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“Gold Rush” is a Discovery Channel reality show about novice miners in Alaska. In two seasons, Todd Hoffman and his crew barely broke even due to machinery that was constantly breaking down. Their third season promises to be more productive thanks to upgraded equipment from South Dakota.
Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc., a Yankton manufacturer and one of three companies that make up KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, has supplied industrial-scale material handling equipment to the mining industry for over 80 years. The Hoffman crew’s new wash plant, which uses a JCI Cascade Screen and water to separate flecks of gold from the gravel ore, was manufactured at the company’s factory in Oregon. The stacker and conveyor system that brings raw material to the wash plant came from Yankton.
“Typically, our equipment is used in much bigger operations that produce more gold per day than the Hoffmans pulled in last season,” says Lisa Carson, the company’s marketing manager.
KPI-JCI lent its equipment on the condition that they would use the company’s support team if the equipment needed servicing. “We didn’t want them to beat on it with sledge hammers like they did in the first season,” says Carson.
Editor’s Note: This story is revised from the January/February 2013 issue of South Dakota Magazine. To order a copy or to subscribe, call (800) 456-5117.