Tsurumi Pumps’ products are featured on the eighth season of Gold Rush, a Discover Channel reality series that follows the exploits of 316 Mining. The Oregon-based mining company chose Tsurumi as its exclusive provider of pumping equipment, which includes numerous pumps, variable frequency drives and custom-built pontoons. Key personnel from Tsurumi’s U.S. division also offered extensive engineering consultation on the jobsite in Fairplay, Colo., before shooting began.

A group of crew members at 316 Mining, known by fans as “The Hoffman Crew”, had previously used Tsurumi pumps in their operations, which facilitated the choice to use the company’s products during the latest season.

Before filming Gold Rush’s eighth season, 316 Mining had been using engine-driven pumps from another manufacturer in its gold-processing plants, where high amounts of water are pumped to help separate dirt and rock from gold in a mining process called sluicing. But Fairplay’s altitude of 9,953 feet above sea level made it impossible to run the pumps’ diesel engines at a constant RPM, and the resulting surges in power were not conducive to maintaining a steady flow of water. So 316 Mining turned to electric submersible pumps from Tsurumi.

The Hoffman Crew visited Tsurumi’s booth at MinExpo 2016 in Las Vegas to learn about the company’s pumps and to gauge interest in working together.

“Any time you put your product on a popular television show to be featured, you’re taking a risk,” said Glenn Wieczorek, managing director of Tsurumi America. “But our pumps have a long, proven track record in the field of mining. We had confidence going in, and there was no question that our pumps would address the Hoffman Crew’s needs in this particular application.”

“If our operations are down for even a day, it can mean up to $30,000 in gold loss,” said Hoffman. “We explained our issues to the folks at Tsurumi during MinExpo and after working with the company’s engineers and leasing three pumps, we’ve mined quite a bit of gold and haven’t had any pump-related downtime on the jobsite. It’s been a great relationship.”

Key personnel from Tsurumi America visited Fairplay in April 2017 to get a better feel for the Hoffman Crew’s pumping needs. Tsurumi’s engineers consulted with the miners to determine that the washing plant might need to move as much as 9.5 million cubic feet of water per minute at 100 feet of head for optimal sluicing. Tsurumi’s 100 hp GSZ-75-4L electric submersible pump, equipped with a variable frequency drive.

Currently, the Hoffman Crew’s GSZ-75-4L is set up on a custom-built pontoon provided by Tsurumi. The pump is floating in a manmade reservoir and is currently moving 9.5 million cubic feet per minute.

Gold Rush is broadcasted in 130 countries and reaches nearly 300 million global viewers. In 2016, the show was the top program on cable TV in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Poland, South Africa and Australia. It focuses on the mining of gold placer deposits found in various locales around the globe.