Rancho Santa Fe geologist co-stars in Animal Planet reality show

By Kristina Houck

A rock collector as a child, Eric Drummond never thought he would be doing what he loved on television. Now, the longtime Rancho Santa Fe resident co-stars in Animal Planet’s “Ice Cold Gold,” a reality show that follows seven gold miners prospecting and digging in Greenland.

“I couldn’t have imagined this happening,” said Drummond, who has lived with his wife in Rancho Santa Fe for 20 years. “This is a fantastic experience!”

Moxie Pictures claims its 29-member team is the first and largest television crew to produce a series in Greenland. The country’s remote location, absence of roads, weather and 24-hour sunlight are just a few of the challenges the group faces throughout the series.

“It’s challenging. It’s very challenging,” Drummond said. “Prospecting is a very risky business, but when you find something, it’s hugely rewarding.”

The second season kicked off March 6. For season two, the group returns to the “Red Zone,” a huge ruby deposit they discovered during the first season.

“I won’t go into detail, but I guarantee that [viewers] are going to see some amazing things — not just in what we find, but the culture, the areas that we prospect, the things we look for,” Drummond said. “It’s going to be a huge adventure.”

Animal PlanetA geologist for more than 30 years, Drummond studied geology at New England College in New Hampshire. He started his career in the oil industry as a petroleum exploration geologist. He currently works as a Rancho Santa Fe-based consultant in hydrogeology, engineering geology and mining industries.

After being selected for the show, Drummond had to leave behind his wife, job, two cats and life in San Diego to film in Greenland for two months. He left it all behind for another two months this past summer to film season two.

“It’s a huge commitment,” he said. “It’s a huge sacrifice to just leave your home.

“But as a geologist, getting the chance to go to Greenland and explore and prospect is an opportunity of a lifetime. It’s something I felt was perfect for me. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Drummond said he hopes viewers, especially young viewers, watch the show and learn about geology. After all, he decided he wanted to go into the field when he was just a small child collecting rocks.

“I hope they get an appreciation for what we’re doing and what Greenland is all about,” he said. “I’d like people to see us be successful in our endeavors and prospects, but also I’d like to see young people learn a little bit about geology, maybe spark an interest in some young people and make them want to study science. That’s the real reward for me.”

Ice Cold Gold airs at 10 p.m. on Thursdays on Animal Planet.

“We’re doing this for real,” Drummond said. “We’re doing what we do. We’re not actors. We’re miners and construction workers and geologists and drillers. It’s a real situation. I’m proud of that and I think it will show well on TV.”

For more information about the show, visit