Wednesday, September 15, 2010
From 1996 to 2004, Shawn Ryan raised a family on $10,000 per year as a gold prospector. In 2004, he made the first of a series of discoveries that turned him into a millionaire.
It's rare that you can hang a giant gold discovery on a single person, let alone a new gold rush. But Shawn Ryan is largely responsible for the massive gold rush going on in the Yukon today.
The Yukon is best known for the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s. At that time, gold was mostly found in streams and creeks. Geologically, it's gold that was removed from where it was born – in hard rocks – and washed downstream.
In other words, none of the gold in the Klondike gold rush was in its original location. For nearly 100 years, most companies wrote off the Yukon. They believed, erroneously, that the hard-rock gold was all eroded away.
Enter Shawn Ryan.
Ryan found the White Gold project, which he optioned to a $9 million Vancouver-based junior mining company called Underworld Minerals.
Earlier this year, less than two years later, Kinross Gold bought Underworld Minerals for $130 million.
The White Gold project, the subsequent buyout by Kinross, and a huge discovery by ATAC Resources kicked off another gold rush in the region.
ATAC discovered the huge gold potential at its Rau property in 2008. After extensive drilling, CEO Graham Downs believes it's a Carlin-style gold deposit – as in the giant Carlin gold trend of Nevada, one of the world's most prolific gold-producing regions. Investors recently sent shares of ATAC as high as $7.35.
I told readers of our Phase 1 investment advisory about ATAC's discovery last October, when its shares were just $0.88. We booked a healthy 542% profit on the trade. That's the kind of explosive growth that's luring both companies and investors into the Yukon.
In the early 2000s, companies spent around $6 million on exploration in the Yukon. In 2004, exploration spending exploded to just over $10 million. By 2007, companies spent nearly $140 million... a 1,300% increase in just four years.
The economic collapse hurt exploration spending in 2008 and 2009. But it's going to hit an all-time high this year.
Today, about 30 companies work in the Yukon. I recently interviewed Mike Burke, head of the mineral services division of the Yukon Geologic Survey, for our Off the Record conference call service. Mike told me there are several new discoveries, mostly due to Shawn Ryan's prospecting.
Here's a short list of companies seeking gold in the Yukon today:
I must warn you: There will be eight or 10 losers for every winner here. Speculators in these stocks must do the homework, use trailing stops, and never invest more than they can afford to lose.
But careful speculators could make another 500% or more in the Yukon.
Gold explodes to record high... hits $1,275 Tuesday morning.
Big gold miners (GDX) and junior gold miners (GDXJ) hit new all-time highs.
Silver Wheaton touches fresh 52-week high... silver price jumps 15% in just three weeks.