This device is used to separate gold particles from wet alluvial material, typically the black sand and gold mixture that is extracted from the wash plant. The table has a tray, which is attached to weights and springs. The latter are precision-engineered so that when they bump the tray, they create small waves that undulate through the material. The lighter sand rises, while the heavier particles, including gold flakes, slip to the bottom and in the opposite direction of the flow of the slurry. The bump frequency and velocity, along with the angle of the table, can be adjusted, depending on the size of the particles miners want to recover.
Getting all the wave table settings correct is typically done with a careful sequence of test runs, since variations in everything from particle size to the type of table mounting can affect the efficiency of gold recovery. Every gold operation is different so operators must be aware of how bump frequency, velocity and table angle must all work together to maximize output. Vital to the proper operation of the wave table is familiarity with its capabilities and set up, as well as adherence to manufacturers instructions and operational guidelines.