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Gold Trommels and Trommel MiningA trommel is basically a rotating cylinder or drum used to screen and wash material. Aggregate, stream gravels, etc are fed in at one end. The drum is angled, so the feed end is upslope, and as the drum rotates the material moves down the cylinder. A spray bar runs start to finish to wash the material and the walls of the drum are made of mesh. Larger trommels will often run several screen sizes. In mining each screen usually feeds to a sluice box or other recovery equipment to retain the gold and other valuables. The water from the washing action also runs the sluice for primary recovery.
The finest screen is usually at the top of the trommel drum, with sizes increasing towards the tailings end. Anything too large to fit through the largest screen is dumped in the tailings pile, or on larger trommels, carried away by a conveyor belt to a remote pile. The inside of the drums often have projections which serve to agitate the materials as it turns and washes.
Think of trommels as powered classification and recovery all rolled into one.
Sizes range from portable, easily carried, one-man trommels, to trailer mounted units easily towed by a quad, or still larger pickup towable units, to semi-trailer trommels to units assembled and fixed in place, with massive grizzly decks, conveyor feeders and sluices for every size of screened material, from nugget traps to fine gold separators.
Here are some new and used trommels for sale. Trommel plans also come up from time to time:
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