New Frontier: Underwater Mining

In our last blog post, we let you in on the valuable golden secrets held in Nome, Alaska. Now, we’re telling the story of another treasure trove left behind by early gold seekers. Add up all the gold in the world’s oceans, and each person on Earth could own nine pounds of it! The waters near Nome hold particularly impressive concentrations. Underwater gold mining and dredging are resulting in huge profits for bold divers off the coast of Nome. Their discoveries are changing the game for treasure hunters everywhere.

In some ways, the abundance of gold along Alaska’s coast seemed set to fuel a modern gold rush. The use of vacuum-like devices helps to suck up precious material from the ocean floor. The exclusivity of offshore permits kept the number of miners at bay, but those who do get a chance to mine are finding their permits are literally worth their weight in gold. In fact, reports tell quite the tale: Since 2012, some dredgers or divers have been surfacing with thousands of dollars in gold per week.
For instance, take one of the world’s largest-ever mining vessels, the Bima. In the 1980s, it worked day and night pulling up gravel, sand and gold from the ocean floor near Nome. Although it only had a few years of operation, the Bima helped to recover over 16 million dollars in gold in just its first season.
Of course, there is some financial and physical risk associated with offshore mining efforts. Because of the extensive knowledge required, no one should dredge underwater without intense training and experience. Storms, shifting gold prices and machinery malfunctions all have the power to set teams off track. But of course, for many, with great risk comes great reward.
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Posted by Jenna Gulica

Jenna Gulica


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