'Ice Cold Gold': Miners Try to Strike it Rich in Greenland

PHOTO: Josh Feldman, Zach Schoose, John Self, Americo DiSantis, Jesse Feldman, Chand Watkins and Eric Drummons in Greenland.
Share
Copy

Greenland is one of the last frontiers on Earth, and for a few intrepid miners, the cold, remote and inhospitable country could be their answer to bringing home big money.

A team of seven miners went to Greenland hoping to strike it rich. Their journey was documented on the Animal Planet TV show, "Ice Cold Gold." Last season was almost a total bust.

Then, on the very last day of their trip, as winter set in, the miners hit pay-dirt.

They found a previously undiscovered area they called the "red zone," an area where the rocks were studded with rubies and other gemstones -- a claim that may be worth millions.

The second season, airing now on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on Animal Planet, follows the miners' efforts to make that claim pay off.

"The 'red zone' is spectacular rubies, you cannot find something like that," said Josh Feldman, one of the miners featured on the show. "When we discovered it we immediately knew we had something fantastic."

"Nightline" caught up with Josh Feldman, his brother Jesse, and their friend Zach "Gator" Schoose at their century-old gold mine in an old Arizona boomtown. For these three men, Greenland is a world away from home.

"Complete opposite worlds," Jesse said. "I mean, this is the land of sun and heat and that's the land of cold and ice."

When asked if mining one of the last pristine spots on Earth inevitable means destroying it, Josh insisted It can be done responsibly and that Greenland has enacted the necessary safeguards.

"Greenland is the last frontier but with rules, and we're all too happy to follow those rules," he said.

All three refused to say how much gold, rubies or other precious stones they had found at home or abroad.

"It's none of your business," Jesse said, jokingly. "Gold's a funny thing. As soon as people know you found gold they'll be knocking on your doors and be here at midnight, trying to take what you have."

Josh noted that miners have good reason to be secretive about what they may find.

"That's the one thing we have, where those rubies are and how much. Why would we give that information out?" he said. "They belong to us."

The prospecting process in Arizona is the same as in Greenland, but the hardships in Arizona are nothing like what they encountered in Greenland for "Ice Cold Gold."

The group set up camp for two months on an uninhabited island to determine how many rubies were in the "red zone," how to extract them and what else might be there, but the miners were not quite prepared for the unpredictable weather.

"When you're up there, you're trying to stay warm. You're trying to stay fed. You're trying to stay alive," Schoose said. "You're 37 days, nights in a tent on top of the world, you have nobody else to talk to except a bunch of guys. It's rough."

"Greenland can go from 50 degrees out, Fahrenheit -- nice, you're out in a T-shirt -- to what the heck happened when a storm comes in. I mean you're freezing, wondering if you're going to make it," Josh added.

But despite what they went through to discover the "red zone," the men said they can't wait to go back.

"Everything you do there is very hard, from all the boat trips and the helicopter trips ... it's extremely hard," Josh said. "But it's a challenge, and I think we all love that challenge."

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: People stand in prayer after marching about a mile to the police station to protest the shooting of Michael Brown, Aug. 20, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Charlie Riedel/AP Photo
A-Rod Buys Meryl Streeps LA Home
Zillow | Inset: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
PHOTO: Jars of Nutella are displayed on a shelf at a market, Aug. 18, 2014, in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
PHOTO:
Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources via Getty Images|Justin Sullivan/Getty Images