‘Gold Rush’: Did Rick Ness Really Break Even? Not Even Close

Rick Ness, Gold Rush, Discovery-https://www.instagram.com/p/B9W7grsHCgg/

Gold Rush Season 10 ended on a high note for Team Rally. Although Rick Ness and his crew didn’t find the thousands of ounces of gold that Rick’s former boss Parker Schnabel dug up, fans were told that Rick ended up breaking even. But, after two Gold Rush vloggers crunched the numbers, it is easy to see that at the end of the season, Rick Ness was well into the red.

TV Shows Ace has already reported that Todd Hoffman wants to go out gold mining and show the real cost. Although this may take a couple of years, we can instead read the calculations from the two sites that follow Gold Rush closely. Let’s get started!

Did Rick Ness Lose $615,000 In Two Years?

Gold Rush Season 10 ended with Rick Ness coming out even. Or did he? We examine the “real” cost of mining based on the tallies of two different vloggers. Starting out with the YouTube site, Gold Rush In A Rush, The Hiltnerds want to calculate “Rick’s effectiveness as a gold miner.” But, they want to make sure fans know a couple of things before revealing their totals.

First, they contend that it is “hard to know anything about the real totals.” The second is that they are basing it on “what we are told.” In addition, they are assuming that this information is true. He points that this “is a reality tv show.” On that note, any tv money Discovery should pay to Rick Ness is not included.

So, what did The Hiltnerds come up with?


Rick’s Gold Earnings Listed

  1. At the end of Season 10, Rick winds up with 480 ounces of gold.
  2. Gold Rush fans know that the initial weigh in is not refined gold. Generally, this is 85 percent of the gold total. This makes Rick’s adjusted “real gold total” at 408 ounces.
  3. Rick needs to pay a 15 percent royal to the claim owner, which is 61.2 ounces. That means that Rick has 346.8 ounces to work with.
  4. At Rick’s second claim, he finds 67.09 ounces.
  5. After this gold is refined, it is now 57.03 ounces.
  6. Add the 10 percent royalty, which is 5.7 ounces.
  7. The total for the second claim is 51.33 ounces.
  8. The two-claim total is 398.13 ounces.
  9. Using the Gold Rush Season 10 rough estimate of the price of gold, $1,400 per ounce, his “cash total” is $557,382. He added the return of the reclamation refund from Shamus of $100,000, which gives the Gold Rush team $657,382.

How Much Did Rick Ness Spend?

  1. Rick got Monster Red for $500,000.
  2. In the first week, Rick rented a wash plant for eight weeks at $2,000 a week, giving him a total of $16,000.
  3. Then Rick leased a hopper feeder from Tony Beets, which cost $20,000.
  4. Then Rick needed to rent equipment for the second claim. Basing the prices on the wash plant rental, it is estimated that Rick spent $10,000.
  5. Those “initial expenses” cost $546,000.
  6. This means that Rick’s profit is $111,382.
  7. Then, there is the $11,000 bonus for his six key employees. This is $66,000. This means that Rick’s profit has dwindled to $45,382.
  8. Next, the question is how much does Freddy Dodge get paid? He worked about seven weeks. They figure he gets an $11,000 bonus. This lowers Rick’s profit to $34,382.
  9. Then, there are two geologists from week 13 that Rick had to pay. They kept it simple and just figured it cost $382. Now Rick has $34,000. Or does he?
  10. We cannot forget fuel. Based on the weekly show information that Rick is spending thousands of dollars a day on fuel, they figure $2,000 a day and multiply it by the 120 day mining season, that total is $240,000. This gives his total -$206,000. Yikes!
  11. The Hiltnerds point out that this total does not include: Business taxes, surprise repairs, equipment rentals and beer runs. Don’t forget the tooth that Freddy lost in week 7. Did Rick have to pay for that?
  12. We are reminded that last year, Rick Ness was at -$409,000 for the season. Although he got more gold, he spent a heck of a lot more money. That means in two years, Rick Ness has lost $615,000.

Can we crunch the numbers in another way? Absolutely.

Did Rick Ness Lose $ 80,000?

The real “break even” point of Rick’s second season as a mining boss was calculated on Gold Rush News YouTube site as well. They did this before the final episode aired, assuming Rick did get 500 ounces.

They point out that Rick Ness started out Gold Rush Season 10 with a 2,000 ounce total. That was reduced to 500 ounces, which the show reminds viewers that this was Rick’s “break even point.” But, they do not agree. What sorts of totals did they come up with?

  1. They start out with a different gold price. They estimate that with 500 ounces at $1,600 per ounce, the total is $800,000.
  2. The land owners get 15 percent, which is $120,000. That is $680,000.
  3. The wash plant cost him that big $500,000. But, GRN pointed out that Rick was able to make a deposit on the plant with 150 ounces, which was worth $240,000 (150 x 1600). This makes the balance owed as $260,000. That brings his total now to $420,000.
  4. Their estimate for fuel was based on Parker’s, who with one plant running cost him $1 million dollars. They are estimating that Rick is paying half of that, which is $500,000. This means Rick in the red for $80,000. But, they contend that Rick likely spent a million bucks on fuel. That would mean that they estimate that Rick lost $580,000.
  5. Then, they point out that Rick has not paid any crew, Gene Cheeseman, food, a “lot of beer,” and other expenses.

Rick Ness Lost Over A Million Dollars

You could look at both of these YouTubers and even come up with a third total. If you increase the fuel cost of The Hiltnerds, Rick lost over a million dollars. If you include last year’s loss, Gold Rush News‘ total would be over a million dollars as well. Either way, Rick Ness did not break even.

Gold Rush fans, what do you think? Be sure to check back with TV Shows Ace for the latest on Gold Rush. On Friday, March 13, Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail premieres on the Discovery Channel.



Georgia Makitalo

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