Quick update: there are lots of dredges and accessories for sale, I see flyers and postings. I’m not sure how much of my 2009 advice still holds. Gold prices are much higher than then, but the smaller guys are getting fed up and leaving due to lack of production and better opportunities at home. This seems like more than normal, especially since there were so few new people to start with this spring.
By the time the port gets the new small docks installed on the west bank of the Snake, maybe next year, there may not be enough dredges left to fill them. Unless more big operations come in, or the 8″ and 10″ dredges that stay in the main harbor decide to park out there, away from the crowds. Well, I guess that is pretty likely, I think most of those guys would choose floating docks vs having to raft 3 deep on the walls. I think the residents of Belmont Point on the east bank will be glad to get the little dredges off “their” side.
Also, many dredges have still not got in the water this year. Blue Water Gold, aka Blue Water Mining, has not even put their $250k 8″ dredge/crew boat in the water yet. Their Trucks and ATVs are for sale. Their one $600k 10″ dredge is barely out of the harbor. I don’t think they have even gotten 40 ounces yet this year. I talked to the guys and they are trying to mine as much as they can, but they are inexperienced and not yet competent at running a professional gold mining operation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Blue Water Mining is ready to close up and liquidate everything, unless they can find another round of investors to finance their inefficient operation. They are not alone, most operations fail, few operations have as much investor money to delay their failure for so many years.