Panning for gold in the Yukon with the men of 'Gold Rush'

Ginger Zee joined the stars of the hit Discovery show "Gold Rush," which is now in its ninth season, to dig into what goes on behind the scenes of competing to get rich prospecting.
5:48 | 10/25/18

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Transcript for Panning for gold in the Yukon with the men of 'Gold Rush'
Reporter: That is 24-year-old parker. How are you guys doing? Good. Good. Reporter: Ambitious and talented spitfire who just happened to mine more than $7 million worth of gold last year alone. Represents 5791 ounces. Reporter: He's one of three hard-core gold miners braving the harsh conditions of the northern yukon. I have a million dollars on the table. This puts us over 2,000 . Reporter: They're all in a fierce competition. Driving through my yard. Keep everything on that side of the line. I'll keep mine on this side. Reporter: Playing out on discovery's hit show "Gold rush" now in its ninth season. Nice to meet you. Reporter: For the first time letting an outsider in to see where the bling is buried. This is our little hole in the ground. Reporter: Parker shears away everything in his path, then digs giant trenches creating what miners call a cut. We usually mine about 2 million to 3 million square feet a year. This cut will end up being one of the biggest ones we've ever done. This is just one of the pieces of equipment that they use. This I guess his new toy, costs over $1 million. We rip frozen mud with it. All the ground that we mine is covered in a layer that's usually about 10 feet thick of this frozen mud. This is the wash plant? This is the wash plant, this is where the money gets made. Reporter: Once the mud is loaded up it's doused with water and sorted. The coarse stuff goes up that conveyor belt. The fines that has the gold in it come down into the side chutes. Reporter: The gold is then separated. The flakes put into containers and sold to gold buyers. Assuming it holds up the way it was last fall, we'll have done 2,000 ounces out of there. That's basically about 2 million bucks. It's amazing to look and think of 2 million bucks. Reporter: Our next stop, meeting Tony beets, nope for being a bit rough around the edges. You know the barge is coming in -- Reporter: But all business. We have 12 miles of ground, 2,000 feet wide. On this end, going in the back, we have 3,000 feet wide. Means we have the whole valley. Wow. Yeah. That's a lot of land. That's a lot of land. Reporter: Last season, his team mined more than $4 million worth of gold. That's as hard as she can pull, Kevin, huh? Just keep that power on. Reporter: This year they want more. They'll be using an 80-year-old piece of equipment. Basically the way it works is when it works, that's when you quit spending money on it. It doesn't have to look good? It doesn't make any more money so to hell with it, right? It's about to get real loud? Yeah, real quick too. As you can see, pretty easy way of making money. Once it's all set up, once it all runs, once you strip the ground, go back and forth, back and forth. What drives you every season? I really, really like what I do. I'm very fortunate person. I really, really like what go. I've got one Shot to get started. Wish me luck, rubes. Hey, Rick. That's a big truck you have there. Yeah, yeah. It's my baby. Reporter: Of all the miners on "Gold rush," Rick mess definitely has the most to lose. You are running your own show now. I am. This is the first time? Yes. First season? Yes. How's it feel? I got to tell you, it's stressful but I couldn't be happier. Right now it looks like a big old mess, but it's all organized in my head. I might as well pack and up go home, there's no point. Going to lose all our time for stripping and we'll never get any gold. Reporter: He used to work on parker's team. Good luck. Thanks, man. Reporter: Now it's all on him. And a couple of friends that have never mined a day in their lives. I'll figure it out. I've been very successful up here. And when I think about giving it to somebody else and bringing somebody along with me, it's me friend. This is a huge decision for them. They've got families. They've got to give that up for six, seven months. I'll be honest with you, they're living on a dream right now. Pretty much all of them at this point have taken a pay cut. You obviously have a lot of faith in this guy? Ultimately we're here to support Rick and his venture, being a boss out here. I don't want to take another minute because I know every single minute counts, right? Absolutely. Get them back to work. Let's go! Let's go it. Reporter: My trip to gold country wouldn't have been complete without trying my own luck. One more question. Reporter: The old school way. Get your gold pan. Got it. So about like flakes is what you're mining at this point? Most of the stuff that you see -- The little stuff is what makes the weight, you know. We make our money on super-feingold. We found some garnets and one lonely little flake of gold. It's there! Yeah. Terrible pan. Oh, that's a terrible pan? Yeah. I thought that was great. Yeah, we found gold! So we're normally looking for like 10 colors at least. One? There's one in there, yeah. Real great. Look at your ripple. So that's probably about 20. Two, four, six, eight, 10, 12, 14, 15 -- 15. But like there's some nice-sized jump for joy, but I'd be comfortable with that. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm ginger zee in the yukon territory.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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