New payoff in search of gold: A trip to Las Vegas |

New payoff in search of gold: A trip to Las Vegas

John Seelmeyer

There are no guarantees in the minerals exploration business.

Until now.

White Knight Resources Ltd., a Vancouver outfit, is promising a weekend in Las Vegas and $1,000 cash to people who accurately predict when the company’s exploration drilling programs in northern Nevada reach their goals.

Participants in the contest log on to White Knight’s Web site (, select one of the company’s drilling programs, then select the depth that they believe the drilling program will reach rock that may contain gold.

The guesses are allowed in 5-foot increments, and only one person is allowed to pick any single depth in each drilling program.

The contest runs until Dec.

1.Winners will be named in each of the three drilling programs, and they will receive airline travel for two to Las Vegas, a weekend stay in a four-star hotel and $1,000 to blow in the casinos.

Kareen McKinnon, vice president of corporate development for White Knight, said her desk was piled high with phone messages within a few hours after the program was announced last week.

“Usually,” she said,”the only people who get excited about drilling programs are the people on the ground.

I’ve been getting calls all day long.”

McKinnon said she came up with the idea because she wants the company’s investors and the general public, for that matter to learn more about the business of gold exploration.

“The public doesn’t understand what we can learn from drilling,” she said.

White Knight’s drilling program this summer is searching for “lower plate” rocks.

That rock, which may contain gold deposits, usually is buried deep beneath sandstone, shale and other rock in central Nevada.

But it sometimes is exposed close enough to the surface to allow economic mining.

The White Knight drilling program, part of a flurry of activity in the Eureka and Battle Mountain areas this summer, is looking for lower-plate occurrences in the Cortez Trend area.

That area is site of the biggest gold discoveries in recent years by Placer Dome Gold.

White Knight’s 15 property holdings in the Cortez Trend area give it the second largest property position in the area.

If White Knight’s drilling program doesn’t discover lower-plate rocks, the winners of the contest will be selected in a random drawing.

White Knight has been involved in exploration in Nevada for 12 years, and its drilling program this summer is expected to total about 70,000 feet.

Russ Fields, president of the Nevada Mining Association, said he hadn’t heard of any similar promotion in the state’s mining industry but he was hurrying to get to the company’s Web site to learn more.