Exploration geologist Jon North was attending Mille Miglia – the annual re-enactment of the classic car race from Brescia in the foothills of the Italian Alps to Rome and back – when he met Oscar Louzada.
Louzada, a Dutch mining investor who had worked in Canaccord Genuity’s London office for several years, bonded with North over their mutual appreciation for “sexy European cars” and the two attended the event as part of a larger group of friends from Holland, Switzerland and Italy for many years.
“I grew up in Windsor so I have gasoline in my veins,” jokes North, who drives a 2007 Ducati S2R 100 and a 2015 Ducati MS 1200, noting that the motorcycles give him “street cred” with his Italian friends.
But North and Louzada had more in common than spring vacations in Italy and vintage car rallies. Louzada had started looking for gold deposits in Suriname and started a company with a group of friends – picking up the Nassau project – a 200 sq. km property adjacent to Newmont’s (TSX: NGT; NYSE: NEM) Merian mine and about 50 km from Iamgold’s (TSX: IMG) Rosebel mine.
“Oscar had been bugging me to go to Suriname for years,” North recalls, “but I said, ‘I’m too busy, I’m drilling off an ore deposit.’”
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