I visited gold projects in Nevada this week for Mining Journal, driving back and forth along I-80 in 95-degree heat and stunning scenary. Nevada is gold country. The amount of gold historically produced here and still produced is incredible. We are talking hundreds of millions of ounces. And this week I had the privilege of seeing some of the junior explorers (Newrange Gold, NuLegacy Gold, US Gold) looking to find more ounces to add to that legacy and also Barrick Gold, one of the majors that is ubiquitous with Nevada gold. (Many thanks to the multiple people that came together to make this trip possible.)
Gold endowment aside, one of the things that makes Nevada stand out as a beacon for mining investment is supportive government policy. Explorers in Nevada complain that drilling permits take so long to get, but we’re talking weeks not months or years that it can take in Colombia.
Newrange was formerly called Colombian Mines and I spent a day with Robert Carrington who explored for many years in Colombia, and hearing him talk about the contrasts and differences of doing business in both jurisdictions was wonderful.
Exploration is all about the future, but I also spent the day at Barrick’s innovation centre in Elko to get a glimpse of what the future of mining will be and how it is looking at harnessing digital technology and innovation to improve performance and efficiency, reduce costs and increase cash generation. One take-away from this is that to a certain extent it may not be so important that massive high-grade deposits are not being discovered anymore because digital technology and innovation will move the bar on the cost curve and facilitate the exploitation of deposits that are currently too low grade, or that have technical challenges.
CGS2017 keeps on getting better and better. Silvana Habib, president of the National Mining Agency confirmed that she will give an update about what the agency is doing. We will also have a leading hydrologist, Patrick Williamson of Intera talking about responsible water management for mining and strategies for water management and communities. This is one of the many presentations that will be worth the ticket price on its own. Tickets are starting to sell and numbers are limited so don’t miss out.
I am off to Seattle for the weekend to hunker down and catch up with writing all the articles for MJ, and hopefully visit the Museum of Pop Culture. Seattle was the home of grunge. There was a solar eclipse this week, so take it away Chris. That was a blast so here is another.