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Toronto, ON – March 8, 2016: SGS Canada Inc. is proud to announce that our SGS Canada team was awarded first place in the Integra Gold Corp. Gold Rush Challenge in front of a crowd of 400 at the Gold Rush Challenge Live Finale that took place Sunday, March 6, 2016, at the Carlu in Toronto.

The SGS Canada team beat out over 1300 entrants from 80 countries and emerged as the winner with its submission that utilized a combination of machine learning and traditional geological methods to produce targets across the Company’s Lamaque project in Val-d’Or, Québec.  The SGS Canada team used sophisticated geostatistical methods to drive data into an expansive and unbiased block model. A prospectivity scoring system harnessed both geological knowledge and machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence, to identify high value targets, which were then vetted through Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift technology. The proposal impressed both the technical judges and the industry titans that evaluated the presentation in a “shark tank” live finale. 

“We couldn’t be more proud of this group of dedicated and passionate professionals that put it all on the line, got creative and at the end delivered something truly unique to the mining industry,” stated Dave Smercina, Managing Director of SGS Canada Inc. “This evening was so valuable to SGS Mineral Services, as we gained so much more than the prize money; tonight we earned the respect and admiration of the industry as a whole.”

“The Gold Rush Challenge has given Integra a platform to call on governments, mining companies and mining financers to get off the sidelines and get into the game.  We are challenging traditional thinking and breaking new ground, embracing disruptive technology that is critical to the mining sector,” commented Executive Chairman George Salamis. “The proposal from SGS Canada represents the disruptive innovation we saw in the Gold Rush Challenge. We saw the tech sector and the mining sector collide and unravel the great mystery of discovery. SGS Canada beat the odds, advancing out of the semi-final round and impressing the industry titans with their embrace of machine learning and virtual reality while also emphasizing the importance of tradition, data driven geology.”

The SGS Canada team includes the following members:

·        Guy Desharnais

·        Jean-Philippe Paiement

·        Doug Hatfield

·        Nicolas Babin

·        Claude Bisaillon

·        Yann Camus

·        Maxime Dupéré

·        Matthew Halliday

·        Amanda Landriault

·        Lyne Maître

·        Patrick Perez

·        Nicolas Poupart

“We are enormously grateful to Integra Gold and their sponsors for organizing this event. As a team of geologists, engineers, and computer scientists often bound by certain limitations and boundaries, we relished in the opportunity to channel our collective creativity and curiosity to provide new exploration targets in a historic and famous mining jurisdiction,” noted Guy Desharnais, captain of team SGS Canada.

“The torch has been passed,” noted Mining Titan Rob McEwen.  “In 2001 the Goldcorp Challenge ignited the careers for the top 3 finishers, and I know that SGS Canada will reap the benefits of winning the Gold Rush Challenge.  Mark my words, this is not the last time we hear from the SGS Canada team.  I was fortunate to be part of the Gold Rush Challenge and I look forward to what Stephen de Jong and his team at Integra Gold have planned next.”


About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 85,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world.


About the Integra Gold Rush Challenge

The Integra Gold Rush Challenge is an incentive prize challenge powered by the popular HeroX ( crowdsourcing platform. HeroX is a spin-off of XPRIZE, the leading organization solving the world's ‘Grand Challenges’ by creating and managing large-scale, high profile, incentivized prize competitions.  After registering for the Challenge, challengers from any background or country were given access to an unprecedented database built from six terabytes and 75 years of historic mining and exploration data from Integra Gold's formerly producing Sigma/Lamaque mines in Val-d'Or, Québec. The individual or group whose submission represents the best prospect for the next big gold discovery on the Sigma/Lamaque properties, based on a weighted set of criteria as outlined in the Challenge rules (, wins their share of the C$1 million prize and a shot at notoriety.

For more information:


SGS Media Contact

Fulvio Martinez

SGS Canada Inc.

(647) 929-0411


Gold Rush Media Contact

Morgan Murphy

Smithcom Ltd.

(416) 629-2143


Corporate Inquiries

Lawrence Ng

SGS Canada Inc.

(778) 374-3924