very often with finer gold. Even though
you might be catching some fine gold, if your water flow rate is high and
there are no “protective zones”, you are losing gold at high flow rates.
Also, most passive mats do not ACTIVELY exchange materials. They simply
“sit there” relying on gravity and a tuned water flow to “hopefully” only
remove the lighter materials.
The beauty of an
actively exchanging mat is that it works material both at a
low flow rate and a high flow rate. Meaning that there is no need to rely on
the FLOW RATE to be the determining factor in what material stays and what
goes down the sluice. (Make sense?)
So, the flow rate you use should be determined simply by your set up and how
much water is needed to clear the “unwanted” and larger material. Up until
now, you had to worry about both. Proper clearing of the “unwanteds” as well
as separation of / holding of gold in your sluice bed. Set up your
equipment and give it just enough water flow and pitch to remove unwanted
Once again the variables are VAST… Riffles often require more water flow
than expanded metal to clear. Using a “mat only” requires even less flow /
pitch. So, each operator will adjust differently. Just be aware that you
are now using an ACTIVE mat and can rest assured that an exchange is going
Gold Hog Scrubber Mat:
The scrubber mat is also an active mat, but incorporates a more aggressive
and traditional sluice bed / riffle design. It too uses the ARMP action and
exchanges lighter materials for heavier ones, but also exposes material s to
multiple surfaces and actions. The Scrubber mat also helps break up
materials without violently THROWING heavies back into the upper flow levels
of your sluice flow. We found this to be a BIG problem in most sluices.
Remember from our study that gold likes to settle, so leave it alone. (Why
have a slick plate for settling at the top of your sluice if you’re going to
keep “throwing the gold back up”?)
The Scrubber mat produces a gentle, but aggressive scrubbing action while
still allowing gold to settle throughout. Again, this action works at
levels of water flow but each operator will adjust their equipment
Bed Pitch / Angle of Decent
After our testing and research we think a lot of people don’t give this
setting enough thought. So, let’s use some EXTREMES to help you better
understand. Imagine a sluice bed with water and material running down it.
It is actually set up FLAT with no pitch. Material will have a hard time
moving out of the box when water flow is added. Now, be really stupid, and
drop your sluice angle almost straight down. Yes, the box end is point right
at the ground. Just about NOTHING will stay in the box.
Hmmmmm….. so what does this tell us?
It is easier for material to move down the sluice box the more pitch is
Now, if you REALLY want to get a headache we suggest you read
about things like, Angle of Repose and Coefficient of Friction, etc. This is
where you start to see formulas like this
statements like this, “The coefficient
of friction depends on the materials used; for example, ice on steel has a
low coefficient of friction, while rubber on pavement has a high coefficient
of friction. Coefficients of friction range from near zero to greater than
one – under good conditions, a tire on concrete may have a coefficient of
friction of 1.7” BLAH, BLAH, BLAH….
If you want to skip that headache, just remember that RUBBER (Gold Hog
matting) has good friction characteristics. Gold, being very heavy and
usually a smoother metallic surface, likes to “stick to it” / grab on to
it. (Starting to make sense?) So, keeping a “reasonable angle will
ultimately help you recover more gold.
Too little of an angle and ALL material will build up.
Too much angle and you start to lose some of the “sorting power” of a sluice
You may also want to Google a “Miller Table Video” and you’ll see this same
kind of action / principle on a finishing table.
In summary… it is again the “Kentucky Windage” theory. Our mats stay active
at all angles and exchange materials well. There is a balance on ALL matting
and sluice boxes that needs to be discovered by each individual miner. A KEY POINT that
we would like you to grasp is this…
Because our mats can handle heavy water flow and offer protective chambers,
we would like to see operators try and adjust to slightly higher water flows
rather than increasing the pitch greatly. Use the “grabbing power” of
rubber against gold to your advantage.
and Water Speed / Velocity
One other point we should address is the impact of pitch / angle on water
speed and velocity. We’ll keep this pretty simple. You can double your
water VOLUME, but that does not mean you are doubling your water speed /
velocity. However, you can keep your water volume the same and by greatly
increasing the PITCH, you CAN double your water speed / velocity. So, pitch
can have a LARGE impact on how your sluice bed performs as it relates to
clearing and water speed / velocity. Is there a perfect pitch for the Gold
Hog mats? Not really. Again, it becomes a matter of each miner adjusting
their setup, monitoring the clearing and recovery rates. After “playing and
adjusting” with your own equipment, you’ll develop a confidence in the best
Once again, as long as your “unwanteds” are clearing, you should be good.
“Tune the dial” to the setting just at this point and you should see good
Should I use riffles, expanded metal, nothing?????? HELP!
It will be OK… calm down.
Most of this is personal preference as the majority of setups catch gold.
So, we don’t want to sit here and say “X” set up is wrong because it will
catch gold like most others. It really comes down to several factors and
some personal preference.
We will give you our “best performing” set up in our general testing trials
We found that having several different types of surfaces and configurations
within the same sluice works very well. By this we mean that repeatedly
exposing the same material, to the same sluice configuration, all the way
down doesn’t make much sense.
First, having the UR mat under your header box / grizzly, will catch quite a
bit of gold. Yes, gold will settle just like it does on a slick plate, but
you also catch gold so why not have it there?
Next, it is best to have a “gentle scrubber action” early on
in the sluice. This helps break apart material without throwing gold back
into the upper, faster moving layers of your sluice.
Finally, we really like to use the UR mat under ½” expanded
metal. The action this combination creates is pretty amazing. Again, you
will see very little “turbulence” but a great active exchange going on. We
should also note that using this combination allows larger rocks to move
more freely down your sluice box. You will have fewer “jams and clogs”
meaning you can also reduce your flow rate or pitch if wanted.
YES…. We like and still use riffles, but we are starting to go
to “micro riffles” in many of our setups. Something like a ½” Modified
Clarkson riffle has shown great results.
A key to success in mining.
I recently had the pleasure of spending the day with a very
experienced, successful miner. Some of words and wisdom I thought I would
share. He has mined for gold all around the world and in the US. His
wisdom was simple and to the point.
Don’t dig where you THINK there is gold, dig where you KNOW there is gold.
You can spend all day digging and working material, but if it holds no gold,
we have no chance on catching it. Invest a little time testing the area you
plan to work to find productive areas.
Move HUGE amounts of material.
If you have an area that is producing “X” amount of gold per “X” volume of
material, the more you move the more you’ll recover.
Have equipment that can handle and process HUGE amounts of material, and
capture gold ALL during this process.
“If you’re going to run for 6 hours and your equipment stops catching gold
after the first 2 hours, you have wasted 4 hours.” (He was one
of the first to abandon miner’s moss.) He knew that having an “actively
exchanging” mat during the ENTIRE run, was the key to long successful runs.
He, after much searching, was using a “channel mat” that he special ordered
from overseas. After all these years he was THRILLED to see our UR mat and
is now converting his operations over to it.
His wisdom was simple but so true.
We want to stress these points.
No mat is perfect…
Nothing catches 100% of the gold…
The Gold Hog™ series of mats were designed to
handle varying water flows, including high flow conditions.
They remain actively exchanging for LONG periods of time and
through large amounts of material.
They capture all sizes of gold. From very fine gold to large gold
nuggets and flakes over ¼”.
They reduce the amount of concentrates at the end of the
run by up to 75%.
Enjoy your matting, have fun, and whatever you do... take a kid mining
and pass on the fever.