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View Full Version : Last season at Ganes Creek

09-30-2012, 06:12 PM
I was actually very surprised to hear that the final season has ended at Ganes. I checked it on their website. It is true. Maybe I'm just the last to hear the news.

Ganes Creek has been a prolific producer of nuggets. No-one can attest to that better than Steve. It appears that commercial mining will be the priority at Ganes Creek.

- Geowizard

09-30-2012, 09:10 PM
I'm sure a lot of people are sad to see this kind of opportunity to become a thing of the Past .... I can hear things about Ganes from mainland friends who really no clue about Alaskan Gold , besides, what is on T.V. Wes

09-30-2012, 10:01 PM
Bummer, I never got to go for the fourth time, but they have been predicting the end for several years, Bob

Steve Herschbach
10-01-2012, 06:42 AM
There were probably a few who thought predictions of the end being near were hype. Unfortunately it was true, and I am sure there will be many now who regret not going when they had the chance. Ganes Creek was unique and in many ways a brief moment in Alaska metal detecting history has now passed. I am thankful for the opportunities and friendships I made at Ganes Creek. In particular, many thanks to the Clark family and crew.

10-01-2012, 06:57 PM
Steve- You were involved in the development of Ganes Creek for detectors, convincing Doug to let us come detect on his claims. Hopefully someone else will fill this very profitable void. Any prospects? Dave

10-01-2012, 08:24 PM
Is there property in Kantishna that can be detected ???

Steve Herschbach
10-02-2012, 10:12 AM
Steve- You were involved in the development of Ganes Creek for detectors, convincing Doug to let us come detect on his claims. Hopefully someone else will fill this very profitable void. Any prospects? Dave

The feds make it nearly impossible for a normal person to host this type of operation on federal mining claims. It can be done, but it is very difficult. It is easier on state of Alaska mining claims, especially if kept at "day visit" level. But once you house and feed people it again gets to be a real permitting hassle. Ganes was special in being private property (patented mining claims). Add to these impediments the fact that there is a lot of work involved in hosting and keeping people happy. One grumpy visitor can make life hard for everyone involved.

If a miner has claims with enough gold to make visitors happy at todays prices he probably also has enough gold to mine. Part of mining for many people is living life on your own terms. Getting away from it all, if you will. Running a pay-to-mine operation invites back everything a miner is getting away from. For many the hassle and stress are not worth it. Most have a very, very low threshold for complainers.

There are of course alternatives out there, like Paradise Valley. But as I have explained people are not lining up to put on this kind of show. To answer your question, no, I have not heard of anything similar in the works.

Kantishna is in a National Park. Metal detecting is specifically illegal in a National Park. If there is a pre-existing mining claim at Kantishna the claim owner might under very specific cicumstances be able to detect on the claim. The chances of setting up a pay-to-mine operation, while technically possible, are so overwhelming as for it to be quite unlikely that anyone will attempt it.

I know the process for setting up a pay-to-mine operation on federal land and entertained the thought of running through the process just because I am stubborn and like to prove things can be done. That is why Moore Creek happened on state land, the first permitted operation of its type. But I guess I am not in the mood these days so that is not on my radar.

10-02-2012, 02:17 PM
Kantishna is in a National Park. Metal detecting is specifically illegal in a National Park.


Do you have anything else to share about this? From a non-detectorist, I have a hard time understanding why metal detecting is illegal in a National Park in Alaska. I am guessing it is like anyother issue at AK National Parks with the reason being that they don't allow them in the lower 48 (so why not have the same law here). Say perhaps there is some Civil War NP and they don't want people digging up relics. Otherwise detecting is practically a leave-no-trace activity... even if you find a nugget.


Steve Herschbach
10-02-2012, 03:35 PM
Code of Federal Regulations 36 CFR 2.1(a)(7), using a metal detector in national parks is illegal. This law applies to all national parks across the country. Added in 2000 if I recall correctly in response to people poaching Civil War relics from National Park sites. Prospectors in Alaska pay the price.

10-02-2012, 06:43 PM
Business is changing in America. The "good ole days" are unfortunately, Gone!

The reason is over-regulation and law suit-abuse. Having watched closely, I have made certain observations of the pay-to-mine business model. The concept interested me because I own and operate a gold mine at Ophir Creek. Ophir Creek is 8 miles from Ganes Creek and in the same general mining district as Moore Creek.

If a mining company wants to operate a pay-to-mine operation, it requires a permit and permit approval. On State of Alaska Domain, Mining claims are permitted for the purpose of mining. Recreational pay-to-mine operations tend be recognized as a hunting or fishing enterprise where State Land is being appropriated for a use other than the original purpose. If the State took the position of "Who cares, do what you want", one must ask how far the public could go. Who is liable for a permitted operation on State of Alaska domain which has been permitted for mining and is now being used for recreational activity that includes mining for fun with people doing high risk activities that could involve injury or death?

The State places additional permitting requirements on this type of activity.

Companies become LLC's to insulate the principals from the threat of personal liability law suits.

Where does the liability for a pay-to-mine miner begin and where does it end? The miner flys from a town like McGrath on a charter flight paid by himself. He lands at the mine and deplanes.

Now he is on "your" mine. He is unprepared. He is a high risk miner that has had no instruction on what to do, what not to do, where to go and where not to go.

First thing is you have to meet and greet the new visitor and escort him to a place of safety. He waits for everyone else to arrive and then you conduct a short meeting on the answers to all of the possible scenarios that you can think of that are waiting for each and every new visitor.

What are the possibilities?

Knowing in your mind that there are those few persons out there in the world that you would invite into a pay-to-mine operation that fully intend to find a way to get injured for the sole purpose of owning everything!

Law suit abuse is not a new phenomenon. "I got a scratch and it became infected and all of a sudden, I had to be air-evac'ed out to a Hospital in Anchorage." Then... "I contacted my attorney..." And then what? Hopefully, the pay-to mine operator had that covered in the pre signed liability waivers and conditions on one of the 25 page pay-to-mine agreement.

Why not start a pay-to mine? :confused:

Did I mention MSHA. OK, I wont...

Did I mention investors and their questions about risk management and liability? I won't mention that either...

Most people would like something to eat during the one week stay... I won't go there either... :)

- Geowizard

10-02-2012, 06:44 PM
Steve- Thanks for the response, I had no idea it would be that difficult. With that in mind, we will probably never see another Ganes Creek operation. It was fun while it lasted, I'm glad I got to hunt with you, and the other Ganes Creek legendary hunters. Hope to see you out hunting again. Dave

10-11-2012, 08:50 AM
Many of us have seen the increasing regulation around us. When commercial miners go to MSHA training, either the new miner or annual refresher training, one of the objectives is for MSHA to inform everyone of NEW regulations. MSHA, incidently is under the Department of Labor.

Now, look at a situation like Ganes Creek, Moore Creek or any other Commercial Mining operation... Where does the regulated commercial mining activity end and the recreational mining activity begin?

You have a camp that is used by both groups. A recreational miner wants to drink a beer! You can't consume alcohol on a commercial mining property! An inspector walks in the door and there's a stack of empty beer cans.

Who pays the fine? The mining company!

- Geowizard