Jade Fever (2015–…): Season 1, Episode 8 - Jade Fever - full transcript

Everyone gets excited as they finally start digging up promising green boulders that the crew thinks are worth millions.

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(wind whooshing)
(intense music)

(metal clanking)

- I'm Claudia Bunce.

I love jade.

- [Man] (cheering) Tubes of jade!

- [Claudia] Up here near
the Yukon in Jade City,

we've got the world's richest
deposits of nephrite jade,

and the Chinese want it.


- This is going to be
the million dollar rock.

- [Claudia] Now we just have to find it.

(cheering) Go!

I will dig 'til my hands bleed.

(air whooshing)

(air whooshing)

(air whooshing)

Jade makes people do crazy things.


(country music)

- This rock right here.

- [Narrator] Halfway through
the 100 day jade mining season,

and the Jade City crew
is finally seeing green

at one of their claims.

- This one's a good one.

- [Narrator] Placer mining at Wolverine,

digging up jade boulders from the surface,

is already showing better returns

than the crew's Hard Rock Drill Program

at their dynasty claim.

- Everywhere in the ground around here

there's jade boulders everywhere.

This little one here looks good.

Another one right there,
and that one right there,

that is (bleep) nice.

- And there's quite a few
others all the way down.

- Geez, every third or fourth
rock, it looks promising.

- We're finally here and we see jade,

and it's stuff that we think we can sell,

and it's unbelievable, absolutely.

- The sun is shining. (laughing)

- Well, you think we made money today?

- Yeah, there's a few bucks right there,

I'm pretty sure.

- We're officially mining, yep!

- [Narrator] There are
lots of promising boulders,

so they hired another operator, Roger.

- First dollar!

- [Narrator] He starts
loading up their best rocks

to be hauled back to Jade
City for future sale.

- [Roger] This is going to
be the million dollar rock.

- That's right, this is going
to be the million dollar rock,

in the words of Mr. Rogers
up there in the excavator.

When you get in here,
I'm going to twist it

as you set it down.

- [Roger] First load.

- You're way too far over
here, you got to go this way.


Done, done, put it down, done.

Perfect, right over my tires.

- He's more excited than I am. (laughing)

- First jade that's ever
come off of this mine site

since we've been mining
it is about to leave.

I'm completely responsible
for this loaded jade

that could be worth up
to a million dollars.

Keep going, you're good.

Bring it right down.

I'm so stoked, it's been so
many years that we've been

speculating about how nice it would be

to bring out some high-quality jade.

It's like holy (bleep) it's in the back

of the truck right now.

- Coffee break!


- Everybody's really thrilled about

all the jade that we're finding.

Everybody's really happy,
this is a great area.

We're going to make a fortune here.

(air whooshing)

- [Narrator] Last spring.

- [Claudia] Oh, God, I sure don't want

to have that sea cucumber soup.

- [Narrator] Claudia, Robin, and Alan

trek to China to sign
up wealthy new investors

for their Wolverine venture.

- On behalf on me and Robin
and our family business,

to many years of success.

Cheers. (speaking foreign language)

(air whooshing)

- [Narrator] But no one thought those

new investors would show up in person.

(helicopter whirring)

- Yeah, he's going to come and land.

It could be anybody, it could be hunters,

we do not know at all who is in it.

You can't tell from the
ground, and if you don't have

communication on who's coming
out, you don't really know.

- Wow, that's (bleep) interesting.

Why have these guys just spent

all this money on this
helicopter to land in our camp,

and not let us know that
they're coming here?

It's a little weird.

Holy (bleep) here we go.

- [Robin] They can't just show up and say,

"Okay, we're here."

We have no place for them to sleep.

- Hello.
- Hello.

- [Narrator] The new investors
want to see first hand

what they're backing,

and ensure that they
know about any big finds.

- [Josh] So here we are.

Is the pilot standing by for
you guys, or what's he doing?

- He's waiting.

- [Josh] Yeah, he's waiting, okay.

(speaking foreign language)

- How long does it take to take it out?

- It would've been here not even a week.

- This is not, this is
one day, two days maybe.

- So far, you didn't dig into the bedrock?

- No, no.

- You think the bedrock, how deep?

- Oh, we can't speculate, don't know yet,

we'll know when we hit it.

- [Narrator] The new faces

are already presenting issues for Robin.

- [Josh] Other side.

- [Robin] Don't chip that, don't, don't--

- Like this.
- This here, don't chip this.

Tell him don't hit that,

he can lose a quarter of the cost,

he can lose a quarter of
the cost for this rock.

- [Man] Their jobs look horrible.

- [Josh] Oh, he's pissed, he's pissed.

- [Robin] It's like they're
trying to push a point to

that they have control of
whatever they want to do,

and there's nothing you can do about it.

- [Claudia] Everybody has
their own ulterior motive,

and so we don't trust anybody.

- [Josh] We go over by
the fire, out of the rain.

- [Narrator] The surprise visit
is interrupted by a storm.

(speaking foreign language)

- [Robin] He said it's raining
in Chinese, that's for sure.


- It's (bleep) up.

- [Robin] It's socking
in heavy over there.

They gotta get going
or they won't make it.


- Rain brings fortune.
- Does it?

- Yeah, so thanks for the fortune.

- The fortune's leaving now.


(helicopter whirring)

- [Narrator] With more new
bosses overseeing things,

life at Wolverine is
going to get interesting.

- [Robin] Yeah, this is not fun anymore.

(air whooshing)

(tense music)

- [Narrator] New overseas
investors dropped in unannounced

to inspect the Wolverine Mine site

and ruffled some feathers.

So Alan brings everyone together
for a face-to-face meeting.

- First of all, I want you to understand

that my family has done this for 40 years.

So, I need you to understand
that we know what we're doing,

and your opinion, very
likely, will be valuable,

but please understand that
we know what we're doing.

- Yes.

- There's only about
20 people in Jade City.

You know, they're hard
to trust each other.

As long as they trust each
other, they become a family.

- And that we all want
the exact same thing,

and that is the find the most
amount of jade as possible

in such a short time.

- [Narrator] The new investors want to see

what's in the hard rock
underground at Wolverine.

So far, Robin's crew has placer mined,

looking for boulders on the surface.

- [Alan] So this whole area is quite big.

- Yeah, I can rip it right into bedrock.

- Oh, okay.

So we are decide to work
together from this year.

(speaking foreign language))

- [Narrator] Alan and
Claudia agree to change tack

and switch to hard rock mining.

- It's not mine and Robin's
choice of what we would ever do,

but this is what the Chinese want to do.

I hope it works out for the best.

(air whooshing)
(birds chirping)

- [Josh] He's pissed at me,
scare tactic, fire it at me.

I'm bigger than you, bird.

- [Narrator] At Wolverine,
Josh wants to haul out

the season's first potential jade boulders

in the rock truck, but mother
nature has other plans.

- There's a little
birdie nest right there.

They're going to dive bomb me here.

I don't need these birds
(bleep) on my (bleep).

Bird, have some common sense.

There's places for bird's
nests and places for not.

Now maybe they'll get the message

and not come put bird's
nests in pieces of equipment.

Oh, man, that's brutal.

There's eggs in there.


Maybe they'll follow me.

I want to put it in that tree right there,

they can't see me.

If they don't see where I take this,

I may as well (bleep)
throw it in the grass.

You're going to be
pissed when you see this,

but I have your eggs right here.


See that? It's gone.

He sees it's not there now,
they know it's not in there.

Right here, it's right
here, do you see that?

It's gone.

Come here!

It's not a bad spot for a nest, eh?

In a tree.
(birds chirping)

(engine revving)
- [Narrator] While Josh hauls

the first load of boulders
back to the trail head,

the Wolverine crew is trying
something different today.

Their new investors want
them to dig deep trenches

to look for hard rock jade.

- Here comes the rock man.

There it is, look at that, Alan.


- Lucky penny.

- [Roger] Your real
estate is paying you back.

- That's from God, thank you.

- Thank you, Roger!

- [Alan] Let's see how deep inside.

(speaking foreign language)

- Yeah, keep digging.

Cut this corner, go, get
out, cut this corner.

- Okay.
- Okay.

- [Narrator] Traditionally,
miners in the jade fields

around Wolverine have placer mined.

- [Claudia] You're just moving the moss

and the basic rocks on the very top,

and you're just skimming everything.

But because of these investors,

we have to go as deep as we can.

So, we're going 18, 20 feet.

As deep as the excavator
will allow us to go.

- [Narrator] Digging trenches is a gamble

that could cost the Jade
City crew time and money.

- Probably can back up
a little bit, too close.

- [Narrator] After digging two trenches,

Roger hits a major snag.

Rock hard clay.

- [Roger] You have no
idea how hard that is.

Just to give you an idea, Alan,

pick up a piece of that
mud right there, anywhere.

You cannot break this with your hands.

I spent quite a while
digging this and I thought,

"You know what?

I, I, you can't go any deeper."

You only want to go any
deeper if there's jade

that you know for sure is there.

- We saw the jade on the top, right?

- Yes.
- And it was very easy

to take it out, but
from this level to here

seems like nothing.

- [Narrator] The deeper they
go, the fewer signs of jade.

- By digging deeper
trenches, we're wasting time.

Our deal is to make ten
trenches, ten deep trenches.

It's a big waste of time for us.

- They wanted me to go
down another four meters,

but I can't, once you hit the heart pen,

you can't even budge the dirt no more.

- Solid clay.
- Yeah, and that's

where I thought, "Somebody
has to make a decision."

Do you really want this machine
digging in this hard stuff

or not, you know?
- Yeah.

On that particular site,

the jade is staying
around three feet deep.

If there's no jade there,

it's no sense digging the holes that deep.

- The jade is not there,
it's all along the top.

(air whooshing)

(gentle rock music)

(engine roaring)

- [Narrator] At the
trail head to Wolverine,

(horn blaring)

the first load of placer
boulders has arrived.

- Good to go, safe and
sound, easy peasy, all good.

- Lift it up.

- [Narrator] And Robin
has traveled back out

to meet Josh for this landmark moment.


- Good.

- [Narrator] But when they turn around,

they see what another crew
has brought out from a claim

just fifteen kilometers away
from the Wolverine site.

- Holy.

That there is a jade boulder.

That thing is heavy.

- That's the dream, bro.

That thing is worth millions of dollars,

and that is what we are looking for.

- [Narrator] The massive boulder belongs

to an old family friend, Tony Ritter.

- Something might (bleep) break
or snap here or something.

It's looking like it's working hard.

- [Alan] The crane is all--
- [Josh] Yeah, the crane

can't do it, it's too heavy for
the, he's trying again here.


- [Robin] It's lifting the back
of the crane off the ground.

- [Josh] No, he can't, he can't do it.

It's too heavy.

- The crane isn't big enough.
- Yeah.

Oh, they're just going to drag it off.

(truck beeping)

Good, go up, yeah, and
come this way a bit.

- [Robin] Perfect!

Just watch it doesn't fall through.

- Yeah, hold on, yeah, watch
it doesn't fall through.

- Perfect, okay.

Well, that's good that
we finally got some out,

but we want one like that.

- [Narrator] The Jade City crew's boulders

may not measure up to what
their competition is finding,

but it does tell them there's
huge potential in this area.

(truck horn)

(air whooshing)
(birds chirping)

- I think it's going to be
bacon and eggs this morning.

That's what you do when
you got no toaster,

make your toast right on the burner.

See? Perfect.

There, perfect breakfast.

Nothing but class, and it's all local.

(engine revving)

- [Narrator] At Wolverine,
the new investors' push

to hard rock mine has
come up with nothing.

- I go deeper and that costs
more, and it takes longer.

It's not an option.

But this year you have to go
through everything quickly.

Try to find out more jade.

(deep exhale)

- [Narrator] So they've
called off the trenching.

Today they have bigger concerns.

Jade buyers from Taiwan have
been scouting the region

for new jade, and they've made
an appointment with Claudia

to come shopping at Wolverine.

- Oh, just grab it with the thumb.


No good.

Hey, dad!
- [Robin] What?

- This jade rock that you like--

- Broke.

- Yeah, he had it up with the thumb

and he went to touch
it and it just (snorts)

- Garbage.

- In British Columbia alone,
there's like 23 different

defined green stones,
only one of them is jade.

- I mean, it looks so perfect.

- That's not it, right?

But it's garbage, it's serpentine.

So we've got to watch that too.

(helicopter whirring)

- [Narrator] It's the moment of truth.

Claudia flies in with the overseas buyers.

- Hi.
- Hey.


- They're from Taiwan, they've
been in the industry forever.

- They own a couple of
factories that carve jade.

(speaking foreign language)

- Nice to meet you.

(speaking foreign language)

- [Narrator] The buyers toured
Jade City earlier in the day.

They inspected the first
haul of low-grade jade rocks

that Josh drove out from Wolverine.

Now, Claudia is eager to hear

what they think of the
rocks found at the site.

- [Claudia] Nobody is
mining quite that far out

in that area, but
obviously it's worthwhile

because look at all
the jade we're finding.

- [Robin] What is this rock here?

- Stone.

- Just green stone, not even serpentine?

- Yeah, stone.

It's not imitate.

- This is serpentine.
- Serpentine.

- Why don't you take them up
to the one on the road here.

- Okay.

All we need is one boulder a year, Henry.

- I know, it'll be a million bucks.

- What about that one?


- Serpentine.

(speaking foreign language)

- Looks like jade, but it's not jade.

- [Claudia] A different make up.

- This is not jade.

- It's just a rock.

- Where I've seen that green rock.


- So far it's all serpentine.

All of it, either serpentine or stone.

There's no sign of jade.

- [Claudia] So not even
one glimmer of hope?

- No.
- Nothing?

- Not jade.
- Not even the lowest grade?

- Serpentine.
- Yeah, serpentine.

- [Narrator] Jade is formed

when serpentine rock is compressed.

Serpentine is a precursor to jade,

and can indicate there's jade nearby.

But on its own, it's worthless.

- No sellable jade, zero.

- We'll (bleep) walk up to
one on the creek and see.

- They're one of the largest jade buyers

that come to North America.

So if they say it's not
sellable, it's not sellable.

- [Claudia] It's a blow, it's depressing.

(air whooshing)

(gentle country music)

- So far it's all serpentine.

All of it, there's no sign of jade.

- [Claudia] So not even
one glimmer of hope?

- [Narrator] At Claudia
and Alan's Wolverine claim,

expert buyers from Taiwan
have just dropped a bombshell.

- Fool's jade, it's not jade at all.

- He said it's too much serpentine inside.

- And not one piece of jade yet.

- I'm saying there's none
of it worth taking out,

there's nothing here.

- [Claudia] Over halfway through
the season and we got junk.

- You need to organize
a little bit more here.

- [Narrator] The buyers urge
them to abandon the trenches

and go back to placer mining.

- Just do on surfaces first.

See, is there any jade there or not.

- Yeah, it's actually quite simple.

Take all this dirt,
put it back in the hole

because it's way too deep
anyways, and start right there,

and, pop, pop, pop, pop, and work up.

- Just swing on it.

- Yes.
- If you hit something,

bring it up, put it on the side.

- Just like that.

- Thank you very much.

- You're welcome.

(helicopter whirring)

- I should've known it
wouldn't be that easy.

We got a little excited a
little too fast, I think.

(muffled conversation)
(air whooshing)

- [Narrator] Later that
day, Claudia and Robin

head to a neighboring
claim to ask for advice.

- How are you doing?
- I'm good, how are you?

- You guys finally made it over.


- [Narrator] They visit Tony Ritter,

one of the top jade miners.

The giant boulder Robin and Josh saw

at the trail head came from his mine.

- Tony is the best in the
industry, he did it honestly

and Tony is at the top
of this game right now.

- He knows what to look for

when you're looking for the jade.

- (laughing) What real jade looks like.

- You see it's a little stained here?

- I don't want to creep you out.

- Here not so much.

And so that's why we just
polished a little bit of it here,

just to take the staining off.

- Well this is gorgeous,
it's a piece of art already.

- Yeah.

These are rocks that are selected,

will be hauled to the sale.

- [Claudia] She's pretty.

- That's a nice looking rock.

- [Tony] Yeah, it is a spectacular rock.

- [Claudia] So these are the ones

that are going to Vancouver?
- Yeah.

- Yeah, that's a beauty.

- [Narrator] But even veterans like Tony

pull out lots of serpentinite.

- So that's one will go to the waste pile.

- That'll go in the waste?
- Yep.

- That's some of our best.

Well, look at that. (laughing)

I think we'd be happy
with that rock. (laughing)

- Well I got thousands of
tons of that if you want that.

- So how many tons do you think

you'll put in the market this year?

You roughly do a couple hundred
ton every year, do you not?

- Yeah, easily.

And especially now that
the market is changing,

there's rocks that ten
years ago didn't have--

- You couldn't even give it away,

and now you can sell it.
- That's right,

now it's got significant value

because we've got one stone
this year, 20 ton boulder.

- I heard.

- That is like the find of a lifetime.

- Is that the one that
went out on the skit?

- Yeah.
(air whooshing)

- Holy, that there is a jade boulder.

- [Narrator] If this is grade A jade,

the boulder could be worth
more than 5 million dollars.

(air whooshing)
- It is spectacular.

- It's been a rough go. (laughs)

It's been a rough go.

- You know when you guys
started there this spring,

it was just a piece of ground

with some shrubs and
trees on it, you know?

Now, at least you've
got some equipment in.

So you're developing that
infrastructure, right?

- Yeah.
- That's right.

- If you get even just one stone

of good, saleable material,

that means that there should be more.

- More in the area, that's right.

- Yeah.

- Me and Robin felt a lot
better going and visiting Tony.

(laughing) We're jade hunters,
we're not slowing down,

we're not walking away from it.

Let's go.
- Okay.

(helicopter whirring)

- [Claudia] We're here,
we're here to stay.

This is a small setback,
not the end of us.

(air whooshing)

- [Narrator] Next time on Jade Fever.

- Hey! Hey!

You got no water!

(machine clanging)


- (bleep)

- No good.
(car honking)

- They got no bedding,
they got no nothing.

They just showed up.

- Mate, you've got to
call and let us know.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

You guys just want to prove a point,

smash the gas pedal down and
get out here, good for you.

- Situation normal, all (bleep) up.


(air whooshing)