I've been thinking of starting a fund for a small gold dredging operation and would like community feedback to gauge interest.
Without completely destroying my pseudo-anonymity, I can tell you I live in the San Juan mountain area that is VERY rich in precious metals. I've been doing my homework and asking around talking to former miners and feel there is a real opportunity here. The type of gold out here is not in nuggets but spread out in fine particles and requires smashing large amounts of rock into gravel and then chemically removing the gold. Most of the miners here today were part of large mining outfits that have since been shut down by environmentalists, and now, truth be told, most of them are alcoholics on social security. They lack initiative and would only work for a mining company, and are too lazy to work the streams on their own. So they've gone pretty much un-worked lately.
That's what I'm interested in - the streams. Obviously I don't have the resources to dig out the several tons of hard rock a day to justify purchase of a mill and all the other equipment I'd need for digging it out of the ground, but I can easily afford to start working the streams, and they definitely still have gold in them. Some people say that most of it has been taken already, but that is a cop out. There's still millions of ounces of gold in these mountains, and a lot of it gets washed out by the streams over time. Meaning that a lot of the gold that was panned 100 years ago has since been replaced. I know a couple people in town that are finding gold now just panning. What I intend to do is dredge the bottoms and use a GOLD HOG to separate the gold out.
Video of the GOLD HOG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdqUBOc-6zo
I would buy the equipment, but would request funds to help pay me for the 18 hours a week I would put into this as I would have to cut my hours on other projects. My goal would be to process at least 1 ton of material a day at first, more if I had help, and to do that in 1-2 hours a day. There is also drive time and setup time, which will vary.
Dividends would be paid based on a percentage of the gold retrieved, and after some time, shareholders could even opt for actual gold instead of BTC - I'd have to figure that part out though.