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March 3-7, 2026

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Dave Turin: Talking Gold Rush, and Premiere of New Show



The legendary “Dozer Dave" Dave Turin, CONEXPO-CON/AGG veteran and a stalwart of gold mining from the acclaimed series Gold Rush and the brain behind America's Backyard Gold, joins Taylor White here today to share his journey from civil engineering to becoming a venerated figure in both television and gold mining. This episode delves into the heart of gold mining, touching on the historical significance, the personal narratives intertwined with the quest for gold, and the evolution of mining depicted through television. Dave's stories offer a panoramic view of the mining landscape, revealing the challenges of starting anew in the industry, the critical role of family support in his ventures, and the indomitable spirit required to pursue the lustrous allure of gold.

Dave’s latest series, America's Backyard Gold, emerges as a tribute to the enduring legacy of mining in North America, where he intertwines the thrills of discovery with the personal stories of those he encounters along the way. Listeners are treated to behind-the-scenes insights, heartwarming tales of resilience, and Dave's reflections on the environmental and regulatory challenges facing today's miners. This narrative-rich exploration into gold mining goes beyond the mere extraction of a precious metal, highlighting the human experiences that color the industry and the technological advancements that continue to shape it. Dave’s conversation with Taylor serves as a testament to the unexplored potentials still hiding within the earth, promising adventure and camaraderie to those willing to listen to the land's whispered secrets. Join us on this golden journey where history, human interest, and the pursuit of gold converge into an unforgettable adventure.


  • Dave 's journey from a civil engineer to a celebrated figure in the gold mining industry
  • The dual nature of gold mining
  • The critical role of family support in mining ventures
  • Personal growth through the lens of gold mining
  • Behind the scenes of gold mining reality TV shows
  • "America's Backyard Gold" as a homage to the history of gold mining
  • The value of community within the mining industry
  • Dave Turin's insights into the modern challenges of gold mining

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Episode transcript: 

Dave Turin: Pretty interesting story. We lost our security guy, a big dude, and he was also our cook. Well, he couldn't cook and was a horrible security because he was scared of the jungle. So after about a month, he just quit. And now we were 13 dudes in a compound in the jungle, and we were trying to fend for ourselves, make a TV show, mine gold. And then we had to cook and take care of the kitchen. So I called my wife and I said, "Hey babe, we're in trouble." And we were so happy when she showed up. Just making a bacon cheeseburger that wasn't burnt to a biscuit was like, woo! She made ice cubes for us. Anyway, it was pretty sweet, but it was the hardest place I've ever mined.

Taylor White: Welcome back everybody to the CONEXPO/CON-AGG Podcast. I am your host as always, Taylor White. Today with me, I have somebody who I know 99% of our viewers definitely grew up watching. I know I did myself as well too. He has a show out now, America's Backyard Gold. It's out. Make sure to go watch that. I'm super pumped to talk. I have Mr. Dave Turin here today. Dave, thanks for being here today.

Dave Turin: Thanks for having me, Taylor. Appreciate it. It's kind of funny, you don't really realize how long this show has been on. Gold Rush has been going on for 14 or 15 years. So I get a lot of younger guys in the business and stuff and they're like, "I grew up watching you." And I'm like, "Oh my gosh, you think about it, 14 years ago, 10 year olds are now 24." It's pretty interesting that they've known me and watched me for that many years. It's pretty crazy to think. And sometimes when you think about all the shows that we've watched through the years and how TV shows and entertainment changes, it's unbelievable how long these gold shows, Gold Rush, Dave Turin's Lost Mine, and now America's Backyard Gold, how long they’ve sustained and people still watch it. Crazy.

Taylor White: Yeah, it's wild. And I think it really resonated with me. I was mentioning before we started here, I have a construction company as well, too. It's a family-run business and growing up, me and my father, that was just what we watched. You got Gold Rush and Dave Turin's Lost Mine. It's pretty wild how you can see the retention of the viewers over the years and they've followed those shows over the years as well, too, which is super interesting. But to have the opportunity to chat with you is something I'm very excited about, too. I would love to know, I was reading online, you have a civil engineering background as well, is that correct?

Dave Turin: Yeah, I have a degree in civil engineering. I went to college and right after– Well, we started paving roads and building roads when I was 12. I have three brothers and it was a family business. That's kind of the way we grew up, we just grew up working. Our summers were just long hours and we just worked our tails off. I was always intrigued with engineering. I always loved science and the earth and stuff like that. It took me a while to graduate with my degree. I had three kids, my wife was a nurse. It was kind of like life, but I did not want to quit school because I put all that time and effort into it. So it was personal to me. I wanted to finish.

When I finally finished, I started looking for a job in civil engineering. And it’s kind of funny, my wife asked me and she goes, "What does a civil engineer do?" I said, "We design things. We probably sit at a desk and design bridges, buildings, foundations, or water systems." She goes, "You'll be sitting at a desk." I said, "Yeah." She goes, "I don't think you can sit at a desk all day long and design something." So it kind of stuck with me. And it was interesting also at that point in our business life, I got three brothers and my dad and my mom. And at that point, I kind of realized that our business wasn't big enough to support three or four or five families at what I wanted to do. So I was looking for work as a civil engineer. But then the rock quarry that we had an asphalt plant set up in, came up for sale. It actually went into bankruptcy, and we worked with the court and bought it out of bankruptcy. Anyway, that was the start of my mining career, which was 40 years ago or so. That's how I started mining.

Taylor White: Wow, that's impressive. So that's how you got your start in mining. Was it limestone rock?

Dave Turin: It's basalt. We would drill and shoot basalt. We did all kinds of specialty stuff. I was always the guy looking out. I had more of a vision to improve to expand our business, but the rest of the family didn't. My dad was a visionary. He would want to expand. So we looked at a lot of different options. We looked at buying quarries or other companies. I got into looking at railroad rock and stuff and everything just kept… For whatever reason, we didn't expand at the rate that I wanted. So I was in the quarrying and road building business for 30 some years, in the same business, same quarry. Every morning, I'd get up and do the same thing. It's the same mountain that we were taking down. And what was kind of interesting is.. And like I said, I love challenges. I love doing something new that really challenges you and makes you learn. And I felt like after 30 something years in the same place, I thought I was a pretty good miner, but I wanted to branch off from that.

And it was about the time I met Todd Hoffman. He was going to go gold mining with his two boys, his best friend, and his dad. Todd reached out to me and asked me to look at his equipment and kind of like, “Hey, could you look at my equipment. Would you help me out?” And he knew that I was in that business. So I started helping him. We helped him with pumps. I showed him around screening and crushing. We wired up his first generator. As I was helping him along the way, he kept telling me, "Yeah, I think I'm going to do a TV show." I was like, "Yeah, you bet you, pal. Everybody wants to do a TV show." I thought it was a pretty dumb idea because I was in the business and thought, "This is boring. Who wants to watch a bunch of dudes mine?" It seemed really..

Anyway, a little bit later, he calls me up and he goes, "Hey, would you come help us load up? We're headed to Alaska." I said, "Sure, I'll come down and help you load up." I showed up and they had cameras, producers, and sound people. I was like, "Oh my goodness, he pulled it off. He's got a TV show." That was the start of the show. And I thought it was cool because we were going to Alaska. Going to Alaska, there's gold, and there's TV. So I thought, "I'll give it a try." I thought it would be a one-season flop because it was boring. Who wants to watch dude run equipment and mine? Well, here we are 15 years later, and people are still watching dude mine and run equipment. So I was wrong.

Taylor White: Yeah, turns out a lot of people do. That's wild. Was it a family business? Did your dad have the business and then it was you and your three brothers and you guys?

Dave Turin: Yeah, dad started it. Dad was a school teacher and a coach in the ‘70s and he just decided that he didn't like the way education was going, so he just decided to start a paving company. Then we went from a baby company and we bought an asphalt plant, and then we bought the rock quarry. And so it was on and on and on. We were a good-sized company. But now I'm out of it and just kicking around, doing some TV stuff. I really like the pursuit of gold because you can never conquer it. It's like something that you'll never become an expert at. I always learn new stuff. Everywhere you go, there are new challenges and new issues to deal with. You probably experienced that.

Taylor White: 100%. And, yeah, every day is different. You're constantly learning. And much like yourself, I am kind of outward facing from the business as well, too, as far as vision, where do we want to go? We actually just got a sand pit. We use a lot of sand where we are. So now we have that, and we're expanding, cutting open a 15 acre chunk of land to get what's beneath the ground. So in a way, we kind of have our own little sand rush going on here in Ottawa. So I can share that love for what you're talking about with family business. But I think it’s so unique that you went… You mentioned you met Todd Hoffman, and then all of a sudden, there's cameras, and you're in Alaska. How did you guys meet? Were you in the same town, or did you know of them, and was it like, “Hey. What's up?

Dave Turin: Yeah, that's a good question. Not many people really know. Todd knew who I was. He knew that we had the rock quarry. And the real story is, my wife and I have three children, and they all graduated from college at the same time. My son got his doctorate. He's an optometrist. My daughter got her master's degree in finance, and my youngest daughter got her degree in education. All within the same year. So she got her bachelor's degree in education. We were like, “We should throw a party.” A family party and just say congratulations to the kids. And we knew that the Hoffmans owned a lodge down by the river and they had an airport. And this lodge, they rented it out at times, and it holds 100 people or so. So we decided, let’s go check it out and see if we could rent it to have this party for the kids.

So we showed up and we were talking to Todd's mother, Georgia. Todd was sitting on the couch, and after we got done talking, he goes, "Hey, you're that guy that has a rock quarry, aren’t you? And I go, “Yeah.” We introduced and we knew each other and he went to the same church, lives in the same county. And we introduced each other and he goes, "Hey, I'm going to Alaska gold mining. Follow me because I want to show you my equipment." And I looked at his equipment. He bought a lot of it at an auction. He had an old, beat-up screen, and I was “Dude, that’s pretty rough.” And I was kind of quizzing him on how he was going to set it up. And that's how we met, it was at his lodge. And he’s like, "Hey, you're that guy up there, aren’t you?" Anyway, we struck up a friendship and a relationship. And, yeah, it was pretty interesting.

Taylor White: Yeah, that's crazy how it kind of happens. It's such a small world, and I always wonder when I’m looking at something like, how do those people meet? How did that connection happen? So that’s pretty crazy that that's kind of the course of how it happens.

Dave Turin: I think that's what's really cool about business and construction and stuff. It’s like you never know the next person you're going to meet and where that next opportunity is. People always ask. You know Aaron Witt from BuildWitt, I was on his podcast yesterday chatting and his like, “What do you like most about your job?” I’m like, "I just like that every day, there could be just a different opportunity. You just don’t know what's going to happen next." I think that's what's really neat. I think that's essentially what happened with you with the gold. So you got to Alaska, you're filming, you did this first year of mining. Forget the filming, but you're mining, and up there, you leave your family behind to be like, “Hey. I’m going to go up here and mine gold.” What was it about the love of gold? What was so different versus with your family mining rock and then now you’re mining gold? I mean, I think I can understand why it's so great, but explain that passion and where that came from?

Dave Turin: It's kind of a funny thing, Taylor. We get comfortable in what we're doing, and I was comfortable and somewhat confined to that rock pit. And I just felt like after 30 years, I can train a monkey to do my job, and it wasn't challenging. And then when Todd came, they were good guys, but they didn't know how to move dirt. They didn't know the ins and outs of moving dirt. Now, I could move dirt. I knew how to move it around, crush and screen and washer it up. But when I got up there, I’ll never forget, Todd brought me up to Yukon Territory. And it’s the first time we were outside of Dawson City, Quartz Creek, Season 2. Season 1, I was in three episodes, and I just was sort of helping him out. The second season, we get some good ground in the Yukon Territory. And we were walking out, it’s the beginning of the season and the cameras were on us, and Todd looked up and goes, “Alsigh, Dave, we’ve got-” I don’t remember what it was, “we’ve got 500 acres here and he looks at me and he goes, “You’re the expert.” And he walks off. He turns and walks away. Now, I’m standing there and the cameras are still on me. And in my brain I am thinking to myself, “Turin, this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done. You have no idea how to get this gold out of the ground.” I can dig the dirt, but I don’t even really know where the gold is.

I think that was one of the keys to success of Gold Rush was I didn't claim to be an expert, but I was bound and determined to figure it out. And so as I learned and our crew learned, and we learned along the way, the audience learned with us. I wasn't a guy that just stood there and go “All right. This is what we’re doing today.” I stood there and went, “We’re going to try and figure this out together.” And the audience came along, and we taught the audience things like permafrost. We taught them about bedrock. We taught them about sluices, then washing rocks. Then they learned along the way. It's unbelievable to me the amount of people that come up to me and they’ll say something like, "Hey, did you know that in Season 2, you did this? Or in season 3, you said this?" And they're like, “And now I’m out in a stream panning and stuff.” And so it's pretty cool fun the amount of people that have watched and know what's going on. But that was me – I love a challenge. I take it on and see where we go with it. And that’s kind of what we did, and the audience came along with that journey, that ride, and it was quite a ride.

Taylor White: Yeah. So it's kind of like you were hooked. I like what you we’re saying about that's just your personality. Like, “I don't know how I’m going to do it, but we got to make it work.” And I think you're right about bringing the audience along because you were teaching them about sleuthing and getting down to the pay dirt, what the pay dirt is, what it looks like. And I think that's such an organic... You couldn't pay somebody enough money to try and act that out. It's just like we're genuinely learning, and the audience is learning with us. The TV show kind of struck gold. But I do want to touch on when you said you moved up to Alaska and stuff. Mining gold and moving up there. Generally, I mean, you said you have three kids, a family. How does that dynamic work when you're like, "Hey, I'm going up mining for gold and I'll see you in four or five months.” Or whatever the timeline is.

Dave Turin: It came at a perfect time for my wife and I. Our three kids were all out of college, and it was just perfect timing. If my kids were young, I don't think I would have done it. We had to do some soul searching in order to take the kids up. In those first years with our crew, we tried to make our camp very children-friendly, our wives came along. For the first four or five years, it was a family-friendly camp. And so we had a lot of kids running around, we had our wives there. My wife came along. My wife typically travels with me more than half the time. People don't realize that my wife ran the kitchen camp for years. My wife went to Guyana with us when we were in the jungle.

Taylor White: No way.

Dave Turin: Yeah. It's a pretty interesting story. We lost our security guy, a big dude, and he was also our cook. Well, he couldn't cook and was a horrible security because he was scared of the jungle. So after about a month, he just quit. And now we were 13 dudes in a compound in the jungle, and we were trying to fend for ourselves, make a TV show, mine gold. And then we had to cook and take care of the kitchen. So I called my wife and I said, "Hey babe, we're in trouble. We don’t have somebody to cook." And she was like, “Well, I got the grandkids for a little bit of time.” And she goes, “After the grandkids go back home, I’ll be down in.” Sure enough, she was there for about close to two months, and she cooked for us. And we were so happy when she showed up. Just making a bacon cheeseburger that wasn't burnt to a biscuit was like, woo! She made ice cubes for us. Anyway, it was pretty sweet, but it was the hardest place I've ever mined. It was nuts. And to take my wife there, she's a trooper, man. She's as tough as any person I've ever met. She came down there and did it.

Taylor White: I think the key to what you're saying is having good support at home really kind of makes it. And that's wild to hear that. I didn't actually know that. That's pretty crazy. And you're right with it being the right time. I can relate in the opposite direction. I have a two-and-a-half-year-old and an eight-month-old, a boy and a girl. And my biggest debates at home are, "What time are you going to be home?" "When are you going to be home?" "Oh, it's Saturday, and you got to go to the job site, you got to go to the pit, you got to do this." So I think timing is key, and timing is everything. But that being said in relating what you were saying,   having a great wife and a great support system at home is truly what makes the success of everything else. I mean, you have your TV show and your business, but at the end of the day, if you don't have that support back at home, that is your ride or die and with you 100%, it's not working.

Dave Turin: Yeah, I'd give you some advice, Taylor, because I've talked to my son. He's an optometrist, but he loves business. So after optometry school and he got his business, he got his master's in business. He got an MBA. Him and his friends invite me along a lot of times to discuss where they're at in life, because he has two children and he kind of set his business up.. Because I'm like you. I was the dad that never went to the field trips. I was the dad that didn’t bring snacks. I coached all my kids, so I made time to do that. But a lot of him and his friends, along with you, are in that stage of life like, “I want to have a successful business, but also want to have good kids and a good family life.” It's a balancing act. Nobody's the same. I can't give you a set of rules that work for you and that same set of rules works for my son. But I would encourage you, that I talked to a lot of people that are my age and made it to this point in life. In fact, Fred Hurt, I just did a special on Fred Hurt. And one of his regrets was that he didn't spend enough time at home with his son. Because Dustin and him really developed a relationship later in life. And I was watching his story, kind of what you were saying, and he never said, “I wish I had worked more.”

I’ve got a good friend that is struggling with the same thing. He’s got cancer, and I've had some really deep discussions with him. And I’ve asked him what was important. He was a very successful man. He got lots of business. He’s worth a lot of money. And I asked him what was important, and he never talked about his businesses. He talked about his daughters. He talked about his relationships. So I would encourage you, and if there are young people starting up a business, you can do it both. There were times when I was so focused on business, thinking that if I don’t work Saturday, we’re going to lose this contract. And in the end, that Saturday that I should have been at my kid's game, if I would have said, "Hey, Mike,” who was my quarry superintendent, “I need you there. I need you there on Saturday," it would have worked out. You know what I mean? You can't get that day back where your son hit a home run or something and you weren’t there. You know, whatever it is, whether it's your daughter at her dance recital and she looks over and there's an empty chair next to your wife, you won't get that back. And it means a lot.

Taylor White: You're almost going to make me cry. You know what's funny is my daughter had a dance recital two weeks ago, and I ended up missing it because I was doing work stuff. When you're saying that, I'm a pretty blue-collared guy, I don’t try to get my emotions too strong. But when you were saying that, I’m like picturing my daughter looking over at an empty chair. I do want to say, my dad was much like me. I'm a workaholic. I love what I do. And unfortunately…

Dave Turin: Taylor, me too.

Taylor White: And unfortunately, it's hard because when you're growing a business, it's so capital intensive. Your mind is on it, and you sit awake at night grinding your teeth because there's so much stress. You're just wrapped up in it. And business takes priority over family. But the overwhelming goal of doing business is for your family. To set up succession and to set up all this stuff so that I can send my kids to university, they can get a degree, and become optometrists or doctors, and we don't have to worry about that stuff. But I always related to and it's interesting to hear you say that because I'm living in that moment right now. But then my father, who is 59 years old, like we talked about. I called him old man. He's upstairs. You could probably hear me say this, and he would agree, but he's a better grandfather than he was a father. My dad gave me an amazing life, do not get me wrong. And everything's fantastic. And he taught me business. He taught me to be the man that I am today. But he'll leave the office at 1:00 or 2:00, and I'm like, "Oh, where's dad?" Then my wife will send me a video of dad at our house playing with my daughter. And I'm like, "Oh, okay." That never happened when I was a kid. So it's almost like trying to instill that in my head. And what you're saying now is like, I just don't want to get older and then regret missing stuff.

Dave Turin: I would encourage you, Taylor, to hire and train competent people because you can't do it all. I used to think I could do it all. And I used to think to myself, "Well, I got to be there if he's welding up this crack in a screen? The screen is cracked, if we don't get this…" And I'm like, "I got to be there." Well, you know what? My guys were pretty darn good welders. I didn't need to be there and make sure they preheated this or tightened this bolt. It kind of got done. And the other thing I'd encourage you to do, and I tell a lot of people, a lot of dads with daughters, your daughter's going to come home sometime, and she's going to go, "Dance with me, daddy." And I tell all these young dads, dance with your daughter. Like, when she comes home and she's done a dance recital, she's like, "Daddy, let me show you something." Take the time and dance with her. I know you've got phone calls and emails and all that kind of stuff. But daughters, man. Daughters need their dad.

Taylor White: Yeah. The dynamic of carrying forward with family and business is pretty incredible. But to shift things a bit, you brought your wife and you're doing Gold Rush, you're filming the TV show. How did you get to where you are now? Now you have America's Backyard Gold and here you are doing this now at this point in your life. How did you get from the first season of Gold Rush to now? And I know you had Dave Turin's Lost Mine, but now, “I have my own TV show and this is what I’m doing.”

Dave Turin: I think I just don't quit. I don't give up. After Gold Rush, I left. It was bad. If you look on the internet and Google Dave Turin, one of the first things you'll see is an altercation between me and another guy. At that point in my life, I knew I had to get out. It was starting to get toxic. It was starting to get... And I got out a little too late. I mean, the way it blew up, I never wanted it to end that way. But I also love finding gold. I love going out prospecting. I love the idea, and I love the people that I met along the way. So it was basically about two years, I was out prospecting. I never needed a job. I mean, I was always doing something to make money. But I loved the fact of going out prospecting and meeting people. As I was doing it, I kind of hooked up with another guy that had the same passion, but he came from a motion picture or TV producing background. So we started a YouTube channel that started getting some attention and it was called The Great American Prospect. You can still see some of our episodes on YouTube. It’s still there.

Anyway, that got some attention because it really started gaining some momentum. Then I pitched some other shows. I started pitching shows because I liked the idea of doing TV. I don't know how to say this, but TV helps me pay for my passion for finding gold. So if I can bring cameras along and get the TV, it helps pay some of those bills. And so I knew that I loved chasing gold and finding it and meeting people and doing all that. And so Raw Television came to me and said, "Hey, would you do another TV show?" And we started working on some ideas. I pitched several ideas. Then the idea of Dave Turin's Lost Mine came along because I was constantly following old mines, following where dredges went. And I'm trying to figure out how to get gold that they left, and I absolutely loved it.

But the problem with Dave Turin's Lost Mine was that we were constantly looking for it. And once we found that place, you got to mine it. Well, we did that in Alaska, and then it became the Gold Rush, right? I mean, then it's just another spinoff. Whereas before, on the search, the journey, the experience of finding new gold is genuine. When you find a new spot and it's good, you're passionate. And conversely, when you find a spot that you just busted your butt, you were there for two or three weeks, and there's not enough gold, and you're like, "All right, guys. Pack it up. We got to go." That's a real drama. It's not produced. It's not made up. It's real. And so then we're like, "All right, guys. Pack it up. We're leaving." And I love that part of the journey, the chase. And again, because Dave Turin's Lost Mine kind of boxed us into mining in the same place. and it's the same thing again, the show got canceled.

And again, I wasn't done, so I pitched some more shows. I pitched this one, and it took about two years to get it on TV. So we just filmed it this summer. And here we are, America's Backyard Gold. So if enough people watch it, we'll probably keep going. If nobody watches it, I'll be spending time with the grandkids, like your dad.

Taylor White: Well, I'm sure they will. I'm curious and interested in what you can kind of tell us of like what to expect from America's Backyard Gold.

Dave Turin: To me, this was what I really wanted to do. I love history. Taylor, I love the history of gold. Gold is a big part of Canadian history and a big part of America's history. It really is. It got people populated this side of the Rocky Mountains, on the west side of the Rocky Mountains. And for me, it was always fun for me to pit my wisdom and my knowledge, my experience in modern-day equipment against where the old timers went. So I just love that aspect, and I love the people in this industry. So I wanted to put those three passions together, in search of gold, people, and their stories. If we take time to listen to somebody's story, everybody's got a story, and it's interesting, and the number three was the history. So you put those three things together, the history, human interest, and the process of finding gold, that's the show. And I could tell you stories about the people, the characters, amazing places we went, all in search of gold.

Taylor White: That's so cool.

Dave Turin: Yeah, we go on a journey. It's Friday nights on Discovery Channel. It starts this Friday.

Taylor White: Yeah, no, it's already out when this podcast is out.

Dave Turin: Oh, that's right. Yeah.

Taylor White: I am curious, though, because I always like digging. Is there anything over the years that stands out to you that wasn't on camera, that you were like, "Shit, this would have been really good on camera. And it's too bad nobody was here to film this." Is there anything that stands out or comes to your mind? Any kind of event?

Dave Turin: I think for me, it's some of the stories that I've heard. I love people and their stories. A lot of times, that's where a little bit of the conflict, a little bit of the rub between the TV and myself. I'm an executive producer, but I've also got things in my mind that I love hearing. I love history. I love to hear people's stories. I love to hear why. A lot of times I'll ask. I interviewed 60 people for this show. And on the show I'm always like, “Hey, what got you into this? Why are you here? What are you doing? Why are you out here in this stream trying to find gold?” And so many of the stories weren't, "I'm trying to make money, I'm trying to pay the bills." It's more of an adventure. It's more of a community. Whether it's a family, they bring the family together. So some of the things that I regret are some of the stories. I met a young lady that got out of a bad marriage, and she had to find and she was kind of hiding out, and she had three young kids. She met some miners that taught them how to get gold out of the stream. And so the gold served two purposes. It brought the family together for a purpose and a job. And number two,  the gold helped pay some of the bills. And then we met 10 years later and they were doing well, and they still love, as a family, to kind of go out and find gold. Stories like that.

There was another story of a guy that as a young man he grew up in a wealthy family, but he got into a lot of travel. He was into drugs, gangs. And later in life, he discovered gold. But there's a true thing when you talk about gold fever. It can be addictive. When you see that gold, you want to find more. So this guy now, here brings kids out of the inner cities that are into drugs and guns and violence, and he brings them out prospecting and they find gold. It’s kind of like changing one addiction to another. But this is a healthy addiction, because you’re finding gold, you’re working hard, you’re out in the beautiful outdoors and environment. And it’s a different way of life.

And I wish I could’ve, on the show, spend more time telling those stories, because I love those kinds of stories. But there’s only so much time in a one-hour segment, and a lot of times we didn't get to see those or tell those stories.

Taylor White: Yeah, well, I'm sure that the hour-long segments are just the best of the best. And that's what's so exciting about it. I love the fact of the story. I love that because I'm the same. For instance, I'll refer back to our sand pit. It started back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Essentially, they dredged it all out, and they got all the sand that they thought, and then there's a stockpile left. This company came to us like, "Hey, you guys want it?" And we got the gradations done. It ended up meeting the specifications of this really expensive sand we use. Then we're looking at the map of the extraction limits, and I'm like, "Okay. Well, this area was done in the ‘70s. Why'd you guys leave this 15-acre chunk?" And they're like, "Oh, interesting, that is. Okay, yeah, we left that. Let's send our surveyors out and see if we can actually extract the sand from there." So they go out there, they end up sending us approvals, and it's like, you found an old equipment and stuff in the bush now. And now here we are going back to where they were in the ‘70s or ‘80s and kind of missed this chunk, and we're reclaiming this 15 acres and getting this sand out. And maybe it's a little bit lower here, or maybe it's a little bit higher here. And it's like just the story and the history, I think, of the pit and how you can drive further and further back into the land and just kind of imagine what it was when they first started in the ‘50s and the ‘60s. Sharing the stories is something that I think is super interesting as well, too.

When I talk about some of the old equipment and stuff that we've found, that to me is also really interesting. I like seeing the progression of the equipment that they’ve used for gold mining or mining over the years. I mean, you got steam excavators and cable excavators and all this stuff. Is there anything that stands out to you that you're like, when in doubt like, “I got to operate this piece of machine,” Or, “This is my favorite piece of machine.” Is there any type of equipment that stands out to you that you’re like, “That’s the coolest thing. This is what I love. This is neat.”

Dave Turin: To me, it’s like  I've got a lot of respect for it. I've seen a lot of old equipment in the brush, and I'll always go look at it. And if you sit in some of those seats, like, I see a lot of draglines, because the dragline, after the big dredges and stuff, was a pretty effective piece of equipment. But you sit in this seat that you might as well sit on a box, a wooden box. And the levers, man, there's like levers all over the place. I would sit and go, "Man, these guys had to be talented in order to operate this." We'll sit in an excavator. We've got all the windows. We got a radio, and it's got air conditioning and heat. Yeah, and a nice air right seat.

Even the dozers that we've got nowadays. The first dozer we had was an old D8.

Taylor White: Was it an open cab D8?

Dave Turin: Yeah, open cab with a pony start motor. Yes. It was in the ‘60s. It was like in 1966.

Taylor White: So cool.

Dave Turin: But just sitting in those things and how much work it was. And now I sit at times, and I can just go brain dead and run a dozer or run an excavator and be efficient at it, and I can sit there and think about the world. So a lot of times the guys would be like, "We're mining away. And the camera crew would be like, “Hey, where's Dave?" And they would say, "He's in therapy.” Well, he turned the radio off, and he's running the dozer up there, and nobody can bother me. Because we had a rule that you don't approach the equipment unless somebody acknowledges. Then you can walk up to the equipment. So that was my therapy. I just jump in a machine and just run it. Turn the radio off.

Taylor White: Yeah. They end up getting four and a half hours of GoPro footage from the cab of just silence and you just sitting there. That's how it ends up being with us, too. We do YouTube and stuff as well, too. And it'll just be like, even in a dump truck if I'm going down the road, sometimes it's just silent. And I'm just like, you just get lost in your own thoughts. And it's kind of nice to sit there. Are you guys using any technology on these mines during the course of Gold Rush and stuff as far as GPS technology? Are you guys genuinely, like, "All right. There are stakes in the ground. This is where the area we're taking down to the pay dirt and get it out." I've always wondered that. I never saw GPS technology or a Trimble or Topcon system on the site.

Dave Turin: I've never used it. Wow. Partly because we've used LIDAR. We've used ground penetrating radar for prospecting. But it also has limits for mining. It's not like we're cutting to any grade. You know what I mean? We're not doing a cut and fill. All we're doing is mass excavation. And when we get to that level, now we know through drill logs, through GPR, Ground Penetrating Radar, LIDAR, we know what levels we got to get to. So then it's just, what is the best way to mass excavate to get to that level where the gold lives? And then at that point, it's just moving the amount and trying to keep up with what the plant can provide. So we don't have to hit a grade, we don't have to have that fill that we're making, or the stockpile of waste that we're going to reclaim. It's just building a pile.

But there's a lot of engineering in front, because, at least myself, whenever I come out to a new piece of ground, one of the first thoughts is, how am I going to reclaim it? Just mass excavating, getting the dirt out of the way. I think anybody can do that. But how do you move the dirt, keep the topsoil alive, keep it fresh? Because that's the last thing, and that's what has all the living organisms in it. And how do you protect that? Because what you don't want to do is just roll the topsoil over, and then you pile it and leave it there for a couple of years, and then you're done. Well, you're killing everything. There's no oxygen. So you have to treat that topsoil. Yeah, there's a lot of planning. I mean, people think you just go in and mine it and rip it out and destroy. But there's a lot of thought that goes into it. If you're a responsible miner, the first thing you think of is, how am I going to reclaim it? What do I do with the topsoil? So a lot of times people don't realize that there is a lot of thought. We go through a lot.

Taylor White: Yeah, no, 100%. And when you're saying that, it makes like a big thing over at the pit we're at, the big thing is the rehab. Pit rehab, the rehabilitation of the land once we dig it out. And that's why if we're taking out trees, we're cutting down the trees, we're selling them for firewood and stuff. But all the stumps actually, and organic matter remain on site. And because there's a water level, what we do with the stumps is they get piled in on a 3:1 slope and that's what we build our slope with. And then we lay stumps out in the middle of the ponds for turtles and habitats in order to reclaim all that. So that's a huge part of it.

One thing, and that kind of ties into my next question, is I've always wondered. Here in Ottawa, getting a pit license or a quarry license is super insane. With the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Labor, or just basically the MOE, the Ministry of Environment. What's it like with gold mining? Like when you're in Alaska, are these already old claims that have mineral extraction zoning? Is there zoning regulations up there? Or is it just like can you buy a piece of land and be like, "I think there's gold here, I'm going to take it." Or is there years, like you’re saying, of preparation and engineering to change the zoning to mineral extraction? Okay, now you have a Class A license so you can take 200,000 tons from this ground. Are there limits? I'm interested in that part of it.

Dave Turin: Oh, yeah, Alaska has joined that era. I think 50 years ago it wasn't as difficult, but now they've come around, they've got all those same departments like the Department of Natural Resources, the Mining and Reclamation, the Water, the Environmental, all of that. They have all of that. So you cannot just go… You can go and stake a claim. So if you do find gold or if you think there's potential and they allow you, you can go and get an interest in prospecting permit. And then once you say, “Okay. Well, there is gold here.” Then you stake the claims and then from there, now you got to do your environmental assessment. You got to do all of that. So, yeah, every state. Every state. Some states.

Now I will say Alaska is miner-friendly. You can call the people in those offices and they're helpful because they realize that a lot of Alaska's income comes from natural resources. I can't say that for all the states. There are some states that do not want mining, period. But what's amazing in America is that those laws, the mining laws, they wanted people to 150 years ago, they wanted mining because that was income to the government. It was income. It moved people around. It got people populating. And so those mining laws kind of supersede the new laws. And so there's always that constant battle and friction between the mining law of 1878 or something, and now all the environmental laws that came in in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s. It's getting harder and harder to mine. And I'm sure you understand that. It's getting tough.

Taylor White: There's a lot of red tape in the way. And that's why for us to go, like, I know where there's still a lot of sand, but it would be millions of dollars and years down the road in order to just get that license to a Class A pit license where I can go and change it to mineral extraction and extract aggregate from the ground and sell it to the market. Is there still a way, you think, for someone? Let's say I was like, “Hey, you know what? I'm going to go do this gold thing.” Is there still the American dream of going and making money gold mining and doing that from nothing? Could you do that?

Dave Turin: Yes, you can. I wouldn't recommend it. I’ll be straight up honest with you. It takes such an education. I think it would be easier to find a rock quarter.

Taylor White: Comes with a lot of capital.

Dave Turin: And I'm going to be straight up honest with you. I've been doing this for 15 years, and I know of two successful gold miners that are on a smaller scale. I'm not talking about Newmont, Barrick, and the big dogs out there. I'm talking about medium-sized companies like yours and our company that can go out and still do it. And I know of two that are successful, but they've been doing it a long time, and they found a good piece of ground. The whole issue is finding a piece of ground, whether it's permitted already or to get the permits. You have to have a lot of money to get the permits anymore.

But there's still gold out there to be found. And this show is more about going out on a weekend, going out on a family vacation, and finding gold that's still out there. I think it's easier on a small scale, on a prospector scale, on a scale where you're going out with not big, huge pieces of equipment. But you're going out with a pan and a shovel and maybe a high banker. That's what this show is about. And that is still doable. There are still a lot of states that will let you go out with a pan or a high banker and a shovel. Very minimal impact on the environment. Because to me, it's similar to fishing. When we go fishing, we are pulling a natural resource out of the water. Well, when you're going gold mining, if you do it the right way and you're doing it on a smaller scale, you can get the gold going to help pay some of the bills, whatever gas bill or lunch or whatever. But you're out there in the beautiful outdoors and it's physical work, so it helps you stay in shape. And it can be a family thing, it can be a community thing. And that's what I've found a lot of people out there doing. They're having a great time. And gold fever is pretty real. People get really passionate about it. So it's kind of fun.

Taylor White: I'm excited to see all that on the show. And I guess that kind of goes into the question of, "Is it still possible?" And I think that's what's interesting about the stories that you're sharing on America's Backyard Gold. You share these stories of prospecting and people going out there and achieving their goals. I'm super excited to watch that show, and I'm also very excited to hopefully see you at CONEXPO in 2026. We can sit down and maybe have a beer or a water, whatever your interests are.

Dave Turin: You got any good beer in Canada?

Taylor White: Do we have beer? We have beer that'll put Americans on their bum. I have a keg in my office, actually.

Dave Turin: Well, we mined in the Yukon Territory. I was up there for seven years, so I know. I love Canada. I thought the people were great. And that's one of the things I love about this business, whether you're Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, American, or even in South America – when you're digging up the ground and all the difficulties of turning that ground over, there's a certain camaraderie. We've all done the same things. We've faced adversity, Mother Nature, and the earth doesn't give up easily. It's hard work, and I love the people. That comes out in this show – I love people. I love to hear their stories. And that's one of the reasons I love CONEXPO. I get to talk to people over a beer and say, "Hey, what's going on? What are you facing?"

And the other thing, too, I want to recommend young guys to use us, the old men. We've been through some of this. It took me a while to learn that – to humble myself. When I was 20 or 30, I had to humble myself and started to figure out I didn't know it all. But I had to humble myself and reach out to guys who were older than me that had done it, and say, "Hey, help me out here." And if you do that out of respect to somebody, all these older guys that are retiring will be like, "Sure, I'll help you. What are you looking for? What do you need? Well, I did it this way, maybe you can do it this way." If we keep bringing the older guys in and helping the younger guys learn some of those ropes, we won't create or have some of the mistakes that I made. So I would encourage a lot of the young people who are going to watch this to reach out to some of the guys, whether they're retired or sitting at home, and say, "Hey, look, I've never dealt with permafrost or I've never dealt with 5 ft of frost. How do I get it out of here? What should I do?" Or if it's mud or whatever it is, there are guys out there who have done it. That's one thing I had to learn – to humble myself and ask questions.

Taylor White: Yeah, well, that's what stuff like you said, like CONEXPO-CON/AGG, and going to shows like that, and actually just walking up to somebody and asking them a question, not just necessarily a question that they've been asked a million times, although I'm sure they wouldn't mind answering it, but just asking the questions you really want the answers for. I always say I judge a man by the questions that he asks, not by the answers that he gives. To me, I've always lived like that. I've always tried to just ask as many questions, and sometimes we'll leave a meeting, and people will be like, "You're asking a guy a lot of stuff." I'm like, "I just want to get in his head and understand how he functions and how he or she works." So that's why I like CONEXPO-CON/AGG, and that's why I'm pumped to see you there. I am also pumped to see America's Backyard Gold, which is out now, and everybody should go and watch that.

But yeah, man, Dave, I'm super happy to have you on here today. Thank you for coming on. I'm super pumped for what you have, and I'm excited to see what comes in the future.

Dave Turin: I enjoyed it. I love talking to young guys who are out there doing it. So thanks, Taylor. Appreciate it, man. I guarantee you, we'll go have a beer one of these days.

Taylor White: Oh, for sure. We will, for sure. Okay. Thank you, everybody. This podcast was brought to you by our good friends at Komatsu. Thank you for watching, and we'll catch you guys on the next one. Take care.

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