Team SGS Geostat Wins the Integra Gold Rush Challenge

BY MAUREEN MURTHA | 4 min read

For the full press release, see this MarketWired link.

 Integra Gold Corp. is thrilled to announce that SGS Geostat team from Québec was awarded first place in the Gold Rush Challenge last night in front of a crowd of 400 at the Gold Rush Challenge Live Finale at the Carlu in Toronto. The SGS Geostat team beat out 4 other finalists and emerged as the winner with their submission that utilized a combination of machine learning and traditional geological methods to produce targets across the Company's Lamaque project in Val-d'Or, Québec. SGS Geostat used sophisticated geostatistical methods to drive data into an expansive and unbiased block model. A prospectivity scoring system harnessed both geological knowledge and machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence, to identify high-value targets, which were then vetted through Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift technology.

The proposal impressed both the technical judges and the Industry Titans that evaluated their presentation in a "shark tank" live finale. As the winner, SGS Geostat was awarded C$500,000.

"The Gold Rush Challenge has given Integra a platform to call on governments, mining companies and mining financiers to get off the sidelines and get into the game. We are challenging traditional thinking and breaking new ground, embracing disruptive technology that is critical to the mining sector," commented Executive Chairman George Salamis. "The proposal from SGS Geostat represents the disruptive innovation we saw in the Gold Rush Challenge. We saw the tech sector and the mining sector collide and unravel the great mystery of discovery. SGS Geostat beat the odds, advancing out of the semi-final round and impressing the industry titans with their embrace of machine learning and virtual reality while also emphasizing the importance of tradition, data-driven geology."

"The Gold Rush Challenge exceeded our expectations on every front. It has proven our steadfast commitment to always challenge ourselves to think outside the box to create value for our shareholders," stated Integra President and CEO, Stephen de Jong. "A number of the exploration drill targets identified through the Challenge are like nothing we've ever seen before. We have decided to expedite the drill program and start testing a number of these targets in the immediate future. We thank every one of the participants for stepping up to the Challenge and helping us make it such a great success. Stay tuned for news on the Gold Rush Challenge Program as we continue to work towards making Val-d'Or's next big gold discovery."

The SGS Geostat team hails from Québec and includes the following members:

Guy Desharnais, Jean-Philippe Paiement, Doug Hatfield, Nicolas Babin, Claude Bisaillon, Yann Camus, Maxime Dupéré, Matthew Halliday, Amanda Landriault, Lyne Maître, Patrick Perez, and Nicolas Poupart.

"We are enormously grateful to Integra Gold and their sponsors for organizing this event. As a team of geologists, engineers, and computer scientists often bound by certain limitations and boundaries, we relished in the opportunity to channel our collective creativity and curiosity to provide new exploration targets in a historic and famous mining jurisdiction known worldwide," noted Guy Desharnais, team captain of SGS Geostat.

Prizes were awarded to the remaining finalists in the order below:

Second Place, C$150,000: The Data Miners

Third Place, C$80,000: The Goldcrushers

Fourth Place, C$50,000: Paul Pearson

Fifth Place, C$50,000: GoldRX

Team GoldRX, Craig Hart and Sara Jenkins, won the audience choice award. This C$10,000 award was provided by members of the syndicate from Integra's February 2016 financing. The syndicate members also made a matching C$10,000 donation to the local Val-d'Or charities.

"These top 5 finalists showed exemplary talent, tabling some highly innovative and groundbreaking ideas for the next big gold discoveries at Sigma-Lamaque and beyond. We salute these teams for their phenomenal efforts," commented Steve deJong, CEO and President of Integra Gold. 

Integra was impressed to see the winning teams from Québec, Canada and across the World. Integra thanks Luc Blanchette, Québec Minister for Mines, Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, and Minister responsible for the Nord-du-Québec region for attending the event and giving remarks on behalf of the Government of Québec.

Deciding the fate of the five finalists were industry titans Brent Cook, economic geologist and BNN commentator; Chantal Gosselin, director of Silver Wheaton Corp., mining engineer, former resource fund Manager and Val-d'Or local; Rob McEwen, founder of Goldcorp Inc. and McEwen Mining Inc.; Sean Roosen, Chairman & CEO of Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd.; and Randy Smallwood, CEO of Silver Wheaton Corp. Each finalists had 7 minutes to pitch and defend their idea on how to make the next major gold discovery in Val-d'Or, Québec.

"The torch has been passed," noted Mining Titan Rob McEwen. "In 2001 the Goldcorp Challenge ignited the careers for the top 3 finishers, and I know that SGS Geostat will reap the benefits of winning the Gold Rush Challenge. Mark my words, this is not the last time we hear from the SGS Geostat team. I was fortunate to be part of the Gold Rush Challenge and I look forward to what Steve de Jong and his team at Integra Gold have planned next."

Proceeds from the evening will go to a variety of Val-d'Or based charities.

Top image: Team SGS Geostat Awarded $500,000 grand prize by Integra Gold and Industry Titans at the Integra Gold Rush Challenge Finale L-to-R back row: Steve de Jong, President & CEO, Integra Gold; Luc Blanchette, Quebec Minister for Mines; Brent Cook, Gold Rush Titan; Sean Roosen, Gold Rush Titan; Shaun Majumder, Comedian and Gold Rush Finale MC; George Salamis, Executive Chairman, Integra Gold; Chantal Gosselin, Gold Rush Titan; Mark Stockton, Business Development, Integra Gold; Rob McEwen, Gold Rush Titan; Randy Smallwood, Gold Rush Titan L-to-R front row: Doug Hatfield, SGS Geostat; Jean-Philippe Paiement, SGS Geostat; Guy Desharnais, SGS Geostat Credit: George Pimentel Photography

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