‘Gold Rush’ Video Proves Parker Schnabel Values Safety Above Anything Else

by Chris Haney

In a past clip from Gold Rush last year, mining boss Parker Schnabel scolded his crew for speeding and put an emphasis on his workers’ safety.

Schnabel hails from a family full of miners in the Great White North. He grew up around the gold mining business since his grandfather owned a mining company. That’s where he first learned the tricks of the trade from a very early age.

In fact, at only 16 years old he took over the family’s mining business. Not long after, the Gold Rush star used his college fund to open his own mining operation, which paid off immediately. During his first season in the Klondikes, Schnabel and his crew mined 1,029 ounces of gold. That’s more than $1.4 million worth of gold. Not bad at all for the young mining boss.

Yet as important as it is to be profitable while digging, Schanbel knows safety is vital in this dangerous business. Last year, Schnabel and his crew mined Death Valley, but his workers got a little ahead of themselves. Parker pushed his crew to finish the final third of their dig site before winter hit. Everyone was feeling the pressure, and the roads in Death Valley are extremely narrow.

Eventually, things come close to disaster when two huge rock trucks collide at high speeds. The young Gold Rush boss calls an abrupt meeting with his drivers to tell them to slow down.

“I really just want to make sure that you guys are aware of the safety issue with driving at high speed down here. I can’t have somebody getting hurt here,” Schnabel says to his crew. “There’s been a couple close calls just from what I’ve seen, so we’ve just got to slow down.”

‘Gold Rush’ Crew Put Lives on the Line to Adjust Sluice Run

Discovering buried gold in the Klondikes can be lucrative work, but it inherently comes with just as many risks. In a recent clip from Season 12 of Gold Rush, Schnabel and his crew are down to one wash plant. The appropriately named machinery, Big Red, needs to be relocated to a different area on their dig site. However, once moved, there’s an issue with Big Red’s sluice run.

At first glance, everyone seems to be pleased with Big Red’s new location. Then the boss takes a quick look and notices there’s a major issue. He immediately shuts off the enormous machine and addresses his crew.

The sluice run is bent, and therefore not working properly. Schanbel’s crew must risk their safety to get underneath the huge machine to level it out for more efficient gold extraction. The men only have to move the sluice run about one inch, but any wrong move could prove to be disastrous. Thankfully, everything seems to go according to plan. Yet it’s one more example of the dangers that come along with gold mining.