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13 January 2017

John Hewitt emailed from the U.K.:

Hi Peter

I've recently been watching a Sky Discovery programme called "The Legend of Croc Gold" - see here -, which covers the exploits of a group of Alaskan gold miners who have been dredging the Queens River bed for alluvial gold. If you have seen it, you will have seen the difficulties they encountered, including large crocs lurking about the riverbanks.

They were using a 6"dredge, with a diver in a croc proof cage, sucking up the riverbed and sluicing it over a set of riffles. They did find gold, some quite large nuggets, or pickers as they called them, because they could pick them out with their fingers.

They were aiming to dredge an ounce an hour, but only averaged about 0.7ounce/hour, but they were intending to go back again to set up a bigger operation. The Queens River is north east of Loloho, and the gold deposits are not that far from Mt Bagana, which is no doubt where the gold originated.

There were also a few clips of Arawa as it is now, with odd clips showing the war.

Glad to see the blog is still going. I'm a member of a Facebook Group called Opencast and Quarrying, and have posted a few of my photos, and extracts from old copies of "the Concentrator" which are always well received.

Do you mind if I post some extracts from the blog? I'm sure they will be appreciated, and as the mining industry is a brotherhood, there must be other ex BCPL employees reading the Facebook page, so there may be some more contributors.

Hope to hear from you soon
Kind regards
John Hewitt
Maintenance Controller, Crushing, 1973/74
Now living near Sheffield, England
email jhewitt19[AT]