Here is an overview about a gold dredge.
The recent rise in the price of gold has led to a modern day gold rush. While most of the streams and other deposits of gold have been worked previously, modern mining techniques allow today’s gold prospector to find gold that those looking for gold in the past may have missed. While gold dredging is not a new technology, gold dredges that are small enough and affordable enough for small scale use is a new development. A person interested in dredging for gold should learn what equipment is needed before setting out in search of gold.
The most basic piece of needed equipment is the gold dredge. A gold dredge is a machine that lifts gold bearing material from the bottom of a stream to a machine that separates the gold. While different types of dredges exist, most modern dredges are part vacuum and part gold sluice. The vacuum part of the machine sucks rocks, dirt and other potentially gold bearing material from the bottom of a stream up to the sluice. Once in the sluice the material is manipulated to remove the gold from the rest of the material and then the sluice returns the non-gold bearing material back into the water. Dredges come in a variety of sizes. Small dredges are designed to float in shallow streams and allow a single person to operate the dredge. Larger dredges can either float, be placed on the bank or be mounted on a boat.
A miner will also need gold pans or other equipment to complete the cleaning of the gold. While a sluice box will catch the gold, it is not perfect. The box will also catch sand, small gravel and other items. Panning by hand is time consuming but it is an inexpensive way to complete the cleaning of the gold into a marketable asset. A sniffer bottle is needed to pull the gold from the pan and deposit the gold into a vial or other small container for storage.
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Of course, a person interested in operating a larger gold dredge will need a boat that can handle the weight of the equipment and the crew. A person will also need a truck or large SUV to pull the boat and carry the needed equipment to a mining site. In most waters, miners will need to wear diving suits and have related dive equipment to allow them to stay underwater for long periods of time. Dredge manufactures generally offer larger dredges that have a built-in air compressor to provide air to a diver. A variety of hand tools, fuel cans and other items will be needed to operate, repair and maintain the dredge and other equipment. Tools such as shovels, picks and pry bars will also be useful for loosening stream bottom material. In many cases, the material will need to be loosened before the suction part of the dredge can lift the material to the sluice.