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Rick Ness On What It's Really Like Being A Mine Boss On Gold Rush - Exclusive

From managing a team of miners and footing all the related bills, to searching out the most primo pay dirt and deciding how best to dig into it from the cockpit of an enormous backhoe, there's a lot to keep track of when you're a mine boss on Discovery Channel's hit show Gold Rush. Rick Ness has proven himself up to the challenge over the course of three seasons as a boss, and in this exclusive Looper interview, he gave us the goods on what it's really like to be the head honcho of a gold mining operation.

Ness says one thing that any mine boss needs to remember is the power of the pivot. "You can come up with the best plan you want, but the fact of the matter is that it is not going to work out the way you plan it in any way, shape, or form, and if you're not ready to pivot and go the way that it's, you know, that you need to go when it has to happen, then you're done for."

So, no pressure, right? Ness went on to share a few more nuggets of Gold Rush wisdom.

Hitting pay dirt with the power of a hunch

If pivoting is key to any mining interest, then having the confidence to act on a hunch is even more important. In season 11 of Gold Rush, Rick Ness risked man hours, money, and materials on a hunch that a submerged creek bed would contain valuable pay dirt, and his gut proved correct. But what if that hunch had been wrong? "It's a dangerous thing because, you know, what if it hadn't," Ness told Looper. "There'll always be a bit of that there with me, because that is gold mining, you know, but I'm working towards kind of minimizing that whole 'hunch' thing, testing it, trying to rely more on a specific set of reasons that help me know that where I'm going is correct."

So fewer hunches and more facts may be the future of Ness' operation, but as a mine boss, he knows he might not ever be able to fully remove "maybe this, maybe that" from the equation. "I don't think I ever will," he said. "But if the stakes are less in the future doing that, I think it'll turn out to be an even better part of how I go about things."

Gold Rush is streaming now on Discovery+.