It’s a question that no Gold Rush star wants to face: At what point do you pull the plug on an operation? Unfortunately, mine boss Dave Turin found himself struggling to justify his efforts in the Colorado Hummocks. Environmental and human factors have stifled his team’s productivity, and now, he has to decide whether the cost of the operation was too great for the reward. Turin hoped his team could bring in 400 ounces of gold from the location. This might be an unreasonable expectation, though, considering the circumstances.
Originally, when the Gold Rush crew arrived in the Colorado community, the locals were hesitant to welcome their presence. Wanting to keep the landscape intact, the town wasn’t too supportive of Turin’s goals. However, they ultimately approved his permit to mine.
You would think that would be the end of the conflict, but as Turin found out, his troubles had only begun. Soon enough, the team received a couple visits from local police responding to complaints. One complaint was that the crew was using a county road to access the mine site. The most recent was that the Gold Rush team was mining on Fridays and Saturdays.
Take a look at how Turin’s team responds to the news in the clip below.
‘Gold Rush’ Team Shut Down Sluice That’s Blocked with Black Sand
Following Turin’s conversation with the police officer, the Gold Rush team endured yet another obstacle. The sluice became clogged with black sand, sending water shooting from the underside. Typically, the sluice filters out fine particles like sand and small sediment. However, black sand tends to compact together, forming a thick sludge.
Once Turin and his team shut off the sluice, they began cleaning out the machinery to get rid of any build-up. With two less days to mine during the week, every second on the site was precious. The Gold Rush team couldn’t even speed up their efforts because too much black sand in the sluice at once would cause another shutdown. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place – literally.
The bad news kept coming as Turin entered the gold room where Shelly was cleaning out the day’s gold intake. Unfortunately, there was so much black sand on the gold flakes that much of it went to waste. Shelly had to run the composite through the system twice to get rid of all of the gunk. The total amount for the day’s work was a measly 3.25, hardly enough to break even.
It was then that Turin truly felt the pressure of the situation and feared that this season would end in the red.
“That barely pays the bills,” the Gold Rush star said. “We’ll never hit 400 ounces at this rate.”