'Gold Rush' Emergency Threatens Rick Ness' Entire Season in Exclusive Clip

Rick Ness' first season as a mine boss may all come crashing down after an equipment failure threatens his entire operation during an exclusive preview of Friday's all-new episode of Gold Rush.

In the clip of the all-new episode of the Discovery reality show airing Friday, Ness is pulled away from part of his dig to hurry to the wash plant when he hears that there is a major equipment failure that could undermine the rest of his season.

Pulling up in a dune buggy, Ness shouts, "Shut it down!" and "Stop!" at the operator after seeing that the sluice extension on the "Durt Reynold" plant had come detached and was hanging on by just a few cables.

It's a small, but vital part of the operation, the sluice box extension, shoots waste water away from the wash plant pad, so when it broke, more than 1,800 gallons of water a minute started to undermine the sluice, and as the narrator adds, "threatening to collapse the pad and topple the 20-ton plant off the bank."

"Yeah, I don't know what the f— happened," Ness tells the cameras, examining the damage. "I guess the ground wasn't stable enough under that extension."

It's a small piece of the overall operation, but one that needs to get back up and running quickly, the mine boss adds, saying, "We need to get this fixed fast or the whole f—ing thing is gonna go off the edge."

It's things like this that Ness couldn't have known were going to trip him up during his first year running the operation by himself after years as Parker Schnabel's foreman.

Prior to the season premiere, Ness told PopCulture.com that he had a greater perspective on his time with Schnabel after his first season on his own.

"It would be hard not to gain some perspective there," Ness said of his relationship with Schnabel. "When it's your money going out the door that changes things big time, big time."

Taking on the challenge with a crew of friends from Wisconsin, who are totally green, was "stressful."

"Mining is stressful period. I've always taken it personally, even when I was running Parker's operation, so it's always been stressful for me," he said. "So nothing really changed this year, but it was a little different stress. It was kind of my own and I welcomed it."


Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Photo credit: Discovery