Geology student wins contest, then inks mining deal that might pay millions – by Tom Blackwell (Financial Post – July 27, 2023)

Winning the NextGen Prospect Challenge was a big deal for Ryan Burke, but within two years he had done much better

Winning the NextGen Prospect Challenge was a big deal in itself for Ryan Burke, a young geologist just out of university in 2020. The unique Dragons’ Den-style contest — held in Toronto at the world’s largest mining conference — had students and recent graduates pitching ideas for greenfield mines to mining CEOs. The winner claimed a $17,000 prize, connections with industry insiders and the chance to further pursue their dream proposal.

But within two years, Burke had done much better. Barely launched on his career, the Whitehorse native inked a deal in 2022 with one of the sponsors of the event to develop what could be a rich deposit of gold, silver and copper he found in the Yukon mountains.

The option agreement pays Burke, 29, an upfront $150,000 and one million shares in Transition Metals Corp., currently trading for about 6.5 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange, over four years, while committing the Sudbury, Ont.-based company to spend $1 million to develop the site.

More tantalizing is what will come his way if Transition beats some fairly steep odds and one day establishes a mine at the property. Burke would receive a $1.5-million “milestone” payment when production starts and a one-per-cent royalty on what the mine extracts — potentially worth many millions of dollars.

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