Jade Fever (2015–…): Season 5, Episode 13 - Jade Fever - full transcript

Claudia pulls out all the stops to try and make a big sale to jade buyers, while up at the mine Guy and Gary struggle through the first snowstorm of the season.

(intense music)

- [Narrator] In Northern
British Colombia's

Cassiar Mountains.

- [Gary] Smells like winter this morning.

- [Narrator] Two Mile
Camp is in a deep freeze.

- Everything froze up.

- That time of year.

Thermometer said minus
10, that's double digit.

Mother Nature's on our
porch, the season is coming

to an end here and we need jade now.

We want to get as much as we can out

before we have to bail.

We're being pushed and
we gotta go, go, go, go.

Get this off so we don't
get it in the face.

- It's easier just to take it off

because I'm not scraping my windows,

it'll just wreck 'em.

Oh it's off.

They're forecasting snow
by the end of the week

so that's a make or break.

If it snows lots you can't
even come up and down the hill

with the hoe.

We could keep cutting but
you're still not getting

the jade off the mountain

so we gotta get as much as
we can before it does snow.

- [Narrator] Up at Pit One
they still haven't finished

cutting up their massive 90 ton boulder.

- We're gonna continue
cutting that rock right

'til we either run out of
water or the rock's cut.

That's out whole focus for
today is that one rock.

- [Narrator] In the last week,

(rock cutting)

Guy and Gary have sliced several chunks

off the giant rock.

- [Gary] It's beautiful
so maybe we are gonna hit

that grade A million dollar rock up there

because every time we
cut a piece off of it,

it's just getting better.

- [Guy] That looks like money to me.

- [Narrator] But each cut
takes hours, sometimes days

and they're running out of time.

- We want to cut up this
90 tons so we can get out

before Mother Nature tells us we're done

so pressure's on.

We cannot move fast enough.

- There, everything's
open, go turn her on.

- [Narrator] Gary heads up to turn

on the water needed to run the wire saw.

- Oh yeah, lovely.

That's all we need.

- So go to hook up water.

- Gonna need a torch.

- [Guy] Eh?

- That valve's froze solid.

I'm gonna need a torch.

- The valve on the tank is frozen.

Okay we got no water.

Minus two, minus three,
a guy can deal with,

minus 10 whole new ballgame.

If you did not drain your
lines the night before,

you will find ice in your water lines.

Can't be in the north this high

and think you're gonna get away with it

but we always try.

We got caught.

(intense music)

(hammers hitting rock)

- Oh my God.

- [Man] This is gonna be
the million dollar rock.

- Yee haw.

- [Claudia] Jade make
people do crazy things.

- Son of a bitch, nothing.

- Okay we got no water.

- [Narrator] At Two Mile,
freezing temperatures have

brought mining to a halt.

- So our main tank has
a two inch valve on it

and it's frozen.

We can't even open it.

- She's froze solid.

- We didn't see that minus 10 coming,

the weather forecast never said so yeah,

we got caught.

- [Narrator] It could take
most of the day for the sun

to thaw the water line.

- One way or another we
gotta keep cutting this rock.

I'll go up and throw the
generator on the tank.

Every minute counts when
winter's closing in.

So the only quick solution
that we can come up with,

put the small generator
exhaust up against the valve.

Now, we'll see if it works.

- Exhaust creates heat,
heat thaws out valves.

When you're in a bush
you have to be creative.

- We'll get it thawed out,
it just a matter of time.

- It's gonna take a
little while to get going.

It's not exactly tropical this morning.

- [Narrator] Near Jade City.

- This here is the greenest,

most solid jade we've
ever minded but honestly,

it really is about if I can sell it.

- [Narrator] Claudia is
preparing for the arrival

of the first group of buyers from China.

They make the journey once a
year so it may be her only shot

to sell the Two Mile jade this season.

- It's impossible to
predict what buyers want.

Some years they're only
looking to buy jewelry quality,

some years they're willing
to buy carving quality

or even construction grade jade

so we never know what the
buyers are coming to buy.

Once the money's on the bank

then we know we've had a good year.

- Two more rocks to cut,

potentially four to polish.

- [Narrator] Josh is helping
get the Jade ready for sale.

- I'm out here today trying to
get these last few rocks cut

and ready for the buyers to come see.

We need to sell this jade
so my parents can make

a bit of money so we can
continue doing this next year.

It's definitely a moment of truth

when these potential buyers show up.

- [Narrator] Later that day,
the first visitor arrives,

Alan Qiao, Claudia's
former business partner.

- I've been quite busy doing
the wholesale jade jewelry,

the high-end jade jewelry in Vancouver,

and the whole BC and around Canada, too.

Woo, my baby.


- [Narrator] Until two
years ago, Alan and Claudia

were mining for jade together.

- This make me smile.

- Me and Alan aren't partners anymore

but for seven years we were partners.

- Thank you.

- [Claudia] Yeah we've
had a long relationship.

- (speaks in foreign language)

Yeah I miss this place, good memories.

- [Narrator] Alan is here
to help broker a sale

between Claudia and a buyer from China.

- It's really important that
we make a sale this year

for our company to continue to mine.

- You're big.

You were a little baby before.

Claudia, she has her
own company with Robin.

- How are you?

- Good, good how are you?

- Good.

- So we are separate but we
are still very good friend.

- Do you know about the buyers
or do you have any idea?

- I'm gonna call him.

- Alan has friends who want
to get into the jade industry

so he's checking this all out,
making sure it's worthwhile

for them to come.

We're ready for these
guys so bring 'em on.

We both want to make some money.

We just gotta work out who's
gonna lead the dads here.

- Where do you hide the Two Mile dig?

- So we're gonna go look now.

It's really important that
Alan gets as excited as we are

about the raw jade coming out of Two Mile.

- I guess this is the one.

- What we're looking for is jewelry grade.

That's where you get your biggest money.

- It's really nice.

The Two Mile jade is really tight.

- Yeah.

- [Robin] It's good, it's hard.

- Yeah it's no fracture.

So the jade they have
right now is good enough

for carving level.

The key things we wanna
jewelry quality jade,

thus big money.

- Carving quality, we're looking
at 25 to 50 dollars a kilo,

when we say this is jewelry
quality we're looking

at 500 to 1000 dollars a kilo.

Big difference.

So this one's the big pieces
of the Two Mile here, Alan.

Take a look at this.

This is the big one.

- So it's good for table.

Yeah if used for carving, it's good.

- [Narrator] Alan doesn't
think their jade is high enough

quality to make a sale.

- I think for carving
it's totally no problem.

- Yep.

Because Alan's buyer is
looking for jewelry quality,

we're in trouble and
it might not be a sale.

- [Narrator] But Claudia has
one more trick up her sleeve.

- Wow.

- [Narrator] She's had a three
and a half ton boulder carved

into a jade fountain.

- You can make more
money from a raw boulder

that you've carved yourself and then sell

as a finished product so
we're trying something new

this year in Jade City, go big.

- So the water going to
come up through here?

- Yep.

Comes through the mouth then comes down

and it flows into here and here.

Cool eh?

- Yeah it's really cool.

Let me tell you, the guy--

- Yeah?

- He's looking for a stone for right

in front of a huge house.

- So this one would be perfect for him.

He would have the first option to buy.

If Alan's client is interested
in the jade fountain.

This could really make our season for us.

- [Alan] Great job.

- [Claudia] I told ya you'd love it.


- [Gary] Just about thawed out.

- [Narrator] Up in the
high alpine of Two Mile,

Gary and Guy have spent all morning trying

to thaw a frozen waterline.

- Well grab up here, let's
put it up against my exhaust.

Yeah just like that.

It's not an open flame so
you're not gonna melt seals

out of the valves.

It's just a nice constant heat.

You gotta use what you got
available to do the job.

Hell yeah.

- [Narrator] They can finally
start up the wire saw.

- [Gary] Let's cut some rocks.

(upbeat music)

- We're back to cutting
jade, only it's one o'clock

in the afternoon but back to cutting jade.

So now the pressure's
on us to get as much cut

and get hauled out before that snow flies

because when it starts snowing
then our season's done.

(intense music)

- [Claudia] Alan just
look out the right side.

- Right side?

- Yep.

- [Narrator] Claudia is
taking Alan on his first trip

to Two Mile.

- On your right we'll just
go through this little knob

right here and that's our camp.

- Okay.

- We're really hoping that
Alan loves the Two Mile jade

as much as we do and
understands the potential

of the jade that we're finding there.

Brr, holy cold.

Did you bring your long johns?

- [Alan] No.

- [Narrator] She wants to show Alan

their prized 90 ton boulder to
find out if it's high enough

quality to impress his Chinese buyer.

- This could be the best
jade of this season.

That 90 ton boulder is really
important for Alan to see

and like and be able to sell for us.

- That's a big enough rock eh?

- That's huge.

- [Guy] I think one of our
best pockets is right here.

- [Alan] Yep, that's the best part.

Nice spot.

No problem for jewelry.

- Yeah.

- No black.

- Exactly.

This absolutely has sections
of jewelry grade in it.

I'm really happy with the quality.

I'm excited.

- Yeah.

Very good, very good.

- We got lots of it.

- Alan is as excited as
we are and that's perfect.

- Gary and Guy, now they keep cutting

and maybe they have good news for us.

- [Gary] So, the bad thing is
we don't have too much time

to cut it.

- (laughs) Yeah running out of time.

If the buyer is as impressed
as Alan, this 90 ton boulder

could be our season so I
really need to get some pieces

of this boulder down to Jade City.

- [Narrator] Back at camp,
Claudia lays out a new plan.

- So Alan has some guy coming
in in the next could of days

that will be interested
in buying the jade.

Gary, tomorrow morning maybe
really early we'll get you

to do a turn and burn.

The most important thing is
to get this load of jade out.

- If we get anymore snow
it's gonna be tough.

- I know.

- It's all good.

It depends right now on the weather.

- Yep.

We hear that the weather is gonna change

and we're gonna start
getting snow which instantly

makes it even more rushed

because if it snows on the road

it's gonna be extremely dangerous.

- Today it was an inch
thick of ice on everything.

This 10 below zero thing
it's just put a monkey wrench

into every single thing
that we're doing right now.

- [Narrator] As Claudia
and Robin fly Alan back

to Jade City.

- [Guy] The crunch is on.

- [Narrator] Gary and Guy
race to load up the jade.

- Claudia wants as many
rocks from the 90 ton boulder

hauled to Jade City tomorrow
so the pressure is on.

- We gotta get as much of this
90 ton out of here as we can.

Robin and Claudia need this jade to sell

and we gotta get it out
so they can sell it.

We might get some warm
weather here hopefully.

Tomorrow we're gonna
try and get another load

of jade out on six pack.

- One rock that's pretty
nice, we're tying it down

on cut edges.

Jade is hard but you don't
wanna scratch it with the chain

because there's lots of pressure on here.

That's all it takes is
for a buyer to see a crack

then they could negotiate the price.

The road's extremely rough
so hopefully we'll get

to the other end and
not have any scratches.

- [Narrator] But at 4 a.m.

- [Gary] Are you kidding?

- [Narrator] Guy and Gary
wake to a sudden snowstorm.

- It can't call out.

- [Narrator] They try to
contact Robin and Claudia

in Jade City.

- Satellite system is not working.

There's a good chance
they can't even call here.

We're gonna go for a quad run.

- [Narrator] They're
supposed to leave camp

in just a few hours.

- We're gonna go check
the road this morning.

We wanna make sure the hills
are safe for me to go down.

- Hey punch it to it.

(engine revving)

- If I can't make it
with the side by side,

we ain't making it with a
truck so last thing we need

is a wreck on the hill.

(intense music)

- This hill's full of snow.

I'm thinking it's
snowing all the way down.

Three inches of snow, not good.

With some weight on the truck,
that's a big ass toboggan

just waiting to.

She's not looking good this morning.

Six pack not goin' nowhere.

- [Gary] Son of a bitch.

(intense music)

This might be a day off in camp.

- [Narrator] A snowstorm
has shut down Two Mile.

- [Gary] I'm gonna go
make some phone calls.

- [Narrator] Derailing plans
to haul a load of rocks

to Jade City in time for
the arrival of a buyer.

- Gary and I just got back
from a little spin there

down the hill and six
pack not goin' nowhere.

- Even with the side by sides
this morning we were sliding

down the hill so this
is a thousand pounds,

that's a whole lot more than that.

- [Guy] She'd be a toboggan on ice.

- We're not putting
people's lives in danger

to take this truck down
the hill in a snowstorm.

- Something real bad will
happen if we send that truck

down the hill so now
we gotta call Claudia,

tell her not gonna happen.

(phone ringing)


- [Claudia] Hello.

- Gary and I went for a quad
ride and six pack is not goin'

nowhere today.

- [Claudia] Oh no.

What can we do?

What can we do?

- Jade is big money but you
know, you gotta draw a line

somewhere, sorry Claudia.

Nothing's going through.

- [Claudia] Oh (beep).

- Mother Nature, she's doing this with us.

She's controlling everything

and we can't do nothing about it.

- [Narrator] In Jade City,
Alan's buyer has arrived.

- Bad weather at the worst
time just ruined our ability

to sell the 90 ton boulder.

It's not sellable if
it's not in Jade City.

- (speaks in foreign language).

- Hello, how are you?

- Claudia.

- Robin, Claudia, what's his name?

- Yao like Yao Ming.

- Yao Ming?

What Yao Ming?

- You don't know Yao Ming?

- No (laughs).

- Country girl.

- [Narrator] Without the 90
ton boulder, Claudia will have

to do her best to sell
their carving quality jade.

- So, you can maybe let him
know that we've been here like

for 40 years.

- (speaks in foreign language)

- And nobody knows jade like me.

- (speaks in foreign language)

I know better too.


- Maybe while the sun is
out we should go take a look

at some jade that we want to sell you.

- Okay.

- Okay let's do that.

So I think we'll start over there first.

Let's go start here.

Even if it's not jewelry, it's carvable

and even if they don't want
to use it for carvings,

it's beautiful industrial jade
that has no fractures in it.

This is the Two Mile jade.

- (speaks in foreign language)

- I could do my whole store in this, easy.

- He said probably he
need to buy three or four

of the rocks which is good for Claudia.

Rock trucks, how many
tons can you carry out?

- [Claudia] 30.

- (speaks in foreign language)

So how much per kilo you want to sell?

- It's really tough to sell jade

because you don't quite
know what they want

and what their top dollar is
that they're willing to pay.

It depends on how much he wants to buy.

If he buys--

- No, no this rock.

- If he buys more than just
this rock then I'll give it

to him for $10 a kilo.

He's gotta buy a lot of
jade for it to be $10 a kilo

and then I'll give him a good deal

but otherwise this goes
for about $30 a kilo.

- [Alan] He's looking something bigger.

- So we have a surprise to show you guys.

- [Narrator] Claudia
saved her most impressive

piece for last.

- This is the largest jade
carving that has ever been done

here in Canada for sale.

It goes on the market in one week

so you guys will be
the first one to see it

so if you're interested in it

this is your first opportunity.

- [Alan] (speaks in foreign language)

- [Yao] (speaks in foreign language)

- [Claudia] Three and a
half tons, 7000 pounds,

beautiful huh?

So does he wanna buy it?

- (speaks in foreign language)

He's asking like how much do you want?

- Right around 200,000.

- Oh okay.

- We're not sure the exact number yet.

- (speaks in foreign language)

- If the buyer is impressed,

this could really make our season.

- [Alan] We'll bargain with you later.

- [Narrator] Mister Yao wants to wait

to do a deal over dinner.

- He want to come back and
drink Mai Tai with Claudia

and make her drunk and then
they can have a good price.

We'll see.

- Jade buyers love to bargain
so there's a lot of games

that are played.

It's like chess.

Maybe the buyer is looking
for carving grade jade

but wants me to drop the prices.

It's a tough game to play.

I love that line.

We'll be back.

- [Narrator] Morning in Jade City.

- Predictable.

- [Narrator] Claudia was
supposed to make a deal

with Mister Yao last
night but he never showed.

- Alan never knew that there was

another seller in Dease Lake.

When this gentleman went
to meet the other seller,

they just stood me and
Alan up and never came back

to finish the deal.

- (speaks in foreign language)

He was drunk last night in
Dease Lake with their friend.

- When they spent the night
with some other jade miners

I knew we were in trouble.

We'll see what happens.

Here they come.

(intense music)


- Good morning.

- Good morning, how are you?

- We will buy.

- [Narrator] Mister Yao is
finally making an offer.

Just $10.

- [Alan] (speaks in foreign language)

- [Narrator] But it's for
a trinket from the store.

Hardly the sale Claudia was hoping for.

- [Yao] (speaks in foreign language)

- No, no.

Thank you.

It feels like really starting to deflate.

It might not be a sale.

Welcome to my world.

They told Alan that they
were gonna give me an offer

on the fountain but it's a way low ball.

- [Narrator] The deal has fallen through.

- What happened was
they had a conversation

with this other guy and
probably made a deal

that eliminated me and Alan so it's fine.

It's really cut throat and
that's just the way life is.

- Everybody goes through
something like this,

all the jade miner.

You know, this happens happen
and you have to face it.

I do think that the Two
Mile stuff has a future.

The jade is very good.

There's potential money there.

- We just try and we live
with the consequences right?

Can't do nothing unless you try.

We're still here (laughs).

- Take care, huh?

Always have a hope.

- Take care.

Take care, bye, bye.

We're all really disappointed

but we move forward.

After so many years of
mining and selling jade

we're used to the ups and downs of it.

Is it difficult?


Is it disappointing?

Of course.

But that's not what defines us.

That boulder, that 90 ton
boulder that's already so nice

on the surface, who
knows what's below that.

The hope is that it only
gets better and better

the deeper we go.

That's the hunt and the fever
is what will keep us going.

- [Narrator] Next time on Jade Fever.

- It's big, huh?

I have to prove to my
dad that I'm as good.

- Things are a little crispy this morning.

We no like snow.

The cold slows you right down.

It slows you right down and
eventually it will stop you.

We're behind the eight ball right now.

It's a battle.

- I've never seen this road this bad.

It's to the point where
somebody will get hurt.

- I'm not willing to put a
person's life on the line

for that jade.

The warnings are there.

When it's time to go, go.