Starting Small with Gold Prospecting in Ecuador
My partner and I are coming down this March to look at and dig test holes in 3 sites we are interested in testing to choose a claim. Are backpack style portable power sluices available in Ecuador or should we bring one with us. Please include price considerations as well.
Stan's response: Hi Henry. To be honest, government issued artesanal permissions for gold dredging are a bit difficult to come by in Ecuador right now. Small mining concessions are even more difficult. That said, there are many dozens of illegal gold dredging operations going on and I know where many of them are.
There is currently one dredge manufacturer operating in the country and that is in the Oriente, in the town of Yantsaza. I believe the smallest dredge they make is a 3" and is not a backpacker model.
Also, you can have almost any kind of mining equipment custom made for you (such as high-bankers and small trommels) at very reasonable prices. Unfortunately, I am not able to quote any prices as I have not purchased anything for a number of years.