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Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail exclusive: Parker finds gold nuggets in New Guinea

Parker the moment he realizes the "stone" is a gold nugget. Pic credit: Discovery
Parker the moment he realizes the “stone” is a gold nugget. Pic credit: Discovery

The lure of finding gold in an exotic locale continues Friday on Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail.

Parker Schnabel has left behind the Yukon, as well as the frozen muck and daily beef with his pal Tony Beets for Papua, New Guinea, where gold mining is a dangerous affair.

Machete deaths and other skirmishes are in the news more frequently than not in and around the Porgera mine. This is where Parker and the team are working.

The exclusive clip we have below shows just how gold-rich the dirt really is where Parker and his team are focusing on mining. He is surrounded by local villagers, who appear to be fascinated at the way Parker and the others are sluicing and panning for gold.

The equipment used for this task seems rudimentary compared to what the miners normally use on Gold Rush. Apparently, the pay dirt in this tropical humid destination is filled with fine gold and what we see as nuggets, he can actually pick up and show the camera!

As Parker leans into the machine where gold is hopefully being sorted and sifted from pay dirt, he asks if anyone else sees what he sees — a gold nugget.

He says: “Hopefully there’s some gold in this well…well we’ll find out soon. Yeah, let’s clean this [the pay dirt] up and find out.”

As he looks into the machine he sees something that catches his eye. Parker says: “What’s that? A stone? Wow!” The nugget is pulled off the mat and inspected as everyone around him looks on.

Reflecting on the discovery of the nugget and trying to keep his excitement at bay, Parker is reflective and says:

“I’m just really jaded because I’ve spent the last five years training myself to kind of discount nuggets, like they don’t pay the bills like here from the looks of it, its nugget ground…you need those nuggets to add up and it’s the fine [gold] that pays the bills.”

Despite the two nuggets, Parker’s true test is the amount of fine gold in the mats.

Last week, bad conditions outside the massive Porgera mine sent Parker and crew to nearby towns where they caught illegal mining techniques going down.

The series is a spin-off from Gold Rush, the third after his exploration of the Klondike and Guyana. Parker is taking the team on a search for gold in Papua, New Guinea, not just for gold but to retrace his grandfather John’s history as an air force veteran during WWII.

Learning new mining techniques, Parker is also following the explorers and prospectors of the 20th century, specifically Mick Leahy, and in Papua, New Guinea, there is a real present-day gold rush that is making the news.

This year, Parker has a survival expert and wilderness guide in British Colombia native Karla Ann. Karla Ann met Parker while driving a rock truck at one of his mine sites. She was part of his team in Guyana and the Klondike.

Long-time friend and adventure cameraman Sam Brown is part of the crew and is responsible for filming much of their epic adventure.

New to the team is Special Forces Medic Fred Lewis. He has 14 years of military and medical experience, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fred is a well-trained, marathon race running beast and in tip-top physical shape.

He will help to keep the team alive.

Parker and his team truly are off-grid as they use local mining techniques, making Papua, New Guinea their most successful venture yet for the series.

The downside of the locale?

The machete-wielding locals, the volcanic mountain ranges, flash floods, landslides and bugs, snakes and apex predators that can really mess up the day.

Watch Friday night as Parker finds a lot of gold, but will he be able to get out of the country with it?

Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail airs Friday 9 pm EST on Discovery.

April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer more

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