The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. This article is reproduced with permission of The Northern Miner and was first posted on their website on December 16, 2010.
Fourteen years ago Shawn Ryan and Cathy Wood were tromping around British Columbia, picking wild mushrooms. They loved the lifestyle, in large part because of its gold rush-style mentality: “You’d have a thousand people in the bush and half of them would migrate, overnight, on a rumour of a sweet spot,” says Ryan.
But the couple were expecting their first child. Ryan tried to make the line of work more stable by convincing the Yukon government to endorse mushroom picking as an agricultural program, but was turned down. Devastated, he turned back to an old skill – staking mineral claims in Ontario – and he made $10,000 in a week.
“So I said to Cathy, ‘Let’s go back into exploration,'” Ryan recalls. They decided to focus on the Yukon.
Ten years later, the couple optioned a piece of ground in the Dawson Range to Underworld Resources. Two years after that, Kinross Gold swept in and bought Underworld for $138 million. The deal triggered a staking rush around the White Gold gold project that is still going strong.
Ryan and Wood are most famous for the Underworld discovery but their prospecting efforts and successes in the Yukon go far beyond one deal. Continue Reading →