The dredge is described as either a
floating workhorse or a mechanical gold pan.
Gold Dredge No. 8 extracted millions of ounces of gold from the frozen Alaskan ground.
Dredge No.8 was manufactured in 1927-28 by Bethlehem Steel Company, Ship Building Division.
The equipment was shipped from Pennsylvania by transcontinental railroad and
by ocean-going barge to the Alaskan Railroad to be assembled in early 1928 just west of Fox,
Alaska at the head of the Goldstream Valley.
Gold Dredge No.8 has a 43 foot 9 inch high bow-gantry which supported the belt-driven bucket line,
with its 68 manganese steel buckets, each with a capacity of 6 cubic feet and weight of 1,583 pounds.
The buckets were mounted on a steel digging ladder which measured in excess of 84 feet.
The bucket line discharged gravel in to a dump-hopper to a belt-driven trommel-screen,
where perforations ranging in size from 3/8 to 1-5/8 inches, sized the gravel.
During the process, an occasional large nugget would stick in the screens as the dredged material traveled
down a gentle decline. In the trommel, the relatively heavy gold fell through the screens;
the rocks and gravels passed onto a conveyor belt to be discharged.
Nozzles inside the trommel drum were used to wash the gold from the gravel
before it was carried by a steel-reinforced conveyor belt to the tailing pile behind the dredge.
This process resulted in removal of approximately 97 percent of the gold from the rich gravels.
Camp Dredge No. 3
- See: Photos