Last night's episode of "Gold Rush" titled "The Merger" brings the Hoffman crews back together again. While the other two crews have problems with insurmountable conditions.
Todd is again blaming himself for the failure on the 106th day of mining. Todd calls a meeting of both crews. The disappointment for Quartz Creek is regrettable. His investor wants him to give pink slips to his crew. When Dave Turin took over Indian River, even he never expected the success they have had. Rather than let anyone go; Todd decided that they were going full-throttle at Indian River with both crews to get that elusive thousand ounces.
At Porcupine Creek, the new equipment is humming, and the $20,000 payout proves that it was a worthwhile investment. A massive boulder proves that it is too tough for the giant derocker, that shakes the gold from the rocks. Dustin was leery about putting the biggest rocks on the machine, but Fred was not worried; until now. The entire deck has disengaged from the tires below exposing the tires. The monster boulder has snapped the weld that held the ten thousand-pound deck. Suddenly, it was like last year all over again.
At Big Nugget Mine, Parker Schnabel is awaiting the results of a four-day run at Emerson Trench when his grandfather pays him a visit. Maybe Grandpa John will bring him some better luck. They found that Smith Creek was too deep to mine and have now reached bedrock at Emerson Trench. They found 2.3 ounces; it does not even cover the expenses. Now Emerson Trench is a bust. Gary Grogan is a good friend knows of another accessible area. He tells Parker to try the Discovery claim where there could be some decent paydirt. He may be able to work out a lease deal to run it. It is only two miles up the hill from Big Nugget and back in 1898, miners using a basic wooden sluice box pulled 100 ounces a day from this claim. If Parker could work a deal, at today's prices, he could save the season.
Parker tells the camera crew, that he is going to talk to the holder of the claim. The man does not like the cameras and wants them to listen to him this time and stay away.
At Indian River, the two crews are busy clearing new ground and feeding that trammel. Suddenly, a conveyor stops working and the pump blows a seal.
Parker has persuaded the owner of the claim to give him 10 acres for a ten percent fee. The worst part is there is a 300-foot drop off a narrow road to the wash plant with little room for error. To make the trip hundreds of times, it may not be worth dying for.
At Porcupine Creek, they are attempting to put the derocker deck back by using the only tools they have. Using heavy equipment on each side, they manage to put it on, now if the weld holds, is another story. Sure enough, it is working, and it only took one day to do it.
At Indian River, Mitch is awaiting a new pump that is three days to three weeks away. He tries to fix the pump on the D-400 by doing a makeshift bypass. If he can attach the hoses from one end, he can avoid the part that is not working, and get the pressure of the hydraulic pump just right, he can get the wash plant working again until the part arrives. As luck would have it, the conveyor works and Greg congratulates Mitch for the best piece of hillbilly engineering he has ever seen.
At Big Nugget, Parker has called in his father, Roger to help widen the dangerous road. An experienced logger, Roger has to remove some huge trees. Parker now can make the sharp turn, but it is still no guarantee that the road will allow several hundred trips. When not gold mining, 18-year-old Parker likes to hunt moose and deer in the Alaskan wilderness. His first game kill was a black bear when he was ten.
At Porcupine Creek, the derocker has been running for twenty-five hours. Now they find that the material they have been pulling through is like concrete. This process fills up the holes, where the gold should be dropping through. Currently they are washing away gold along with the rocks. Now the clean-out is especially tedious. With $150,000 operating costs for the season, Fred cannot afford to wash any gold away. This clean out gave them 28.8 ounces totaling 104 ounces so far; their biggest record and with a few more weeks left, they could reach their goal of doubling last season's record.
At Indian River, it is time for the first clean-out since the merger. Jack arrives to announce the news that the clean-out gave them 46 ounces, well on the way to the one thousand-ounce goal for this season of "Gold Rush."