‘Gold Rush’ Star Rick Ness Explains How Mining Mistakes Can ‘Kill’ You

by John Jamison

Take one look at the machinery being used by the crews on “Gold Rush,” and it’s clear how easy it’d be for something to go wrong. Rick Ness has been around the lifestyle since 2012. He knows full well how a simple mistake could end up in someone losing their life.

Over the course of more than 160 episodes, Rick Ness has seen his fair share of mistakes. Fortunately, the result of most of them is relatively benign. Mistakes can be frustrating for the bottom line and trying to hit quotas. But when they don’t hurt or kill anybody, that’s a relative success.

Especially when considering the danger of the work. He talked to Looper about his time on “Gold Rush” and the lessons he’s learned from making mistakes. He reflected on how those same mistakes may very well have killed him.

“I mean it’s been, up, down, left, right, sideways, and the only reason I’m still here is because, you know, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I’ve learned from them. And that’s the only way you can keep going, is you make mistakes — they can kill you. But if you learn from them, you know, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. If you learn from it, you can move forward. You know you can,” Ness said.

Dangerous as mining for precious metals can be, “Gold Rush” has been largely fortunate over the years. None of the crews featured on the show have suffered any major casualties as a result of the mining process. Tragically, one of the cast members who worked with Dave Goins did pass away in 2020 when he was on the job in Colorado. The gold room operator suffered what is believed to be a heart attack, per Distractify.

‘Gold Rush’ Star Rick Ness Calls His Time on the Show a ‘Roller Coaster’

Though Rick Ness has been featured on “Gold Rush” since 2012, it wasn’t until more recently that he really came into his own as a miner and television personality. Following the departure of Todd Hoffman from the show, Rick Ness stepped in. He hasn’t looked back.

Now a true mine boss, Rick Ness quantified everything he’s learned over the past few seasons.

“Well, I’d have to say a lot because I mean, there’s been, it has been a roller coaster,” Ness told Looper.

The nature of a roller coaster can be unpredictable, and Ness understands that trying to fight against where it’s taking him won’t work. He has to roll with the twists and turns.

“I’ve got a great plan going for this year, but the fact of the matter is that it is not going to work out the way you plan it in any way, shape or form, and if you’re not ready to pivot and go the way that it’s, you know, you need to go when it has to happen, then you’re done for,” Ness continued.