Yukon-based exploration company has high hopes for good season

Ground Truth Exploration will have about 150 people in the field this summer, working on projects in Yukon, Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ground Truth Exploration will have 150 people in the field, in Yukon, Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador

Dozens of field workers have been arriving in Dawson City in stages, to receive training before they head out to the bush for the summer. (Dave Croft)

Ground Truth Exploration, a pioneering Dawson City, Yukon-based mineral exploration company that's attracted international attention and investment, is beginning an ambitious season.

"We're positioning Ground Truth to really undertake a more comprehensive package of services here. Really, the full system of Ground Truth is designed to take a project from target generation to a discovery," said Isaac Fage, the company's president, and one of its owners.

The company's previous busiest season was in 2011 when mineral staking and exploration records were broken. Fage said this season is more of an evolution.

Isaac Fage, president of Ground Truth, says the company will have 150 people in the field this summer working on exploration projects in several parts of Canada. (Dave Croft/CBC)

"Right now, it's really building this qualified, capable team to undertake the full package and go generate new discoveries. That's what's new, that's what's exciting with us right now," he said.

Fage said the company will have about 150 people in the field this summer, working on projects in Yukon, Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The drilling operations will be overseen by a manager based in Winnipeg.

"We're making sure everybody's properly equipped, properly trained, and really looking forward to a nice controlled launch here. Yeah, we're hitting the ground walking," he said.

Another of the company's owners, Tao Henderson, echoes Fage's optimism.

"We've got all the right people in the right places, and it's a process, and it's going to be a very successful season," Henderson said.

Mining giants provide firm foundation

Most of Ground Truth's work in the Yukon will be for White Gold Corp. It was formed in 2016 by Toronto-based business people working with renowned Yukon prospector Shawn Ryan.

The company says it now owns about 40 per cent of the mining properties in the White Gold district south of Dawson City, where Ryan's exploration work is credited with leading to the discovery of about 7.5 million ounces of gold.

Ryan said mining giants Agnico Eagle Mines and Kinross Gold each own 19.9 per cent of the company, giving it a firm foundation.

"We had to get Agnico and Kinross to work together — which was kind of unique — and shake hands and go, 'yeah, if these guys find anything we'll probably look at putting it into production, together,'" he said.

Shawn Ryan says he still has time for prospecting despite becoming more immersed in the corporate side of mining. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Ground Truth has been affiliated with Ryan since its inception in 2010.

He said the company's "Drones to Drills" program can be done for about 20 per cent of the cost, and much faster with far less impact on the environment, than traditional exploration methods.

Ryan is Chief Technical Advisor and a board member for White Gold. He said he's committed to spend the next five years systematically overseeing exploration on more than 20 properties in the district.

But he said he continues to work on his own, out in the bush.

"I'm still doing my prospecting, and still snooping around — I'm always leery there's something else beyond the hill. That's what keeps you walking as a prospector."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?