Jungle Gold - The Second Season. George and Scott return to Ghana.

Article published on October, 27, 2013. Written & compiled by admin. A Discovery Communications Production.

What happened last season? George Wright lost everything in Ghana. He and his best friend Scott Lomu are back in Utah, U.S.A., and they are desperately trying to make some money. Gerorge is on the verge of losing his family house. Together, they face a combined debt of over one million US$. The best solution for both men is to raise new funds and go back to Ghana. Scott's father-in-law is willing to help them out and he invests 35,000 US$ in a new concession in Ghana called 'Fahiakobo', located in the gold rich Ashanti Belt. George and Scott are heading for Ghana once more...

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Meet the miners:

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George Wright

George Wright grew up in Northern California and has lived around the world in countries including Japan and Argentina. He now lives in Utah with his wife Marie and their three children. A fighter by profession, George has over 100 Kickboxing and MMA bouts to his name, and close to zero defeats. He also holds a black belt in martial arts. As an entrepreneur with wide ranging business interests including real estate, the U.S. real estate crash in 2008 destroyed his company and buried him in debt. With his future on the line, George made a bold decision with his friend Scott Lomu to risk it all and mine for gold in the West African jungles of Ghana, a region with vast reserves of gold-rich ground that could ensure even these rookies with aging machinery can strike it rich. George is fiercely loyal, passionate and determined to do what it takes to pay off his debts and provide for his wife and children.

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Scott Lomu

Scott Lomu was raised in Arizona and now lives in Utah with his wife Andrea and their four children. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in Political Science, Scott built up a thriving business that later fell apart during the 2008 U.S. real estate crash. Scott lost everything, but he was and remains determined to pay off his debts and provide for his family. The biggest influence in Scott's life has been his father, a Tongan who left his family and homeland in pursuit of the American dream. Tragically, Scott’s Dad died when he was 14. On first impressions, Scott seems reserved in comparison to the very outgoing George. But beneath the calm exterior is a steely determination to succeed. Once Scott and George arrived to Ghana, they learned that mining for gold would be the easy part of their journey. Armed neighbors, miles of broken roads, roadblocks manned by Ghanaian gangs and shady gold buyers are among the daily hurdles both men must face and overcome to accomplish their goals and safely escape Ghana with enough gold to secure their families' futures.

Victor Kpah

33-year-old Victor fled his homeland of Liberia during a brutal civil war, and has since used his hard won survival skills to make it in Ghana’s Gold Rush. A miner to his core, Victor is the crew foreman and right hand man to George and Scott. Victor acts as middleman, maintains the machinery, organizes security on site, and helps run the workforce. Without him the whole operation would grind to a halt. It's a tough job with long hours in extreme conditions – but he's a born optimist, a true gold miner. Like George and Scott, Victor needs the mine to succeed to support his wife and child in Kumasi. For him the stakes are just as high as the two Americans.

 

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David Thomas

David is a British ex-pat who has lived permanently in Ghana since 2008 with his Ghanaian-born wife Monica and their three children. Dave began his mining career running a thriving excavator business and now he controls the rights to over 70 square miles of prime gold bearing ground in Ghana's Ashanti region.

David is the go-to-man if you want land but he also has a wide network of contacts in Ghana's gold industry. Scott and George will need their new partner's knowledge and expertise if they are to find Jungle Gold this season.

But David has a bigger mission than just pulling nuggets from the ground. He and his family set up the Christ Revelation church in Accra and David plans to use proceeds from mining to build a future for his new church.

Would You Go To Ghana For Gold? The Pros and Cons:
Why Go To Ghana?

Seeing the challenges and risks that George and Scott face in their search for gold in Ghana, we know what you’re thinking. Why go halfway around the world to Africa to do this? First here’s a little bit of information about Ghana to help you get a picture of where they are headed, then we’ll get to the pros and cons.

Five Facts About Ghana:

The Republic of Ghana is located on the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in West Africa, and is roughly the size of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ghana is mostly deserts, savannas and wildlife; but the southern half contains great industrial mineral and fossil fuel wealth, principally gold, petroleum and natural gas
Located just above the equator, it is 74°F to 91°F and is rarely below 70°F or above 94°F.
Moving from low sandy plains along the coastline, populated with low brush and navigable primarily by canoe, moving inward one finds a tropical rain forest belt, with heavily forested hills and many streams and rivers. This is the Ashanti region and is where most of the country’s resources are found.
Formerly colonized and known as “The Gold Coast,” it declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1957 and established the nation of Ghana. It was the first African country to gain independence from colonial rule and is run as a democratic republic.

The Pros and Cons to Mining in Ghana:

The basic facts about Ghana leave no doubt it is very little like home for George and Scott, so what are the things they must weigh before heading there?

The Pros:

Ghana is the second largest producer of gold in Africa.
It’s the 10th largest gold producer in the world according to a 2012 US Geological Survey, accounting for some 89 metric tons per year.
Many prospecting there believe there is much more to be found.

The Cons:

It’s 7,080 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah to Accra, Ghana; a long way from home.
As the country profile above indicates, it is a hot, wet and varied landscape making it difficult to get around; especially with large mining equipment.
It's an expensive gamble. Buying a stake on a claim is one massive expense. Getting properly working heavy equipment is another.

The Ghanaian Government holds a 10% stake in six of the ten large scale mines currently operating in Ghana. The government is also more actively trying to regulate the rest of the mining industry there to help provide jobs for the local population and maintain their environment, as the rest of the gold operations there are much like the frantic early Gold Rush in the United States. There are undocumented, unregulated miners and claim jumpers everywhere, desperate to strike it rich often making it a dangerous environment.
So now you know the stakes for George and Scott. They believe their determination and contacts will lead them to the gold they need to provide for their families. What would you do?

Watch here the complete second season:

Episode 01 - Deal with the Devil  (password = junglegold2013)

Episode 02 - Family Emergency  (password = junglegold2013)

Episode 03 - Run & Gun  (password = junglegold2013)

Episode 04 - Bailed Out  (password = junglegold2013)

Episode 05 - Wild Ride (Special)  (password = junglegold2013)

Episode 06 - Run for the Border  (password = junglegold2013)

This completes the second season of Jungle Gold.

Filming for the second season started on March 6, 2013, with the season premiering on August 11, 2013.The return expedition to Ghana in the second season was cut short when the Ghanian Minister for Lands and Natural Resources issued an arrest warrant for George and Scott—along with the entire Discovery Channel film crew—in reaction to their exploits shown in the first season, which he perceived to depict illegal mining activity. George and Scott maintain that they have always operated in compliance with Ghanaian law but fled Ghana with the assistance of the Discovery Channel production crew rather than risking up to 5 years in a Ghanian prison awaiting trial.

 

Thanks for watching!

J.P.