On Friday night’s episode of Gold Rush, Todd Hoffman dropped a bombshell on his crew and on viewers when he responded to the potential sale of his current mining claim to rival Parker Schnabel by researching the possibility of mining in his home state of Oregon next season. Even though the crew had positive results in their first trial run of 100 cubic yards, it was still unclear if the Hoffmans would be returning stateside for Season 7 or not. So, we did some research to figure out the fate of the Hoffman crew for the 2016 mining season.
Actually, we already did some of the work earlier this season when we shared information about an Oregon mining claim made by Todd Hoffman’s company 316 Mining. That mine was called “Portable High” and it had an operation begin date of September 20, 2015.
After doing some additional research, we found another claim attributed to 316 Mining with an operation begin date of November 14, 2015:
This mine is called “Portable Low” and according to online records, it was previously leased to Western Mine Development, LLC from May of 2011 until November 13, 2015. I can only assume from the fact that Todd Hoffman has two active leases on mines in Oregon that he will be returning there for Season 7. I also assume these claims are part of the High Bar Gold Mine, which was featured on the show. Here is a summary of that location from the High Bar website:
The High Bar gold deposit is a well known placer deposit in the historically gold-rich area of Baker County, Oregon. Over the past century many men have tried to mine the High Bar, but they could never overcome the major limitation there; lack of access to water. Abundant water is the lifeblood of any mine and High Bar is no exception. Many have tried, and failed, to build reservoirs and pipe water to the High Bar mine in order to unlock her secrets. The historical documents on this page outline some of the prior unsuccessful attempts to mine the High Bar.
However, in 2012 a group of investors purchased a large amount of mining claims (approximately 2,450 acres) that encompass the High Bar plateau and the surrounding lands and worked with the Bureau of Land Management to successfully win approval to begin mining the High Bar. The news got even better the same year when the owners drilled and discovered a powerhouse well that to date has produced over 23 million gallons of water at approximately 200 gallons per minute. A pipeline was built to transfer the water to gigantic ponds on the top of the High Bar plateau. A world-class assemblage of some of the finest gold mining and recovery equipment is available upon request to provide a buyer with a turn-key operation for a large mine that is currently permitted to run up to 6,000 cubic yards of material a day.
So it looks like water will be the number one issue facing the Hoffman crew in Season 7. I’m guessing success or failure will hinge on whether or not this “powerhouse well” will be able to deliver the large amount of water needed to run a mining operation for an entire season. Here is an aerial shot that a Facebook user posted that is reportedly of the High Bar Mine location. In it you can see the large water reservoirs that have been constructed.
Also, I’d like to point out that this High Bar Mine is described as a “turn-key operation,” which means the Hoffmans shouldn’t have to bring much to the table in the way of heavy equipment. You can see in the photo above that there are trucks, conveyors, a wash plant and more. Here is a shot from the ground taken from the High Bar Gold Mine website:
Although they apparently won’t need to look very hard for equipment, something the Hoffmans are looking for are employees! In a Facebook post over the weekend, Todd Hoffman revealed he is currently looking for six people to work on the claim next season, adding that he hopes to “back a rookie team” in Season 8. Many Todd Hoffman detractors would point out that he doesn’t do much more than “back” the current team, but it sounds as though he and the rest of the Hoffman Crew OGs might want to step away from Gold Rush in order to focus on Todd’s new television show, Family Fortress.
Here is Todd’s full post:
I would like to back a rookie mining team someday. I too started with nothing. Years before Gold Rush I went to Alaska outside of Fairbanks up by arctic circle hot springs where we mined as a kid. I found a small shaker deck and scraped the money together and bought it. It was supposed to be moved off the mans claim and they let it get ripped off. I remember wondering if I would ever get to mine again. Like many of you your probably wondering if your dream will ever happen.
Of course this has been my dads dream for years. I was able to put it all together through the blessings and grace from God and help my dad achieve some of his dream.
Passing the dream to my sons next season will be a big part of the show or are small part.
I started Gold Rush to help my father. Yes the original dream and the reasons why I went mining have been changed by the Hollywood of the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong I’m thankful but there is an original longing to return my part of the show to something smaller more pure with more family and faith in the Lord to direct us on the gold journey.
I will be returning to these core value next season and then the following season Lord willing I would like to back a rookie team. I will be looking this next season for 6 people that have a longing to accomplish a lifelong dream of digging up raw yellow ounces of pure wealth. Nothing is like digging up the gold.
No I’m not a professional miner, never tried to be but out opporation has gotten to big. There needs to be a return to the reason we went in the first place.
Start praying about it and when the times right I’m going to make the call on Facebook for the team.
Share your thoughts ?
And for those wondering just how much of Gold Rush is fake, the Gold Rush Alaska Gossip Facebook page pointed out months ago that the Hoffman crew was selling off their mining equipment in the Klondike as early as July of 2015, which would mean that it was their intention all along to return to the lower 48 in 2016. That would also mean that the potential sell of Todd’s claim to Parker and his vehement reaction was all contrived to drum up a little on-screen drama. (Although it might open the door for Parker to relocate next season to McKinnon Creek.)
From Gold Rush Alaska Gossip:
We got the message from the insider at Dawson, who knows what’s going on at the DC claims inside and out, we got his message on July 10th that Todd was selling equipment already for the move to Oregon. If this was going on July 10th, it means what we saw tonight was filmed in May, before they ever even went north. This was a scripted setup from the gitgo. Big surprise, not. Todd and Jack and Freddy and Dave and the hard working guy driving the equipment, I forgot his name, they would never all leave the Yukon claim at the same time in Sept, it would shut the mine down.
Another potential bonus to working in Oregon, in addition to being closer to home and having a longer mining season, is that the Hoffmans could potentially make a little extra money with tourism, right? I know I’d love to check out the Hoffmans “hard at work” in person — and that would be FAR more likely in Oregon than way up in the Klondike!
Either way, we’ll be tuned in — both for the rest of this season, and next season, no matter where the Hoffmans wind up.