Then there’s Parker Schnabel, whose rivalry with Todd also takes center stage. The 21-year-old is missing his late grandfather who passed away in March, but he’s now focusing on getting back to business — and his new girlfriend, Australian Ashley Yule, is there to soften the blow of his loss.
Todd and his crew are working in Oregon for the first time, and are mining the state’s High Bar mine, an intensive and risky business.
Meanwhile, the hot-tempered Tony is neck-deep managing the costs of his business — which has a huge set-back right out of the gate.
In the two-hour premiere, we see the three main cast members in various degrees of peril.
Todd’s gamble on the Oregon mine looks like it’s failing to bring enough gold to warrant the costs, while the always agitated Tony has just invested a few million into a restored dredge only to see it in immediate danger as it’s swamped by a pontoon flooding.
Then there’s Parker, learning to navigate the treacherous business without his mentor and grandfather to counsel him — as he buys a new $600,000 washplant, the biggest investment his outfit has ever made.
Watch a clip below as we meet Parker’s girlfriend Ashley as he shows her where they are dredging.
As they drive around the new claim area he says: “So this is our place.”
“All of that up there?” says Ashley, who is amazed at the scope of the site. “Wow that’s impressive!”
“Yeah, it’s good to be back,” says Parker.
Mitch greets them, and looking at Ashley asks: “Parker, who’s this?”
“She’s my sister,” laughs Parker
Parker then tells his nine-person crew that the work-load this season will increase, but he adds: “Lean and mean, what we’re gonna do will be impressive. The goals is [to mine]3,000 ounces.”
Parker explains that claim owner Tony Beet’s cut increases to over 25 per cent if they exceed 3,000 ounces — but the crew aren’t happy.
Meanwhile, watch below as Tony’s son, Kevin, finds himself in trouble after the new dredge is swamped within days of the season gearing up.
Kevin and his crew desperately try to save the rig as the pontoon leakage causes the dredge to sink, with the generator in danger of being swamped — and Tony is freaking out.
Gold Rush Season 7 premieres at 9pm tomorrow, Friday October 14, on Discovery.