Win $1 Million: Help Integra Gold Make Its Next Big Discovery

Win $1 Million: Help Integra Gold Make its Next Big DiscoveryIn a tough market, it takes patience, grit and a bit of creativity for mining companies to survive. Integra Gold (TSXV:ICG) is certainly thinking outside the box with its latest venture.

This week, the company announced that it will offer $1 million in prizes to those who help direct it to its next big gold find at its Sigma-Lamaque gold property in Val-d'Or Quebec. It's called the Integra Gold Rush Challenge, and the aim is to crowdsource the efforts of "digital prospectors" as an innovative alternative to expensive exploration work.

To be sure there's plenty of data to work with. When Integra closed the acquisition of the Sigma-Lamaque mine and mill complex in October 2014, it gained over 6 terabytes of historical mining and exploration data going back to 1933. Included in the database are over 30,000 historical drill holes, 50,000 gold assays and hundreds of kilometers of mined underground workings.

On top of that, Integra is currently in the process of verifying and digitizing additional information.

"By giving the public access to this data, Integra hopes to tap into the collective brainpower of thousands of participants and save itself years of time and resources to identify high-potential exploration targets we likely wouldn't even know exist," said Integra CEO Stephen de Jong in a statement.

This isn't the first time a company has used crowdsourcing to help it find its next deposit. According to Bloomberg, de Jong and Integra chairman George Salamis modeled the contest on a similar one held by Goldcorp (TSX:G,NYSE:GG) in 2000 — it helped that company find millions of ounces of gold.

That time around, Oxygen Capital's Mark O'Dea came in as first runner up. Oxygen Capital is the company behind Pilot Gold (TSX:PLG), True Gold Mining (OTCMKTS:RVREF) and Pure Gold Mining (TSXV:PGM).

According to Tuesday's release, online prospectors will analyze and interpret data to create an argument for where Integra could have the best chance of making a discovery. The C$1-million prize will be broken down into a number of categories, and will be awarded to "whomever comes up with what the Company and the competitions board of advisors believe is the highest probability location for a major gold discovery." Further details are forthcoming on what exactly the company will be looking for.

The data will be made public in September, and the company plans to announce the winners at next year's PDAC conference.

"By utilizing external sources this competition allows us to stay focused and disciplined on the work we are doing at our Triangle Zone and Lamaque South property, and at the same time move forward with an exciting exploration target," added de Jong. To be sure, it's an interesting concept, and it will be exciting to see what the public turns up as the challenge progresses.

Integra was recently picked by Louis James of Casey Research as a stock to follow, and is up 74 percent, to $0.34, so far in 2015. It has traded in a 52-week range of $0.14 to $0.35.


Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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