Mining $9,600 in gold out of a claim estimated to hold $1.5 million in gold, Jungle Gold miners Scott Lomu and George Wright VI are out of money, out of time and out of patience.
“We’ve done nothing but lose money on this site up to this point. Now, we’re spending twice as much money, twice as much time opening up a pit. I just don’t get why we keep staying on this site,” George complained to Scott. “We’ve got to leave.”
Listening to the two when they arrived in Ghana 11 weeks ago, it all sounded so easy. “All we have to do is get it out, bring it home to our families,” George said of the gold. But, they’ve already lost the confidence of their primary investor at this point, who recently said pointedly, “I ain’t gonna invest another penny. I’m telling you right now, I’m done.”
So, what are two broke Americans in Ghana to do?
One Last Mining Hail Mary
With $40,000 from a Utah investor, Scott and George came to the conclusion that their only hope was to get on a new claim and take charge themselves, instead of keeping on keeping on at their current site with claim owners who are definitely not getting them on the gold.
“I realize we could have done just as bad a job as they did,” George said to Scott. Twisted logic, perhaps, but the only logic the two have at this point.
So, could traditional hand-mining be their best option?
Probably not, but trying to rent their unused trommel to the hand-mining operation could turn them some quick cash. But, the hand-mining method has been used in Ghana for centuries, and they were not interested in George’s offer. After all, using a trommel would take away jobs from locals—actually a refreshing point of view.
The guys did a little research, found out about rock-crushing, and decided to give it a go. But Victor, the site foreman, was not convinced that they were going down the right path, especially since they were investing more money into new equipment AND giving up a 50-50 share of profits to a new potential partner.
“Right now, they are confused, the guys are desperate. So, anything that you tell them that sounds good, they want to do it. They trust anybody who speaks sweet words. So, if you come to them and know how to talk they’ll say okay. So, it’s like anything goes.”
Not exactly a vote of confidence from Victor.
With a potential new deal going, Scott and George's old deal was still in force, and their partners on that site were not willing to just let them walk away, and sent Scott and George a bill for $50,000—and kept all of their equipment until the bill is paid.
“I just didn’t realize how big this invoice was gonna be,” Scott said, making one wonder just how closely they have been watching anything going on around them.
So, basically, Ghana has been an ongoing disaster for the two American miners.
But, could the new site prove to be exactly what they have been hoping for the entire time they have been in Ghana?
Running one rock crusher on their new site, the guys found only a miniscule 1.4 grams—approximately 1/5 of what it cost to run the site for the day.
End of the Road?
So, yet another new site plan?
Perhaps Victor is right—talk sweetly to them, and they will agree.
“We lost control of the whole thing,” George said dejectedly.
Their debt is now over 1.2 million dollars; could it be the end of the road for Scott and George in Ghana?
Jungle Gold airs on the Discovery Channel on Friday nights at 10/9c.
UPDATED: Fans wonder, "Is this show fake?"
Image: Discovery Channel
Video: Discovery Channel/Jungle Gold