How To Work, Gamble, And Charm Your Way From The Bush To The Boardroom

“I was always focused on success more than money. Money was not my driving point, I wanted to achieve something in my life and I saw an opportunity… There is nothing like the excitement and thrill of making something out of nothing, which is what you do by being a prospector.”

Simon Ridgway, Chairman of Fortuna Silver

Simon Ridgway is the Chairman of Fortuna Silver, Chairman of Medgold Resources, Chairman of Radius Gold, Chairman of Volcanic Gold Mines, and Chairman of Crops Inc.

But, ask him what he does on a daily basis? He’ll tell you he’s a prospector.

I met Simon earlier this year and knew immediately I had to have him on the Resource Insider Podcast. His story is a master class in everything I love about the mining industry; and no doubt highlights many of the elements that attract so many investors and professionals to the space.

After sailing to America and hitchhiking to the Yukon Simon cut his teeth in the 1970’s working summers in the bush and gambling at Diamond Tooth Gerties in Dawson city. After winning the claims to a mining prospect in a hand of poker, he was launched into one of the most successful prospecting careers in modern history.

Simon has since gone on to found and lead mining and exploration companies all over the world. For anyone with a taste for adventure and the entrepreneurial bug this is the episode for you!

In this conversation Simon and I discuss:

  • How Simon left school at 15 and went on to be one of the most successful mining entrepreneurs of his generation.
  • Why Simon removes himself from the city for at least a few days per week to work.
  • The importance of good data and why Canada has the best mineral claims system in the world.
  • The importance of being in control of your own destiny.
  • Why an Alaskan placer miner sent Simon to stake ground in Venezuela in the early 1990’s.
  • How a winter in Antigua with a suitcase full of maps laid the groundwork for Simon’s first public company Tombstone Exploration.
  • Why Simon backed a young Peruvian engineer, who went on to find the mine that started Fortuna Silver.
  • Why entrepreneurship in the mining industry is more challenging than it once was.
  • The importance of focusing on success as opposed to money.
  • Why Simon is currently focused on Serbia, and why he doesn’t plan on retiring.

This was one of the most interesting and fun conversations I’ve had with anyone in the mining industry.

If you have even a passing interest in the space, or just like a good adventure story, you won’t be disappointed!

Jamie Keech

PS: You can also check us out on iTunes here.


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