GOLD RUSH Todd Hoffman’s Colorado gold mine facing thousands in fines

Todd Hoffman Colorado mine facing fines for permit violation

As we reported waaaay back in October, Gold Rush star Todd Hoffman and his crew of gold miners didn’t have much luck finding gold in their home state of Oregon, so they packed up their mining equipment (yet again) and headed a few states over to Colorado. Although we don’t know if their luck changed as far as finding gold, the Hoffman Crew does appear to be having some more bad luck as far as the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety is concerned!

The commission received a citizen complaint on December 1 which indicated that the “Katuska Pit” mine (since renamed — or recreated as — the Fairplay Placer Mine) had performed mining activities and removed trees well beyond the boundaries allotted by the permit for the claim.

I will include the full report from the inspection below, but to summarize: it appears that the claim the Hoffman Crew was mining (under Todd’s company 316 Mining, LLC.) only allowed for mining in places that were mined before — prior to any reclamation laws. No virgin ground was to be disturbed or timbers removed.

The land was inspected on December 5 and the inspector found that there were trees removed and that there was mining activity (in the form of equipment storage, etc.) that took place beyond the boundaries set forth in the permit. As a result, the owners of the mine (Listed as High Speed Mining, LLC, which I assumed leased the claim to the Hoffmans) will go before the Commission at a hearing scheduled for late January. If found guilty of the violations, they could be fined between $1,000 and $5,000 for “each day of violation.”

Here is the inspection report with the photos that were included when it was filed:

This inspection occurred in response to a citizen complaint … received December 1, 2016, which alleged the Operator had mined outside the approved permit boundary.

The Katuska Pit is a 110c operation, approved for eight acres affected lands, for the extraction of aggregate (primary commodity) and placer gold (secondary commodity). Affected lands will be reclaimed to support residential post-mining land use. The operation is located approximately two miles northwest of Fairplay and immediately adjacent to the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. The area includes abundant pre-law disturbances resulting from historic placer gold mining activities. The operation was dormant at the time of the inspection and no mine personnel were present.

The south side of the operation is bounded by forested lands. The north side is bounded by the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. The main pit, located along the northwest corner of the site, was approximately one acre in size. A stockpile of cobble material was located along the north side of the pit, on top of a steep bank adjacent to the river. Several settling ponds were located beyond the south boundary of the permit area. The settling ponds were recently constructed in an area which was previously forested. Timber had also been recently cleared to construct equipment storage areas and a new concrete pad, located beyond the south boundary of the permit area. The Mining Plan clearly states the affected lands would be limited to areas which were historically disturbed and free of vegetation (no timber to be removed).

The affected area was traversed with a Trimble Juno 3B Global Positioning System (GPS) unit. The Division was unable to traverse the permit boundary along the north side of the mine where it follows the center line of the river, all other affected areas were encompassed in the field survey. The data collected in the field was downloaded using GPS Pathfinder Office software and the affected area was overlain onto a Google Earth image, dated September 8, 2016. The affected area, as determined by the field survey, totaled 103 acres. As noted above, the Katuska Pit is permitted for eight acres of affected land. The Division estimates the Operator has affected 2.4 acres outside of the approved permit boundary. Pursuant to C.R.S. 34-32.5-123(2), Operators who mine substantial acreage beyond the permit boundary may be found to be operating without a permit.

Based on observations made during the inspection and recorded in this inspection report, the Division has reason to believe the Operator is in violation of C.R.S. 34-32.5-109(1), for failure to obtain a reclamation permit prior to engaging in a new operation. The possible violation has been scheduled for the January 25-26, 2017, Mined Land Reclamation Board Hearing. Official notice of the hearing will be sent under separate cover.

Click to enlarge:
Todd Hoffman Gold Rush Colorado mine
Todd Hoffman Gold Rush Colorado mine photos
Todd Hoffman Colorado mine Google maps

Here is a copy of the letter sent to High Speed Mining, LLC. making them aware of the potential violations and the scheduled hearing date:

Katuska Pit Todd Hoffman Colorado gold mine violation letter part 1 Katuska Pit Todd Hoffman Colorado gold mine violation letter part 2

Also included in the report was the initial citizen complaint, which contained other allegations not covered in the field report about the boundaries of the permit:

I also assert that 316 Mining, LLC, an Oregon LLC, was not registered to conduct business in Colorado.

I also assert that 316 Mining, LLC unlawfully registered the Katuska Pit (Fairplay Placer mine) as a NEW MINE with the MSHA, receiving a new MSHA mine ID (05-05067) for an already existing mine (ID 05-04551).

Those allegations have not been officially addressed as of yet. It could be that they will be part of the hearing in late January. Stay tuned!

UPDATE – At the hearing, the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety found High Speed Mining guilty and levied some HEFTY fines! Click here for the Board’s complete findings and ruling.

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  • Aussie cathie

    Another criminal money hungry mongrel hiding behind religion!! Sucked in to him!!

    • Jamie

      Where do you get your information. Decent guy trying to help friends make a living. The guy that was served was trying to do things by the book. It is sad to see anyone fail and lose their life savings.
      This board has a lot of judgmental meanies.

      • Aussie cathie

        Dad lead us into prayer….

  • Barb Ordell

    You better pray Toad… and you better pray good.

  • lvjohn

    After looking at these photos they do not appear to be hoffmans equipment it is way too old and the wash plant is the wrong color.

    • Ev Hervey

      Nah, dude. That’s definitely Monstrosity Red, the end part is just covered with dirty snow. And that’s Todd’s little buggy parked in front of those logs.

    • steve

      you didnt look hard enough watch lifeline where they move the diggers todds digger has vovlvo on the arm and side on the trailer same as one in picture and that is todds buggy in front of trees so its todd whos in a lot of trouble it seems i think every prog has staged bits for telly but on the whole having watched gold 6 years its pretty much what you see you dont think the fight with dave turring and dave and his huge black eye was staged do you come on guys!

  • Des Misc

    I’ve lost interest in the show after all this time because it all comes off as staged ad rehearsed. The whole praying that god will give them gold is pretty nasty and greedy. Just ask God to give you the strength and health to allow you to work and be productive, but to pray for gold has always given me the creeps. Todds father seems to think he knows where the gold is and ends up being wrong all the time. Todd just comes off as a snake-oil salesman and con artist. Well all good things come to an end.

  • Andrew Anderson

    He just got serve

  • Andrew Anderson

    THe real gold miner parker and beets family I don’t even watch it because it stupid

  • Papawheelie

    What I dislike most about this are the restrictions the government can place on a mining operation.
    Only mine in areas than have been mined before, no virgin ground?
    Reclaim the site for residential use?
    These are exertions of authority that extends far beyond and in conflict with Federal mining law

    • Commando

      Have you seen the environmental disasters left behind by the 19th century mining in Colorado that was unregulated?

      • Joe

        Don’t no shit stupid

  • Tamtam

    It’s not “bad Luck” it’s hoffman-stupidity. Nothing new, same old story from day one. I hope they fine the crap out of them and they leave CO. They’re a little too close for comfort.

    • Commando

      Sad career. Spend you life making a fool of yourself on TV. Hope Discovery pays him well.

  • steve

    sorry about typing not my strong point,if you think about todds team when gold rush started all had no jobs and half losing their houses so todd has done a lot for them over the years none of them are losing houses now so what they did walking out was bad they have short memories you dont do that to someone who helped you i hope todd makes it big without them he deserves it

  • steve

    i think if you want to have a go at anybody then it should be tony beets what a horrible man and his horrible wife isnt far behind he even treats his kids like slaves have you heard the way he speaks to people? im glad his barge is knackered and i hope the other one stays where it is i feel sorry for todd all hes tried to do is get gold for his team ok hes made a lot of mistakes and he admits hes not the best gold miner but you have to give him credit for trying and the money hes lost doing it i think he said in one of the last episodes hes 500,000 in the hole well in the lifeline episode their looks to be a lot of gold in the traps so hopefully can at least break even maybe even profit but looking at the area picture doesnt look a big enough area to mine next season unless the permit lets them expand to other areas

    • Commando

      It is all fake, you do know that?

      • Jamie

        Ha! You sound just like my 82 year old grandmother! She says that about every show, regardless of whether it is true or not!

  • Jma515

    It’s true that the Hoffman’s are mining at the “Katuska Pit” mine which is just a 1/2 mile due west from the west edge of downtown Fairplay on the south side of the South Platte River. (Not 2 miles NW as others are saying) The aired footage from the Jan. 20th episode shows that the washplant is exactly the same as is shown in the latest Google Earth imagery dated 09/08/16 but the
    “disturbed” area they’re talking about is really just a crew house,
    parking and two fresh water holding ponds above the pit and one circulation pond they dug down at pit level. None of this area is actually being mined. Plus High Speed Mining LLC, who holds the permit (#M1991037) issued in 1991 that covers the 8 acres being mined bought the approx. 20 acre parcel the mine sits on in December 2013 under the name of High Speed Aggregate, Inc.(the permitted area is the northern most portion of the parcel). So if they own the property can’t they build a crew house with parking as long as they have the proper construction permits? Also, the mining permit is actually a dual permit allowing for the mining of aggregate/gravel and gold ore. The owners of High Speed Aggregate and Mining also appear to own a brick & stone and construction material business in Denver,
    so I assume they’ve used it as a source of aggregate but lease out the gold mining rights.

    • BR549

      Yea the mining citation definitely is misleading in regards to location. I found the actual location by looking at satellite view on google maps and then followed Highway 9 northwest out of Fairplay. The mine location is at 39°13’38.5″N 106°00’44.7″W. If you google map those coordinates on the satellite view, you will see that the area matches exactly that in the last photo used in the mining citation to document the out of bounds area that was disturbed.

  • Emilyowner1

    Show has run it’s course ! You can only watch so many staged
    “season ending equipment failures” which are usually resolved by
    divine intervention of the producers. Season 7 takes the cake!
    Todd and his crew stage what can only be the worst attempt at staging a mining melodrama… The crew suffers… Then hangs on
    only to be forced to abandon Todd. TA Da Todd receives another
    chance with a new site in Colorado . Lots of gold lying around but he needs his old crew back to help harvest the find !
    Will they return? They never left! Of coarse they will but only after
    a masterful plea from Todd.
    Well all things must end and I hope this is it for “Fools Gold Rush !

    • Jamie

      I miss Parker’s grandfather. He was a sweet man and I liked their relationship a lot. Parker is young yet and he gets cocky but he has turned into a good boss and he knows his stuff. Maturity will take the edge off cockiness but at least he has skills to back it up!

  • BR549

    If your interested in the actual location of the mine………
    39°13’38.5″N 106°00’44.7″W

  • silverwombat

    You’re all being terribly unfair on Toad Hoffman.
    Next time he may pray to God and ask Him to rain death and destruction down on you! (Instead of just begging for gold as he usually does with the Heavenly Father)

  • Marc Serio

    Man! Way too many haters! It seems the country is full of them these days. Keep praying Todd, Christianity is under full assault. Hope all works out for 316 Mining.

    • Jamie

      I agree! Way too many haters! Cowardly and mean-spirited. I feel compassion for the man who picked up the letter. He seems like a genuine guy.

  • Earny Banks

    I’ve been up to this area of violation.
    There has definetly been mining there.
    Its benn stripped fo trees/udnergrowth and dug to a depth
    iof 40 feet. debtris pit ontie at least 15 feet deep.
    Thtas a no no.
    definet a violation…especially by a comopany that is not
    Hoffman and his meary credw of miners will be fined hundreds of thousands of dollaers! good luck you fat slob!

  • Ashwin Campbell

    Yea, that dude with the beard is a big douchebag. The whole thing stinks of rehearsed fakery, except for his attitude (when he’s pissed off) which seems to be pretty genuine.