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Found 50 results

  1. This is an interesting dredge. I was really into subsurface dredges for portability. Keene for a brief time sold a set of inflatable pontoons, so I got a pair and in 1999 put this 5" subsurface dredge together. The frame was homemade out of stock aluminum, and the pontoons were held in place with plastic drums I split in half length-wise. The tube was a standard Keene 5" subsurface dredge tube of the time. The old black marlex version was a pain because the tray clipped on at the forward end. I had to reach into the middle of the assembly to release the clips, and then the tray would drop down in front. In current this was a problem for sure as the current would want to grab the tray and knock it down. The later granite gray marlex tubes were improved with the release clips at the rear, which were easy to grab from the back of the dredge. The rear of the tray would drop down and was easily slid out to the rear. Much better. 5.5HP Honda powered Keene P-180 pump with 5" suction nozzle. Nice dredge, very compact and light-weight. This was on the Mills Creek Cooperative claims on upper Mills Creek on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. We got a lot of nice gold in the stretch in the picture as a narrow canyon widened out at this point. Bob(AK) is a member of the forum, and he also did very well here. Another couple photos of the dredge taken with the crappy digital cameras of the day while being built in my back yard.
  2. After an unfruitful couple days in NorCal (only a couple specks), heading down to Crow Creek with the GPAA guys for 5 or 6 days and hoping Steve left something behind! It's the only place I've found anything worth talking about so far, so here's to doubling it! GMT, ATX, Sluice and Pan...any other suggestions?
  3. This one sure brings back nice memories! My old Keene 5" dredge parked on lower Stetson Creek on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska in 1979. The first of many years dredging on this creek and on Cooper Creek, which Stetson feeds into. This was one of my more pleasant summers of dredging. The weather was nice, the water was low, the gold was good. This location was giving up about an ounce a day, better than the average on Stetson Creek. Mainly because of plentiful shallow bedrock. The gold is almost all on bedrock in Stetson Creek with little or nothing in the overburden. The more overburden you process, the less gold you get overall as a rule. This is because Stetson Creek is a classic gulch deposit, a very steep creek with waterfall after waterfall. Mother nature's giant sluice box, and the gold has been well settled and concentrated. The paystreaks were small and very well defined, move over just a foot and it was like crossing a line, you were in the gold and now you are out. There were large stretches of creek with smooth bedrock and so little gold you would think there was none in the creek if you got into one of those sections. The gold was nice - lots of jewelry gold buy nothing really big. The two pennyweight nugget in the photo was about as large as I ever found in years of mining, though the records report a three ounce nugget having been found on the creek. Must of been a fluke from what I saw, if it even happened at all.
  4. Well got the dredge fixed up as much as I'm gonna! Springs here and I got the fever. So in we go. Took the dredge in assembled just skidded it in on the float and pulled it with a snowmobile. That was nice with all the snow it was about a mile in. Getting the dredge into the canyon was another deal. Although not to bad lowered it in with a rope and a pulley. Made for a long day but I was glade we got it in before the snow melted, skidding everything was a lot easier than packing in. Went up the following weekend to try out the new six inch dredge! Had big plans to get in early Saturday and work late, figured I could get 8-10 hours on the nozzle. LOL! Well its been a long winter and seems I'm a bit outta shape. After four hours of dredging in the cold I was done! All in all I had a blast. The new dredge really put out compared to the four inch I've been using. Even got a few grams for the effort. May not seem like much but after being cooped up all winter and seeing all the gold post from down south and across the pond........ I was getting Bitchy ;-) P.S. Hope the snow pics helps you down in Texas.
  5. Abstract Alaska consists of more than 663,000 square miles (1,717,000 square kilometers) of land—more than a sixth of the total area of the United States—and large tracts of it have not been systematically studied or sampled for mineral-resource potential. Many regions of the State are known to have significant mineral-resource potential, and there are currently six operating mines in the State along with numerous active mineral exploration projects. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys have developed a new geospatial tool that integrates and analyzes publicly available databases of geologic information and estimates the mineral-resource potential for critical minerals, which was recently used to evaluate Alaska. The results of the analyses highlight areas that have known mineral deposits and also reveal areas that were not previously considered to be prospective for these deposit types. These results will inform land management decisions by Federal, State, and private landholders, and will also help guide future exploration activities and scientific investigations in Alaska. Suggested Citation Karl, S.M., and Labay, K.A., Geospatial analysis identifies critical mineral-resource potential in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3012, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173012. Fact Sheet https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2017/3012/fs20173012.pdf Full Report https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20161191
  6. Steve, you stated you installed drain plugs on your pumps. I picked up some 1/4 inch drain cox's to install on my pumps. Any words of wisdom before I go drill my pumps? Little nervous about this.
  7. Went to the claim at Canyon Creek last week to see how things look. I was surprised to see some creek open. Being I have a bad case of spring fever I have decided on spring dredging this year so thanks for the post. Anyone know where to get a water heater for the dredge? Not looking to set up a heated wet suit just want a bucket of hot water to warm the hands in.
  8. I was really heavy into very late fall and very early spring dredging in the late 90's time frame. This photo is from 1996 and was taken by my friend Rich Lampright. I worked a lot at Crow Creek Mine, which is glacial fed. It runs very high and fast in the summer when the glacier is melting. The best time to dredge is in the winter months when freezing temps bring the water levels down by over 50% and the water starts running crystal clear. It also made for some very cold dredging at times, but properly outfitted with a good drysuit you can stay surprisingly comfortable. Usually. Funny how some days I really was cozy and others it was just plain cold. I could operate well down to about 15 degrees. Below that, and the water literally froze in the sluice box while it was running. I resorted to subsurface dredges for the coldest spells as the box being underwater did not freeze up. But even then you see weird stuff. Ice crystals floating in the water build like snow drifts of slush behind rocks on the bottom, and giant balls of slush form on the pump intakes, eventually plugging them. Why suffer this you ask? I was seeing multi-ounce days working by myself. I took a lot of gold out of Crow Creek; even after paying a percentage to the owners it was good. In fact the best dredging I ever did. My best day in there working a 6" by myself was over 8 ounces of gold. This was my favorite dredge, my old Keene 6" with twin Honda 6HP pumps. This model was made with a molded marlex powerjet in two pieces - the jet and the flare. The jet and flare assembled was about six feet long but I could just toss it over my shoulder and carry it in one piece it was so light. The dredge had a stout frame with a lever handle leveling system, far superior to the later slide the box back and forth nonsense. The box was a well built single run sluice that I preferred over later double-decker designs. I never should have sold it. I did however, to Brian Berkhahn, and he also got a lot of gold with it. And I know he now also regrets selling it. It was the best Keene dredge I ever owned. Mark Keene told me they stopped making the marlex jets due to a high failure rate with the process but they should have either fixed the process or just charged more to make up for the failures. It was an incredible advance in the technology, and amazingly after all the years of use the inside of that jet never showed more than light scuffing. I think it was actually more durable than steel jets. This photo is first thing in the morning, breaking away all the ice that has formed around the dredge overnight.
  9. Is there a way to search land records/claims by owner's name? I have a friend who is looking for where his grandfather's claim was many years ago. I know it's somewhere on the Kenai Peninsula, but that's about all we know. Thanks!
  10. My first gold dredge! After seeing a guy running a suction dredge at Crow Creek Mine south of Anchorage, Alaska I ordered my first dredge in early 1973. I had never seen a dredge before, and this guy was wearing a wetsuit running a 4" dredge about chest deep in the water. He saw my interest and shut the dredge down, pointed at the first riffle, and there was more chunky gold than I had ever found. I was hooked! I got the dredge direct from Keene, only way I could get one back then. Knowing nothing about dredges I saw no reason why I should spend extra money to get floats. I figured 2.5" was too small and 4" too big so a 3" must be just right. I learned a lot with that dredge. The first thing I learned is when you put it on bank with powerjet way above water it is nearly impossible to prime. And that when you finally get it primed, the entire hose will fill with gravel, then everything stops. Once I took the 15 feet of hose off to shake all the gravel out, and did this maybe three times in a row, I realized the dredge cannot be operated more than a couple feet above water. In fact, keep the place where hose and jet meet at or below water level for best results. Which made finding a place to use it quite a challenge. You need something like in this photo - a nice rock or pile of rocks or sawhorses next to water. This basically eliminated almost all the places I wanted to use the dredge, so this photo was the last time I ever dredged without floats, way back in 1973. You pretty much have to have them as a suction dredge that does not float is very limited. I did not find a lot of gold here but found my biggest nugget to that date. I think it was only like a pennyweight but it seemed huge at the time. Photo taken in Wrangell Mountains, Alaska on Skookum Gulch.
  11. I received the following email: "My name is *********** , a logger from ***********. I'm wanting to move to Alaska and start a new life with my family. I don't have much of anything. I'm probably one of the hardest workers you will ever meet and I'm honest. I'm looking for a chance at working a claim and learning what there is to learn. I have experience in running a rock crusher - now that was a fun, six years never a dull moment! Welding, mechanic diesel and gas, can build you a house start to finish, my chain saw sleeps in my bed room next to my splitting mall. How do I get a chance in working a mine and owning one?" I have received lots of requests similar to this over the years. Back in the 1980's we literally had people show up at my mining shop with the family in a vehicle, possessions strapped on top, come to Alaska to strike it rich. Here is a bunch of information. I hope it helps - good luck! According to the October 2014 Economic Impacts of Placer Mining in Alaska: There were 646 placer mines permitted by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2013. DNR estimated 47 percent of permits (295) placer operations were mined in 2013. In 2013, there were approximately 1,200 direct, mostly seasonal, jobs in Alaska’s placer mine industry. On average, each placer mine had four workers. However, approximately 27 percent of placer mines were run by one person and there are a few significant larger operations (50+ workers). Of the 1,200 workers, approximately 73 percent (880 workers) live in Alaska. Of those Alaska residents, approximately half live in Anchorage/Mat-Su Borough (26 percent) or Fairbanks (26 percent). The remaining half (48 percent) live in communities elsewhere in Alaska. Total direct income, including wages, shares of production, and owner’s profits, are estimated at $40 million for 2013. For miners receiving compensation, 56 percent were paid a wage, while the remaining 44 percent were compensated with a share of gold production. That was 2013 but it gives you some basic figures. Maybe just over 1,000 seasonal jobs, and not all of them from people living in the state. Being located there would help though. Many of these jobs go to family members or long time, trusted employees, so there are few openings on a yearly basis. Still, a person has a shot at it. So how to go about it? All I can offer is what I would do if I did not know anybody. The easiest place to start would be to contact the Alaska Miners Association at http://alaskaminers.org/contact-us/ and purchase their latest Service Directory. I am not sure what it costs now but it used to be $20 (or included with membership). It includes a listing of all the businesses that supply and service miners in Alaska; information on land status, permitting, agency lists, State mining law, and the membership list of the AMA, Alaska's most influential mining organization. Over 1000 miners and mining related organizations are listed with contact information. The key is the membership list with names and contact information. That gives you a place to start with either phone calls or letters. Most actual mining operations in Alaska are members of the AMA. If you are interested in employment at a lode mine, the major mines information is also in the Service Directory. More information can be gleaned from the latest state report - Alaska's Mineral industry 2015. Keep an eye out for a 2016 report soon. According to the report "Total mineral industry employment in 2015 is estimated at 2,901 full-time-equivalent jobs" Here is the chart from the report: Note this chart shows less than half the number of placer employment as the figures quoted in the 2013 report and only 120 in 2015. This probably reflects a difference in actual wage and salary type workers versus one person operations or family members and people working for a share of the take. Still, it can be seen overall numbers dropped quite a bit the last few years. Also from the report, here is a map of major mining and exploration projects in Alaska. You can read about these in detail in the report, and a little use of Google can give you employment contact information for each company, job openings, etc. Start at the AMA Links Page Check out the Mining and Petroleum Training Service For opportunities in mining all over see Mining Career Opportunities at InfoMine http://www.infomine.com/careers/ HELPFUL LINKS FOR THE MINERAL INDUSTRY IN ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES • Recording Fees | http://dnr.alaska.gov/ssd/recoff/fees_RO.cfm • Public Information Center | http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/ • State Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Documents Search | http://dnr.alaska.gov/ssd/recoff/ Division of Mining, Land & Water • Mining Applications and Forms | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/ • Fact Sheets | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/ • Annual Placer Mining Application (APMA) 2015 | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/14apma/ • Annual Rental | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/annualre.pdf • Leasing State Land | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/land_fs/lease_land.pdf • Land Lease & Contract Payment Information | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/land_fs/lease_contract_payment_info.pdf • Production Royalty | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/producti.pdf • DNR Production Royalty Form | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/mining/royalty_fm.pdf • Exploration Incentive Credit Program | http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/explore.pdf Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys • Publications On-Line | http://dggs.alaska.gov/publications/ • Interactive Maps | http://maps.dggs.alaska.gov/ • Geologic Maps of Alaska: Online Map Search Tool | http://maps.dggs.alaska.gov/mapindex/ • Unpublished Geology-Related Data (Alaska Geologic Data Index) | http://maps.dggs.alaska.gov/agdi/ • Geologic Materials Center | http://dggs.alaska.gov/gmc/ • Geochemical Sample Analysis Search (WebGeochem) | http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/webgeochem/ • Minerals Report Questionnaire | http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/minerals_questionnaire Alaska’s Minerals Data & Information Rescue in Alaska (MDIRA) Project Websites • MDIRA Portal Home Page | http://akgeology.info/ • Alaska Mining Claims Mapper | http://akmining.info/ • Land Records Web Application | http://dnr.alaska.gov/Landrecords/ • State Recorder’s Office Search | http://dnr.alaska.gov/ssd/recoff/searchRO.cfm • Alaska Resource Data Files | http://ardf.wr.usgs.gov/ • USGS Alaska Geochemical Database (NURE, RASS, PLUTO…) | http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/637/ • Guide to Alaska Geologic and Mineral Information | http://doi.org/10.14509/3318 • Alaska State Geo-Spatial Data Clearinghouse | http://www.asgdc.state.ak.us/ DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, COMMUNITY, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT • Minerals Information | https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/ded/dev/mineralsdevelopment • Community and Regional Information | https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/dcra/ResearchAnalysis • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) | http://www.aidea.org • AIDEA Supports Mining | www.aidea.org/Programs/ProjectDevelopment/30YearsofMiningSupport.aspx DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE • Mining License Tax | http://www.tax.alaska.gov/programs/programs/index.aspx?60610 • Motor Fuel Tax Claim for Refund | http://www.tax.alaska.gov//programs/programs/forms/index.aspx?60210 • Alaska Motor Fuel Tax Instructions | http://www.tax.alaska.gov/programs/documentviewer/viewer.aspx?5086f
  12. I was involved in some validity exam testing on some mining claims in Alaska a few years ago. Short story is samples had to be taken at various locations to prove the claims have paying quantities of gold. Any claims not passing the exam would be lost. This photo was taken on Skookum Gulch in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. It is a small short drainage but was very rich at one time. It was mined out by hand as the stacked rocks reveal but some gold still remains. In this case we used a Keene 175-30 highbanker / dredge combo for the test work. The creek is very small and so had to be ponded up for the system to work, and it used nearly all the water in the creek while operating. The little gulch almost goes dry later in the season. One interesting note is that we left the highbanker stored upright over the winter. Water entered the tops of the leveling legs, which are hollow steel tubes with feet welded on the bottom. The water froze over the winter, and because the legs were stowed in there shortest configuration it proved impossible to extend a couple of them. And believe me there was a lot of squeezing in a vice and pounding of hammers involved! The metal had warped out to the point it was impossible to squash back down small enough to pass through the bracket hole. We just gave up and jury rigged this little saw horse and fence post system you see here. The legs were later replaced and drain holes drilled at the bottom of all the legs to allow them to drain in the future to prevent this from happening. The amount of gold found was marginal and last I heard the disposition of this particular claim was in question. It was a fun project though and a nice photo of how a highbanker / dredge combo can be put to use.
  13. I've searched the DP archives, been reading DP forever (it seems), certainly on the GPZ discussions, and have yet to see or hear about this unit's operation/performance/settings in Alaska. I'm headed to areas North of Nome, AK next year - and just dotting my "eye's" and crossing my "tee's" long before the trip. Steve has covered Gane's Creek incredibly well, as usually does with a bunch of MD's, but unless I was asleep, he has yet to discuss having taken his ZED up there. I'm looking for advise (beyond carrying a .44MAG), settings primarily since Alaska is not AZ, nor NV, nor CA.
  14. Hi all, Just got back from a trip to Chicken Alaska and my AT Gold and T2 Classic were spot on. Total weight for the four nuggets is 16.8 grams. The three small nuggets were found with the AT Gold, 3x6 snake coil on day two. The biggest nugget is 10.8 grams and was found with the T2 Classic, 4x11 biaxel coil on day three. The T2 with the stock coil could detect small flakes by listening for the break in the threshold. All the nuggets were 5 to 6 inches deep and would have been missed if I didn't listen for the break in the threshold. I like to give a big thanks to Steve for writing the stories of his adventures in Chicken that inspired me to take the trip. I have now detected and found gold in for different areas of Alaska in 8 years. (Ganes creek 4 times, Moore creek 1 time, Nome 2 times, and Chicken 1 time.) 26 ounces found in 8 years with $700 VLF. Last of all, don't let anyone tell you and area is hunted out, trust in your equipment, keep a good attitude, work hard the whole time, and believe in your abilities. Thanks, Treasuredude
  15. Just back from the Nome, Alaska area. Hard work (low and slow - listen carefully - focus) and little luck yielded a nice range of specimen nuggets. The were a few areas with hot rocks but most spots had acceptable slightly-mineralized soil conditions for my GPZ and GB2. It did seem I dug a lot of rusty 3-4" nails in the 24-36" range but only one nugget this deep. Does the GPZ and other detectors pick up rusty nails deeper than nuggets? Is there something about their shape and electrical/magnetic properties that make them easier targets?
  16. I was curious where to spend my time looking for gold using a sluice box and/or pan. I am curious if it is worthwhile heading up torwards Hatcher Pass and taking the Gold Mint Trail and working on the Little Susitna or go to Crow creek in Girdwood? What's your opinion?
  17. I have been following Steve's detecting tips since 08 when I bought my first detector,a MXT from Alaska Mining and Diving (AMDS) Million Dollar Garage sale. Thanks for the Forum Steve. Inspired by http://Steve's 2013 Alaska Gold Adventure I will be going to Chicken, Ak. the first of July for ten days, camping @ Walker Fork Campground. I have a White's MXT, GMT and Garrett ATX. With all the new detectors out there, I am looking for a new detector best for the area. I have been think about the Makro Gold Racer. Thanks for every ones on the Forum.
  18. Headed out Saturday for a quick trip to the river. Just a pan and my camera - Oh and by prospecting buddie. Any way I sampled three or four spots with little luck, finally come across a large boulder with a bit of flow material behind it and gave it a go. Did not expect much as it was loose and obviously resent, well to my surprise................. So the question is what would you consider a good sample Pan? FYI - I like the 14 inch GPAA pan green color, wide bottom and medium sized riffles.
  19. One of my favorite types of prospecting is sluice and panning. No loud motors, no beeping and buzzing detectors just the sound of the river and nature in general. Anyway, thought I would post some pictures. Not a real big haul, but for the six - three gallon buckets I ran - I am happy.
  20. Saw this at Bill's forum and liked it - good photos and details showing how getting gold seems like only a small part of things sometimes. http://www.ssdsupply.com/alaska_2015.htm
  21. I'm using these cold winter months to plan my trip to Alaska this summer. I plan to hit some of the GPAA claims on the Kenai peninsula. I am a GPAA member and have their latest guide, so I have that basic info and know I will need permits to dredge, highbank or power sluice. I would like for anyone with actual experience on any of these claims( Ken & Brian, Shirley E, Northlander #2, and Demaree) to provide some input as what to expect, such as physical access, land or water (big stream or little stream, deep or shallow) conditions or anything that would help me prepare. Pictures would be great if you care to post some. I place a high value on the personal experiences of others. Not trying to get rich, although that's not a bad thing; just looking for a little gold to say I was successful. I do plan to take my detector also, a White's MXT, but that's not my primary tool. Yes, I know it's not the best, but you know what they say about a blind squirrel. I will be looking into some camping areas also for my fifth-wheel trailer. Thanks in advance for your input.
  22. First off, I love this forum and all the info here. Good work guys! I am planning a trip to Alaska for the summer. I will be pulling a fifth-wheel trailer. I will be following my wife's uncle, who makes the trip every 3 or 4 years for the fishing; but I am primarily focusing on the gold. I think our primary destination will be on the Kenai peninsula, but other places along the way are not out of the question such as Chicken. I'm into the gold thing about 3 years now and have been primarily to AZ, Colorado and the Klamath in N. Calif. I'm pretty proficient at panning & sluicing and did some highbanking on the Klamath. I have several sluices, Gold Grabber highbanker, and I plan to put together a small dredge or power sluice(no more than 4 in). I am a GPAA member, so am planning on hitting some of those claims, some public areas, and some fee area also. So my question is this: What would you tell someone who is coming for up for the first time, that they need to know or might not have thought about. Thank for any info to make this trip a success.
  23. Just published, free to the public. Geologic Map of Alaska Neal
  24. Steve, I bought the F19 thinking I could hunt around Anchorage for silver coins. Did you have any luck in that area? Interestingly, I found four rings, two necklaces, several ear rings and pendants, few hundred in clad and lots of cash. And not one silver coin. Not sure if I should be disappointed by that?
  25. Hello, has anybody done detecting in the valley that the Little Susitna river passes through? I am thinking of the valley and slopes to the north and south of the river along the Gold Mint trail.