What type of permit do you need to dredge?


We have mainly stuck to recrational panning and sluicing so far but were looking to take it to the next level by purchasing a dredge. And we assume we would need a gold claim to use it, do you require any additonal permits on top of this, and what level claim would you need, would it have to be a mining level 2 Claim a Mining level 1 claim or would you beable to get away with just a prospecting claim, we are looking to do realitvley small scale just dredging out gravel banks in the creek bed. And what type of dredge would be best, the creek we are thinking about getting a claim/permit for has not much flow and probably not enhough water to support a floating dredge so are there other types such as highbanker type dredges???

Thanks a lot any advice or info on this would be very much appreciated !

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For dredging you’ll be looking at a Tier 2 mining permit, duration 10 years, area < 50 ha.
Other additional permits depend on the region that you’re in, the size of your operation, and whether the permit is on public/private land.

There are probably too many unknowns to give you any meaningful equipment advice. Stream size, size of the gold, depth of the deposit, your budget, fitness, etc etc all come into it.


Thanks a lot!

We are looking to dredge on our friends land that we have premisson to be on that has had previous claims on it, and been mined a lot all out in the past , and a bit of doc land out the back with no level of protection on it. The stream at its largest is around 6M across and at is thinest around 2-3M there is a ton of fine gold but the area is also renonwed for larger pieces and there is also a lot of those, we are still unaware of depoist depth as there is tons of surface gold etc . But anyways thanks a ton!

Well if it’s as good as you say then getting a dredge and permit is definitely the go…there are specialized consultants that streamline the permitting process…often saving you time and money especially if the area has held permits before…a dredge will dramatically increase the amount of material you can process in a day…by damming up accross the river you can raise the water level resting the dredge on the dam banks spilling the tailings downstream…once you’ve got a hole started ya sweet… dredges are mobile which means you can test multiple areas and depths fast to determine richest areas sooner…maybe start with an off the shelf 4 inch …depending on the size of you gravels n rocks.
You can always upgrade once its paid for itself…go see Dan at DredgeNZ…good luck…although it sounds like you might not need it…lol…Mal


Hi There, sounds like you have access to some promising ground!

As mentioned above you will need a Tier 2 Mining Permit, the NZPAM (government) application fees for this are $5,750 inc gst.

I can compile and lodge an application for you for $950 plus gst.

Whether or not you require a Resource Consent depends on the region and size of your operation. Some regions provide gold dredging as a Permitted Activity, provided you meet certain conditions.

To operate on DOC administered land you legally require an Access Arrangement with them. This requires assessment, application, application fees, bond fees, and annual fees…If you have access to private land I would recommend operating there first, and then in due course you can weigh up the cost vs benefit of gaining a DOC AA.

I am an exploration geologist and permit consultant. Drop me an email if you would like to know more.


Thanks a ton @Mal very much appreciated for the info ! I will make sure to go have a talk to Dan as we live very close to DredgeNZ. Yeah hopefully the river pays off , our mates where making good money 40 years ago when gold was worth a 1/10th of what it is now but they had to give up operations after only mining 1/2 the valley/river due to personal reasons on the owners behalf. And the ground they have not mined is like is said LOADED . Altough most of the river had average gold but then one bend with a ton of mossy rocks had nut loads of gold on the surface there, but the other few areas I check out had nothing crazy. But even if it is only because of the moss there is plenty of large areas like it throughout the river. So hopefully it turns out great and we can get the permit sorted and get out dredging some point in the near future ! Thanks a ton again

Cheers - Dillon

Cheers! Sounds great , we will defintley check you out when It comes to getting the claim!!!

Thanks for the info !

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I can tell you that Sam at Prospect solutions is on the ball. Even thru lockdown he was able to get my permit renewed for me. No easy job when I don’t have a printer. And nothing was open to get things printed. When your ready to do your permit. Give him a call. Good prices and easy to deal with.