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Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Storms and Repairs

The past several days in Nome have been wet and now, stormy.  The seas at Nome beach are crashing in at 8-10 ft.;  enough to dislodge many of the small boats from their anchored locations.  The Goldenrod crew has been traveling out to the dredge and back to the beach (when dredging) with a small dingy (a.k.a. Zodiak).  That dingy is normally tied up on the beach around the Snake River.  However, with the seas as high as they've been, Dad and Mom were smart to check on it today, which resulted in search and recovery action, as they finally found it up the beach a bit (as have many others).  Fortunately, the dingy was undamaged and they were able to secure it from the current storms.

During the most recent weather situation, Dad has also been tackling the underwater sonar system and camera (which both require maintenance), and is also working to improve the sluice boxes.  He recently met with a Sluice Box Consultant who thoroughly examined Goldenrod's sluices and determined what needs to happen for maximum gold capture while mining. Those changes are currently in progress too. Seems there are varying opinions and practices regarding the sluice boxes.  I CANNOT emphasize the 'learning curve' of dredge mining in Nome enough!  It is just much more difficult than it already seems.   


  1. So please try to "educate" us on what "dad" learned from the "consultant" and is going to be doing to GOLDENROD... looking forward to learning...

  2. First of all, Keene Engineering (the manufacturer that many gold dredgers in Nome purchase their sluice boxes from) has been keeping the Sluice Expert busy. The said boxes may perform well in rivers, but the density of the material on the bottom of the Bering Sea is such that it clogs them up rather quickly while dredging. When 12 ft sluice boxes are sorting material as they should, one can go 30 hours or more dredge time before a clean up is necessary. Goldenrod's sluices are clogging after 20 minutes of dredging. Turns out that there are many flaws in the design of this sluice box (for Nome): the Hungarian riffles are placed to close together and are capturing too much too fast, the miners moss is not of the correct texture to capture the smaller flakes, the grizzly holes are too close, there are dams that need removing, and 6 sided expanded metal needs to be applied for capture of smaller flakes of gold too. It is quite shocking how wrong these sluice boxes (that are supposedly designed for dredging in Nome) are for gold mining in the Bering Sea! The ocean floor material offshore Nome contains a great deal of black sand and pebbles, which makes it denser than what these sluice boxes are designed to deal with. Thanks for your interest.

    1. Seems that Keene should be providing all upgrades fob plant. Mining is a science - approach it that way and you have the greatest chance for a rewarding experience. If you ever come down to the Gulf Coast be sure to stop by and meet Michelle & myself - would like to show you our expedition boat.

  3. You are correct, mining is a science, and not exact one at that. We have found that carefully listening to those who have dredged for many years is the best course of action.

    Thank you Doug, for the invite. I appreciate your comments.