‘Gold Rush’ Exclusive: Tony Beets ‘Gambled a Whole Lotta Money’ on Troublesome Indian River License for Season 12

by Jon D. B.

“We gambled a whole lotta money on whether or not it’s going to come through,” the GOLD RUSH icon tells Outsider for our exclusive chat.

Tony Beets is used to a good gamble. As he’ll tell you straight, that’s all the gold mining industry is: one massive gamble. One that’s hopefully equally massive in profit, of course, but a gamble nonetheless.

Through GOLD RUSH, audiences get to see the inner-workings of such high-stakes industry. In upcoming Season 12, for example, King of the Klondike Tony Beets is looking to put his entire four-decade-long mining career on the line in hopes of bringing in 9,000 ounces. That’s $16 million worth of gold.

So how is Beets preparing for this enormous task?

“What we did is we bought a whole lot more equipment,” Beets states in his matter-of-fact way. “Everything is bigger this time. More trucks, more this and more that.”

Tony’s being modest. He’s spent more than $5 million in new gear to mine his Paradise Hill claims 24/7. “And providing we get a license this year, I think we’re going to come out pretty well.”

That license, as GOLD RUSH fans know, is for the Klondike’s Indian River. Both Tony and his former protégé Parker Schnabel have had a good bit of trouble with their water licenses in Gold Rush seasons past. Beets is confident, however, that it’ll all sort itself out. Money talks, after all, and part of that $5 million investment is for Indian River mining gear – and to cover the asinine loopholes it takes to get his license settled.

“We gambled a whole lotta money on whether or not it’s going to come through,” he says with a huff. “If it does, then I don’t think we’ll have any problems reaching our goal. If not, then we may have just a little bit of trouble.”

GOLD RUSH Season 12 May See Some Huge ‘Adjustments’ if Indian Lake Doesn’t Pan Out

But what sort of adjustments could Tony and his GOLD RUSH team make if the matter isn’t finally resolved?

“Well, let me put it this way: if you gonna get half of the property, you gonna get half of the goal,” he says straight. “You know what I mean?” It is as simple as that. So hopefully we get the license.”

While Tony isn’t exactly forthcoming with his private financials (something that should shock exactly zero GOLD RUSH fans), he’s not leaving the Indian Lake license to chance any longer.

“And like I say, we geared up, we spent a couple million dollars buying equipment. We are all ready, but it is pretty much a waiting game for the government at this point.”

Alongside that waiting game and one huge gamble, Beets says, “Hopefully it will come through, and then I don’t see a problem. However, if it does not come through, like I say, we’ll have to do a bit of adjusting.”

If anyone can make it happen at this point, it’s Tony Beets. He’s been in the GOLD RUSH game longer than most alive today. And once I let him know how much fans are rooting for that license to pull through, he’s genuinely excited to hear it with a “That is awesome, my friend. Thank you.”

We’ll see how it all pans out come the return of Discovery’s #1-rated show, GOLD RUSH, for its 12th season on Friday, September 24 at 8 PM ET/PT and streaming on discovery+. For now, check out the sharp Season 12 teaser below: