Wave Tables are being introduced into many gold mining areas around the world. Artisanal gold miners in Philippines, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, PNG are taking up this innovative technology. Larger gold mines are using Wave Tables to perform final gold clean ups and ‘finishing’ of gold concentrates. This process obviates the need to cyanide or amalgamate with mercury. A lot better for the environment as well as for workplace safety!

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Those who attended the Goldfield Mining Expo 2008 in Kalgoorlie, in the heart of Western Australia’s gold mining country, were able to see the Gold Wave Table in operation.

This incredible gold separation/recovery device comes in 3 models covering all scales of operation and works on gold, any heavy mineral, also cleans grit from stripped carbon.

The portable 12 volt powered model M5 has just been released and is great for test work in the bush or lab.

The M8 is perfect for bulk sample testing and for full scale production.

The mighty M10 can process up to 10 TPH and has low water and power usage.

Action Mining, who manufacture the Gold Wave Table, also supplies a complete range of assay equipment, prospecting gear and technical books.

•Chemicals & Chemical Handling
•Minerals Processing
•Testing / Sampling / Monitoring

Any questions can either be directed to Ian Freeland via the contact details in the column to your right, or posted here at goldwavetables.com.


At time of writing, Wikipedia does not have any information about using the gold wave table to recover gold from mineral sands etc.

There are 5 main mineral recovery methods and we’ll talk a little about each of them in this article.

By the way, this is the webmaster writing. I’m good at web things (only), while Ian is the expert when it comes to gold recovery. But I just watched the free DVD about the gold wave table so I can tell you a little of what I have learned.

The DVD was made by Mike and Nancy Glenn of Action Mining Services in the USA. Their company makes these remarkable machines. More on that later…

Mineral Recovery Methods

1. Leaching. This uses chemicals, and more technical know-how is required than you need to use a gold wave table. Chemical leaching is also the most expensive mineral recovery method. Mike’s main focus is on gold recovery but the machines work for any mineral which is heavier.

2. Amalgamation. The idea here is that you first amalgamate the gold with mercury and then you separate it. But Mike explained that this is not easy. “Your mercury has to be clean and your gold has to be clean. Then they have to come into contact.” Like #1, this process is also technically intensive then it requires another operation to get the gold out of the mercury. And mercury fumes are poisonous.

3. Flotation is also technically intensive.

4. As he worked his way down the list, next came mechanical separation which is what the Micron Mill Wave Table does. It’s a wet gravity separator that separates any heavy mineral according to its SG (specific gravity). This doesn’t use chemicals. Just water and the oscillating wave table. It’s quite neat to see it at work on the DVD.

5. Finally sluices, the traditional method of gold recovery, are the easiest. The problem with using a gold sluice is that it misses the fine gold… the microscopic gold. The Wave Table machine is able to recover this micron-fine material.

The DVD presentation showed a bucket of dirt being poured into the system at one end, and out comes a concentrate containing the gold particles.

In this short report, Ian explains WHY the Micron Mill Wave Table is so good.

“The Wave Table is proving itself superior to almost any other wet gravity device and certainly superior to the traditional shaking tables.

The manner in which the valuable mineral reports on the Wave Table is one of its great advantages. As the photos show, gold reports transversely on the Wave Table deck.

Other concentrating tables have their concentrates reporting longitudinally. Having the concentrates reporting transversely permits the operator to set the Wave Table to ‘hold’ the gold, or other mineral concentrate, in a stationary position on the deck. This allows the gold to accumulate until the operator either wet vacuums it directly off the Wave Table or adjusts the unit to continually discharge the concentrates into a holding container.

The other great advantage of the Wave Table is its ability to recover the ultra fine mineral particles. For example with gold, it is not that difficult to recover the coarse particles. The problem has always been dealing with the sub 50 micron sized fraction. Now these valuable ultra fine mineral particles can be recovered at a high recovery rate on the Wave Table.”

[tags]Micron Mill Wave Table, concentrating tables, shaking tables, high recovery rate, ultra fine mineral particles[/tags]


How to go about fine tuning a Wave Table?


These (below)  suggestions are aimed at tuning an M8 WT…..the next model size up from the M5.

However, they should hold good for the M5.

I cannot over state the importance of having a small “dummy” sample on hand.

This is about 1 to 2 grams minimum  of fine gold particles, mixed in with a half cupful of blonde sea sand….that has been screened finer than 1mm (ie all goes through a mosquito mesh size screen).

When you first set your M5 up, try running the dummy sample over a number of times to ensure that you have a roughly good set up. That is your water sprays, bump  action, counter weight (only if  deck is fully loaded up) and tilt are ok.




I am keen to have you running your Wave Table well….so  here’s a few hints….

General points:

*The waves should form if the speed is around 287 to 320 RPM …or strokes per minute. (In case of M5….run at 12.5 Volts for most feeds…..but maybe try 11 Volts supply for any feeds with larger gold .)

*If not…then check rpm of driven pulley with a tachometer.

*You may have a “brown out” giving slower motor speed.

*Bump should be a pronounced “bang” and approx stroke length of 10mm.

*To get going….try to have a classified (screened to say, minus one mm…20 mesh) dummy sample of sand and gold ….and  adjust the table tilt so that the back legs are initially about 80mm high….so that the gold cons remain in a line across the deck….about half way between cons water spray bar and the feed  hopper….which is about  100mm to 150mm below the cons collection trough. Once you achieve this ….then slowly lower the legs by about 13mm ( ½ inch ) at a time…to bring the gold cons into the collection trough/launder. Do not over feed M8 to begin with.  Always, keep this dummy sample to test run the M8.

*Whenever the M8 is stopped…. When started again….you have to ‘fluff up’ the table material….to stop packing down.

*Make sure  the back leg adjusters  have  the deck ‘ level’  across ways…using a spirit level.


Your Wave Table will operate optimally by:

*Having the WT firmly bolted down, preferably to a concrete slab

*Having it transversely level

*Having motor running at correct speed….4 to 5 bumps per second

*Having the high end at correct tilt for the feed (better to have tilt steeper, then gradually lower down)

*You can have 20 liters  (5 gallons) a minute of wash water in the feed box ok. But you do not have to have much coming out of the cons spray bar. Sometimes only a trickle is required from the cons spray bar…play with this a bit. A strong cons spray  flow, will tend to wash gold (heavies) down slope more. This can be used to advantage, sometimes….eg in  cons clean ups.

*Also you may have to drill an extra spray outlet hole at each end of the cons spray bar….so that spray water goes right to the edge of the deck. Just drill a 3/32 inch or 1/8 th extra hole at each end.

*Having  the water sprays from cons spray bar,  slightly aiming down the deck (not just aimed directly,  into the trough) can be an advantage.

*Having correct ‘bump’ adjustment…and lock it so that it does not move through vibration.

*If WT bump plays up….while running, wind in clockwise the bump adjustment bolt until WT almost stops bumping…then wind out anti-clockwise to the correct bump. If you have bump too far anti-clockwise…the WT will stop bumping. So that is when you wind it in…then back it out again.

*CLASSIFYING your feed is very important….no oversize trash should be  competing against your finer gold particles. Also, the feed hopper discharge holes may clog up.

*Do not over -feed  the Wave Table…to begin with

*Try to feed steadily…reduce surges in  the feed

*To begin….try to have the Cons line about 100mm (4inches) down from the cons trough.  Always achieve this prior to lowering tilt to produce a continuous cons discharge.

*Tighten up all grub screws as some come loose in transit

*For M8s…Screw in Grease Nipples in each linear bearing and grease each 12 hours of running (for M5s I will find out the greasing system)

*Just a few quick points above to try to help. Try not to change too many adjustments at the same time.  Let WT settle down to an equilibrium ….a minute at least between adjustments ….as it takes time for WT to settle.

*Note that after each time the WT is stopped….one has to “fluff up”  the deck residue….particularly run your ring finger under and along  the leading edge of the nylon riffle bar….to ensure NO  PACKING of feed pushed up against riffle bar. As gold will shoot over top of riffle bar…instead of having to go under.

*If you have a poor run….then,  simply re-run the tails back over the WT until you get it right. This is great for test work and clean-ups.

*You should have plastic tubes/hoses coming off the tails  and the cons outlets. Best to  run cons  into catch buckets. I use a small bucket inside a  larger bucket, inside an outer bucket for the cons. The largest of the 3 buckets has a water over flow hose at its top.  The cons delivery tube protrudes down into the  top  area of  the smallest bucket.

* Empty cons bucket regularly, so that delivery tube does not fill up.

*Tails can go out many ways….I often use a length of open  steel /gal guttering/PVC pipe… to take tails away sideways from the WT…on a 10 degree minimum  slope. For test work I use a catch bucket on the end of the tails discharge so that I can sample/assay the tails etc.

* For fine gold in your feed, consider dripping into the feed hopper some detergent to break down the surface tension and reduce  likelihood of ‘float gold’.

* When feeding some sticky materials or old tailings…consider using a  small scrubber/trommel  to pre-condition your feed material to the Wave Table.  It will ensure the full  ‘wetting ‘  of your feed and also it will remove any oversize or trash.


Above is Ian’s answer to a question he received about the gold wave table. For his answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, please enter the word FAQ into the Search box at the top right. More FAQs are coming…


G’day Ian, thank you for these details requested. I am surprised the Aussie Quarantine Dept. will allow mineral samples from outside Aussie via post without first irradiation, physical checks etc., before passage to addressee? I shall discuss this matter with our most experienced Geologist, then organise accordingly.


You will need a Certificate/document (from a lab/uni etc ) stating that the material :

1.is not soil…but an inert  mineral sample like sand

2. was derived from below 6 m depth of cover

3. does not contain any organic/vegetative matter

4. that the sample is going to a mineral test lab for analysis.


Customs/Quarantine will open and inspect, usually.

Must keep weight below 20 kgs total for OHS reasons.

So go for a 19kgs max wt.



Above is Ian’s answer to a question he received about the gold wave table. For his answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, please enter the word FAQ into the Search box at the top right. More FAQs are coming…


G’day Ian, thank you for the effort to reply with these details. The sample is not a problem, but getting it allowed to enter Aussie is a big problem. What is the minimum / practical mass of sample required to provide a basic test on the WT.?


A 20 litre bucket full is a normal sample size, as it produces tailings, so three table products (Cons, tails, table residue) as well as actually showing  some visible gold in the cons, if the sample contains gold. A 20 L bucket is approx 40kgs of sample….so approx 25th of a tonne. One should actually see some gold specs.

A 10 litre bucket full is enough to produce some tailings, but will have less visible gold in the cons, for the same grade. So 19 kgs is ok…..and can be sent through normal post.


Above is Ian’s answer to a question he received about the gold wave table. For his answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, please enter the word FAQ into the Search box at the top right. More FAQs are coming…


G’day Ian, thank you for the past e-mails on this subject. Please provide the testwork details you did compile from your testing at your mine.


My results from my Cargo gold mine are anecdotal, over 10 years and I have not written them up, sorry. I have performed hundreds of tests for other people as well.



I am particularly interested in the very fine size ranges, [0-5 to 100 micrometres], for the recovery of this gold, contained in an alluvial mining concentrate.


The mine is an under ground hard rock mine where I use an M8 WT. But I also have an alluvial mine, in which I use another M8 WT.



You may ask why do I not consider a leaching method for this material? It is primarily due to not wishing to increase the capital cost of the Project, & due to the mode of operation, a fixed plant / transportation of the primary feed materials will render the Project to be uneconomic


Yes….I understand this. I use WTs for the same reason.



We have revised our table size requirements from the 8 US Ton size to the 1.0 UST. This 1.0 UST size will handle about 650 Kg. of feed / hour, but if closely sized feed ie. minus 1.0 mm., will it handle, [without decreasing gold recovery ], up to 1.0 Metric Tonnes / hour ??


I am a conservative guy…..and err on the side of suggesting that you should count more on 650kgs per hour.



Ian, we may seem pedantic about the details we are requesting from you & Action Mining Services for the choice of your WT, but we anticipate a thrifty operation, to survive the wide fluctuations in the market gold price as is being experienced particularly now, with a high degree of uncertainty of where the bottom price may be in this current cycle.


I perfectly understand. I am “in the same boat”. Best to send me a sample over to run over my M8. Only a few kgs to 19 kgs is ok to get a reasonable idea. If you can wash a ‘tail’ of gold in a gold pan/dish using your material, then the M8 should work well.

Does your cons/heavies contain any Magnetics? The M8 will work better with any Mags removed.

Please note that nothing beats good ‘classification’…..good close screening, that is. If your gold is fine, then ensure that you screen as much, ‘non gold’ over size off, as you can achieve. This helps separate/concentrate your gold on an M8!

Hope this helps,




Above is Ian’s answer to a question he received about the gold wave table. For his answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, please enter the word FAQ into the Search box at the top right. More FAQs are coming…


I see that the feed water from the pipe onto the table is not consistent, and would like to plug some of the holes to get a better flow from the remaining holes. What would you suggest as the best material to seal some of these holes?


I would not plug any holes up. I modify my Tables so that water enters each end of the cons wash water spray bar. This seems to even out the water pressure/flow better. I add a discharge hole at each end to ensure that the water spray is reaching the extreme sides of the deck. Plugging holes will create other problems, like concentrating the flow to a smaller number of spots on the deck, thereby washing down on to the cons line too aggressively. You want to achieve a gentle, even flow of cons wash water. With some feeds, one can back off the cons water to a dribble. Any higher flow will try to wash some of the gold down slope. So it is a balancing act to get the table tilt, water flow and bump just right for your feed material. After a few goes, you will get the hang of it.

Always have the dummy sample available to test your set up.

Try not to dump lots of cons in to the catch trough. With small sample runs, it’s best to allow the gold-rich cons to just trickle over in to the catch trough. You should be able to watch the gold particles ride up slope and over-top in to the trough. I often fit a cork/plug in to the cons discharge hole. Any gold will then collect in the trough, which one can later wash in to a container. By plugging up the hole, the wash water fills the trough and evenly flows down slope from the weir.


Above is Ian’s answer to a question he received about the gold wave table. For his answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, please enter the word FAQ into the Search box at the top right. More FAQs are coming…


I find using the vacuum cleaner to remove the gold is fraught with difficulties, and I would like to remove the gold and associated heavies from the “sump” at the top of the table. Is the best way to achieve this using a small, rapid stroke, and fine tuning the elevation of the deck?


Using the vacuum cleaner it should not be difficult. It comes down to fine adjustments. Basically, the table tilt has to be slightly lowered/reduced. Best to do this 12mm at a time and let the table settle/run for a minute to reach equilibrium again. The WT/M8 speed is fixed. So you will need to adjust the cons water spray  to the right flow…..as well as add a steel bar counterweight to the eccentric, should you load the deck up, so that tailings are created.


Above is Ian’s answer to a question he received about the gold wave table. For his answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, please enter the word FAQ into the Search box at the top right. More FAQs are coming…


The majority of the samples I will be processing are drill samples of several kilograms weight, and I will ensure they are properly screened prior to tabling. Because I will be processing small samples, what is the best way of setting the table so I get the best separation for a small sized sample?


As the integrity of  your samples  is important….you should aim to retain all three products. The cons, the table residue and any tailings that leave the table. This means that, should you make a mistake etc….you can re-run the sample back over the table. So always collect your tailings in a discharge bucket. Always wash the table residue off in to a separate bucket to the tailings. Always run the lowest grade material/sample first and work up. This limits the opportunity for cross–contamination of samples, which is the most important issue. Consequently, please ensure that you thoroughly clean/wash down the deck between sample runs.


Above is Ian’s answer to a question he received about the gold wave table. For his answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, please enter the word FAQ into the Search box at the top right. More FAQs are coming…

Black Gold Magnetic Separator

The Black Gold Magnetic Separator is a very efficient gold recovery device to separate your gold from quartz ore, concentrates, old tailings, black sands, etc. – even if it’s very fine.

We also stock all assay gear, furnaces, prospecting equipment, books on how to assay and how to smelt.

See the full catalogue at www.actionmining.com
See a video of the Wave Table operating on the www.goldwavetables.com website.

Black Gold Magnetic Separator

Help recover your gold from problem black sands by removing the Magnetic Minerals using the incredible BLACK GOLD MAGNETIC SEPARATOR.

See a video clip on www.americangoldminer.com or search online for: Black Gold Magnetic Separator.


Ian Freeland is the exclusive agent. There are 2 ways to contact Ian.

1) Send him an email using our contact form

2) Phone Ian on 0429 822954 (mobile). When calling from outside Australia, please use nation code 61, area code 2, phone number 6365 6193. Please click here for the current local time in NSW.


Black Gold Magnetic Separator Logo

There’s been a lot of interest in the Gold Wave Table over the last few days because of the Gold Rush Alaska show on television. Here is how the manufacturers of the table have responded at their website, copied here to help you find it.

January 24, 2011

We’ve had a lot of calls and emails about the latest episode of Gold Rush Alaska where our Wave Table was depicted as not working. Many of the calls were from customers saying, “I can’t understand it, your table works great”; “they don’t know what they’re doing”; “what are they doing wrong?”

First, let’s clarify that Action Mining is in no way associated with the miners from Sandy Oregon except for coincidentally 1) being from the same town, and 2) being the supplier of the Wave Table. We did not know these men before they purchased the table from us and they asked for no help in setting it up. We did not know they were going to be doing a series for Discovery Channel until later. Mike happened to be up there at John Schnabel’s (he will have his table running next spring after he gets his magnetic separator in line and has offered to have them film at his place!) so the two of them went over to the Hoffman’s site. Mike adjusted the table, ran a sample that Dorsey had, and got a gold line. It was filmed and will hopefully be shown on the next episode.

Okay, here’s our answers to what they did wrong…..

1. They destabilized the table by taking the slab out of the ground and loading it onto a floor jack. The table motion was being transferred to the ground instead of to the table top. Similar to the screen deck incident – not securing the screen down caused it to move. All the raising and lowering of the table was wrong. Once the material is screened properly, you find the correct height adjustment and leave it there. Dorsey almost had it running, and then it was sabotaged.

2. No classification – large flakes should have never even been on the table (according to Dorsey’s blog www.goldminingrealityshow.com, it probably was not even on the table). They should have been screening. A ¼” rock will always weigh more than an 1/8” piece of gold. The sample taken showing gold at the bottom riffle of the table was because larger rocks pushed it there. The table wasn’t losing gold, it was pushed there.

3. The wave table does not make gold, it recovers gold. They’ve done no proper sampling (or assaying) or processing of material with known gold. It’s like Jack threw down his hat and decided to dig there. From the onset, their desperation (and script acting) caused mistake after mistake. No professional miner would work this way. There’s definitely gold on this property, but 30 buckets of cons and only 2½ oz of gold total! Wrong area to work……there was hardly enough gold to show up on the table.

Here are a few helpful hints from Ian Freeland, our resident expert on the Micron Mill Wave Table gold recovery device:

Some tips on improving gold recovery because the Wave Table is a good device for recovering gold from either “hard rock” or “alluvial” (placer) deposits.

Re. Hard Rock gold deposits

If gold is in hard rock, the ore has to be crushed and sufficiently milled fine, in other words ground down. You need to do this in order to free up the small gold particles. Consequently, it is important for small miners and prospectors to be able to crush and grind down their gold bearing ore, before they put over the Wave Table (WT). Otherwise the WT will not work at its optimum performance level.

So it’s a good idea if miners adopt the practice of using a jaw crusher and then a hammer mill (or ball mill etc) that will reduce the ore down to 100% passing 2mm or even 100% passing 1mm in size. This latter size is perfect for running on a WT.

Re. Alluvial/Placer deposits

Again I cannot stress enough the need to get your WT feed size down to 100% passing 2mm and even 1mm (for very fine gold areas). Any coarse gold can be collected with sluice boxes or gold traps which are very easy to set up. It is the fine gold that is difficult to recover — and that is where the WT comes in to play. BUT the feed to the wave table has to be screened (classified) down to a smaller and more manageable-size fraction.

So it is useful to consider the idea of rotating wet screens (we call them trommels), otherwise the wavetable will not operate effectively. Or you could use a wet vibrating screen.

Hope this helps.

Again, contact Ian with your questions – either by entering them in the comments section below, or hitting the Contact button near the top of the screen.

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