After Rick Ness' first season with his own crew as a mine boss brought in a rookie record-breaking 1,105 ounces of gold, the Gold Rush star has nothing but a humble attitude when it comes to his success during a tough freshman season.
Ahead of the Season 10 premiere of the hit Discovery show on Oct. 11, PopCulture.com's Anna Rumer traveled to the Yukon to try her hand at gold mining and get the inside scoop on the 2019 season, learning all about what Ness has planned for his second season as a mine boss now that he has more experience under his belt.
Playing down his Gold Rush rookie record, Ness said of the 2018 haul, "It was a success, but a success only in that I didn't lose money, I broke even. But that's really the best you can hope for in a first season."
"So going into the second season, we're just looking to double what we did last year," he continued, all while keeping the same size crew so as not to raise operating costs.
Going in with a completely green crew made up of friends from his hometown, Ness' first season teaching them the ropes had a low bar, he insists.
"I knew that it was going to be a big time struggle just to break even for myself, and all I really wanted was to be able to pay out my guys and give them a really good experience up here," he told PopCulture.com. "And I'm just really fortunate that it worked out that way."
Having so many people willing to drop everything, from their jobs to their family lives, to make their ways to the Yukon and bust their butts for Ness as a boss was stunning for the former foreman, and a testament to the relationships he's built throughout his life.
"It's a bit humbling, I guess, because they're my buddies and all that, but we don't have heart-to-hearts, like "Oh, Rick, I really believe in you,'" he explained. "You know, we just don't talk like that. So the fact, when you lay that out for them like that and they do all come with you, it is pretty humbling and I guess it says a lot."
Taking on the boss role has been a little more difficult than Ness first expected, and it's not because of the amount of work required to go off without a hitch.
"If I'm being honest, I'm still struggling with that a bit, trying to figure out what that role actually looks like," the Discovery star admitted. "I still don't ever know where I need to be. Like, if I'm taking care of things in my office, I feel like I should be down there [on the claim], and if I'm down there, I feel like I'm neglecting things in my office. And that's still a struggle. But I'm still learning that."
The crew may be a little less green than last season, but with some major "setbacks" hitting right off the bat this year, Ness' operation is going to have to step it up when it comes to taking home a profit.
"There's been some setbacks obviously, but that's mining," Ness shrugged off. "And you can either sit around and feel sorry about it, or you just push through."
Don't miss the return of Gold Rush Season 10, coming to Discovery Friday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Photo credit: Discovery