On April 15 in the year 1950, one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the mining industry was born in Toronto, Canada. His name is Robert “Rob” McEwen, the founder of GoldCorp, Inc. and McEwen Mining Inc.
Rob McEwen earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Western Ontario and an MBA from York University. He began his career at Merrill Lynch as an investment banker following in the footstep his father.
In 1990, Rob McEwen became interested at an old but underperforming mine called Red Lake in northwestern Ontario. The company was the subject of several takeover suitors. Rob joined the fray and at the end of the fight, he emerged victorious. Though he was an outsider in the mining circle, he found his way by tapping into the talent of people not in the mining industry but in technology. At that time, mineral prices were depressed and cost of production was high.
In 1994, GoldCorp was incorporated after the consolidation of other mines where Rob McEwen had a stake. Believing that the productive mines adjacent to his Red Lake in Northwestern Ontario have more reserves than what was currently known, Rob McEwen did the unthinkable in 2000. He published online the company’s proprietary geological data to the consternation of industry insiders. He then publicly called for geologists and other experts, in a contest dubbed the Goldcorp Challenge, with the offer of $575,000 in prizes to locate the next gold prospect. The winner went to an Australian outfit called Fractal Graphics which located over a hundred sites with significant gold reserve. Since then, the company’s fortune rose and its market capitalization shot up from $50 million to over $10 billion in the next few years.
After purchasing Wheaton River Minerals and merging it with GoldCorp in 2005, Rob McEwen stepped down as chairman and CEO due to dispute with other shareholders. He then established US Gold Corporation to prospect for minerals in Nevada. In 2015, he formed McEwen Mining Inc. to explore for gold, silver and copper in Canada, USA, Mexico and Argentina.
Rob McEwen is married Cheryl who is also an entrepreneur. According to canadianbusiness.com, he ranked #100 in the 2016 ranking of Canada’s richest people with a net worth of $875 million, courtesy of the rise in the price of gold. In January 2019, Goldcorp merged with Newmont creating Newmont Goldcorp Corporation, the second largest gold mining company in the world.