Nome Offshore Mining Information

NOTICE

Nome Offshore East and West Beach Recreational Mining Areas

The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water, hereby gives notice that May 31, 2015 will be the deadline for the division to receive offshore suction dredge applications from miners interested in mining in the Nome offshore east and west beach recreational mining areas during calendar year 2014. This deadline is being implemented as a precautionary measure to mitigate potential safety concerns, prevent overcrowding, and provide for efficient processing of the permits and effective management of the two recreational mining areas.

The DNR has received numerous inquiries about how to obtain a gold claim offshore of Nome, Alaska.  These inquires are from viewers of the Discovery Channel’s reality series - ‘Bering Sea Gold’.   Many of the viewers who have contacted DNR have indicated they would like to acquire their own gold claim in the Bering Sea so they could mine their claim like the miners in the series.  This is not the case (see below).

The DNR had an offshore lease sale at Nome in fall 2011.  The Discovery Channel was at the Lease Sale.  The DNR will likely not have another lease sale offshore of Nome until these leases expire in 2021.   Gold claims cannot be acquired offshore of Nome, only leases in specific areas are ever issued.

Because of the mild interest in gold at Nome the past number of years, the DNR created an offshore recreational mining area (320 acres in size) in 1998 east of Nome.   Because of the substantial interest in gold at Nome with the significant recent increase in the price of gold, the DNR created another offshore recreational area (250 acres in size) in 2010 west of Nome.

Regardless of what the Discovery Channel Series may convey, gold claims in the Bering Sea are not available for the public to acquire.  The only areas for the public to mine are the above two recreational mining areas.  These areas have limitations however, and can only accommodate recreational dredges.  If you are interested in these areas, please refer to the links in the right hand column on this page to obtain further information about mining in these recreational areas.