독특한: Rick Ness was eager to search for gold, even during 세계적인 유행병.
While the coronavirus shut down the world in March and rocked the U.S. 경제, gold prices spiked to record highs. And the price of fuel, the biggest expense for a gold miner, bottomed out. That’s why Ness was ready to hit the road in hopes of finding millions of dollars in gold.
The new season of “Gold Rush,” recognized as Discovery’s most-watched series, focuses on how COVID-19 impacted the gold mining industry and how several miners were eager to seek fortune in the wilderness. 하나, the time crunch and the natural elements would be one of many challenges these crewmen and women had to endure.
Ness spoke to Fox News about filming “Gold Rush” during a pandemic, dealing with 건강 격리 and what kept him going during tough times.
폭스 뉴스: What can audiences expect from the new season of “Gold Rush”?
Rick Ness: 잘, this was an interesting one, I’ll tell you that. 내말은, we were just as affected as everybody by COVID. I can only speak for myself personally, but I got a late start this year and it was a year that I really needed an early start. I had a bad year last year.
But we powered through it and got back to our roots. I think people are going to like what they see. 내말은, it’s just a dirty, hard nose kind of a season right here. We didn’t have a whole lot of time, we just had to just smash it out as fast as we could. And hopefully, everybody likes the results.
폭스 뉴스: What kept you going during those tough times, especially after having a bad year?
Ness: I think that pretty much provided all the drive I needed this year. I had one goal in mind and that was redemption, and it would have been nice if everybody hadn’t been affected by COVID, and I’d had a full shot at it. But at that point, it didn’t matter. Redemption was all that was on my mind and I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I was going after it.
폭스 뉴스: How did the coronavirus pandemic impact the gold mining industry?
Ness: 내말은, speaking for myself, it took me about six weeks to be able to cross the border because my operation is in the Yukon territory of Canada. And even though I’m a business owner there, I still am a citizen of the United States and the border was closed. 그래서, it took me quite a while to get up there.
But… I’m in the middle of nowhere in the woods. And there’s almost nowhere better you can be than in the Yukon during something like that. 내말은, the population is so sparse that there’s only… For every one person, I think there are 100 square miles of land.
But I had to report to the government, I had to do a quarantine, and I had to have all this planning and everything in place and documented for my business. We were very lucky to be able to operate, but we were definitely still affected.
폭스 뉴스: How frustrating was it for you to be at home in lockdown for months at a time when it seemed like it was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of gold mining?
Ness: This spring was one of the most frustrating parts of my life. 내말은, I was at home, here in Brookfield, 위스콘신. I haven’t been home in April in nine years since I started doing this and it was just bizarre. And the gold prices were going up and fuel prices were just way down. That’s like the magic formula for my business. 그래서, to say it was frustrating is putting it mildly.
폭스 뉴스: When it comes to gold mining, is it safe to say that it’s one industry that seems to be thriving, even during the pandemic, or is it still struggling in many ways?
Ness: 잘, I don’t have my finger on the pulse of the entire gold mining industry. What I do, the way that we’re placer mining, it’s pretty secluded, pretty lonely, and you’re pretty disconnected from the rest of the world.
But I will say, from my end, 내말은, 예, we were deemed essential and we were able to work, which I feel very lucky for that, but we were definitely still affected the whole time. We rely on everything getting shipped to us, from our food to our parts or fuel. And every single one of those things was affected by the pandemic. So it was tough.
폭스 뉴스: You were previously a musician. Is it true your family initially had a difficult time processing the fact that you wanted to pursue gold mining?
Ness: 잘, my family had a difficult time processing just about everything I wanted to do growing up *laughs*.
But yeah, I spent most of my 20s as a full-time touring musician. And that’s a hard thing to explain to your family. Because, 내말은, I was very busy. I was on the road, I got to see the world when I was touring eight months of the year, but I wasn’t making a ton of money at it.
I don’t think really think my family understood that. And then all of a sudden, I pivot out of left field and I say, “I’m going to do gold mining.” And I think my dad must have thought I was crazy or I was mispronouncing something wrong. But I was just like, “잘, I’ll see you later. I’m going to Alaska.” And even that took a couple of years of convincing… But, I’m pretty sure I’ve convinced him that it was the right move.
폭스 뉴스: What’s one misconception you feel people still have about gold mining today and what’s the reality?
Ness: Before I got into gold mining, I guess I would have had the same thought – some old-timey guy with a pan in a creek. And I guess it’s come a long way. Often a lot of people do think underground as well, and that’s something that I’d never do. I do something called placer mining, and that’s basically above-ground mining.
Some things have come a long way, some things haven’t. We use obviously big, 70 ton machines, excavators, rock trucks and dozers. But at the end of the day, we’re still processing it through our wash plant. And the end result is, is when it goes through the sluice box, is what it’s called, and sluice boxes have been around since those early days. And they really haven’t changed much. 네, in some ways it’s very different in some ways it’s exactly the same.
폭스 뉴스: What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue gold mining?
Ness: It’s not a hard thing to get into, but at the same time it is. 내말은, it’s not happening everywhere. 솔직히, it can be a very well-paying gig. And a lot of times it’s seasonal.
I run my company six months a year and it’s really tough work though, that’s the thing. I guess I would say to somebody, you’d better prepare yourself to work like you never have. 내말은, personally, I spend six months… I work 100 hours a week plus, we don’t take days off, and it’s not for everybody. But hey, if you want to try it, go for it.
“Gold Rush” airs Fridays at 8 오후. ET on Discovery.