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domtasc
20:51:31 Mon
Feb 6 2012

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Looking to dredge this summer

Hey guys. I currently own a construction company in northwest FL, and business is slowwwwww. Construction has slowed to a crawl here(and pretty much all over). I am married and have a baby on the way, and am really wanting some stability. I would love to be able to go to Nome and do some gold dredging for the summer, I would love to get any info I can on it please. I called the Alaska DNR today and they said that all of the private land in and around Nome is currently leased. I would love to be able to mine some of it though, and have no idea how to go about doing it. It would be MUCH appreciated if I could get some hints/tips/knowledge on how to go about ocean dredging some leased land over there or if it is even possible. I would like to go BIG, I am fairly certain I have a few investors who would put the money forward for me to go do something similar to the "Christine Rose" just would have to have all my ducks in a row and gold bearing claim in Nome. Any responses would be much appreciated.

P.S. Even if I couldn't do something similar to the Christine Rose I would like to suction dredge around there for the summer. I am a Naui certified diver and would love to work on a dredge if the money was right. I am a very hard worker and I don't drink, smoke, cuss, or anything of the sort. Thanks a lot for taking time to read/reply.

  
DanfromNY
21:56:38 Mon
Feb 6 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

Hi Domtasc, isnt that Christine Rose impressive? 50 ounces a day,Gold Mining I wouldnt consider a "stable" profession. Im up in Nome all summer and didnt know how much theyre doing, generally miners arent telling anybody their business, but hey Its TV so its got to be real, or is that reality TV? ha ha. I was fortunate to win several claims this past summer at the lease auction. I spent most of the summer prospecting the potential lots that were going up on the auction block so I didnt get much time to actually get much production time in.Send me a private message and we can talk, good gold to all Dan

  
AK_Au_diver
06:21:56 Wed
Feb 8 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer


Not to be mean, but take an honest look at your situation? Can you really afford to fail? Most people that come to Nome to gold mine do fail. You'd probably be better off working minimum wage in Florida that coming to Nome.

Can you handle a four-week storm where no one is getting any gold?

All the good areas are locked up, and the people that have them locked up have a line of people a hundred deep wanting to work for them. What makes you special?

Don't believe the fiction. Do you really think there really are still places where new people could show up with no experience and get 50ozt/day or even 5ozt/day on average?

Just trying to give some friendly advice.

  
LipCa
06:26:38 Wed
Feb 8 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

This sounds like "Gold Rush Alaska" all over again!! :smile:

  
DanfromNY
16:27:26 Wed
Feb 8 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

I agree with you 100% Ak_AU_Diver, MOST(99%) guys who come to Nome leave with much less than when they show up,If they make it out.Dredges that came up last summer early went up for sale after a few weeks.Tempers rise and miners start jumping others "spots" in the FREE areas which have been "dredged out" for years. Newbies stuck on shore during the storms and bad weather after storms were beating each other up with shovels at one point. This is probably the reason the beach is being shut down to campers this summer, that along with the unsanitary guys who literally crapped all over the place on the open tundra.I watched Ozzie and Harriet as a kid,Superman was on TV too back then,TV's still the same.There were some guys up there staking worthless ground with hopes to sell their worthless claims to unsuspecting or hopeful people.Watch out for the gang of "Soapy Smiths" that still exist and hang together like glue.I was shocked to see one of these guys being paid by over 40 grand to build a dredge for a newbie this summer, and he was recommended by a friend of the owner.Who didnt know what he was doing either,simply amazing.All the land claims and all the ocean leases are locked up, those claim owners who have allowed dredgers on their claims are right there daily to collect their percentages.Some permits were revoked last summer when guys support boats were bigger than their dredges and were used to force smaller guys off of their spots.all for now

  
domtasc
00:38:27 Thu
Feb 9 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

Hey guys thanks a lot for the replies. I definitely don't think I would do anywhere near that on public land, and I'm not expecting anywhere near that on private land either(especially with a suction dredge). I wouldn't even go if all there was up there for me to mine was public. I'd have to talk to some claim owners who would let me dredge their land. Nothing makes me special, but I'd like to think I've got a little more common sense than some of the guys out there. Also I'm a very honest person, so no claim owner would have to worry about me not giving them their percentage or hiding gold or crap like that. Not special, just would like a shot at it. I'm also big nature outdoors guy and would just love to visit Nome at least some day, even if I couldn't mine it, and do some fishing! Thanks again for the replies guys. I can see how it would be annoying for you guys living there, getting the harbor jam packed with a bunch of dumb newbies(like me) who don't know what they are doing at all. I appreciate the straight forwardness AK_Au_diver. Hopefully some day I can come mine up there and meet you guys in person. Dominic

  
cap10morgan
19:29:45 Tue
Feb 21 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

I understand the general sentiment about outsiders but Dan you were obviously an outsider as well at one point and I've seen your youtube videos which looks as though you have a seemingly successful ocean dredging operation going (not sure if this is true). With this said what distinguished you from that "99 percent" of other unsuccessful dredgers that pursued a new and unfamiliar goal like this? I'm not being a smartass, but I'm really interested as well and I'm just wondering what route best to take. Is it really only the locals that have the premier exclusive access to the best locations that succeed and is there any way around this or is it S.O.L for an outsider?
Thanks, Morgan

  
peluk
01:48:32 Wed
Feb 22 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

Morgan and Dominic,here's a spot where you can get some more information while waiting for a responce.Go to www.nomenugget.net
If you hurry you can read the very informative Feb.16 issue of the local newspaper("The Nome Nugget") there.The article "The Bering Sea Goldrush Is On Its Way" will give you a view to what's expected.

Problems that the City has had to deal with in adjusting to dredgers for example,have often been brought about by local,resident dredgers.They are often only adjustments made to accomodate a developing industry.Just as often,they are adjustments made to accomodate greedy and inconsiderate personalities.It appears to have been the same situation with the first goldrush back at the turn of the century.
Nome is not hostile to newcomers and welcomes them and the commerce they create.

  
peluk
06:23:51 Wed
Feb 22 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

This just occurred to me.Although newcomers are always welcome,if I were a Noman with a dredge and I was looking at a limited resource,I probably wouldn't be meeting you at the airport.Life's like that.:confused:

  
jjussely
15:02:49 Sun
Mar 11 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

AK_Au_diver......

i have read several of your posts and i believe even watched some of your youtube vids. i am a writer in Mississppi and would like to interview you and put you on record. i am doing a piece on Nome and gold dredging. would be interested in helping me out??

josh

  
AK_Au_diver
18:40:46 Sun
Mar 11 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer


When I started in Nome, there were 12 dredges total in all of Norton Sound, and I was friends with the owner/operators of 5 of them. Plus I was partnered with an expert gold miner.

When Dan started, I think his was the 15th dredge in Nome.

Dan and I both had horrible first years, as does most every first year dredger with their own operation that we've ever met.

The difference is that we could afford to fail and come back another year. The other difference is that there were over 65 dredges last year, and another few dozen expected, with less ground to work.

  
jamesnb
21:14:10 Sat
Mar 17 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

Hello all. I too have been looking to do some prospecting or maybe some treasure hunting off Florida this Summer. I do appreciate the downside but my situation is a little different.
I'm 45 years old. I'm a science teacher and enjoy a relatively free Summer and my step-children are going off to college this summer. My half-baked idea goes something like this:
Work as a diver or deck hand this summer, make some contacts and learn the ropes. If the weather sucks or what every and I only make $2,000 that would cover the flight and incidentals plus I would have the experience and the stories. If jumping in 40 degree water starts to get old, I'll remind myself I could be sitting in the Texas swelter instead.
If I make a good chunk of change, my wife and I could enjoy a nice vacation before school starts.
If I really like it, make some money and could see myself doing it for a few more years, I could work on picking up some good used equipment (at dirt cheap prices--boat, pumps, sluice) and work out a sub-lease on a tract for two months out of each season. I've been diving and doing work underwater for at least 25 years. I'm handy with tools; I rebuilt the engine in my boat last summer (351W).
I know it's not a get rich quick and easy deal and I'm not counting on the money. But $50 or $100K would be a nice bonus.
Is this something I should be entertaining or have I lost my mind too?

  
AK_Au_diver
17:38:28 Wed
Mar 21 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer



As long as you don't need to make money, accept that you may not recoup anything you spend on the Nome trip (just like a vacation).

I think you are underestimating how much your stay will cost, figure in another $2000 for unexpected things, like camping and transportation fees.

Having a job where you get the summers off makes Nome ideal. Some of the most successful people in the Nome dredging community are retired or otherwise have the summer off. They are successful because their definition of success is to have a good time and enjoy themselves, and not lose too much on gold mining.

Two months a year is not enough to be serious about Nome, some storms last a month. Serious people dedicate 4 to 6 months to make Nome work for them.

  
Darkstar_Mining
16:20:56 Wed
Mar 28 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

Dan if your still needing help contact me. I'm serious about this trade. Your comment on how there's plenty looking for a mark, so I called my buddy and he confirmed your opinion. I am not looking to be with an as*hole crook, I have kids. My certification will be in hand April 29th. I am willing, able and ready to do the work. I hope you contact back.
thanks, Pacos Bill

  
GoldMiner5
17:21:47 Wed
Mar 28 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

First of all, I'm new to this forum , so howdy ! I've been a gold prospector since 1979 , I started in Az. hard rockin n assay work for claim owners , been doin it off n on ever since n I'm good at it. Guar un teed gold minin is the hardest work you will ever do fer LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE .If anyone thinks thet're goin to jump right in n git rich you're jis gona git da FEEEEEEVA !!! HAHAHAHAHA !!!:confused:

  
Darkstar_Mining
22:56:45 Wed
Mar 28 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

Yup, it's all about the long haul. I have spent countless hours panning and shoveling only to have to clean my gear and hike it back to my truck empty handed, or thinking I know it's there where is it?. I cant wait to hopefully,hopefully, get lucky and break even next year. If not I have other income and will be back in 2014. Difference between the newbies and the other newbies in dredging I that some have an understanding of what it takes to get that first ounce. I don't do it for income, but 2013 I hope to try to begin a serious career of doing so. DON"T Quit your day job and move to Nome for the summer to pan for gold. I have been recreational prospecting for 6 yrs. and the guys on here make me realize how much there is always to learn in the trade. OH did anybody mention how effin hard the work is getting to a final classifying stage!! And then the disappointment, oh the disappointment...But yet it cant be that bad right were all still looking for it!!!

  
klondike_jake
05:23:50 Fri
Apr 6 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

its totally amazes how a t.v. show can make people literally jump ship.its like jump off this bridge and your a millionaire.ive been dredging since 1980 and have known about the gold in nome since 86.its really gotta be a joke these days with all the short horns around.
i bet you guys that do it all the time make side bets on whose next to fail.kinda like a play by play.

  
thegoldgopher
01:35:08 Wed
Apr 25 2012

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Re: Looking to dredge this summer

Just start googling and reading. You must have missed it, but it went from a Wild Wesst mentality to a slightly more orderly thing with the leases. All the good and big stuff is now leased. Private and public stuff abounds throughout Alaska, you just have to find it or a landowner who will let you mine.

I read on one of the forums that they are having problems already with the influx of people to the area, and the public areas are having fights and all sorts of hoopla. They say they will enforce the 75' regulation, which, IIRC is that you have to stay 75' away from anyone else in the water.

I also read that the police are not in a good mood, as with all the new people, a lot of them desperate, and all the short tempers, that they anticipate a very busy year. And I heard from a couple of the state guys I talked to yesterday that there will be a no nonsense zero tolerance atmosphere. One of them said it's going to be a zoo.

What you want to do is admirable, but I think you've missed this year. I am going at it from a different angle, fabricating and patenting a couple of ideas I've had stored in my brain for a long time. A trip to Nome is going to cost you $2 grand any way you go with airfare and $30 pizzas, and $7 beers. There is a lot to learn, and when you're up to your hips in alligators, you won't have a lot of time for learning. A trip for observation only would be a good investment.

I can't give you a lot of advice myself. But I did go and become a hard hat diver in the Gulf of Mexico for six years. It is brutal work. And working around dredging, or any surface support vessels just make it more dangerous. It is cold hard dirty work. Living conditions suck, and if you can't man up and get along with the crew and the conditions, it is a recipe for misery. With the cold conditions up there, it's another degree of magnitude worse.

TV may make it look really good, but as with the Gold Rush at the turn of the last century, most people who went up there barely made wages.

It is a huge risk. Take your time. It will still be there next year, and next year, I bet just a little quieter.


  

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