The McKinnon Creek Claim is a 350-acre 1.5-mile long claim on McKinnon Creek, 35-miles south of Dawson City. It lies 10-mi west of Scribner Creek Claim. At the beginning of season 5, the McKinnon Mine lay abandoned after the previous mining group went bankrupt. The claim is owned by CEO Peter Tallman's company, Klondike Gold. The Hoffmans investigate it to acquire a claim for season 5. They lease the claim promising to give Klondike Gold a 20% cut with a minimum royalty of 100oz. Dave Turin buys in as 50% partner on the venture for $1/2million.
Tbe site is 20-mi south of Paradise Hill claim. It lies 27-mi away from the Scribner Creek Claim, or 1.5 hr by road; or 10-mi downriver from it. The claim draws its water from Indian River, with a pipeline crossing two claims to get to this claim. At Indian River, the reservoir and pump are located on a Tony Beets claim, and required the Hoffman Crew to put up a bond to use, to cover contingencies such as oil spill cleanup. They had permission for the pipeline to cross the other remaining claim.
Todd Hoffman agrees to a contract to pay Tolman's company 100oz-minimum regardless of how much they mine, and a rate of 20% of their gold, for season 5. The claim owner allows the Hoffman Crew to use the loaders and the mining camp that were abandoned on the claim, but not the washplant. Todd Hoffman retrieves the 400 Excavator the Hoffman Crew used in season 1&2, and Little Red washplant from season 4 in Guyana. The loader they use on their claim is 26 years old.
To get adequate water, the Hoffmans end up using the previous workers' old pump on the river, 1/2-mile from the claim, pumping up the pipeline with the 50+ year old pump to the holding pond on the claim.
When the old excavator breaks down, Todd takes his first cleanout, 34-oz, and sells the gold to lease more equipment. He gets a 460 Excavator with a new bucket, and a 110 Loader, to add to their equipment of rock truck, loader, washplant.
Dave Turin buys in to the cut, and brings in $0.5million worth of leased equipment. As of the second half of the mining season, Dave is in nominal command of the claim miners.
Most of the ground's paydirt runs $4/cu-yd. The major gold is concentrated into a white channel at the bottom of the paydirt layer. As $4/yd is uneconomical to run, the Crew strips the low grade pay and dumps it as if it were overburden. The Crew needs $10/yd (8oz/yd) to run at a reasonable profit. The drill samples expect $26/yd, and they encounter $11/yd (9oz/yd) on the top of the white channel.
The bedrock at their claim undulates up and down, making it hard to extract paydirt from bedrock level. The Crew speculates that is what busted the last mining crew to mine the claim.
After running out of thawed ground, the Crew starts mining the area around the haul road, which results in the best results yet. Mining out one side of the haul road, they decide not to tear up the haul road, and instead continue on the other side of the haul road. It was too muddy to strip the alternate side haul road cut extension.
Instead they return to the mined out higher cut, where the higher cut extension was partially stripped to allow to thaw. They continue to strip the overburden from the haul road cut. After mining out the paydirt in the higher cut. They mine out the other side of the haul road, but with disappointing returns, so they go back to the higher cut, for the final bits of thawed ground.
At the end of the season, they breach their 1000-oz goal. However, claimowner Tollman says that it is insufficient to hold on to the claim. For the Hoffman Crew to get more ground in season 6, they need to find 300-oz more. To do this, they mine out the haul road itself, and end up with 1250-oz, and looking for more thawed ground for the final bit. In order to get the last 50-oz, the Hoffmans borrow a superdozer, the largest dozer in the Klondike, a D475 Dozer, for a day, to clear the swamp cut that their old dozers were too small to handle. They mine out about 100-oz in the final cleanout, for a total of about 1350-oz, more gold than all previous 4 seasons. With that they obtain 6-mi of ground for atleast 3yr of mining from Tollman.
In season 6, they open up the 12-football-field-sized Supercut, and plan to process 400,000 ft of paydirt (double of season 5)