Skip to comments.Gold-sucking technique dredges up California controversy
Posted on 04/14/2013 7:53:19 PM PDT by Ron C.
A legal battle is brewing over whether California gold miners should be allowed to vacuum up the bottoms of rivers.
The controversy is about a process called suction dredge mining, a practice popularized on the Discovery Channel show "Bering Sea Gold" but banned for the last four years in California, as state courts continue to weigh new environmental regulations.
"Suction dredging is the best way to extract gold from the environment," said Craig Lindsay, a former dredger and president of the Western Mining Alliance, an advocacy group working to protect mining rights in Western States.
Suction dredge mining is a process in which prospectors look for gold by diving underwater using a 4-inch wide hose to vacuum dirt and gravel to find gold.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
At the same time I was along the river 5 to 8 miles below Briceberg, there were several different people who used suction to pull up material trapped behind large rocks in the river - successfully finding hundreds of ounces of gold behind those rocks. It was hard work, but well worth the time.
No evidence of mercury in those deposits were ever identified, nor was there ever any documentation of Mercury ever being used there or above that point along the river above.
This is just another government intrusion prohibiting the freedom to search for gold along the rivers of the US.
The benefits to the local area were great - without the dredging you wouldn’t have the levies along the Feather River to prevent flooding.
Dredging by individuals was in full swing in the 70’s when I got to hang out in Gold Country in the 70’s.
I believe that any mercury that is in those gold bearing waters is so loaded with gold that is quickly falls into the riffles of the sluice box. A real prospector recognizes what it is and keeps it. Not quite sure why a gold miner would not try to trap those small amounts of mercury to extract the gold from and reuse in their own gold recovery efforts.
People in Ca have been dredging forever.
It does now.
Oh.. that’s a joke LoL
Sounds like they have experience.
In past years one could dredge Idaho waterways with a permit from Idaho agencies. Guess what? This year the EPA has determined that they need to permit this activity as well. Gold prospectors in Idaho aren’t going to go along with this.
America was nice while it lasted.
I did this for diamonds in my youth
Venezuela. ;Brazil....Sierra Leone
Only real issue was war and violence
Suction dredging REMOVES it (mercury) two. It’s majorly environmentally beneficial.
If you follow the money, there are something like 5 companies who are going to get to “remediate” mercury via suction dredging, and they will keep the gold they get with it, and I’d speculate they will do this as the claims are allowed to go fallow.
My idea on this has always been, a mining claim is TANGIBLE PROPERTY and EVERY CLAIM HOLDER needs to assess their unit (very liberally!) and sue the state over the law as being a “taking” without recompense.
These are tiny dredges, not the old drag-line self channel creating monsters of yore...
Under 1866 and 1872 mining law the minerals of the west on public lands were deeded to the people. Any non amended regulatory impingement of existing individual means (not corporate) is a taking IMO.
Why don’t we use Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer as dredges? They’ve sucked for decades and have the mouths to prove it.
I once showed a picture of Pelosi to a Grouper fish and he died on the spot. Couldn’t take the competition as the biggest sucker around.
I have a question, should “liberal” judges be allowed to breath?
Moonbeam Jer says ‘America...do not muddy the water around us, you may have to drink it soooon’
i.e. watch closely as an entire country magically tragically becomes Cali for lorn ja...in the blink of an eye on a piece of paper titled ‘AMNESTY’ Coming soon to a town and city near you....
What happens to clear water rivers downstream? Does dredging cloud a clear water river? If so, how does that affect fish, animals, & people downstream?
Not hardly at all. Yes some clouding does occur, but in the overall that clouding is extremely miniscule compared to the whole river.
I fished, quite successfully immediately below (80-90 feet) from where they were working at the base of large rocks in the midst of the river. No visible amount of 'clouding' of the river even rose to the surface.
You have to remember - the amount of water coming down the river is probably something like many hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of water - extremely greater than the amount of matter and water that is proceeding up through the dredging operation.
Dredging is NOT the same as Hydraulicing!