Junior mining firms turn to creativity in order to get ahead in sector – by Peter Koven (National Post – June 25, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

A pair of junior mining firms are turning to innovation to try to thrive in a rough bear market. And everyone seems to think it’s about time.

“The mining industry is really prehistoric in the way we do business,” said George Salamis, chairman of Integra Gold Corp.

Indeed. As the junior resource market collapsed over the past several years, many companies have hoarded their cash and done almost nothing to create value for investors. Predictably, stock prices have languished.

But over the last few weeks, a couple of creative ideas have been put into action in this sector. If successful, they will likely inspire more.

Vancouver-based Integra announced a “crowd-sourcing gold rush challenge” this week to try to find gold on its Sigma-Lamaque project in northwest Quebec.

Integra’s management acquired the past-producing mine out of bankruptcy last year. When they went through the old mine office, they found hard drives holding an astounding six terabytes of mining records dating back to 1933. That included data from about 30,000 old drill holes on the property.

Rather than pay consultants millions of dollars to sift through the records, Integra decided to put everything online and invite the public to study it. The company is offering a $1 million prize to whomever offers the best advice on where to make a gold discovery, with the money being raised through sponsorships.

“The whole idea was born out of the notion of using crowdsourcing to solve challenges,” Salamis said.

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