Next Adventure

by TC

Hi Stan, My friend and I are in the preparation stage of our move to Ecuador later this year and I would be obliged if you could help us with a couple questions.

We are both beginner/intermediate prospectors with experience from AZ to AK.

We will be departing the states with just the basics ie; metal detectors, pans, sluice boxes and hand dredges. We have come to the conclusion that spending $10,000 to ship $8000 worth of supplies is ridiculous.

The issue is is that we want to bring, at the very least, our backpack dredge and highbanker but are in a pickle as to how to get them there.

We are toying with the idea of crating them up and sending them via carrier and also we are contemplating buying some hard cases and bringing them with us as checked baggage.

Any thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Stan and keep up the good work. TC

Stan's response: Both of your ideas are valid, in my opinion. I would compare costs of each. If the prices are anywhere in the same neighborhood, I would bring them as checked baggage.

You should also know that there are motors, pumps, hoses, and two different 4" - 8" dredge manufacturers here in Ecuador. Talented metal fabricators are everywhere too.

I hope you like this place as much as I do.

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Jan 16, 2015
Hard rock gold mine in Ecuador
by: Luis

I see you live here in Ecuador and know about gold and mine. I live here too and i am ecuadorian.

We actually are looking for sell a hardrock gold mine in Ponce Enriquez, Azuay. We want to know if you can help us in ubicating the mine with big gold mine companies from outside our country. If not i would like to talk to you for you can advisor us with your business partner maybe for we can raise funds for exploiting, or if you want get in as a business partner you are welcome too.

We have a tunnel of 1300 meters, 4 identified veins, maps of the area, permits exploitation from the owners concession, roads, air compressor, ranch and basic services, drilling equipments, mining equipments, etc.

We have veins of 20-40 gpt and width since 0.3 to 0.8 mts.

We can negotiate shares with you for your help or investment.


Luis Atiencia A.

PD: Si hablas español, mejor nos escribimos en español.

Dec 23, 2013
Been Mining Gold Since 1981 - Ecuador Gold Trip
by: Bob Taylor

Hi Stan, I am an ex-Navy SEAL, a 38-year Bering Sea deck hand (future diver). I will be dredging in Nome during the summer of 2013.

Then, will be heading down in Ecuador next fall.
I've designed, built and tested a submersible dredge that will catch all the gold.

The surface dredges up there lose 80% of their gold because 80% of the gold is fine and it just shoots out the end of their sluice boxes. My dredge is a 5". I also made it to suck black sands off the beach.

How could I get that the hose, pump and motor through customs down there?

Stan's response: Good to hear from you Bob. I am not up to date with importing this type of equipment into Ecuador right now. A few years ago, there was never a problem with just walking it in. This ease of importation may have changed since then.

My suggestion would be to contact an immigration lawyer with your questions. You might obtain the contact information for a good immigration lawyer by consulting with the free newsletter, "The Gringo Tree" (based in Cuenca, Ecuador) or the Ecuador Ex-Pat page on Facebook. Please let me know if you need more help with this.

Sep 17, 2013
Moving to Ecuador
by: Tom

Hello Stan,

I wrote to you quite some time ago, so I don't expect you to remember. My brother and I are headed that way in Nov. 2013, we already have our residency application started. I am 72 yrs young and I have COPD, so I can't live in the higher altitudes. I want to dredge or highbank and I was wondering about the Macas area? The altitude is good. Any other suggestions. I'm open to about anywhere in the country. I don't speak any Spanish, so I need English speaking help.

Thank You

sourdoughtom from AZ for now.

Stan's response: Good to hear from you Tom. I am going to be brutally honest with you so that you waste as little time and money as possible.

Ecuador is an adventurer's dream come true for gold prospecting, treasure hunting and exploration. That said, it is not for everyone. First off, while it is possible to navigate the country without speaking Spanish, it stacks huge odds against your favor. At the very least, you should have a bilingual guide/translator.

What is even more complicated, very few guides or translators know anything about gold prospecting, treasure hunting or how to deal with Native communities concerning these issues. A "serious" adventurer here really needs to speak the language and know the country (and how Latin America works) if they are truly "serious" about success on any level.

I highly recommend coming to Ecuador to simply enjoy a 1-month+ vacation with no plans to accomplish anything meaningful related to gold prospecting. Sure, you can have a gold pan and hand shovel with you to do some light sampling, to see what things look like. I don't recommend even trying to do any small gold production during this first orientation trip.

I would be happy to meet with you for a complimentary orientation visit when you arrive to help steer you in the right directions. Unfortunately, I do not have any time these days to help you more than that as I am heavily involved in several gold projects around the country.

The Macas area is a great potential target. It was the northern most boundary of El Dorado in the 1500s. There is still much gold there and the town is nice.

May 22, 2013
Backpack Prospectors
by: TC

Thank you gentlemen for your timely and informative responses.

Its great to know that I can have things constructed in Ecuador that i would otherwise have shipped. Thank you Stan for that bit of information.

As to the highbanker for sale, I appreciate the opportunity to purchase it but we are more into the lightweight, man portable, equipment. We primarily sample in the more remote areas then pack our supplies in on our backs.

Jack, do you think it's worth bringing our sluice boxes and a grizzly in our carry on or should we have them built there? Also, what will be the most useful and productive detector (not make/model) if we could only bring one each. Underwater? Gold/coin detector? High-end Minelab?

Thanks again gentlemen and I'm sure we'll love it there. We've had enough of the land of the free.

May 21, 2013
Gold Prospecting in Ecuador
by: Jack

I just read the post by the guys coming from the U.S. and wanting to bring equipment, and wondering what to bring and how. I thought I would throw my 2 cents in.

A few things for you to consider. You would probably have a problem bringing any motor in regardless how you got it here. You can buy motors with a 3" pump for a couple hundred dollars. The only miners moss here is backed, so if you prefer no backing, bring your own. Bring your own special mat, like the black mat or conveyor belt type mat.

Plan on trying to capture very fine gold, that is what you are most likely to find, so plan for it. I brought all kinds of hand tools, pans, etc. in Rubbermaid type totes with no problem. Drill holes, zip tie it shut, and attach extra zip ties so customs can refasten the lid.

With luck the sluice will just barely fit. 50 lb. limit per tote. That's about all I can think of for the moment. If you have any questions, address them to Stan's University here, and I will do my best to answer.

May 21, 2013
Gold Prospecting High Banker for Sale in Ecuador
by: Anonymous

Hi Stan, I read about these prospectors equipment problem. I have a High banker that is very strong can take the impact of a backhoe dumping on it yet you can transport the whole deal in a pickup. I'd sell it and the pump hoses the whole works to them for a thousand bucks.

They would have a hell of a lot for probably less than shipping the light weight High banker. I'm in Ecuador.

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