Article as featured in the March/April 2016 edition of Gold Prospectors magazine
By Brad Jones
Some inventors like to think outside the box, while others may think inside ‘The Cube.’ And, when it comes to perfecting fine gold recovery, Gold Cube inventors Mike Pung and Steve “Red” Wilcox have done both. Pung, who is a featured speaker at the Gold Prospectors Association of America’s Gold & Treasure Shows, will talk about the Gold Cube and how it can help you recover more fine gold. A proud GPAA member, Pung began prospecting about 10 years ago. He realized quickly after his first gold panning experience in Chicken, Alaska that separating fine gold from black sands was going to be his new greatest challenge.
Instead of building a better mouse trap, he built a better gold trap with the help of Wilcox.
Not only is he the president of the GPAA chapter in Oklahoma City, but Pung has been an active vendor and participant in the GPAA Gold & Treasure Shows, a strong advocate of mining rights and an impassioned proponent of gold prospecting.
Besides speaking at the shows, Pung will give live demonstrations to show how the Gold Cube works.
Good news and bad news
The bad news is that most of large gold nuggets that were once just lying on or near the ground surface were scooped up by the Stampeders and ’49ers long ago. The good news is that none of these old-time prospectors had the benefit of the Gold Cube technology, and have left literally tons of fine gold for the astute modern-day prospector.
“If you’re in an area with larger gold, perfect! But most places have fine gold ... and the longer you run it, the more you lose with a sluice box. With the Gold Cube, the vortex acts like quicksand and buries your gold so you won’t lose it,” Pung said. “If you are using 1800s technology, you are getting 1800s results. This is new technology. It’s a new way of getting the gold so it doesn’t wash away.”
If set up and used properly, the Gold Cube definitely has you covered. Since it first appeared on the market in late 2009, the Gold Cube has come to be known as one of the best gold concentrators on the market. The compact product has been
featured on the GPAA-produced TV show, Gold Trails, and has been used on others such as Gold Rush and Bering Sea Gold.
“It’s a super concentrator. It can take 1,000 pounds of material an hour and reduce it down to a cup and a half,” Pung said. “So, if you put a cup and a half in there, you’re going to end up with a cup and a half of concentrates. But, if you shovel in a truck and a half of material, you’re still going to end up with a cup and a half. The longer you run the Gold Cube, the more it’s going to concentrate.
“Cube it or lose it!”
If you’ve got lots of paydirt, the Gold Cube offers you convenience and accuracy, with some claims suggesting the unit recovers up to 98
percent of fine gold. Hence, the phrase: “Cube it or lose it.”
“There is a ton of truth in our slogan,” said Pung, adding that you can also run literally half a ton of material through the Gold Cube before you have to stop for a cleanup. And, though some old-timers are bound to resist progress, there’s
no doubt the Gold Cube is far more efficient than panning out your gold by hand.
How does it work?
In mining, the low pressure zone behind a
riffle—in a sluice box or dredge, for example—is called an eddy. The eddy rolls horizontally and the vortex churns vertically like a tornado.
“What happens in the vortex is the tornado-
effect stirs up the dirt. It’s like when you’ve got a pan with gold in it and you shake it ... the gold sinks to the bottom. Or, if you’re in quicksand and Tarzan isn’t there to save you, you’re going to sink to the bottom. That’s what gold does,” he said in typical Pungesque fashion.
“The material is churning and is really soft in the water, so the gold is going to sink to the bottom and it’s going to stay there until something heavier—which some platinums are—wants to displace it,” Pung explained. “And, since I’ve got gold sinking to bottom of a vortex pocket that’s already full, gold will sink to the bottom and something equal to that size is kicked out. So, the Gold Cube and the vortex technology basically operates on a replacement system.”
In other words, gold, because it’s about 19.3 times heavier than water, simply keeps pushing out the small gravels and lighter sands as it flows through the Gold Cube and gets trapped. Once a pocket is completely full of gold, heavier material and new gold entering the Gold Cube are forced to find another pocket.
Gold & Treasure Show featured speaker
• WHO: Mike Pung, co-inventor of the Gold Cube
• WHAT: Fine Gold Recovery
• WHERE & WHEN: Pomona— Feb. 20-21; Las Vegas—Feb. 27-28; Phoenix—March 12-13; San Francisco—April 2-3; Portland—April 9-10; Seattle—April 16-17; Boise—June 11-12; and Denver—June 18-19.
• WHY: Learn how recover more fine gold in less time using the Gold Cube.
• HOW: Attend the GPAA Gold & Treasure Shows - www.goldprospectors.org/goldshows
• FACEBOOK: For more information about the GPAA Gold & Treasure Shows, go to www.facebook.com/GPAAGoldShows. Then, click on the “Events” tab near the top of the page, and don’t forget to invite your friends!
• GOLD CUBE WEBSITE: www.GoldCube.net
• YouTube: There are plenty of instructional videos on the Gold Cube currently available on You Tube. Simply search for “Gold Cube.”
Brad Jones is the Managing Editor/Communications Director for the Gold Prospectors Association of America and the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association. He can be reached at email@example.com.