Season 1 took place on a single gold mine. At the time of the first season the property was unnamed. The series referred to the land as the Porcupine Creek mine. In season two, it would be named the Jim Nail Placer Mine.
The Jim Nail Placer Mine (aka: Porcupine Creek Mine)
As the name would suggest, the land the Hoffmans mined was located on Porcupine Creek, along the east bank. Porcupine Creek is a tributary of the Klehini River in the Chilkat Valley in the Skagway subdistrict of the Juneau mining district. Porcupine Creek is part of a well documented gold mining region. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the gold deposits in these region are of world-class significance. Certain portions of gravel in the area is estimated to have 0.0106 or more ounces of gold per cubic yard. Gold is definitely there. The challenge for the Hoffmans is to access it efficiently so that the cost of operation does not outweigh the profits of the gold.
Most of season one acted as a primer for modern, industrial mining techniques. Long gone are the days of following one’s gut with a pick and a pan. The Hoffman team brings in heavy duty excavation equipment. Despite experience in construction, they need to learn how to effectively use this machinery for mining. Mistakes cost money when the team overloads equipment or mismanages rough terrain. In the end, the crew recovered less than 50 ounces of gold in the course of mining the Porcupine Creek mine over the course of Gold Rush season 1. In spite of the less than stellar mining operation, viewers were hooked by the drama of the situations and dynamic personalities. Season 2 will be an opportunity for the Hoffman crew to take what they have learned and turn a profit.
Learn more about Gold Rush mining sites on our Gold Rush Locations Overview.