Ronald Parratt: Stepping Outside the Mold to Find Monster Gold Deposits
As part of our continuing series on Geology, Tom welcomes geologist Ronald Parratt to the show. Ronald has been fascinated by rocks and after taking chemistry classes discovered that his real interest lay in the field of geology. He completed a masters degree in geology after taking three years off working in the field. He remembers when Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard and he witnessed the rise in the price of gold. He became involved in new types of gold discoveries and methods for extracting it like heap leaching. This discovery created a huge increase in gold extraction in Nevada. The United States produces more gold today than at any period before.
Ron discusses the new types of deposits the world needs around lithium and have been found in clay lake beds. Some of these should be in production in the coming years. Sometimes you find ‘gold’ in some rocks like carlin mineralization that was unexpected. Understanding the chemical, minerology, alteration phases is key. Some deposits have well understood geological models but some deposits aren’t as well understood.
He discusses how he became involved in the Long Canyon project and how the system interested him. It seemed like a good bet for a junior company and it panned out and that story continues today.
His first discovery of merit was in 1987 at Rabbit Creek. He discusses the different approaches he took over his career to find significant deposits.
Nevada has always been a pretty good place to work for mining. Geologically it has the right types of intrusive rocks and are relatively young features. Nevada has a lot of geothermal energy production and they continue to find these systems which are often turned into power plants. These systems are likely the causative reason for the gold deposits.
He explains the process involved in heap leaching gold deposits and how it came to be developed.
The major mining companies prefer tier one large deposits that will provide a long mine life. Mines take a long time and effort to develop so larger deposits are always preferred.
Ron explains how he approaches projects and factors he considers when evaulating equity opportunity in companies. Lastly, he says “Focus on the people first.”
Time Stamp References:
0:00 – Introduction
0:54 – His Background
5:30 – New Discoveries
10:30 – Long Canyon
13:53 – Project Strategies
19:26 – Nevada’s Features
22:12 – Mining Disclosures
25:18 – Favorite Times
27:09 – Heap Leaching Process
31:20 – Project Steps & Economics
36:58 – Majors & Big Deposits
38:46 – Evaluating Projects
45:10 – Drill Results
46:48 – Resource Estimates
48:47 – Investing Red Flags
50:30 – Investor Timing
53:32 – Price & Properties
55:50 – Takeover Strategies
57:38 – Wrap Up
Talking Points From This Episode
- His background in geology and the invention of heap leaching.
- Types of deposits and geological systems.
- The Benefits of mining in Nevada.
- Developing a junior company into a takeover target of majors.
Ronald L. Parratt is currently Executive Chairman of Renaissance Gold Inc, a TSX.V listed, Nevada-based junior gold/silver exploration company. Ron has over 35 years of exploration experience for precious metals including service with Santa Fe Pacific Gold, Homestake Mining Company, and AuEx Ventures. During his years of precious metals experience, Ron had direct involvement in the discovery of the Rabbit Creek (now Twin Creeks), Lone Tree, Trenton Canyon, Gold Hill, and Long Canyon gold deposits- all in Nevada.
Ron is a Certified Professional Geologist with the American Institute of Professional Geologists, a Registered Geologist in California, and a Professional Geologist in Wyoming. He is a graduate of Purdue University with degrees in geochemistry and economic geology. He is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists, a 40+ year member of SME, and current President of the American Exploration and Mining Association.