Power Sluice Concentrators Power Sluice Concentrators also commonly referred to as a "High Bankers", or "Hydraulic Concentrators" are considered one the most versatile gold recovery machines available for the prospector. Power Sluice machines can be used at the waters edge to process gravel from a stream bank, used as portable dredge, or taken to remote areas from the waters edge where gold often occurs in greater abundance. Rather than bring the material to be processed to the waters edge you can now take a lightweight machine to the source of the gold with far less effort.

Although the Power Sluice Concept has been around for over 70 years, Jerry Keene built the original prospector’s Hi banker nearly thirty years ago, in an effort to offer a portable gold separating device that could bridge the gap between a sluice box and a dredge.

Small HBCK52 being used as a high banker being fed by a five gallon bucket.

Today, the Power Sluice has been developed far beyond the original concept primarily due to their popularity. They are made to be more powerful, more productive and are offered in a wide variety of configurations. The most popular designs are offered by Keene Engineering.

The model pictured above shows one man dumping a 5 gallon bucket into its hopper. This machine is Keene Engineering Model HBCK52. It is powered by a small light weight Honda engine and pump and is equipped with 25 feet of pressure hose for delivery of water to the sluice that is adequate in most conditions. Longer extensions to the pressure hose can be added up to 200 feet in length.
The power sluice is basically a sluice box with a hopper attached to a classifying screen that is designed to separate the unwanted larger cobbles. The hopper is made of a "Marlex" plastic material that is resistant to impact and abrasion to withstand heavy shoveling and gravel impact.
The hopper comes with a large classifying screen that separates the larger material from the smaller. The classifier consists of long steel rods that are spaced approximately 1/2 inch apart, allowing only a minus 1/2 inch material to enter the recovery section. It is capable of washing away clay and debris that are often attached to the gold bearing material. This is accomplished by a high pressure spray mechanism that is mounted inside of the hopper. The high pressure water strikes the material and breaks up any compacted material, dissolving clay that may hold gold values.

PSAHB power sluice assembly. Can be converted into a 2.5" dredge.

The high pressure spray also assists in carrying the oversized rock away from the classifier screen. All the undersized material that is minus 1/2 inch is converted into a slurry state where the sluice box can do its job providing maximum gold recovery.

A model 175 power sluice hopper at work.

Attached to the spray mechanism is a metering valve to adjust the amount of water required to break up any unwanted material. A garden hose port is attached to the valve for washing out crevices and cracks in the bedrock and is also handy for cleaning the sluice for processing the concentrated material from the sluice box. It is designed to fold up easily for backpacking and carrying.

All later model sluice boxes have "rolled top edges" for greater strength making it possible to use a lighter gauge of aluminum. The sluice box riffles now have heavy duty latches and an improved adjustment system to adapt to any type of gravel condition.

The sluice has a black rubber ribbed material that is placed below the hopper to preserve the sluice from impact and for quick identification of the occurrence of gold and values. The sluice box often is lined with "miners moss" a material that holds the gold in the separation process for improved recovery. The sluice is lined with a set of removable Hungarian Riffles, with a heavy duty latching system.

A typical Hibanker or power sluice will process nearly twice the amount of material that at medium size sluice can produce when operated under optimum conditions

The system is mounted on an independent support system that enables it to be set up in any type of terrain and can be adjusted in a matter of seconds. The system is powered by a small economical lightweight water pump that has the capability of delivering water to the system hundreds of feet away.

17530 power sluice working as a 3" dredge.
Keene Engineering has also developed a series of combination power sluices and portable dredges. These combination units have proven to be extremely popular for efficient gold recovery that can be used in nearly any situation. Combinations can be used only as a power sluice fed by a bucket or shovel or as an efficient dredge as pictured above. All power sluices can be adapted to be used as a dredge by adding the necessary parts to utilize a suction hose and a suction nozzle. This combination is ideally suited for shallow water areas where the use of a shovel to move material would be useless. In most cases the same water pump can be utilized for both the suction as well as the water supply to the sluice. They can also be equipped with a diving air compressor for shallow water diving. Power Sluice combinations are available in 2 inch to 3 inch in size and can weigh as little as 58 pounds

Floating Dredge and
Power Sluice Combinations

Keene Engineering's latest innovation to further expand a Power Sluice Combination is to add a full set of dredging floats, making it a more versatile machine for any shallow water dredging condition. An optional air compressor for underwater breathing is also available.

This system is offered on both a
2.5 inch and 3 inch suction systems.