By Mark S. Kuhar
Discovery Channel’s hit reality series, “Gold Rush,” which began its third season on October 26 at 9:00 p.m. EST, features synthetic screen media manufactured by Polydeck Screen Corp. of Spartanburg, S.C. Placed on a double-deck vibrating screen, the Polydeck polyurethane media allows “the Hoffman Crew” to more effectively size and separate gold-bearing rock at their gold mining claim located in the Klondike region of the Yukon in Northwest Canada.
“Gold Rush” is described as a show that “rekindles the spirit of the American dream,” as it documents the adventures that the crew faces when tackling the challenges of a full-scale mining operation.
According to Crew Boss Todd Hoffman, and Rock-Moving Expert Dave Turin, the Polydeck media was chosen for its wear life and reliability. “The top deck takes a lot of abuse from jagged bedrock,” said Hoffman. “This media wears better than steel. We’ve put more than 100,000 yd. across it and we expect it to last another season,” says Turin, who is featured along with Hoffman on a video that can be viewed on the Polydeck website at www.polydeckscreen.com/goldrush.
“Our employees and their families love to watch ‘Gold Rush,’ and we are thrilled to have Polydeck products chosen for this educational and entertaining program,” said Polydeck President Peter Freissle, who had the opportunity to meet with the Hoffman Crew at the MINExpo show last year in Las Vegas.
Hoffman sought out Freissle at the show to discuss the use of Polydeck media on portable trommel screens needed for mining applications in Central America during future programming.
The first season (show was named “Gold Rush: Alaska”) featured six men from Sandy, Ore., (a small town 30 miles southeast of Portland) who, due to the economic downturn, have lost their jobs. They decided on an all-stakes gamble – travel to Porcupine Creek, Alaska, and prospect for gold. Most of the people on the show have little or no previous gold mining experience and must learn on the job.
For season 2 (show renamed to “Gold Rush”), Todd missed a lease payment, and “Dakota” Fred Hurt bought the claim out from owner Earl Foster, not needing to break the lease due to the missed payment. The season explored the Hoffman Crew's new mine at Quartz Creek, in the Klondike region of Yukon, Canada, as well as “Dakota” Fred's operation at the site of the original Hoffman mine, Porcupine Creek, and Parker Schnabel's attempts to mine his grandfather's property at Big Nugget Mine.
The third season kicked off with the Hoffman Crew returning to the Klondike to once again mine the Quartz Creek site with additional crewmen to simultaneously work another site in the area. The Hoffman Crew also splits into two teams to try to reach a goal of 1,000 oz. Parker Schnabel returned to the Big Nugget Mine site with larger and more efficient equipment while “Dakota” Fred Hurt and his crew returned to the Porcupine Creek site.