‘Gold Rush’: Why Rick Ness Said Mining in the Klondike is ‘Getting Harder and Harder’

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Discovery Inc.)

In most jobs, the more you work in a certain area, the easier the job becomes. This is the case for fishermen as they become more familiar with different bodies of water. It’s also true for ranchers and farmers that come to know what predators roam the outskirts and what crops grow best in the environment. When it comes to hands-on, outdoor jobs, it seems the more expertise you have in the area, the bigger your profits will be. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for the cast of Gold Rush.

For the miners on Gold Rush, the opposite is true. As the different teams continue to unearth precious metals in Klondike, Yukon, the fewer chances they have of finding new stashes in the future. Of course, there’s an obvious difference between other outdoor occupations and mining.

While careers like fishing and farming, you’re relying on natural resources that can be replenished. With mining, on the other hand, as Gold Rush mine boss Rick Ness told Looper, “They’re not making any more ground with gold in it.”

“There is still, I would say, a lot of ground left in the Klondike with gold in it, but the fact of the matter is that it’s getting harder and harder to get back to that ground,” Ness shared.

‘Gold Rush’ Star Explains How Remote Sources of Gold Sometimes Aren’t ‘Worth’ the Effort

Oftentimes on Gold Rush, the teams will head to locations that have landowners, paved roads, and spacious surroundings. To the stars of the show, this makes their work a thousand times easier. With huge equipment and machinery, Rick Ness and other mine bosses need plenty of space to maneuver the vehicles, sort the gold from the dirt and transport their findings to a buyer. That said, it’s much easier to do all this when the land is in a more open environment. Unfortunately, as they continue to clean out the more accessible sources, this means they’ll soon need to set their sights on more secluded sources.

However, as Ness explained, sometimes the effort isn’t worth the payout.

“You know, you can fly a helicopter out to the middle of nowhere where no one’s ever been and there could be an amazing amount of gold there, but if you don’t have the money to put the infrastructure into getting in, that really ain’t worth anything,” the Gold Rush star said.

Without a sure way to know how much gold lies beneath the dirt, clearing the path to a new site is an expensive risk to take. Bulldozers alone can cost the stars a couple of million dollars. Not to mention the gas it will take to drive the hundred-ton vehicles out to the mine. As a result, Ness chooses to be on the safe side of the gamble.

“So I’ll never say I can never predict where I’m going to end up, but I guess I’m always gonna go where the best opportunity is,” Ness shared.