Gold is arguably the king of metals. It has held a fascination for hundreds of years. The pharaohs tore it away, the Incas saw it as a piece of sunshine, while the more adventurous rushed to the American West. Quebec is not to be outdone and some prospectors in Abitibi make a living from this devouring passion.
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“Me, I have gold fever, that can’t be removed. It takes gold from me, I have to go see it, I have to go look for it, ”explains, panting, Robert Gagnon, a geologist who knows the Abitibi subsoil like the back of his hand.
The man is a true metal enthusiast with an obsession for the most brilliant of them. He founded his consulting firm Explo-Lab and also a junior mining company, Pershimex, listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange.
"I'm not afraid to say it, I've had this fever for a long time, I take responsibility for myself. It's a disease like any other, I don't know how to treat it," he laughs.
This fascination and even this burning obsession even lead him to cast his own ingots.
“Me, I have the knowledge from A to Z, I go look for gold in the field, I bring it to my laboratory. I pour it and fund it,” he says.
Tame the gold
However, he considers that gold must be tamed for several years, because the metal has already made several investors lose their heads.
"It's a metal that is dangerous, it's a metal of the devil," he says. But if you are able to control it, you will see that the metal will bring you good business”.
By his own admission, this is a fascination that came very quickly into his life.
“You have to go back to my youth, I always wanted to do this. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and manage exploration activities. »
His company, all Quebecois (mostly from Abitibi) owns the mining rights on the Courville property, 60 km from Val-d'Or. It is in the process of obtaining a license for 5,000 tonnes to produce up to 2,000 ounces of gold.
“We think we will be able to have revenues of 4 to 5 million, which will create our cash. Afterwards, we will be in a good position to explore further and find a good deposit,” he said.
No matter the price
By his own admission, no matter the cost, he will always explore the basement in search of gold.
"I've never gotten carried away with the flavor of the month...lithium, graphite, no, me, it's gold. It'll be $40 an ounce, I'll look for the same," he said.
He claims to have started his exploration when the price was at $250 an ounce. With a value that reaches close to $2,000, the geologist is not about to stop his exploration.
“Gold remains a safe haven and with the instability we are experiencing, it will go up even more,” he believes.
His small mining company is already well established in the field and will continue its exploration in the coming weeks. He himself will go prospecting with his hammer and his pickaxe.
“When we start, I will maybe go 2-3 times a week. The prospecting season is short. We take knowledge, sometimes we find. There is always a bit of luck, but if you don't dig it, you won't find gold,” he says.
According to him, the mining regime in place in Quebec has been improved and gives equal opportunities to large mining companies and junior companies.
“We have a legal system that is fair, a bit annoying, but we are able to acclimatize to it. It would just be necessary to lighten the processes, the bureaucracy. But it is an egalitarian system. Claims are the same for everyone,” he says.
The company holds approximately 500 mining exploration titles. Each costs $50, but it is the exploration work that is more expensive.
“We have to do $2,000 of work every two years per title. If you are not able to do your work, it is very valuable, you will lose your rights to explore, and on that, it is severe, but it is fair,” he said.