In 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).