On September 28th, 2011 the State of Alaska auctioned off 84 sub-sea mining leases in the Bering Sea in the near shore waters around Nome, raising 9.3 million dollars. Our team secured over 3200 acres of these leases, making us the second largest mineral rights leaseholder offshore Nome.
We have a long history of gold mining in Nome, Alaska. Two members of our team began mining in Nome in the early 1990’s. One was featured in the 1997 Micheal Palin BBC show, Full Circle. Our first 550 acre mining lease came from the 1999 lease sale, which we retain past the 10-year term through the continuing production clause. Our current dredge boat has been in operation since 2004, and for many years was the largest offshore dredge in Nome until the Christine Rose was built in 2010. In 2014 we were the 6th largest dredge boat operating in Nome.
Our leases were extensively studied by government researchers and previous leaseholders as part of multimillion dollar studies; but very little of it has been mined due to its depth. Depth is not an issue for our design. The results of these studies and our sampling and mining the past couple years show that like everywhere else around Nome, the gold distribution is not uniform, and only approximately 10% of these acres are considered to be a high enough grade to be worthwhile to mine. Using as a guide the 6 years it took to mine the high grade areas of the previous 550 acres, we estimate that these leases should last us 32 years. This is too long for one operation, so we need to expand.
We are interested in finding suitable partners or investors who can bring the investment capital required to construct a second, much larger and more efficient Bering Sea gold mining dredge; using all the things we have learned over the past 10 successful years of running the prototype in Nome.
We have 10 years of operational experience with the prototype. It worked so well that we have incrementally upgraded it over the years. We are the only successful gold dredge of this type in Nome and the largest in the US. We have ownership in over 3200 acres of mining leases and operating agreements for over 2900 more acres. A dozen similar designs built by others have failed over the past decade where we have succeeded. We are not limited by water depth like excavator-style gold dredges.
If this sounds like something you can be a part of, you can contact us via email to “invest” at “safonatt.com”