In northern Canada, a device called a sluice box is used almost entirely to recover gold from gravel. A sluice box is an artificial channel into which gold-bearing gravel are flushed. With enough water to wash away all the large boulders that have been screened, the gold settles to the bottom of the water, where it is captured by slats called “riffles”.
This technique was used thousands of years ago in the Middle East, where shorn animal skins were nailed to the bottom of the water race. The fibres capture the heavy gold, which is then recovered by washing or burning the wool.
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