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Golden Dreams: Tracing America’s Mining Legacy from Wild Rushes to Regulated Riches

21 de dic de 2023

America. The land of opportunities. Where anyone can, by its own merits, ascend to the peak of human riches. The land of the self-made man. So goes the American Dream that, for generations, has fed the imagination of so many throughout the globe.

Gold has played a key part in signaling the allure of America. It still does, as we, at Sun Valley Investments, are fully invested in playing a leading role in the mining industry in the region. But, first things first.

One of the first signs of this American Dream to achieve global reach was the Gold Rushes of the 19th century. The discovery of gold on the surface of the then-remote areas of the “Wild West” led to the mass migration of a wide range of characters, driven by the promise of immense riches to be made.

But as the gold rushes drove masses of gold-seekers to far-away destinations, gold on the surface quickly became scarce.

Although this frustrated many of those fortune-seekers, the truth is that after those initial collective fevers, an industry emerged. As mining required more than shovels and pans, operations grew in scale, requiring more and more technology and capital, as they went through an industrialization process. The industrial boom in mining spurred growth in ancillary sectors, such as equipment manufacturing, logistics, and financial services, creating a vibrant ecosystem that contributed to propel North America to the economic might it is today.

While the quest for gold deepened, mirroring the increased difficulty in mining and operational costs, it simultaneously unveiled a realm of environmental considerations that the modern mining industry must navigate.

Those are nowadays an industry common ground, where all industry players are, or should be, aware of, and adopting for themselves the highest standards. But the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concerns grew a lot throughout the years. We see those concerns in North America as soon as in 1884, with the Anti-Debris Act, curbing the environmental damage caused by hydraulic mining, while marking an early stride toward regulatory oversight in the mining sector. From that point onward, the legal requirements, both for the impact on the environment, on labor, and the adherence to ethical practices, have only grown. And North America has been leading this path globally.

The mining industry players today know that they are subject not only to the most demanding regulatory frameworks in the world but also to the most demanding public opinion. So the path is only one: to be at the forefront of it, often leading those efforts before they become law. Of course, this has an economic impact. But it also plays a role in ensuring a future for the industry, as sustainability is not only about the present impact but mainly the future we are building.

Nevertheless, the eternal allure of shiny gold enchants its lovers to always seek further. And, for all the above challenges, North America remains a land of opportunities - just more difficult to extract than in the past. The region is still estimated to produce 16% of the gold extracted in 2022.

Operating profitably under the most demanding regulations and conditions in the world gives an edge to the ones doing it. They are at the forefront of the industry. After all, as Sinatra immortalized in his song, “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.”

Sun Valley Investments is attentive to this opportunity. For long, we have invested in solid precious metals companies in the region. Our most relevant investment is with Canagold, a Canadian public company, of which we are, as of 2022, the major shareholder. This investment represents our commitment to the highest industry standards, as well as the recognition of the immense potential to responsibly unearth from the region’s grounds.

About Sun Valley

Sun Valley is a private equity firm focused on the precious metals industry with portfolio companies and branch offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Sun Valley seeks to invest in sustainable development projects and operations with growth potential, low cash costs of production, or operating flexibility to insulate against volatility in the commodity markets.


The information contained or referenced herein is for information purposes only to provide the views of Sun Valley and the matters which Sun Valley believes to be of concern to shareholders described herein. The information is not tailored to specific investment objectives, the financial situations, suitability, or particular need of any specific person(s) who may receive the information, and should not be taken as advice in considering the merits of any investment decision. The views expressed herein represent the views and opinions of Sun Valley, whose opinions may change at any time and are based on analyses of Sun Valley and its advisors.


Sun Valley:

Daniel Henao

Partner / VP Business Development

Phone: 6042607046


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