Precious Stone Sifting: How Wire Mesh Plays A Part

Posted on: 27 December 2019

Precious stones like rubies, garnets, and emeralds are often found in mines and attached to a lot of dirt and rock. The miners chip out what they can, taking great care not to damage their finds. They place possible stones, along with other pieces of rock and shovels of soil and sand, onto a conveyor belt to send it all out of the mine while the miners keep digging. In the meantime, a conveyor moves these bits of rock and soil out of the mine and down a long chute toward a sifting machine. Here is what happens next, and how wire mesh plays a very big part.

Rumble, Tumble, Water, and Sift

Water comes from another direction and washes the precious stones in their rough form. Anything that is too big to wash off or tumble into something smaller remains on the top screen of the vibration sorter. Everything else is slowly cleaned and sifted down to the largest particle screen on the bottom. With most of the tumbling, vibration, and water, the actual rough stones are revealed and removed from the machine to place into safekeeping. 

How the Wire Mesh Screens Play a Part

In the vibrating sorter, each screen has larger or smaller openings in the mesh. The vibration shakes loose all of the dirt, soil, and debris, revealing the rough gems in the mix. Larger stones that may contain gems are left on screens with smaller mesh openings, and everything else continues to drop through until various grains and sizes of rough gems are left on various screens. The machines are turned off temporarily to remove the screens and pick through what is left on each. New screens are installed during the pick-through process so that the mining can continue relatively uninterrupted. The screens not only help shakedown and clean the bits of gemstones but also help sort these stones by size. It makes it much easier for mining employees to remove the stones already organized by size and place them in boxes, tubes, or crates based on the size of the stones. 

Need a Little Extra Sorting Help With Your Mining Operation?

If this process sounds like something that could benefit your mining operation, you might want to consult with a mesh screen manufacturer. The manufacturer can help you purchase the screens and the vibrating sorter to make your miners' job that much easier. Contact Midwestern Industries Inc to learn more.