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TORONTO (April 21, 2014) – Todd Ryznar and his ramshackle crew at Shotgun Exploration are looking to strike it rich in the gold-laden hills of Northern Ontario and retiring in style. The only problem for this start-up DIY mining company? They don’t know what they’re doing! Premiering Tuesday, May 13 with back-to-back episodes at 8 and 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery, FOOL’S GOLD follows modern-day prospector Ryznar and his ragtag gang of would-be miners in their search for gold. But first, they’ll have to figure out what to do and how to do it – after all, their search for gold won’t be easy when the main equipment is made from a rusty bed frame and a an assortment of old washing machine parts! Commissioned by Discovery Canada and produced by Toronto’s 11 Television Canada, the humorous eight-part series joins the beleaguered Ryznar and his rookie crew – at the mine and on the town, through bug-infested days, frigid nights, and beer-fuelled weekends – as they make a hilariously haphazard foray into the world of the professional gold digger. Armed with backwoods ingenuity, perseverance, stubbornness – and little else – will their beginner’s luck be rewarded, or will their hopes be dashed?
With a little luck and a lot of laughs, FOOL’S GOLD premieres May 13 on Discovery
A real estate speculator-turned-gold prospector, Ryznar purchased the Straw Lake Beach Mine near Fort Frances, Ontario in 2005. After years of failed attempts of finding gold on his own, Ryznar has convinced a hastily-assembled group of his friends to spend eight weeks in the Ontario wilderness in a single-minded search for their share of Northern Ontario’s surprisingly plentiful gold deposits. Much of the action takes place at the mine north of town, which was a fully-functional mine prior to the Second World War that produced more than 11,000 ounces of gold – worth $15 million in today’s market. Ryznar’s angle is that the processes used to extract gold in the 1930s were glaringly inefficient compared to today’s standards. He’s hoping that a multi-million dollar mother lode was missed – and with contemporary geologists estimating that there is another 11,000 ounces of gold still available at the mine – Ryznar’s crew might be in for a huge payday… if they can just figure out how to get to it!
Highlights from the premiere episodes of FOOL’S GOLD include:
FOOL’S GOLD: “A Miner Setback”
Tues., May 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Striking it rich is at the forefront of everyone’s minds as Ryznar’s crew arrives at the mine. But jubilation turns to heartache when they realize that none of them have any prospecting experience – and that the comfy camp that Ryznar promised is actually a dilapidated, mouse-infested wasteland unfit for human habitation. As they ready the site for a full-blown gold operation, the team deals with epic storms, heated arguments…and an epic contest to determine the indoor/outdoor sleeping arrangements. If this group expects to hit pay dirt, they’re going to have to get on the same page quickly.
FOOL’S GOLD: “What’s Gold is New Again”
Tues., May 13 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
After finding what appears to be a large nugget of gold, Ryznar and Raj head into the town of Fort Frances to consult with former government geologist and gold prospecting expert, Alan Raoul. While Raoul reveals that they haven’t found the mother lode, the sample they have collected does show promise that they are on the right track and he encourages Ryznar to focus on pulling gold out of the tailings – the waste rock from the former mine – as an economical way of pulling large amounts of gold off of the property. Ryznar pushes things into high gear, revealing “the money maker” to his crew – a trommel that is used to separate gold from the dirt around it. The problem is that Ryznar designed the trommel himself, and made it out of a sewer pipe, chicken wire, lawnmower wheels, and an old bedframe – which is not quite the cutting-edge equipment that the crew expected. Ryznar puts an end to the partying and focuses on getting the trommel up and running – but when the motor dies and they can’t afford a new one, the team finds a unique way to get it powered up again…using a dirt bike.
Viewer engagement extends through mobile via the Discovery App and at Discovery.ca, where they’ll find extensive image galleries, video extras, series and episode descriptions, and humorous bios of the FOOL’S GOLD mining crew. In addition, on Discovery’s Twitter platform, viewers can use the hashtag #FoolsGold to join the conversation.
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