By Erik Oostra
Big flotilla of illegal gold dredgers in Brazil
A great Sunday morning read.. the pictures give an insight into the lives of Brazilian gold dredgers..
Gold mining underwater, offshore
I have a dream 🙂
I want to build an underwater vehicle for gold mining (washing) underwater, in the coastal area of Alaska and other places.
Background: I am a former Submarine Engineer, mechanical and electrical specialist (+ electronics).
I really liked the series on the Discovery Channel, about how gold is mined from the bottom of the sea in Nome (Alaska). I am impressed with the courage of these people. But ... I see that already now they have problems with mining gold from a depth of more than 5 meters.
The shelf area (underwater part) extends much further than those small areas that are now being developed near Nome.
To work in bad weather on the surface of the sea, and not to depend on it, you need to have an underwater manned vehicle on a caterpillar track, with a dredge and a flushing chute. This will allow you to work autonomously, for several days underwater, mining gold.
In my opinion (thoughts) it should be a submarine with tracked engines, ballast tanks, which can independently float on the sea surface and sink to the bottom for work.
I can design, calculate, and build this. I need money for this, and a few assistants who can work with their hands 🙂 Extraction of gold and minerals from the bottom of the sea is my old dream ... And I know how to make a submarine without spending millions of dollars 🙂
I bought my first dredge and it is an old one, have a couple questions if someone knows old Keene gear.
It’s a pretty vintage 3” Keene suction dredge, crashbox, power jet, 14x48 sluice and frame that was strapped to inner tubes. The old Copper BS 5hp with an old Johnson 155 air that seems to be working. Changed the oil, gas, checked the sparkplug, removed the pump and she started right up and runs great. Everything is in suprisingly good shape.
The pump is a Keene P-150, I assume pumping in the 200 - 250 GPM range. It has the old paper gaskets for the pump housing, will Auto gasket maker work to replace those if needed? I think the main pump seal is still the same as modern pumps.
For the Sluice it has a plate in the crash box then flat red carpet under the riffles. What would you recommend running in there? Miners moss over carpet? Change to rubber matting? Leave as is? Should anything go under the crash plate to help catch fine gold. Would love some opinions. I did clean out about 20 flecks of color from the tiny bit of sand left in the sluice, so I know it can catch some fine gold.
Anyone know anything about the Johnson 155 Air compressor? I can’t seem to find any information on it. Seems to be working but not sure if any spare parts are available for it.
Last question is what to do for floats. I would need new inner tubes but I may try to rig up something with a packraft I have. Anyone used pool noodle floats? I’m sure the hard floats are best for fast moving water, but curious what other options there are. Would like to keep it light to be manageable by one person and able to be hauled with an ATV.
Thanks for any info.
I was wondering if anyone might have a picture of an original Keene 2 1/2" dredge, it is the one that floated on an inner tube. I sent an email to Pat Keene, but have not got an answer.
I just need the picture to see how it was set up and mounted on the inner tube. If anyone has one you can post it here or email it to me at: email@example.com
This effort deserves a vote of thanks from all of us.
I'm starting a new thread (for an obvious reason -- change of topic), triggered by the following post:
My question is specifically about this spinoff/version of the show. It's evolved into two related, semi-cooperative crews dredging McKinley Creek near the Northern end of the Alaska Panhandle. If somebody wants to bring up Todd Hoffman (oops, I just did), etc., well that's not what I'm hoping to read about. But it's a free world.
I'm hoping some experienced dredgers will objectively critique.