Arrow river gold

Spent the day in the arrow river over the weekend. Some nice lines of gold in the top section of sluice box, always an
encouraging sight. Have been trying out some Gold Hog matting (razor back)over the summer which I’m not entirely convinced on yet, have a short section of expanded mesh and miners moss at the top and bottom of the sluice with hog mat in the middle. Finding most of the gold at the top, hardly anything in then hog mat and a few specks in the end section of miners moss. The hog mat dosnt seem to handle the large amount black sand that is in river or is just a matter of tuning it in more? Anyone else have any experience with this matting?


Got yourself some nice fines and colour in your pan, funny how our eyes are continually scanning the top of the box for that bigger flake or that lucky nugget even. :star_struck:
Lots of different theories on what catches the yellow stuff the best. Personally I keep it very very simple with 200mm of thin flat black rubber matting at start followed by some light ribbed carpet (used on floor in jetboats) and all covered with expanded mesh. When I’m seeing flakes I tend to run the box faster so as to keep the matting clear and get more material through the box. Those flakes will remain trapped in the rubber spotter mat under the expanded mesh. Wash out fines from the carpet at end of day. I prefer to shovel from river straight into the box, and hand pick any larger rocks out before tipping paydirt into box. Everyone I’ve met along the river has a different idea on what works best, but at the end of the day it is really all about the size of your smile on your face. :smile:

So the old boys used to talk about coconut matting as a bed for their sluice boxes… But unable to find much about modern use, maybe a Google hole, we’re not meant to utilise… Artificial turf works rather well…

For over fifty years I have used the old fashioned coir matting or a coconut fibre matting. It was not rubber backed but woven. It caught everything but didn’t want to let a lot of finer stuff that worked its way deep into the matting go! At the end if the season we would burn the mat and pan it…a great winters day bonus!
I still have rolls of it but our claims are long gone and don’t go gold mining now so it just sits there.
I don’t understand how many modern gold fossickers seem to want the most expensive modern and up to date matting and gold saving gear as the old stuff was every bit as effective.
I think that in the case of the modern stuff its all largely the ‘sales pitch’ and hype and people want what they have been led to believe is the best…good old coir matting and indeed discarded carpet would still do me.


yep. I just use a bit of carpet and it works fine. I put pan in tailings every now and then just to check im not losing any and never found a thing so if im losing any gold its ultra fine stuff.

Thanks for your replies chaps, very interesting.

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I might add that my unle and then my father and another few of individuals were pretty much pioneers of the underwater and floating suction dredge mining which got off to its beginnings in the 1960s and the ideas pretty much came form California where I believe the modern suction dredge miners had started off.
It was all trial and error and od it yourself. There were no Keenes dredges thought they were not long incoming and the first patterns were taken from photos and plans of the American ones.
My uncle and partners pop rivetted them together, floated motors in tyre tubes and everything was do it yourself.
Coir matting and carpet proved perfect and those cheap home made dredges were often every bit as much as efficient as the latest expensive imported ones which many people seem to think are better on the bases of looks, dealers claims and sales pitch and often prohibitive cost!


Awesome! An uncle of mine whilst working on pulling down old Cromwell with my father, dug up a spoon dredge! Even as a kid I remember being amazed, as living beside the clutha most of my life, anyone could work it…