Work It, Break It, Fix It and Get Back to Work
Fred Hurt was kind enough to stop by the blog to give us an update on what the mining season has in store for the viewers and take us behind the scenes by telling us what it’s like running a gold mining operation.
Let’s get started with that headline “Work it, Break It, Fix It and Get Back to Work.” This credo came up when I asked Fred if gold mining was more instinct or preparation. Let’s just say the answer was an emphatic “preparation” – and that goes for both Porcupine Creek and Cahoon.
“Sometimes you need to get everybody on the same page. You’ve got to get a system in place and once you do you can operate like a well-oiled machine. If you’re in charge you aren’t running a popularity contest – you know, sometimes Dustin and I would butt heads but at the end of the day you’ve got to put people where they are going to do best” says Fred.
Aside from saying what’s on your mind and knowing where people will fit, I thought fans might want to know about Fred’s “well-oiled machine” and what that meant.
Fred explains “You have various elements such as an excavator, sometimes two, doing the digging. A loader takes that material to the wash plant and yet another loader removes the tailings. You get your plan together and who is doing what and then it’s all about ‘Work it, break it, fix it, and get back to work. While we process the material we are concurrently working on the required reclamation. We wash the rocks and then return them back in the hole, just less any gold. We’ve got to go from start to finish, sometimes there are curveballs but ultimately #TeamDakota gets the job done”
Now that Fred has explained a little bit more about how #TeamDakota works together we got down to the business of talking about the Glory Hole which is referred to as “The Pit” by the Porcupine crew. So we talked about the famous hole in the ground and whether it was starting to get too dangerous to mine. Fred had a roundabout way of talking about it:
“This season “The Pit” started off at its deepest level to date and had spent the winter exposed to the elements with the majority under water. There is a massive wall on one side which also acts as the levee between where we dig and Porcupine Creek. After pumping the water from “The Pit” we stabilized the jutting rocks as best as we could then built a platform for the drill at the lowest point. I took responsibility for that wall. I stood within five feet of it the whole time we drilled.”
With the business of mining out of the way I told Fred something I see all the time on the site and something he hears a lot. Many people often say, “I wish Fred were my Grandpa” “Or I feel like I know you.” On some level that makes sense to Fred:
“You see, we are filming a reality show so people get to see us as real people. At Porcupine Creek, it is the real deal. We are mining, breaking, fixing and persevering. But I tell folks who say they feel like they know me one thing. ‘They call me Dakota Fred, but I’m just Freddie.’”
And with that, like during much his time talking to me here at the Blog, he let out a hearty laugh.