Gold mining has seen a recent resurgence since shows like “Gold Rush” have become one of the top viewed series on the Discovery Channel. Seeing people put it all on the line to get some gold specks out of the Yukon ground is fascinating. While the people on the show have become celebrities, the real celebrities of the mining operation is the equipment.

Wash Plants

The wash plant of a gold mine is the main processing unit that takes the mined earth and runs it through a trommel and shaker deck in order to separate the gold from the dirt. This process takes some time and can only really happen efficiently when there is more than enough pay dirt to run through the plant for a long period of time.

Wash plants come in all different sizes and can munch through different amounts of pay dirt tonnage per hour. Large operations utilize bigger wash plants, or multiple wash plants in order to chew through enough dirt to help them turn a profit.


In a gold mine, the hopper is where the dirt is dumped. This hopper usually has grizzly bars to separate large rocks from the smaller dirt as larger rocks can hurt the wash plant and break things in a hurry if they are left to go through the plant. Hopper bottom jobs are a great way to learn more about hopper machines and even find a job working with these types of machines in many different applications.


Without dozers, you won’t be getting far on a gold mine as you need to rip through permafrost, and have a way to load pay dirt into a loader to run it to the plant. Having larger dozers can help a gold mine open up more land quickly and efficiently.