Ask the Experts
May 2014 by Chris RalphSetting up a gravity dredge
In my early days of nugget hunting things were fairly simple. Just headphones, a pack, a detector and a small pick were all I needed for my search for great wealth.
It was time to prime the pump and start the engine! Dan’s priming method is to use a small, submersible, 12-volt pump. My priming method is to use a hand-operated diaphragm pump.
I began detecting at the bottom of the gully and started making my way upstream. About mid-way there was a nice, flat stretch for about ten feet.
The 316 Mining Company has not been all that successful, but does not ever seem to learn from their past mistakes.
The research I did for “Gold in the Slate Creek Basin” (September 2011 issue) found me chasing a channel out of the LaPorte territory headed towards the old mining town of Brandy City, California.
Fortunately, there are products on the market that can address these problems and make a small-scale mining operation feasible.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
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