Gold Rat- 12" Outback Pioneer Highbanker Review

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So after a lot of research and learning about all things highbanking and the various types on the market, I finally decided to get the Gold Rat 12" Outback Pioneer Series Highbanker. I wanted to post a review for all those interested:

Gold Rat 12" Outback Pioneer Series Highbanker

Foreword: First I'd like to thank [email protected], Dustin who even though he was pretty flatout with work, took the time to help me by answering a stack of questions I had. I'd say that makes the customer service 10/10.

Design: The options are fantastic. Hopper height adjustment is fast and easy...a simple design that works great and doesn't add weight! The mat clamp is easy to remove and the Dream Mat just slides out easily.

Build Quality: It just looks great, beautiful welds; a solid design from all angles.

Functionality: So easy to setup and get running. The legs have angle adjustment which is real handy and getting your sluice angle right by adjusting the legs up and down is a piece of cake. The ability to vary your spray bar setup is a great feature. The clean-ups are again fast and easy thanks in part to the Dream Mat.
If your in an area known for larger gold or your chasing gems, you may want to consider getting the Grizzlies for it.

Productivity: I was running in my pump so had it just under 1/4 throttle and found it cleaned out pretty good still...on videos of the Dream Mat running you can see how quickly it exchanges. The fact this unit is so easy and fast to carry and get setup right means your going to get more time digging and less time messing around.

Portability: Weighing in at about 14kg makes this unit VERY easy to move around.

Value: For what your getting this unit is fantastic value! You can tell real time and thought have been put into the design. As a sidenote it came with instructions containing photos and clear, easy to follow steps for assembly.

Breakdown
Pros: Simple, lightweight design that's fast and easy to setup, run and clean up. The Dream Mat is great.

Cons: Nothing really to report, I just made a minor adjustment to the Hopper arms by adding in extra nylon washers to space them out a bit more as one side would catch on the top of the sluice channel when fully raised.

Final Thoughts: As an overall package the 12" Outback Pioneer Series Highbanker is a great unit at a great price, it's a testament to the research and experience that has gone into it's design.

I hope this review is informative and will be helpful.
Thanks again Dustin. :D
Rusty
 
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Photos

All wrapped up.

The Bolt kit.


The Dream Mat! :eek:


Note: The top expanded alloy was extra I got added for catching gems.



Here's the minor adjustment I made on the Hopper Arms (more washers to space them out a bit more).

The Pump I got. Tommahawk 2" 8HP 3600L/H, thought it might be overkill but for $150...bargain right! Bit heavy but not unbearable.
:D
 

blisters

Jon
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Great review Rusty_G thanks, you can see a lot of thought and effort by Dustin has gone into his bankers. It'd be great to have an ongoing review to see how the dream mat in particular fares with different materials like clay and lots of heavies and how to adjust your banking to suit.
Jon
 
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Thanks for the info Rusty, it sure looks like a nice unit.

You could always put that pump on wheels, add a slot in handle, and carry the banker on top of the pump from car to river.
 

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Dustin
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Wow rusty thanks for the great writeup mate. Really gives me the warm and fuzzies mate and ill take ur feedback about the arms gap issue on board.

I have noticed theres varied pinch in the walls closer to the rear of the sluice which can effect the swing of the arms and ive got a update of a few components in the pipeline and your feedback will go into the refinements.

I look foreward to reading about your adventures and results as you hit the field thanks again for taking the time to share your buying experience it does feel nice to get a pat on the back from time to time haha
 
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blisters said:
...It'd be great to have an ongoing review to see how the dream mat in particular fares with different materials like clay and lots of heavies and how to adjust your banking to suit.
Jon
Thanks to blisters I decided to upload some more pics and information regarding how the Gold Rat with the Dream Mat handles lots of heavies.
Photos
1490090391_a_pan_full_of_red.jpg
I ran the Banker for about 2 hours not more and ran about 20 buckets of material through it, this is some of the concentrates.

1490090391_concentrates_with_garnets.jpg
There was some Iron Stones in it to, but mostly Garnets, lots of Garnets! To bad they are only small. :rolleyes:

1490090391_garnets_galore.jpg
They sure do look pretty in the sunlight. :cool:

1490090391_highbanking_approx_20_buckets_gold_recovery.jpg
It is all flood gold and mostly fine at that, but as we all say; Gold is GOLD! :D :Y:

1490090391_what_can_be_caught_with_the_gold_rat_dream_mat_combo.jpg
This shows some of the very fine gold that was caught in the Dream Mat! Does the Dream Mat work? You tell me. ;)

I was worried about the Garnets clogging up the Cells so I checked the tailings constantly by having a Super Sluice Pan under the end of the Banker and didn't find anything in it all the times I checked. I will admit that I could have fed it faster but I was happy taking it easy as there was some clay and big rocks in amongst the material I was digging.

Side thought:
I think to help reduce and slow the build up of black sands and Garnets its better to run a bit deeper water through the sluice. My reasoning is that as the material settles and separates according to its specific gravity (laminar flow), you can add more space between the particles in the flow and increase distance between the gold and lighter materials that will flow over the top of it. Obviously too deeper water would not be good but that's another topic.

(Hope I'm making sense here). What's everyone's thoughts on this concept?
Thanks for reading.
Rusty
 

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Dustin
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Great share rusty

You are spot on more water is fine and under a few inches the mat handles it well. The cuttoff seems to be about 5 inches of water and the downward force is significant and you hold onto alot more material and feed becomes slower.

Adding angle with water counteracts the downward force and returns balance. Did you know that in large scale Mines we are actually introducing magnatite and garnett to improve the capture rate? This allows sg to function even more effectively by optimising the density of the water.

Thats alot of garnett mate haha well done.
 
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Thanks mate! Wow, I didn't know about the use of Magnetite and Garnet like that. I've got to do some research, that sounds interesting.
 

blisters

Jon
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That's an awesome sea of red Rusty :Y: You should hang onto the heavies and seed your mat to improve recovery next time. Where did you capture most of your gold in the banker?, hopper, trap or dream mat?
Jon
 
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Thanks blisters, yeah I'm keeping cons.?
The bulk (maybe 3/4?) of the Gold was in the woven hopper mat; which I expected as I wasn't feeding to fast.
 

hyperscott

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Thanks Rusty_G, I've been looking at these units and reviews. really like your write up.

now i just need to put the coin in the pocket long enough :)

you have sold me on one of these units. would you consider the smaller units or only the 12 "

Scott
 
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Hey hyperscott, thanks, glad my review has been helpful.
I was going to get the 10" but when I got my pump so cheap I had a bit spare in the budget and was also a bit concerned its minimum flow rate might be too much for the 10" (it would have okay as it turns out), I thought I might aswell put the bucks towards the 12'' Banker.
This thread contains a pic showing the size difference between the 8'', 10'' and the 12''.
https://www.prospectingaustralia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=18258
Here is a link to one of Balxie's Gold Adventures. It shows Balxie and Beagleboy running the 10" if I'm not mistaken.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVwv4DB64lA

They are all the same really, just the 12'' can handle a higher feed rate and has more gold capture surface area. I guess it comes down to portability, cost, pump choice and feed rate.
For instance, the 8" would be great if you plan on hiking into remote locations with it and it would prefer to run a quiet bilge pump with it.
Or the 12'' 'big daddy' for higher feed rate/ multiple people on shovels etcetera, but would prefer to run on a petrol pump and needs more water.
I'd say the 10'' is the one that sort of has a bit of benefits from both sides of the coin.
a lot to consider as for pros and cons for them all. :) :Y:
 
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Some months back after having been to "Promising Creek' and testing and getting good results, I decided to take the Banker back to my test spot...but as there is a chance of large gold I decided it would be fun to attempt making a DIY Grizzly Bar for the Banker. As it turns out the local op shop had a cooling rack begging to be repurposed. :D


I got a little bored today after plans were cancelled. The wife had recently purchased a 2 pack of metallic permanent markers (Silver & Gold)...as it turns out she didn't actually have any plans with them so....I put some Gold in the Gold Rat etching. :cool:
 

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