Thoughts on justifying the initial expense of a claim

Hi Everyone, reasonably new to this page although I have had the gold bug for quite some time.

Im after some advice on what you guys would call justifiable, grams per hour on your own claims.

I own a 4" Keene 3 stage dredge

Looking into claiming a stretch of creek that has no existing claim on it. I know theres quantities of gold in there but I just cant quite bring myself to pull the trigger on buying the claim as im not 100% sure on an houry rate that it may provide… what would you suggest?, sneak in at night time & try before I buy?. Or just bite the bullet, buy the claim & hope for the best. From my rough calculations (dont ask me how I got these :shushing_face:) Im estimating this creek to provide roughly 1gram per hour on average parts.

What sort of gram per hour averages are you other claim owners/dredgers getting to justify your inititial expense on your claims.

Any comments good, bad or helpfull would be much appreciated! Cheers fellas :+1:

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Firstly. If your thinking of sneaking onto a claim. You can fuck right off. Nobody here is interested in dealing with poachers. If the claim owner is not willing to let you test the ground, its probably a shitty claim.

If you can average a gram an hour, and your happy with that, then your good. As gold is always spotty, that gram an hour might be hard to maintain all year. Just remember that you will, on average, only be able to dredge half the summer. Rain will be your biggest issue with how much time you can actually spend in the water. Motivation will be the second issue.

Your yearly costs for fees will run you between $1000 and $3000. Nzpam, doc, insurance. Maybe more, maybe less. Find out the costs first!

What ever you do. DO NOT BECOME A POACHER. I confiscated all equipment poachers use on my claim. Pans, slices, dredges, and since it’s a long 40km walk to town. If you want to be a dick, I’ll take your keys also. You can sort your illegal activities out with the police to get everything back. That’s not my problem. But if you just ask nicely, most claim owners are very accepting of people wanting to get into the hobby. DO NOT BECOME A POACHER. NZ IS SMALL AND YOU WILL BE KNOWN VERY QUICKLY AS ONE.


Didn’t he say the river isn’t under a claim?


This particular creek has NO claim on it. Certainly wouldnt touch somebody elses claim without make contact first. Cheers


Sorry mate. I saw the part that said it has no claim. Then the part about sneaking in. And then the part about buying it. So I was just making sure you don’t get caught up with a claim owner. Buying a claim is a lot different then applying for a permit. If you can get a gram an hour with a 4 inch, make sure your permit cover up to 6inch. That way when you have saved some money you can buy a bigger dredge. There is an huge difference in the amount of dirt you can move between a 4 and 5. A 6 would move 5x what a 4 can. Maybe even more.
Good luck with what ever you end up doing.


Bloody good cheers for that. I think Ill bite the bullet and get this permit application in.

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Let us know how you go on getting the claim, seems to be really hard these days from what iv seen and heard, good luck mate


If you are going to give the application process a go yourself it is relatively straightforward, provided you understand what NZPAM require. NZPAM have some good guidelines and templates to help those in need through the process - see link below. If you get stuck give me a call, happy to help.


a gram an hour with a 4 inch , id be claiming it youll get your dollars back and have fun along the way , dont give up your day job tho .


Cheers, guessing this is Sam?. I will be in touch regarding this. I printed all the permit application documents a while ago & put it the too hard basket. Do you still do the permit applications for people?.

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Yes it is. Happy to assist, feel free to give me a call to discuss 022 3464 777

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I’d consider the location before you spend any money , go’s against the grain a little to come out & ask some of these nitwits sitting behind a desk before you lodge an application but it could save you a lot of $ , is the area you want to claim in Otago or Southland ? , if Otago is it an area considered to be sensitive to suction dredging ? .

Other questions to ask are

  • is it doc or linz land
  • what status is the conservation land
  • is access able to be secured
  • does it need resource consent and if so will it go to a hearing and cost you 10+k

And be aware there are mongrels around (even on this site) that if you talk to them about a claim, they will jump you for the spot. Sam at prospect solutions is a good man to know and will maintain confidentiality.


Claim Jumpers be dealt with accordingly.