Underwater sluicing ........

Wiggler
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Underwater sluicing ........

Post by Wiggler » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:58 pm

Hi , I hate to barge right in and ask questions without even introducing myself . I live up in Trinity county Ca. and have a couple claims here . I used to dredge back when it was legal . Then our 4 children were born and out of all of my habits / hobbies , I let dredging go because it to too much time away from a young family . I have always still done prospecting here and there , in between hunting and fishing . The kids are all growed up now and I HOPE they legalize dredging in Ca again because I am more than ready.

So My question ...... would this be legal ?? Let me explain.
I have one claim that has a nice drop in elevation in the creek bed. ( and it has gold ) If I ran 150- 200 feet of 4" PVC down the creek bed , I would have a 12-15 ft elevation drop. If I neck the downhill side down to say , 1-1/2" - 2" hose and put a sluice underwater below that , could I legally push material into the box ?? I would not be washing material from the bank ( hydraulic mining ) it would all be done underwater.

The places where I could actually do this are limited but there are some nice tail-outs where it should work well.

In your opinion, would this be legal ?? I can't read anything in the law that says it wouldnt be ....but maybe Im missing something. I do have a screw or two loose so its possible that I missed it ; )

Thanks to all who read and ponder this !

Wiggler.
Wiggler
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by Wiggler » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:12 pm

Nobody wants to touch this with a 10 foot pole ?? : ) Just asking for educated guesses , opinions . I would never hold anyone to any of their opinions. I just wanted to pose the question to folks who have more experience than I .

Thanks : )

Brett aka Wiggler
OregonJim
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by OregonJim » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:31 pm

I'll give an opinion; though it is just that.

There was an effort by club members to create an under water mining system and during that time one of the club members made an amazing strike, but after some initial enthusiasm the idea appeared to peter out. I assume that for most people the venture was not productive enough for their efforts. I may be dead wrong, but that is how it appears to me.

Let's suppose for a moment your water supply and drop in elevation was powerful enough to operate a small dredge. Could you use that? LET ME BE PERFECTLY CLEAR... I think it would be legal because there is no motorized equipment involved, but again that is what I THINK. There was a short time when conditions allowed the club members to utilize water from a spring high up a hill to operate their highbankers. Then the water source dried up. I think that is when they began converting Dave's dredge into a floating sluice.
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by OregonJim » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:38 pm

I think the big stopper for your plan (if in California) is your air supply. You would have to use air tanks instead of compressed air from a hookah system because of the motor. NO MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT FOR MINING includes the hookah compressor motor. If you had a large air compressor and enough large diameter hose capable of supplying your air from more than a hundred yards away (you'd have enough money so that you wouldn't be mining like this) and at depth, and if you had the water supply located close to your mining site... lots of IF's there... you'd have something pretty special. I hope you do.
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by OregonJim » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:59 pm

I found this old video for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ynq_Ok9HtAE
Wiggler
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by Wiggler » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:34 am

That video adds a whole new thought ! Thanks for sending . Having a floating sluice would open up many more opportunities for me on my creek . Its just a creek , not a river , but even in the low flow summer months I would have plenty of flow and most likely enough pressure to do that .... and hey .... I don't have to pay for fuel ! ; ) I see nothing in the laws that would prevent this . Thanks jim ..... I have the set up for a floating sluice ( my dredge without the motor ) .... I will just unbolt/ remove the motor/pump ! I like the idea . Better than my original idea. I don't need a hookah even though I have two of those set ups. I am talking 4 feet or less deep of water. A mask and snorkel would work fine . I have plenty of elevation drop . The guy who used to have this claim was finding some nice chunky gold .... he gave up the claim because of his age and mostly because of Kalifornia restrictions. I snapped the claim up in hopes of legalization of dredging ...... I just want to find a way to do it legally AND profitable . I don't mind working a LITTLE harder . I have a couple more years left in these bones. ; ) Lord willing .
Again .... thanks Jim for a better , cooler idea. I like it . THAT is why I came to this forum to ask . I got a pretty good answer.

Brett
Last edited by Wiggler on Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wiggler
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by Wiggler » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:04 am

I am guessing that from the top of my claim to the bottom .... that I have a 30 foot drop . there "might" be more drop but I have not measured it ....... I would say a 20 foot solid of elevation drop.
4" pvc pipe ...for 200 foot is cheaper than a dredge.
This system might be a little slower , lower pressure than with a pump .... so ....I just need to have less cobble to prevent plug ups ......... I might have to filter out more cobble because of lower flow / pressure BUT hey ; )
thanks Jim ; ) My mind is grinding harder on this possibility now .
Its a fairly remote spot .... but easily accessed with a 4x4....... within 30 feet of the creek along the whole claim. ........ hmmmm... I like it the idea ; )

Brett
Last edited by Wiggler on Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by OregonJim » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:25 am

Head pressure and volume... you must have both to get adequate suction on a nozzle, but lift is another issue. How high will your slurry be lifted to reach your sluice? If you are thinking of discharging the slurry into an under-water sluice, you are battling hose pressure against river water pressure and that will require a special sluice. I know there are ways to do it, but can you make it portable? The possibilities are there, but so are the complications. I hope you'll keep us up to date with your plans.

If you will look back at the older 49er's videos you may find some of the "blow-mining" ideas and someone may be able to recall some of the under water sluice ideas.
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by Wiggler » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:31 am

Jim .... I sent you a P. M . please read it. Thanks .

I want to make my sluice as close to water level as possible and not underwater ....to minimize Lift ... slightly underwater is an option . I probably don't NEED a hookah as the water will be only 4 feet deep + or -

But ....it seems that hookah would be legal as long as its not connected to the dredge ?? I think I am right ? Correct me if I am wrong .

I will probably be deleting all of this stuff very soon ........because there might be people watching this .... wanting to close more loop holes : ( I would rather just talk on the phone.

Brett
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Re: Underwater sluicing ........

Post by OregonJim » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:56 am

It would be logical to assume a hookah would be considered a breathing apparatus instead of mining equipment, but logic and California don't go together well. If it has a motor or an engine, you'll likely see your gear confiscated and yourself in a pickle.
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