Gold Rush: Parker Schnabel And Tony Beets' Feud Explained

The Discovery Channel hit the jackpot with their shiny nugget, "Gold Rush." According to the network, it's their number-one show, with millions tuning in each week to watch mining bosses and their teams battle the elements as they go deep into the harsh badlands of the Klondike in hopes of striking it big. And it's not just the atmospheric forces that they're fighting. "Gold Rush" stars Parker Schnabel and Tony Beets have been wrestling each other for years in a longstanding feud.

Per Discovery, young upstart Parker has bullion running in his blood. He became a miner in his teens after catching gold fever while working for his grandfather, fellow prospector John Schnabel. It transpired that Parker was a natural gold digger. The 26-year-old hauled 6,000 ounces of Au in 2018, worth $7.2 million. Meanwhile, the grizzled and bearded Beets started as a farmer in his native Holland before upping sticks and moving to Canada to search for a golden treasure trove. It didn't take long for Beets to segue from milking cows to excavating minerals, and he soon became the boss of a thriving mining business.

Pop Culture reports that Parker underwent a steep learning curve under Beets' tutelage before turning the tables and giving the veteran a run for his money in the mining stakes, resulting in bad blood between the two. So, dust off your thermals and strap on your hard hat because we're joining the "Gold Rush" and digging deep into Parker Schnabel and Tony Beets' feud.

Dodgy lease beef

According to his Discovery bio, Tony Beets is renowned for his gruff manner and unreserved ribaldry. He initially appeared in "Gold Rush" during Season 2 as an advisor to miner Todd Hoffman. However, Beets became a full-time cast member in Season 4. That's when he and Parker Schnabel first crossed paths. In the beginning, the two were tight. Beets mentored the fledging prospector when he took over the reins of Big Nugget Mine. But things turned sour after Beets leased some land to his mentee.

Outsider reports that Schnabel cut a deal with Beets to mine on an airstrip he owns. He hoped to extract thousands of ounces of gold and make a tidy profit. However, he quickly learned that the royalty payments structure Beets wrote into the lease agreement meant that the harder he worked, the less he earned. Schnabel discussed the dodgy deal during Season 9 of "Gold Rush."

"The royalty rates have to change," he said. "After 6,000, we're paying 25% royalties. On 8,000 ounces, we give Tony Beets almost $2 million. And frankly, I'd go broke doing that." The year before, Schnabel had quit mining the leased land once he hit the 6,000 mark to avoid handing over all his profits to Beets. Something he didn't want to have to do again. However, after a heated exchange, their beef really began.

Sneaking and sluicing

Tony Beets refused to rework his shady lease, so Parker Schnabel was forced to find a workaround. Outsider noted that the miner got his team to switch wash plants (which house the machinery that extracts the raw gold from all the digging debris) every time they mined 1,500 ounces, then switch back. The cunning plan resulted in paying royalties on their net weight haul instead of gross. Needless to say, Beets was not happy when he discovered what Schnabel was doing.

Beets was even unhappier upon learning that Schnabel was transporting the payload from his mud hole to his Klondike claim via the leased land. "This is one small step for us, but this is one giant middle finger to Tony Beets," foreman Mitch Blaschke announced. "This is a big moment for us," Schnabel said.

However, the celebratory tone died down after Beets pulled up, switched off Schnabel's machinery, and shut down his wash plant. "All week, you have been sneaking through the yard with rock trucks, and now you're sluicing over here," a furious Beets charged. "The contract states that while you're leasing the ground from us, that's the only material you're going to sluice." Schnabel hit back by accusing Beets of being greedy. "You'll get over a million bucks this year. [All you have to do] is sit back and make money," he shot back. "That's not good enough," Beets insisted. "Then you can go f*** yourself," Schnabel concluded. And the rest is history.