Tales from the Bunker: A Saturday Ramble

Featured Image: Heli-supported camps are standard practice across Northern BC (Image: Bob Quinn Airstrip BC, Spotlight Mining, 2019)

FYI I’m starting with one of those dull ‘Liam learning to business’ moral stories, there’s mining related grumbling further down if that’s what you subscribed for…

Today is one of those days where I am still only 1/3 of the way through Thursday’s ‘to-do’ list. Earlier this month our social media manager and publishing queen Daniela jumped on a flight to see her family for a few weeks of well-earned sun and relaxation. I was quite blasé, surely, I could send a few emails and post a few tweets’?

The first few days were really easy, because (unbeknownst to me) Daniela had pre-scheduled several days’ worth of social media and web content to be distributed so, Spotlight Mining ploughed into the industry media field autonomously for around 72 hours, at which point all hell broke loose… This week I have missed deadlines, failed to post content and dropped so many calls and commitments  (apologies to our writer Esme who submitted her work on time, only for me to fail twice to upload and release it!), in honesty I didn’t realise how much my team were really doing. Spotlight is now too strong a demon for me to control alone. Combine this with my new position on the board of Origin Exploration and I am doing 18 hour days and still behind on my duties.

In the end I’m an exploration geo at heart, so I think it’s a logical time for me to step back from our media empire and put responsibilities into better people’s hands, people who clearly do a more professional and skilled job than I do (just like Daniela, Sam, Chris, Andres and Esme!) to deliver what you all want to read/watch and argue about.

Spotlight can do so much, we can keep learning, keep educating, keep making mistakes and making awesome content together, but currently we need help. I am looking for a new partner and/or investor to keep our energy up and run with our Spotlight adventure, to expand our reach, double-down on our morals, piss-off shady pump-dump operators, deliver our massive plans, and plug the gaps that I currently can’t. If you have half a brain and some drive, we’ve got an eager team, a mega plan for global domination and the skills to go the distance. Drop me a message and let’s chat.


Riverside Resources: Prepping for a field day in Sonora, Mexico
Riverside Resources: Prepping for a field day in Sonora, Mexico

Ok… Mining time…

How much money has your exploration project spent on helicopters this season? I love being up in BC and being dragged through the sky to distant outcrops and over glaciers, from a personal touristic position it is breath-taking. From a realistic working perspective, I think it is over-relied on. The mountains are treacherous, steep, tough to navigate and full of bears up in BC, but lets say a 10 minute helicopter ride takes 1 day to walk on reasonable terrain, a mountain geo/prospector’s day rate is less than a return helicopter trip and if you hire 2 people to cover the same ground… you don’t lose much work time. Even if your team walk out and then a helicopter collects them 2-3 days later with their heavy samples and data, you have saved a lot of money.

This brings me onto My Saturday snippet: The golden triangle in BC was explored on the back of horses, nothing here had been charted by the new settlers from the south, there were no GPS waypoints, no lidar maps of the landscape, no emergency support. What was wrong with horses for covering this terrain? Horses haven’t changed much, they still carry weight, cover distance and offer some protection from the wild, they haven’t developed the same lazy scrolling thumbs and drinking problem that us geologists have in the last 100 years, horses are still great. I mentioned this a few times last year while in Stewart… There are still horse trails all over the region to old hand-pits and mineralised cliffs, can anybody ride a horse? The reply was often laughter.

So this morning, groggy and miserable about the impending sunlight about to forcefully breach my eyelids, just a few short hours after I closed them, I swiped across my phone screen to see a WhatsApp video and emoji from John-Mark Staude (Riverside Resources, $RRI). I hit play and see some Mexican fellas checking equipment and laughing and, centrepiece to the group is a broad horse, bags over midriff and dust brushed, impatient to depart… I’m told, they are heading off to Cecilia, Riverside’s Sonora project (optioned to Carlyle Commodities, but still on site as operators).

This is just another reason why, despite it losing me some potentially crisp notes, I didn’t sell my RRI shares this summer after the stock split/Capitan spin-out. I knew the price would come back down again to regular levels, but I actually wanted to be part of the company, their attitude towards exploration, their fundraising from majors, the personality of the team, the respect given to local communities and now… Bringing horses onto projects! It’s rare to say, but it’s a pleasure to be a shareholder.

To everybody who laughed at the idea of exploring on horseback… The bar has now been set and you cannot say ‘it’s impossible’ anymore. Your exploration programs could be done for 1/5 of what you are blasting on them if you stopped with this ‘that’s how its always been done’ crap and thought outside the box. This goes from bringing in drill components to running your social media channels and glitzy Vancouver offices… You should not be shafting your shareholder’s money on things that could be done better for less elsewhere.

Cheers all,
Spotlight Mining

Posted in Tales from the Covid Bunker

Liam Hardy View posts by Liam Hardy

With a family background in African mining exploration and a degree in geology, Liam brings a mix of technical ‘on-the-ground’ ore hunting and suit-booted office experience to the team. Liam worked in Liberia with Hummingbird Resources and spent 4 years as a geochemical analyst, before focusing on streamlining communications and development in exploration businesses, through the founding of ‘Spotlight Mining’.