5 Tips For Profitable Gold Dredging
By Danny VanDerschelden
Contrary to what some may say you can make a decent living gold mining. The simple fact that there are multi-billion dollar mining corporations quickly debunks this misconception. Personally when mining with a small 3 inch dredge I do not mine for less than $15 per hour. With a 6 inch I want at least $50 per hour. While that may not be an extravagant wage, it is certainly livable. For those of you who aspire to become a professional dredger, here are some tips I learned the hard way…
You are not playing the lottery.
How much gold you find is determined by multiplying the yardage you process times the dollars per yard times the percentage of gold your sluice box recovers. If I am moving 10 yards a day, each yard contains $20 of gold, and I have a catch rate of 95%, I will make $190 per day. Now yes, there is some luck involved. For example I may stumble across a lucky nugget that totally skews my numbers upwards. However, if you take luck in to consideration when determining if a deposit is profitable you are just playing the lottery for a living and of course that is not a good plan.
No where has been mined out.
I have never seen an area that has been mined out. I have been to many of the hardest hit public areas such as Dole Bar and Gold Ray. I have been to some of the largest old mines such as the Old Channel Mine in Galice. I have always been able to find virgin ground. I will write an article explaining how to identify virgin ground soon.
Learn what to skimp on and what to invest in.
Investing in time saving tools has always served me right. For example investing a few bucks on some quick couplings can pay off quickly. On the other hand, spending 4 times as much on a Honda engine just because it’ll last 2 times longer than a Harbor Freight engine just makes no sense. I know a lot of people may disagree with this but the math doesn’t lie. You can spend that money on other things that will actually produce more gold. You could even buy 2 Harbor Freight engines so you’ll have a spare and still come out ahead.
If your hole is not paying, leave.
If you are not making money within 2 hours of dredging the same sample hole its time to move on to the next one.
If the creek is not paying, leave.
You can’t keep going to the same creek that has never paid you before and expect to suddenly start making money. You are trying to run a business, not play the lottery.