The Corbus Story

The Unusual Story of the Corbus Gyro Separator, invented by father and son,
Henry and Richard Corbus

1940's - 1950's

Richard’s dad, Henry “Hank” Corbus worked in lead and zinc mines in Eastern Oklahoma near Pitcher. His job was to fill cans with a shovel, each holding 1650 pounds, for which he received 10 cents per can. He could fill 100 cans a day. During World War II, Hank started the Corbus Spring Shop in Miami, OK. Richard’s mother, May Corbus, worked alongside Hank in the machine shop and was publicized as a “Lady Blacksmith.” 

Hank had a special gift of being able to visualize how something works and then build it. Richard grew up working in the machine shop where he learned to be a machinist and welder. Over the years, their machine shop produced go-carts for Montgomery Ward, automobile parts for BF Goodrich, and various parts for several manufacturing firms.

1960's - 1970's

Hank decided to go back into mining, but this time for gold. When he ventured to mining sites in other states, Hank left Richard in charge of running the machine shop which had grown to about 40 employees.

In their Miami, OK shop, Hank and Richard built a machine that they believed would greatly increase the amount of gold captured during a mining operation. This first model was made from the mixer bowl of a cement truck. After two years of research and development, the machine still did not work, so it was back to the drawing board.

1980's - 1990's

Taking nearly nine months to build, the second model had a bowl made from hand-hammered steel and newly designed inner workings and parts. The father-son team took it to Oregon for three years of testing and research, adding improvements as needed. A patent was obtained for this model as it could retrieve a much larger amount of gold with less down time than the sluice box.

After further testing, Richard and Hank returned to Oklahoma to make a third, more- improved model, this time using rolled steel from a firm in Joplin, MO, for the bowl. They made all the other parts and proprietary inner workings themselves, plus added an outer chute to the bowl which processed a greater amount of material at a time. This model proved to be not only “EPA friendly” but more efficient due to other proprietary changes. Hank took the machine back to Oregon and then to California to test it on different types of soil.


Shortly thereafter, tragedy struck the Corbus family. Hank had a stroke and had to return to Oklahoma. All future research and development on the separator was put on hold. With gold prices so low and Hank unable to lead the mining operation, Richard shut everything down and put the separator in storage. Gold mining came to an abrupt halt for the Corbus family. Several years later, Hank passed away. Richard continued to run the machine shop in Miami until 1989, when due to the economic recession, he closed its doors and changed careers.

The separator remained in storage in Miami, OK for over twenty years. It survived a warehouse fire and was later moved to Arizona.

2010 - Present

In 2011, JT Thomas was mining gold in Arizona.  He acquired the Gyro separator which had been abandoned on his property.  Believing this machine might be significant within the mining industry, JT researched the original patent to locate the owner.  This led him to Richard Corbus of Miami, OK. 

Since 2011, Richard and JT have become friends, formed a partnership, modernized the separator, secured a new patent, and plan to revolutionize gold placer mining operations worldwide.  It has been said that the sluice box is the weakest link in gold recovery. 

The Gyro Gold Corbus 7000 separator is the MISSING LINK to catching all your gold!