Highbanking Tips
from a talk by Steve Cychosz, GPR Past President
As appearing in The Gold Nugget, July 1999

[ GPR members using a highbanker on Clear Creek ] While panning is, on its own, a means to finding and recovering gold, more seasoned prospectors tend to purchase a sluice box after about their first year in order to move more "material," the sand and gravel in which placer gold is found. Later on, a motorized highbanker, dredge, or highbanker/dredge combo becomes an attractive alternative.

Panning samples is still how the prospector finds the optimum place to obtain the most gold. You should always sample the same way each time: that is, if you use one shovel full of material in your pan when you dig your test hole, then use one shovel full in each following pan. If you dig six inches in the first hole, dig six inches in the following holes. That way, when you count the gold in each sample pan, you will have a base to work from. When the samples begin producing fewer pieces of gold to the pan, you will know to where you should go back in order to set up your prospecting operation.

Giving the owner the best attributes of both a floating dredge and a highbanking sluice box, the highbanker/dredge combo is two tools in one. The combo unit allows underwater prospecting plus it has the capability of moving 10 to 20 times the amount of material of a sluice either at the river's side or high-up on the river's bank and its prehistoric river terraces. With the pan and sluice box, you take the concentrates to the river. With a highbanker, you take the river to the gold.

Hints on setting up your highbanker/dredge

Transcribed by Dick Oakes

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© 1999 Gold Prospectors of the Rockies