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Integra hopes $1 million in prizes will spark online gold rush

by Greg Klein | June 23, 2015

Call it innovation or gimmickry, Integra Gold TSXV:ICG wants you to join its exploration program. With a slick ad campaign launched June 23, the company vowed to open an online geological database to the public, who could then compete for a total of $1 million in prizes. The task? To find substantially more gold at the past-producing Sigma and Lamaque mines in Quebec’s Abitibi region.

It’s not necessarily a job for geologists. Anyone may enter. But this is just the build-up. The contest doesn’t begin until September.

The digitized files consist of six terabytes containing 75 years of mining and exploration data. The archives came with Integra’s acquisition last year of Sigma/Lamaque, adjacent to the company’s Lamaque South project. Integra put geeks to work reformatting the material and completing a preliminary 3D model. Phase II compilation will take another two to three months, while the third phase should wrap up by year-end, the company stated.

Contestants could then work through 30,000 historic drill holes, over 500,000 assays, hundreds of kilometres of underground workings, individual mined stope data and mining statistics, geological sections, level plans and photos, “making this database one of the largest in the industry,” Integra boasted.

Between 1935 and 1985 Lamaque produced 4.58 million gold ounces. Sigma operated from 1937 to 1997, churning out 4.45 million ounces. Grades averaged 5.9 and 5.8 grams per tonne respectively.

Details on the types of submissions the company wants will be announced this summer. The database goes public in September.

Prizes totalling $1 million will be awarded in a number of categories to those who find “what the company and the competition’s board of advisors believe is the highest-probability location for a major gold discovery,” the announcement stated. “Integra has already made significant headway in raising the award money through sponsorships.” Winners will be named at PDAC in March.

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