Testing the Mountain Goat Trommel

Mountain Goat Trommel Field Test

If you’re looking for something new to get gold we have found it. We first saw it at one of the GPAA gold shows being demonstrated by Angus Niccolls of Camel Mining Products.

Just a side note but I have always liked the name Angus and wanted to name one of my sons Angus but my wife didn’t care for the name and if your married you will understand why my wife won (don’t mess with the boss). We did end up naming him Andrew. Watching Angus operating the Mountain Goat Trommel I was fascinated at how well it worked and how good it was at removing the gold from the gravels. I knew that Camel Mining Products have been manufacturing gold recovering machines for a long time but I didn’t realized it had been 37 years until we got talking to Angus. You have to make good products to last in business that long. Camel Mining never has dropped a new product on the market before they had spent a lot of time testing and refining it. Angus said that he had worked with the Mountain Goat for over a year before he thought it was ready for the public to see.

Angus told me that in his younger days he had worked as a trommel operator for several large mining companies. Some of the trommels he worked with were as long as 40 feet. Working with them he knew that trommels were great gold recovering machines but with their size not really practical for the small miner and prospector. It has taken him a long time but he has at last developed a portable gold recovering trommel. The Mountain Goat is built on the same principals as the huge mining trommels used by the major mining companies except it is a lot smaller and is portable. They say they call it the Mountain Goat because it will eat anything and is light enough for you to carry it up the side of a mountain.

A trommel is a very efficient screw pump gold recovery operation as the turning spiral riffles inside the housing carry the heavy material up to the high end of the tube while and causing the lighter material to flow out the back as tailings. This type of pump is one the first placer gold mining pieces of equipment ever developed and goes back almost 2000 years. I guess that this proves there is nothing new under the sun and if it aint broke then don’t fix it. This type of placer gold mining system makes the Mountain Goat self cleaning and there is no break down and clean up needed as with a sluice box or dry washer with a riffle tray. The spiral riffles are 1/4 inch deep and about 3/4 inch wide. They recommended screening your material down to 1/4 inch before processing it but we found it could handle pea size gravels up to almost an inch with out a problem or loss of gold. The Mountain Goat has a nugget trap at the low end of the machine which will catch nuggets larger than 1/4 inch so you don’t have to worry abut one getting away from you.

The front legs are adjustable but we found that the factory setting is the best setting to get all of the fine gold. The factory setting has the front legs 1 inch longer than the back legs. This is different than most other gold recovery methods where gravity is a part of the gold separation process along with weight like in a sluice box. Since most of the gold your going to get is fine or flour gold it is important that you don’t lose anything and the Mountain Goat makes sure you don’t. It’s interesting that during the California gold rush the first miners found that the gravels were so rich that they were able to just get all the larger pieces and not worry about the fine stuff to do very well before moving on to the next hot spot. The Chinese miners who came along later and worked the 49ers tailings actually got more gold over all than the first miners. That’s why one of my rules of gold prospecting is to avoid any spots where the Chinese miners worked or just mine the bench deposits that they never got to. They were very efficient and did not leave anything behind them. When the rich deposits played out and the first miners came back and saw how much gold the Chinese were getting they ran them off and reworked their own tailings. We recommend using a wetting agent like Jet Dry to insure your fine gold doesn’t float on you like we recommend on a lot of gold recovery equipment.

Here are some facts about the Mountain Goat:
Length 32 inches
Width 16 inches
Height 24 inches
Weight 18 pounds
Barrel 4 inches
Power 12-volt battery
Pump 750GPH
Capacity 2000 LBS. per day
Water needed 5 gallons
Price $695.00 plus S&H

You can operate the Mountain Goat with a direct water supply or use a recirculating water supply. We like the Mountain Goat using a concrete mixing tub to recirculate the water to operate the machine. Your water stays free that way of leaves and such that can plug the pump. They enclosed a sock to cover the pump to protect it from plugging up and it worked fine. You can also use any large watertight container to run the Mountain Goat. You can pick up some thing like a cement mixing tub at most home improvement stores. I think you would be happiest with the carrying case because the whole thing is self-contained then. The whole outfit is very sturdy and well made and designed to take a lot of abuse.

You can operate the Mountain Goat with their Desert Fox or any other spiral gold pan by getting a transfer spout and extended legs as accessories for an extra cost.

We enjoyed working the Mountain Goat and feel it is a good addition to our gold mining equipment. We were able to speed up our gold processing work and increase our recovery. I have never heard anyone complain about any Camel Mining product. So when Angus tells me he has sold 400 of them and never had a complaint I can believe him.

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