Exploration Hub

Evrim's Beginnings: Data, Rio Tinto and the Goldcorp Challenge

May 12, 2020


Picture this: It’s the 1990s, and we are well into the Information Age. The Hubble Telescope has been launched, the World Wide Web made its grand debut as a public internet service. Microsoft released Windows 3.1, and grunge music was still cool. 

In the midst of it all, a company called Kennecott was busy completing a database they had started the decade before. Its goal was clear: to assemble a database of samples gathered over 50 years*, over a large part of western North America including Canada, United States, and Mexico. The data was made up of rock chip samples, soil data and geophysical studies.

Fool’s gold? Quite the contrary

New Year’s came, Y2K didn’t, and so we enter the year 2000. Goldcorp Inc. issues a global challenge, asking researchers to find gold in an old mine in Ontario. The prize money was $105K. Even more interestingly, Goldcorp released 50 years’ worth of data related to all the mineral exploration they had done in the area to help participants build their theories on real information.

Intrigued, Nicholas Archibald from Australia decided to take it one step further – he took the data and adopted it to the Australian landscape. Using the gold mine (pardon the pun) of information, Nicholas and his team manipulated the data in a variety of ways to create 3D models of underground rock structures, and highlighted the areas they thought Goldcorp would find more gold.

Winning the challenge, Nick and his group formed a company called Geoinformatics. While the prize money was a nice bonus, the real takeaway from the competition was the instant recognition they had gained in the industry.

A rock-solid partnership

Bolstered by their success, Geoinformatics reached out to Rio Tinto (who had acquired Kennecott by this time) and made a deal. They wanted to take various data sets, stitch it together with Kennecott’s database to create a data package that could be utilized in a very unique way.

The idea took older exploration approaches and apply them to new and innovative models. The catalyst? An algorithm (called MOCA) that took the existing data and generated a new series of projects and ideas ranging from Alaska to Mexico.

Unfortunately, the financial crisis of 2008 hit, and the Geoinformatics/Rio Tinto partnership came to an end.

Evrim is formed

This where we come in.

In 2009, a company called Kiska Metals acquired Geoinformatics.  Kiska’s interests were on the northern part of the analysis completed by Geoinformatics that includes Alaska and Canada.  The ‘gem’ from that data package included the Whistler gold-copper deposit that Kiska developed before being sold to another group.

Kiska also had considerable information in Mexico, which was not a key focus, so they ended up selling it to Evrim in 2010.

Evrim’s first nine exploration projects (including the Ermitaño property) were identified from that data analysis. Gold was discovered at Ermitaño in 2016 by exploration partner First Majestic Silver Corp, and now production is planned for early 2021.  Evrim retains a 2% net smelter royalty interest, which means that Evrim will generate revenue – rare and very important milestone for an exploration company.

Evrim can trace its beginnings all the way from Kiska Metals, to Geoinformatics, all the way back to Kennecott. That is 30 years of evolution of a database.



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