‘Gold Rush’: Why Series Doesn’t Show Much Test Drilling in Later Seasons

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

During a 2017 interview, Gold Rush star Parker Schnabel opened up about why the series hasn’t shown much test drilling in recent seasons.

The hit Discovery Channel show recently returned in late September for its 12th season. Schnabel has been a focal point in the reality TV series since he was just a teenager in Season 2. The gold mining prodigy took over his family’s mining operation when he graduated high school and has been around the business since he was a young child. So although he’s only 27 years old now, he has well over a decade of experience on the job.

As a longtime time star of Gold Rush, Schnabel has plenty of insight into gold mining. Diehard fans of the show likely remember more footage of the crew’s test drilling in earlier seasons. However, that seems to have faded from what makes it to television these days.

Test drilling is an integral part of gold mining. It’s used to sample bedrock in scouted locations to find out if there is enough gold in the area worth mining. Considering the scale of mining operations like Schnabel’s, it’s imperative. But since they often do it at the beginning of the season, it doesn’t always get filmed.

“We still do that. We still do a lot of drilling. It’s a key part of mining,” the Gold Rush star explained to Starcasm. “If you watch Todd Hoffman gold mine, you’ll see why you should probably do a lot of test drilling before you go mining. The reason that it doesn’t make it on the show is that usually, it’s happening a lot of times when we’re not around. Early spring is the best time to drill — March and April. And we’re not always filming then, or we’re just starting up filming.”

‘Gold Rush’ Star Reveals the ‘Downsides’ of Being a Miner

It may seem glamorous to be a gold mining prodigy who became a millionaire in his 20s. Yet Gold Rush star Parker Schnabel’s rise to the top of the industry comes with multiple sacrifices.

One of the reasons for his success is Schnabel’s work ethic and workaholic lifestyle. He’s spoken before about putting his business above all, even to the detriment of personal relationships. During the same Starcasm interview, he went into detail about one of the downsides of being a successful gold miner.

“I would say that is definitely one of the downsides,” Schabel said of missing old friends. “All the guys and girls that I graduated high school with, I don’t really get to see them anymore. I don’t make the time to keep in touch with them, it’s just a hell of a busy summer.”

“So that’s definitely a downside: all the guys I used to hang out with, they’ve moved on, and I’ve moved on and don’t really have time to keep up,” he added. “That’s a bummer, but I’m doing what I love so that’s what you give up I guess.”