Jim Klein is a well known and respected writer and lifelong gold prospector. This field test of the Desert Fox appeared in the March/April 2002 issue of Gold Prospector Magazine.
Our field trip this month is in my back yard and storage shed. The shed is where I keep all the buckets of concentrates from my field trips and my wife is always asking when I am going to get around to cleaning it out.
Thanks to Camel Mining all those buckets are cleaned out and the gold that was in them is safely put away. I owe them another thank you for the first piece of mining equipment that has gotten my wife interested in prospecting. This is after almost forty years of prospecting. She has always been happy to be my official photographer for all my books and articles on finding and mining gold. You see she has this thing about sleeping in beds and taking baths and eating hot meals on plates and things like that. Personally a peanut butter and honey sandwich is a very good breakfast, lunch and dinner out in the mountains.
First off, let me say that I was not a fan of spiral wheel panning equipment because years ago I tested them and was not happy with the results. Well CAMEL MINING’S DESERT FOX has changed my mind. I was amazed at the flour gold it recovers and you never lose even the smallest piece. Which reminds me of my wife’s reaction to my concern about the flour gold, “Why are you so darn worried about those little pieces?” Well I tried to explain that most of the time that is all you get and you’re dang glad to get that just so you won’t get blanked sometimes. Also I told her “that mighty oaks grow from little acorns”. She told me that if I said that one more time she would raise an acorn on my head.
The Desert Fox is a compact light weight unit that you can take anywhere. It weighs under 10 pounds and can be packed in the recycling tub. You can run 70 pounds of concentrates an hour through as easily as can be. It can be set up and running in minutes. The Desert Fox can be used as both a separator and a concentrator, but I liked concentrating my material before using it and just separating the gold from the concentrates.
The Desert Fox uses specific gravity differences between the gold and other materials, as most gold recovery devices, to separate the gold. The Desert Fox uses 7 leads as they have learned that this the best combination for speed and accuracy that can be achieved for any wheel under 18 inches in diameter. The seven spirals or leads pick up the gold seven times per revolution and all 7 dump the gold in the center hole in less than 2 revolutions. According to Camel Mining, this makes the Desert Fox the fastest panning machine in its class. The Action Packer case serves dual purposes. First it is a storage and traveling case and it is also a holding tank for your water supply and material if you want to recycle your water. The Desert Fox is designed to conserve water and will operate on just a few gallons of water. The only water lost is what you throw out with the tailings.
The Desert Fox is designed to be a fully self contained panning machine and will operate on any small battery capable of about 4 amps output at 12 volts. It will actually operate on any 12-volt automotive battery or even a 35 watt solar panel.
The water pump is connected by a plug-in jack on the back of the drive unit and is powered only when the drive motor is operating which helps conserve battery power.
We found that set up was quick and simple. First you take everything out of the case, then you just spread out the stand legs and place them back into the case, and secure them with wing nuts supplied with the unit. Then you drop the wheel into the slot and secure the spray bar to the front of the drive unit and tighten its wing nut and hang the collection cup in place. You’re now ready to go. Fill the case with enough water to at least cover the pump. I filled it to about two-thirds full and it worked fine. Hook up your battery cables to your power supply and turn it on and start getting that GOLD.
I can see why they call it the Desert Fox as it is perfect for cleaning your concentrates in places where water is a problem. When I do my next revision on my book How To Find Gold In The Desert I will recommend it as a good piece of equipment for the desert prospector. I know my wife will be happy to see me bring home a bottle of gold instead of another bucket of materials to store until I get around to washing them.
I was very pleased with the recovery of fine gold and it was great to know that if I did something like not hang up the gold recovery cup (which I did thanks to my three year old grandson Joey “helping me “) that I would not lose any gold. Just run your concentrates back through and there it is.
The owner’s manual is short and to the point and easy to understand. The video they provided was also a real help. But it is really such an easy to operate piece of equipment that it is hard not to be a pro on it in a very short time.